2012 KTM Two-Stroke Motocrossers - Riding Impression - Dirt Rider Magazine

KTM has not ever come close to giving up on the two-stroke from the bike offering perspective. They have embraced offering a full line of the pre-mix burning bikes and continue to do so in 2012. And they are not re-hashed 2005 bikes, they are all new and for the second year in a row, receive some huge changes, enough that they qualify as all new bikes.

The addition of the linkage and saying goodbye to the PDS system has been a welcome change for the motocross bikes. The biggest advantage is the ability for the setup to work in different conditions and for different riders without being so picky in setup, especially spring rates.

Linkage. That is the big change. Like the four-stroke SX bikes last year the two-strokes follow suit. So that means an all-new frame, new suspension, and new plastic for the most part. And the motors did not get unnoticed either. KTM made a big effort to work on the air box boot and tune it for a two-stroke. B ut perhaps the biggest change came with the addition of a brand-new Moto Tassanari V Force reed cage that now has reed stops on it. This helps the power pull longer and gets rid of the feeling that the KTM motor needs to be under a load.

The joy of the 125 is you can draw lines around the track wherever you want, the turning is amazing on this bike and the light-weight feel only makes it better. Just remember to hold it wide open for maximum results.

All in all, these are some pretty sweet bikes, from the looks to the performance. Here is a quick visual rundown on what the parts are and how they work. Look for full tests in upcoming issues of Dirt Rider Magazine.

Back in the lineup is the 125. Missing for a couple of years in favor of the 150, the true smallest of full-size motocrossers is back and ready for the schoolboy class.
There are a number of changes inside the motor since the last time we saw this bike and they do make a notable difference, especially in the pick-up off the bottom and especially in the top end and overe-rev. All of course if you have the throttle pinned.
As light and flickable as anything in the air, flight time is awesome. And even for bigger riders, the landing are handled.
The 150 SX shares all of the chassis improvements and really benefits from the air boot/reed update. Now it pulls way longer and feels just that much stronger than the 125 in both torque, where it always did and now in top end power because of the free revving.
There have been some internal improvements to the brakes to help with durability.
KTM's innovative muffler clamping.
The 125 and 150 get a Magura hydraulic clutch system. It is better than any cable and light feeling but the engagement point is a little aggressive of quick compared to the Brembo system on the 250.
There is hardly a difference in weight feel between the 125 and 150 in the air. A good rider would have this bike pancaked based on the weight.
Berm railing is the specialty of the 150. It has the power to blast them and the light and nimble handling to keep the bike on the rail.
The biggest difference between the two small bikes is the added torque feel of the 150. Instead of a double downshift going into turns, the 150 only takes one. And you don't always have to be pinned to keep the bike from bogging. It isn't a 250F in torque but a 250F is not this fast when wide-open either.
450 power in the lightest available package. It does not take too long to remember what the two-stroke past was like and the four-strokes have pushed KTM to make this 250 so much better. If you can take a few extra shift per lap instead of a lot of weight, then it may be two-stroke time for you too.
If this reed valve is responsible for the longer pulling power, they will sell a ton of them when they come out in production later this year for other bikes. It appears that this reed valve makes a big difference.
This is the hydraulic clutch you dream about and on a two-stroke you can appreciate that.
How many times do we have to say this, two-strokes turn where they want to and on a dime if asked. Having the power of a 250 just makes it more fun!
With plenty of power to jump anything and the nimble feeling in the air, it is surprising so many are afraid of the two-stroke.