KTM 250SX Two Stroke – Test

The guys  over at put together this very cool test on the brand new KTM 250SX two-stroke. Read all about it right here.

The 2017 model year will go down as a milestone year as for the first time in a very long time, a major manufacturer has done a total, 100 per cent ground-up redesign of its 250 two-stroke motocross bike. KTM’s new 250SX two-stroke has a new engine, frame, bodywork and suspension to bring it into line with the rest of the Austrian range which all had a similar total revamp in 2016.

The rest of the range – 125 and 150 two-strokes plus 250, 350 and 450F – have all had some changes, too. Such as traction control for the fuel-injected four-strokes which is activated by a new multifunction handlebar map switch, new suspension components and settings, bold new graphics and new engine mounts to alter the flex and feel of the chassis.

The new handlebar map switch activates the new traction control and launch control and lets you choose one of two engine management maps to change the power characteristics. KTM have really upped their game by giving you a easy-to-use push-button electronic system on the handlebar with not just one option but three. Actually, it’s four if you include the standard map setting. This is mated to the Keihin EMS traction control system which measures throttle and engine rpm, so if it detects wheelspin, it reduces power until rear wheel finds grip.

The system is a massive step in the right direction. The improvement is so easy to use and you can push the button on the track while riding – it is actually that easy. It’s also very easy to see the option you selected as it lights up. The old flick switch could be a pain and you couldn’t see the option clearly because the throttle and cable were in the way. It also looked dated.

The four-strokes also get new aluminium cylinder head stays which are 90g lighter and give more feel to the chassis. Across the range, all the bikes have a new set of triple clamps with rubber-mounted bars and the WP AER 48mm air forks are now the second-generation featuring redesigned outer tubes to change the flex and for reduced stiction and less friction, as well as a weight reduction of 265g. The clamps and handlebar mount are another big improvement as on the old model there could be a strange feeling as there was too much movement. It really is very noticeable when riding.

The bikes now come with a free WP air pump, too. And the rear WP shock comes with new damping settings and softer spring. All the bikes now come standard with an hourmeter as well as new graphics, seat cover, new rear brake pedal and rear brake pads.

The all-new 250SX is down from 95.9kg to 95.4kg, but the weight of the 125 has crept up by 0.2kg and the 350 by 0.3kg. But the 450 is down by 0.2kg and the 250F by 0.3kg despite a fatter rear tyre. KTMs are among the very lightest on the track – doubly impressive when you factor in they come stock with electric start and hydraulic clutches.

Across the range, the bikes feel much more balanced and feel really low. I remember the days when the KTMs had a distinctly European feel, but now they’re as modern and compact as anything. It’s strange how things change and progress. We’ve been riding the bikes for months on a variety of different tracks – from the sand of FatCats to hard pack of Cusses Gorse and Parkgate, woodchip of Apex to loamy tracks when the weather was particularly kind! And here’s what we think of the whole range.

Want to read more on the KTM models. Download the MotoHead magazine below.

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