Without a doubt the KTM250SXF, along with the Suzuki RM-Z450, were the two most anticipated bikes to come down the pipe this year. Both bikes were put to the ultimate test last year by competing in the rigorous FIM World Championship series. The KTM250SXF totally proved itself by bringing home the prestigious MX2, (formally known as the 125cc class) World title. Not bad in its first year of racing.
This year the KTM250SXF has already proved its worthiness by winning the first race of the FIM World Championships with Tyla Ratray aboard, winning a couple of West Coast 125 Supercross races piloted by Nathan Ramsey, and nearly winning the East coast 125 supercross title with Josh Hansen.
With results like that we definitely were eager to spin some laps.
TransWorld was invited to spend the day testing the new KTM at Perris Raceway. We sent out Garth Milan and Rich Taylor to put the bike to the test. The weather was perfect and the track was in excellent condition.
Ergonomically speaking, the new 250F is very similar to the rest of the KTMs. The factory equipped Renthal 7020 bars along with the Magura hydraulic clutch and the Renthal half waffle grips give the bike a unique yet stellar feel. On the track the bike has a light small feel to it, which allowed us to feel like we could manhandle it around. Perhaps that was due to the lightweight of the bike; it weighs in at 98KG, or approximately 216lbs. In the past we have had complaints of our boots catching on KTM body parts, we had no problems today. It was very comfortable and we felt right at home on it.
Perris Raceway isn’t the fastest or roughest track in the world by any means, but there is one fourth gear straightaway that will test the nerve of the rider along with the stability of the bike. The KTM once again proved worthy and had us confidently charging the straight all the way into the turn.
After some adjustment to the shock and forks we had the KTM railing the rutted corners with ease. We ran the sag at 110mm and stiffened the compression up, front and rear, a few clicks on each end. Once the balance was correct the WP suspension seemed to work great.
Enough with the handling stuff. Why do the KTM’s always seem to holeshot?
Well, that’s because the new 250F flat out rips! It pulls hard down low and revs forever. We were able to short shift it or rev it and it pulled either way. The power delivery is smooth and forgiving with no surprises. Just roll the power on and it pulls. The power character will suit riders from beginner to pro level and both will be gleaming with joy.
Overall, our first impression of the KTM250SXF is a very good one. From the confident handling, to the very impressive motor, to the unique bayonet gas cap, it looks like KTM has created a winner.