There are a few things that we as moto fans simply can't get enough of. Sure, the racing action and insanely talented riders are the main attraction when the gate drops – but what about the machinery these top-level talents are racing on? Uncountable hours of R&D, full teams dedicated to the development of new parts, top-secret internal details that you couldn't pay to see, and all of the exotic materials you could think of are only part of the draw. We love all of the details, and wanted to showcase all this beauty to you. Welcome to Drool-Worthy, in-depth looks at each of the six major manufacturer’s factory 450 and 250 race efforts.
Making our way to Europe in this edition of Drool-Worthy, checking out these factory KTM efforts are impressive in many ways. Sure, many think of winning championships when the name Ryan Dungey and Red Bull KTM come up, but the strides made in only the last 5-10 years are monumental with the brand. Joining Ryan Dungey and Marvin Musquin this year is Trey Canard, who made the switch to KTM after years on a Honda. All three have the accolades to back up the hype they bring to the table.
In their second year of factory support into the heralded Troy Lee Designs/GoPro/Red Bull /KTM team squad, they’ve assembled a formidable effort that is (as of 4 rounds in) leading the points chase in both classes. On Troy Lee’s team are Shane McElrath, Mitchell Oldenburg, Alex Martin, and Jordan Smith. One of the coolest parts about KTM? They offer “factory edition” bikes that mimic the look and performance of these bikes pictured, packaged for a consumer. Let’s take a closer look at both Marvin Musquin and Shane McElrath’s bikes…
Photos by Mike Emery | @emeryphoto
In only his second year on the big bike, Marvin Musquin has piloted this number 25 KTM 450 SX-F to three of four podiums so far. Taking an impressive page from his consistent teammate’s page, we must say!
Custom fuel tank caps are a KTM signature, and you’ll find the 450 rider’s names on their steeds and “TLD” on the 250 bike efforts.
If you’re an avid reader of TransWorld Motocross, you already know how we feel about these WP 52mm Cone Valve forks! These are the (spring) fork used team-wide on both the 450 and 250 team bikes.
On the shock side, both teams also run the WP Trax Shock, but technicians aren’t always keen on telling us too many details on setup!
Check out the Brembo rear binders, complete with very short headed titanium bolts that hold the disc to the hub.
KTM Factory Services builds all of the race engines, and the key to mapping these beasts is creating usable power. You’d be surprised at how de-tuned some of these bikes can be, as the riders enjoy linear power in order to keep comfortable for the whole race.
Almost a work of art, the Akrapovic exhaust is full titanium, but has a coating that allows it to keep looking the best it can through all the abuse of racing.
Underneath the Troy Lee Designs/GoPro/Red Bull /KTM awning sits this current points-leading 250 SX-F.
A big change to all of KTM’s factory efforts this year are these one piece Nihilo Concepts titanium pegs. Light, great looking, and SHARP.
These 250’s are outfitted with these custom FMF exhaust systems, as they are a team sponsor.
Further up the pipe, this new addition of an expansion chamber was developed through team testing on their race bikes.
Left-side profile of the power plant. Very simple looking, yet intricately put together.
Carbon fiber, everywhere.
Brembo is the brand of choice to stop this beast when needed, and the Acerbis carbon fiber guard protects it all.
Notice this 3/8th drive axle bolt? Quick and easy, because you never know when you’ll need to swap out a wheel in a hurry.
Always by the riders’ side, these Jessy Nelson stickers are a nice touch. Stay strong, Jessy!