KTM 250SX-F FACTORY EDITION
Horsepower is the main attraction for the 250. It
makes more power than any bike in its class—ever. It
also has a long, broad powerband, with usable output
spread out over a 4000-rpm range. The only thing to
be warned about is where that 4000-rpm range is. All
of it is way up high, between 10,000 and 14,000 rpm.
Most bikes hit their peak then return to earth, but the
KTM just keeps revving higher and higher, making
more and more power. If you’re like most riders, you
have to make a big mental adjustment to scream a
bike that high. Almost everyone shifts the KTM too
early. In the original test, we felt the gearing was far
too tall, and that made the bike feel sleepy despite its
horsepower advantage. With the Factory Edition, that
complaint wasn’t as common. We’ll say it’s the FMF
pipe and move on.
We also could tell a slight difference between the original
250SX-F’s suspension and this one. Both bikes carry a
recommended pressure of 10. 6 bar in the fork (that’s 154
pounds to us). On the standard version, that feels stiff to all
but the heaviest riders. We usually ran air pressure in the high
140s. With the Factory Edition, 154 pounds feels soft enough,
especially in light, choppy terrain.
Like the original, the fork is excellent. It does its job in
bumps and on landings, which is good but not surprising.
Where it outshines other air forks is by offering a more stable
platform, particularly in turns. You don’t have the dive-extend-dive routine that air usually offers.
Overall, the 250SX-F remains a bike aimed at more
advanced riders. It takes an intermediate or pro to really take
advantage of its high-strung nature. On the other hand, once a
novice figures out how to ride the KTM, he won’t be a novice
MX TEST: KTM FACTORY EDITIONS