Questions about the 2016 KTM 450SX-F revolve around two key areas: One, is it better than the 2015 450SX-F?
If so, why? Two, is it improved in any way over the 2015;1/2
Factory Edition? If so, in what way?
A huge yes, followed by another yes. This machine—new
from the ground up and fit not just with a list of updates
but a list that extends from the frame to the engine—is
the result of a company that prides itself on taking what it
learns through racing and applying it to its new models.
Brand new from ground zero
The new engine is more compact,
4 pounds lighter, and has a new
camshaft, fuel injection and power
numbers. The head is lighter, uses
Ti valves and allows the power to
maximize at 11,500 rpm. A shorter
cylinder, a crankshaft with 10 percent
more inertia and a shorter rod make
the engine more compact and the
power snappier and lighter-feeling.
The engine cases are smaller and
lighter. The clutch is once again a
DDS design. The Keihin 44mm throttle
body is new, and the tranny uses
numbers identical to last year’s, but
with a new coating on first and fifth
for more durability.
It has a new frame, shorter wheelbase, a steeper steering angle and
new rigidity numbers for better track
comfort and less weight. It is fit with
new footpegs, called No Dirts, that
resist mud-pack and have a larger
footprint. The swingarm is lighter,
and new plastics were designed to
improve rider ergos and movement.
Also, a new saddle with better foam
and a lower seat height graces the
machine. The new graphics are de-tuned: the frame color is back to a
deep gray. The gas tank holds 1.85
gallons. The right radiator is all new,
and KTM has optimized the cool-