Views
3 years ago

Dirt and Trail July 2018 issue 2

  • Text
  • Durability
  • Bikes
  • Riders
  • Suspension
  • Enduro
  • Motorcycles
  • Models
  • Racing
  • Clutch
  • Trophy

“This is the premium

“This is the premium 2-stroke in the KTM lineup, and is basically brand new for 2019. Light, responsive, so fast… but very controllable with amazing suspension and brakes. You can feel the updates – it’s just a better bike than last years, amazing how they do it.” and decent brakes and suspension – This bridges the gap perfectly between a 125 and a 250. I sure hope that we’ll be allowed to ride and race them here… The 250SX This is the premium 2-stroke in the KTM lineup, and is basically brand new for 2019. Light, responsive, so fast… but very controllable with amazing suspension and brakes. You can feel the updates – it’s just a better bike than last years, amazing how they do it. Less explosive, more refined with very useable power. It’s really to appreciate how KTM dominates this class all over the world. Much like with their enduro models, KTM has made two stroke technology their own. Slow or fast – so much fun to ride. The Four Strokes: For this sloppy, muddy track, we thought that the 450 would be a real handful, but it surprised us. The 250 is incredibly quick and the 350 is a great blend of the two… Mike shares his thoughts The 250 SXF: I was very impressed with the power delivery – it’s only a 250 but it makes lekker torque and has an amazing overrev. The riders were well spaced out when I took the 250 four out – but a few of us had a go and I was super impressed with the 250. It turns on a dime and moves so easily through the air. Cornering is really sharp with enough bottom-end that you don’t need to aim for the outside line – you don’t have to dig very deep to holeshot out of the corners. The suspension soaks up everything you throw at it. The bike feels, once again better than the previous model in just about every respect. It’s lighter, sharper and damn pretty in its new livery. Go and ride one… The 350SXF: Bridging the gap. KTM built the 350 and a bridge from 250 to 450 but – much discussion was had among all of the Jounalists on the launch – some agreed and others – especially the older generation could not see the point. But – let’s refer to how successful KTM’s 350 Enduro model is – especially amongst hobby riders and I’m sure you’ll agree that KTM is on to something. Personally I like the 350 for a couple of reasons. You don’t need to ride as hard as you would on the 250. This probably means that the bike will last a bit longer and need less maintenance. It has significantly more torque than a 250 but is not as powerful as a 450. It weighs almost the same as a 250. It feels like a safe ride if you know what I mean – you don’t need to pin it all over the place – there is ample chug-a-lug in every gear – that allows you to get away with making the odd mistake. Handling and feel is very close to the 250 – a 250 with a bigger bore and longer gearing. For shorter tracks this is one heck of a machine… 22 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2018

The 450 SXF: Moving the goalposts. It was unanimous. Nobody wanted to ride the 450 in the mud, but once they got on – it surprised everyone with its user friendly nature and great traction. It felt far too easy for a bad ass 450 MX bike. Rolling into knee deep ruts and easing on the throttle, the bike is just so controllable, It did not cross rut – just sand along where you pointed her. This is the smoothest power that I’ve felt on a 450 to date – this in turn means more control. In the air, the bike felt very stable – usually there is a lot of centrifugal force that moves you around a bit – not sure how – but KTM has minimized this on their flagship – so feel free to whip it like Goldman… With the lower CG you can really get the bike low and carry lots of corner speed – and all the while, the suspension and chassis take care of the rest of the ride.Don’t be fooled – open wide and this bike rewards you with some mighty horsepower, but it’s all kept in check by an amazing package… I was blown away by this bike. What an amazing feeling – and I was so happy to hear that the other riders agreed… Conclusions… What can I say, I was blown away – not only by the bikes, but also by KTM as a brand. As a consumer we get to see the end product – this trip gave me just a small view of how much work and passion is involved in building bikes like this. It seems that everyone at KTM, including the ladies that I met ride motorcycles – and that is probably a big part of the reason that KTM is so successful. The bikes are amazing – I look forward to riding them again when they get here… One question that I did ask. The 2-stroke TPI enduro bikes are amazing – why has KTM not fitted it to the new MX machines? I suppose the answer makes sense – “Baby steps please Mr Mav – the TPI is designed specifically for Enduro… for sure in the future there will be an MX specific system.” Kapiche? www.ktm.com DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2018 23

PREVIOUS ISSUE