Same old song and dance: Just like every other 250SXF, the
2013 model will need an extra tooth on the rear sprocket.
Numbers game: We dropped the oil height by 10cc (380cc
from the stock 390cc). Lighter riders will want to go lower.
2013 250SXF Q: WHAT DO WE THINK ABOUT THE ELECTRIC STARTER? A: It’s a catch- 22. We’re torn between the convenience of starting the bike with a press of a button and the added bulk. When confronted with this same question last year, the MXA wrecking crew was split down the middle. However, due to a stronger powerband and revised suspension, the extra poundage didn’t seem to spark as much criticism this year. The debate about the electric starter was squashed the minute that testers realized how fast the engine was. Weight in motion feels much better than riding a hefty bike that’s also slow. However, the 231-pound weight is noticeable when taking the 250SXF off a stand and in low-speed corners. Having said that, we prefer the ease of the electric starter. On a side note, we managed to unplug the fuel pump, located above the airbox, while reinstalling the seat. Beware. Q: DOES THE 2013 KTM 250SXF PASS THE FIM SOUND TEST? A: Does it ever! The 2013 KTM 250SXF rings in at a pleasant 112. 8 decibels in the 115 dB two-meter-max test. While many of the other manufacturers are showing up late to the sound party, KTM is at the forefront. Q: HOW DOES THE 2013 KTM 250SXF HANDLE? A: The 2013 KTM 250SXF is an excellent-handling machine. It doesn’t suffer the dreaded front-end wiggle at turn-in, maintains stability at high speed and doesn’t do anything strange. Every MXA test rider raved about how balanced the chassis felt. We think it has everything to do with the steel chromoly frame. KTM has managed to fine-tune the chassis to the point of perfection. While the 250SXF might not cut a line as tight as the Suzuki RM-Z250 or a Honda CRF250, it also doesn’t have headshake issues. It is effortless to ride. “Point-and-go” is the best way to describe how the 2013 KTM 250SXF handles. What does that mean? Successful cornering navigation requires nothing more than minimal handlebar input. Point the 250SXF where you want to go and be amazed as the bike tracks in the desired direction. Flat, hardpack corners aren’t an issue, nor are sweeping fast turns. The 2013 KTM 250SXF corners as accurately as a sniper. Q: WHAT DID WE DO TO MAKE THE KTM 250SXF WORK BETTER? A: We found happiness in the 2013 KTM 250SXF after making these four changes: (1) Map switch. Just like every EFI-equipped bike, the 250SXF ignition can be tweaked. We installed an ignition map switch ($61.99, KTM Powerparts PN#7723-9974-000). There are two preprogrammed settings: position 1 is softer, with the ignition retarded 1 degree from stock; position 2 is more aggressive, advanced by 1 degree from stock. Every MXA test rider preferred the aggressive map. It improved throttle response and hit. ( 2) Lower the oil height. We should automatically