MXA KTM 250SXF
Are you looking to get the 2013 KTM 250SXF suspension set up? Use these specs as a basis and adjust accordingly.
WP FORK SETTINGS The KTM 250SXF has been plagued by excessive fork oil height for years. And so it goes with the 2013 model. Lowering oil height is a must-do (unless you like holding onto a jackhammer). For hardcore racing, we recommend this fork setup on the 2013 KTM 250SXF (stock specs are in parentheses): Spring rate: 0.46 kg/mm Oil height: 380cc (390cc) Compression: 11 clicks out ( 12 clicks out) Rebound: 10 clicks out ( 12 clicks out) Fork leg height: 5mm up Notes: When the forks are new, they need about an hour of riding to break in. Lighter riders might want to lower the oil height by an additional 5cc to 10cc, depending on skill level. Decrease the oil height until the midstroke harshness is gone, but do not let the forks bottom.
WP SHOCK SETTINGS Although KTM completely overhauled the 250SXF engine, they did very little to the Dutch-built WP suspension. We have grounds to complain, because the 250SXF shock has a tendency to hop and deflect on square- edged bumps. After toiling with a bunch of different settings, we discovered that over- adjusting the shock hampered handling and vice versa. So, we took the best-of-both- worlds approach by slowing down the rebound and high-speed compression (and avoiding square edges whenever possible). For hardcore racing, we recommend this shock setup on the 2013 KTM 250SXF (stock specs are in parentheses): Spring rate: 5. 4 kg/mm Race sag: 102mm Hi-compression: 1-3/4 turns out ( 2 turns out) Lo-compression: 15 clicks out ( 16 clicks out) Rebound: 13 clicks out ( 15 clicks out) Notes: Last year the 250SXF had a 5.1 kg/mm shock spring; This year they spec’ed a much better 5. 4. Heavier and/or faster riders will find that the WP shock has a tendency to hop and unload quickly with the stock spring. If you suffer these maladies, then jump up to a 5. 7 kg/mm spring. Also, the shock is very sensitive to race sag adjustments.
assume that every time we test the 250SXF we’re going to bleed 10cc of excess oil out of the forks. Don’t KTM’s test riders feel the same midstroke harshness that MXA testers deal with every year? Maybe they ride on paved tracks. ( 3) Invest in a tooth. Although the 2013 KTM 250SXF engine can reach nearly 43 horsepower, it’s all for naught if you can’t use the powerband. By adding a tooth to the rear sprocket, we were able to close the gap between gears. Those riding very tight tracks might want to go up two teeth (13/52) from stock. ( 4) Add a pipe. It’s not that the 250SXF needs more power. It is that the power needs to be redistributed lower in the powerband. Q: WHAT DID WE HATE? A: The hate list: (1) Weight. Taking the 2013 KTM 250SXF off a bike stand is like dead-lifting a beached whale. At 231 pounds, this bike is robust. Worse yet, it feels heavy in low-speed corners. The only saving grace is the electric start, but is 5 extra pounds too high a price to pay? ( 2) Grips. The 250SXF no longer comes with Renthal dual- compound grips but instead medium-compound Domino grips. Bummer but adequate. ( 3) Shock preload ring. After a few sag adjustments, the plastic preload ring looked like it had fallen into a wood chipper. It’s impractical to use plastic on such a part. Speaking of impractical… ( 4) Wood screws. How can anyone take a bike outfitted with wood screws seriously? It’s laughable. While KTM is at it, they should get rid of the Torx bolts and 13mm hex heads. ( 5) Gearing. Even with the closed gap between second and third gear in the new transmission, as well as the 13/50 combo, the stock gearing is Bonneville Salt Flats tall. Add one tooth and think about adding two (if you want to maximize engine output). Q: WHAT DID WE LIKE? A: The like list: (1) Handling. The 250SXF will hit any corner on a track. The bike sticks like glue, even on hardpack flat turns. It’s confidence- inspiring. ( 2) Engine. Last year’s powerplant was a disappointment; however, KTM is returning to their horsepower roots by pumping a mind-blowing 42. 89 ponies out of the 250SXF. That’s unbelievable! It’s a powerband designed for faster riders, but with a few changes (ignition mapping, gearing and exhaust), it will cater to a broad range of skill levels. ( 3) Ergonomics. The 250SXF has a huge contact patch. The bike feels slender, and the narrow shrouds and side panels make it easy for riders to squeeze with their knees. ( 4) Clutch. What’s not to love about a hydraulic clutch? ( 5) Brakes. KTM’s brake setup is what Pro riders relied on five years ago. The brakes are incredible! ( 6) Gas cap. KTM finally gave up on their one-click gas cap and returned to a more traditional design. Thank heavens. ( 7) Sound. This bike purrs like a kitten at idle and won’t bust eardrums at full tilt. Bravo! Q: WHAT DO WE REALLY THINK? A: What a difference a year makes! The 2012 KTM 250SXF was the ugly duckling of the class. With a weak engine and suspect suspension, the bike was bad. No more! KTM went back to the drawing board and created an engine that breaks the 40-horsepower barrier. That, along with a host of other revisions, takes the 2013 KTM 250SXF from the back of the pack to the front–at least in sheer horsepower. ;
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