Getting a leg up: KTM has done a brilliant job of meeting consumer requests by selling a race-ready bike that puts the competition to shame. Other manufacturers had better step up to the plate or else the 85cc class could turn into a sea of orange.
A: The like list: (1) Engine. Our testers rated the KTM 85SXS number one in the powerband category. This engine rips and roars, especially with the different ignition and FMF pipe and silencer combo. ( 2) Big wheel. It’s nice to know that Junior can race the 85SXS in the 85cc and Supermini classes. The swingarm is long enough to accept a 16-inch wheel. Very cool. ( 3) Clutch. The KTM hydraulic clutch is slicker than the non-caloric, silicone-based kitchen lubricant that Clark W. Griswold used to set the amateur recreational saucer-sled land-speed record. ( 4) Stock class. Imagine a mini bike that’s littered with aftermarket goodies and is still legal to race in the Stock class. That’s the KTM 85SXS. ( 5) Appearance. The 85SXS is a mini bike, but it looks like a 125SX. We love the look of KTM’s line of junior motorcycles. Q: WHAT DO WE REALLY THINK? A: Have you ever dreamt that you were in school, standing in front of the class giving a presentation, when you suddenly realized that everyone was laughing at you because you had no clothes on? The minicycle engineers at Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki must wake up in a cold sweat every night. The KTM 85SXS makes all the other minis look naked. ;
2013 KTM 85SXS
the ballpark, so we were able to fine-tune the 43mm forks and PDS shock with just a few clicks. Very fast riders will notice that the thick fork stanchion tubes prevent flexing, providing a more stable feel in the front end. Meanwhile, out back, the beefy shock reservoir can handle the heat of a long moto without fading. In the words of a tester, “I can heat up the shock in 20 minutes with every other bike. As a result, the rear tire feels flat at the end of a moto. I tried as hard as I could to overheat the shock on the KTM 85SXS but couldn’t do it. That’s awesome!” Q: WHAT DO WE HATE? A: The hate list: (1) Handlebars. The Renthal Fatbars are a nice touch, but testers complained that the handlebar bend was uncomfortable. ( 2) Supply and demand. KTM sells their complete supply of 85SXS’ in short order, leaving many riders bitterly disappointed. KTM should up production quantities for their SXS line. ( 3) Front number plate. The 85SXS’ highlights are prominently displayed on the preprinted front number plate. It looks great on the showroom floor, but it renders the graphic useless on the track. We cut out the verbiage and kept the graphic outline. Q: WHAT DO WE LIKE?