The 52mm WP Cone Valve forks were stiff in the initial part of
the stroke, but held up well for the fastest of the fast testers.
but one Supercross race will have that effect on a rider.
Dungey didn’t want to mess with success, despite the
radical differences between Supercross and the Nationals.
Even so, it would be masochistic of Dungey to stick
with the ultra-stiff suspension settings that he used
indoors. For motocross, Ryan opens up the clickers and
uses the morning qualifying sessions to find the sweet
spot. He is constantly searching for a light feeling and
balance between the forks and shock. That magic setting
might be discovered after free practice, or possibly not
until before the second moto. Dungey, Rivera and the
team are always trying to hit a moving target due to
ever-changing track conditions.
Gearing is also an area of concern for Dungey. In
Supercross, he typically ran a 14/52 sprocket combination. Outdoors he switched to a 14/50 baseline setting
and deviated from that depending on track conditions
and altitude. Ryan likes a smooth powerband that doesn’t
rip his arms out of their sockets yet still has gobs of
power to secure the holeshot. His preferred outdoor gearing, along with a specialized engine configuration and
camshaft tailored for Ryan, equates to a powerplant comparable to a turbo-diesel engine that winds out to 15,000
rpm. It isn’t the scary-fast, hard-hitting, explosive power
you assume the champ would want.
WHAT AREAS DID KTM FOCUS ON? It should go
without saying that a powerful engine and suspension
tuned to the rider are of utmost importance for any team
to achieve success on the track. However, there’s an area
of concern that is more crucial. A bike’s failure to withstand the rigors of racing is detrimental to the objective
of scoring maximum points. The Red Bull KTM team
took painstaking measures to ensure that a DNF doesn’t
happen. They asked Brembo to make aluminum plugs to
replace the clutch cover and rear-brake master-cylinder
sight-glass windows. The team discovered during testing
that the sight glass had a tendency to crack from rock
damage. These occurrences were rare, but KTM wasn’t
taking any chances. Carlos Rivera also mounted an
Akrapovic carbon fiber skid plate that covered the water
pump and ignition cover from damage. A wrap-around
Acerbis carbon fiber front brake guard protects the Moto-Master Flame oversize rotor and bottom of the Brembo
factory caliper. While carbon fiber is generally lighter
than aluminum, it still adds weight to Dungey’s bike.
However, the guards are insurance against disaster.
WHAT IS RYAN DUNGEY PICKY ABOUT? Aside
from his suspension settings, specialty Renthal 821A
FatBars and Renthal half-waffle soft grips, Dungey is not
picky at all. We’ve ridden factory bikes that were set up
so funky that they were nearly impossible to ride (we’re
talking about Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart).
Dungey’s setup is middle-of-the-road. Carlos Rivera
mentioned that Ryan is easy on the Hinson clutch and
can go three races without burning up the rear brake
pads. We did notice the factory front brake and clutch
levers, which were considerably thinner than a standard
lever and also had a dull sheen. Carlos admitted that
it took three months and many tweaks before Dungey
settled on his favorite lever shape. The billet-aluminum
levers have the same leverage ratio as stock but are
skinnier and lighter. Additionally, the brake lever is
shorter so that Dungey doesn’t hook the lever on a hay
bale when taking tight inside lines.
HOW FAST IS DUNGEY’S KTM 450SXF
FACTORY EDITION? You would be surprised how
The Acerbis carbon fiber front brake cover is for protection,
while the works Brembo caliper offers great modulation.