Q: FIRST AND FOREMOST, IS THE 2016 KTM
125SX BETTER THAN THE 2015 KTM 125SX?
A: For 2016, KTM threw everything that its engineers
didn’t like about the 2015 KTM 125SX out the window.
Then, the KTM engineers started over from the ground up
with a totally new 125cc two-stroke. It should be noted
that new two-strokes don’t come along very often (it has
been 10 years since Yamaha re-engineered the Y1Z25), so
this is big news.
Q: HOW MUCH DOES A 2016 KTM 125SX COST?
A: The 125SX is KTM’s most affordable full-size bike.
The 125SX retails for $6799; the 150SX for $6899; the 250SX
for $7399; the 250SXF for $8399; the 350SXF for $9099; and
the 450SXF for $9299.
Q: WHAT CHANGES DID KTM MAKE TO THE
2016 125SX CHASSIS?
A: KTM’s brass made the expensive decision to not
just update one or two models, but to throw out the complete playbook, save for the 250SX, and start over with the
development of the 2016 450SXF, 350SXF, 250SXF, 150SX
and 125SX. Given the incremental R&D at some Japanese
brands, KTM’s full-on assault is knock-your-socks-off brave.
To build five totally new machines with new engines,
frames, running gear, bodywork and internals is expensive.
Even with parts-sharing, this isn’t cheap. Luckily, KTM can
use the basic bones of the core machine on all five bikes,
but you can’t use a 450 four-stroke frame for a 125 two-stroke. Why not? The tiny 125 engine would be floating in
the larger compartment of the four-stroke-specific chassis
and, instead of a 198-pound 125, you’d have a two-stroke
that was 10 to 15 pounds heavier. KTM didn’t want that,
so it made updates to the KTM 125SX that were quite
different from the ones made to its big brothers. Here is a
list of chassis updates that differ from the 2015 125SX.
(1) Frame. The chromoly steel frame has been lightened
(0.8 pounds) and provides 20 percent more torsional rigidity
and 30 percent less longitudinal stiffness.
( 2) Geometry. The wheelbase has been shortened by
10mm and the head angle steepened by 0.4mm.
( 3) Paint. Why mention paint? It’s not a big deal, right?
Well, we got our feelings hurt when KTM went from
awesome orange to a basic black frame.
( 4) Subframe. The aluminum subframe is smaller and
20 percent lighter.
( 5) Swingarm. To the naked eye, the 2016 swingarm
looks the same as the 2015 model’s, but the internal
structure has been revised to match the flex characteristics.
It is also lighter.
( 6) Footpegs. The all-new, larger, more stable
footpegs are a work of art. They utilize a scraper design