Hanger on: The nylon silencer bracket is awesome.
Clicker: See the clicker? It doesn’t have a good setting.
Warning: Check the spokes constantly and the rims will last.
2014 KTM 125SX replacement for displacement. Given that scenario, you have to wonder why every MXA test rider preferred to race the 125SX instead of the much more powerful 150SX. Their answers to that question were telling: “The 125 engine is more fluid.” “It carries its speed better from gear to gear.” “It’s not faster in a drag race, but it can go faster from corner to corner.” On the dyno, the 125SX peaked at 34. 66 horsepower. That is a very respectable number for a 125 tiddler, but in a world dominated by 40-plus-horsepower 250 four-strokes, that 6-horsepower deficit translates into back-of-the-pack starts against 250Fs. Q: WHO IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE FOR THE KTM 125SX? A: The 125SX is custom-made for a rider fresh out of the minis who wants a bike that is light enough to pick up if it falls over, cheap enough to race on a budget, simple enough to repair in the garage and fast enough to have fun on. In all honesty, every MXA test rider who has kids, from Larry Brooks to Lars Larsson to Alan Olson, made their offspring spend a season or two on a 125 two- stroke. Why? They believed that the skills needed to navigate a track successfully on a 125 would teach their youngsters more about riding than 10 years on a four- stroke. They wanted Junior to learn throttle control, how to shift, what a clutch is for, the best ways to carry speed and how to make smart strategic moves. They felt that their kids would learn the craft better on a bike that had to be raced to the nth degree. Sadly, most parents don’t have the money to buy a bike that is just a stepping stone to the 250 four-stroke. Plus, they don’t want little Johnny to be at a disadvan- tage in the 250 Novice class. That simple fact means that the ultimate buyer of a 125cc two-stroke is a rider whose local racetrack still has a 125 two-stroke class. The truth of the matter is that a 125 is only competitive against another 125, given equally talented riders. Q: WHAT MODS SHOULD EVERY KTM 125SX RACER MAKE? A: Given the young and neophyte nature of the 125 consumer, we don’t think that it is wise to spend a bundle hopping up a 125 two-stroke. Given our druthers, we would save the money for new pistons, tires and clutch plates. What would we spend money on? We would swap the stock sprocket for a one-tooth-larger rear cog (and even think about adding two teeth for tight, Supercross-style tracks). Aftermarket exhausts aren’t going to make a KTM 125SX blow by a 250F on the track, but they will broaden the powerband and make the bike easier to keep on the pipe. Although we think running race gas in the Novice class is a waste of money, we are still very picky about what we run in the KTM 125SX, based on previous bad experiences. We run fresh, 91-octane pump gas with a dash of VP C12 added as a precaution. Q: WHAT DID WE HATE? A: The hate list: (1) Preload ring. We don’t get it. Preload rings should be made of the hardest metal known to man, not gummy bears. ( 2) Rims. The telltale sign of a wobbly rim is a loose spoke next to the rim lock. The rims are cheap and