Featherweight: The shock spring is set up for fat-deficient people.
JANUARY 2014 / MOTOCROSS ACTION 79
exhibit their chintziness at the spoke nipples. Check them constantly. ( 3) Gearing. The stock gearing is best suited to the Bonneville Salt Flats. ( 4) Seat foam. It gets softer with every ride—and it isn’t all that firm to begin with. ( 5) Forks. You gotta be doing something wrong to make 125 forks feel harsh. ( 6) Gas cap vent hose. KTM’s vent hose gets twisted in a knot when you remove the cap. We drill a hole in the fork steering-stem cap to slip the vent hose into it. Now the vent hose can spin with the gas cap. Q: WHAT DID WE LIKE? A: The like list: (1) Weight. At 206 pounds, it is 18-pounds lighter than the typical 250 four-stroke. ( 2) Front brake. KTM’s 260mm Braking rotor and Brembo caliper can bring the 240-pound 450SXF to a screeching halt, so imagine what it can do to a featherweight two-stroke. ( 3) Hydraulic clutch. Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki owners don’t know what they are missing. Although the feel is a little different, the clutch plates last three times longer than on a cable-controlled unit ( 4) Price. Four-strokes have many more parts and, as a function of retail pricing, you pay extra for each piece. Since a two-stroke has fewer parts, you pay less. Plus, you can do all the maintenance on a two-stroke engine by yourself with a butter knife and a nutcracker. ( 5) Cosmetics. KTM’s unique plastic cladding design and molded-in graphics are attractive. ( 6) Silencer. We love the nylon hanger bracket that KTM uses to hold the silencer to the frame. Super cool. Q: WHAT DO WE REALLY THINK? A: Here is an easy compatibility quiz. Step on a scale, then add your weight to the age you will be on your next birthday. If the number is greater than 160, look for another bike to ride. A 125cc two-stroke is a starter bike designed to bridge the gap between minicycles and big bikes. It is a great learning tool. ;
SETUP SPECS This is how we set up our KTM 125SX for racing. We offer it as a guide to help you find your own sweet spot. WP FORK SETTINGS We don’t like these forks—never have, and it’s beginning to look like we never will. The big change for 2014 is to switch from last year’s softer 0.42 Nm fork springs to stiffer 0.44 Nm springs. The stiffer springs should have enabled the forks to be set up plusher, but that didn’t happen. These forks are jarringly harsh. Most MXA test riders prefer to lower the oil height by 10 to 20cc to try to improve the feel through the midstroke. Here’s what we ran in our 125SX (the stock settings are in parentheses): Spring rate: 0.44 Nm Compression: 12 clicks out Rebound: 12 clicks out Oil height: 350cc (360cc) Fork-leg height: 5mm up Notes: Since most of the 125SX’s fork issues are valving related, we typically have the forks revalved by Pro Circuit, MX1 or MX-Tech. WP SHOCK SETTINGS KTM made no valving, linkage or spring-rate changes to the 2014 KTM 125SX models. Here is what we ran (stock settings in parentheses): Spring rate: 4. 8 Nm Hi-compression: 2 turns out Lo-compression: 15 clicks out Rebound: 15 clicks out Race sag: 100mm Notes: Given that the 125SX and 150SX have the same suspension system as the 250SXF, 350SXF and 450SXF, and the four- strokes run 5. 4 to 5. 7 Nm shock springs, you can see that the 125SX’s soft, 4. 8 Nm shock spring is designed for riders in the 150-pound range. If you are heavier than that, you will need to go heavier on the shock spring. KEIHIN PWK 38S JETTING SPEC MXA has always felt that the 125SX ran lean—so lean that last year we upped the mainjet from the stock 182 to a richer 185. Conversely, we took out the richer 42 pilot and put in a leaner 40. Jetting is more art than science, and in our experience, it is better to play it safe with the KTM 125SX jetting than to go for broke. Here’s what we ran in our 38mm PWK (stock settings are in parentheses). Mainjet: 185 (182) Pilot: 40 ( 42) Needle: NOZH Clip: Fourth clip from top Air screw: 1-1/2 turns out Notes: For comparison purposes, the 2014 KTM 150SX comes with a leaner 180 main and a richer, triple-stage N1EJ needle. We prefer to play it safe with a richer main and the needle way up.