spit water out of the overflow, the hot pipe produced a
steam cloud. We mounted a longer vent hose and routed
it under the engine cases.
( 2) Shock preload ring. This is the worst preload
ring in history (albeit accessible when compared to the
preload rings of the Japanese brands). It’s harder to use
than last year’s aluminum ring (last year’s ring will not fit
on this year’s shock because the thread pitch has been
changed). The all-new nylon preload ring deforms easily,
and, for some reason, it is very hard to turn (and at some
point impossible to turn). KTM says not to hit it with a
hammer and punch, but sometimes we had to—and on
more than a few occasions, we wanted to.
( 3) Weight. At 242 pounds this KTM 450SXF is heavy.
But, with the exception of the CRF450, it is comparable
to its blue, green and yellow competition on the scale.
( 4) Backfire screen. After we had the backfire screen
on our 350SXF fray on its edge and get sucked towards
the intake, we switched from the SXF air filter cage (with
a wire screen) to the 250SX two-stroke air filter cage
(without a screen).
( 5) Spokes. When the bike is new, watch the spokes
carefully. We’ve never had this much trouble getting the
spokes to take a set on a KTM. The rims seem to be
weak, as they show flat spots where the rim lock is
( 6) Gas cap. We don’t like the locking gas cap
because it is a hassle, and we don’t like the lipless
filler hole because dirt falls into the tank. We cut off
the locking tangs on the gas cap to disable the
HISTORY OF THE