bike that will be next year’s 450SXF engine.
WHAT WE HATED
(1) Handlebar bend. They are too low. We installed
KTM Power Parts risers to raise them 5mm, but most
test riders preferred 12mm-taller Renthal 603 (Windham)
FatBars or 19mm-taller Renthal 604 FatBars.
( 2) Gearing. The faster the MXA test rider, the more
he wanted a harder and more abrupt hit. The Vets and
Novices loved the easy, roll-on power, but the Pros
wanted it to go now…or sooner. Our solution was to gear
the 450SXF down (from a 52-tooth rear sprocket to a 53).
This punched up the low-end and made things happen
quicker (and allowed us to get to third sooner). In the
end, the Vet and Intermediate test riders preferred this
gearing also. The gearing could go even lower for a Pro
by switching countershaft and rear sprockets for a 13/50.
The stock 14/52 has a 3.714 ratio. Our preferred 14/53
generates a 3.786 ratio and 13/50 yields a 3.846 ratio
(the equivalent of a 14/54).
( 3) Weight. According to studies, 60 percent of
Americans are obese. That may sound terrible, but 80
percent of the Big Five’s 450 motocross bikes are obese.
The YZ450F, RM-Z450, KX450F and KTM 450SXF could
all stand to take diet advice from Honda. Oink!
HISTORY OF THE