Cone Valve forks, and the new AER version is
3-1/2 pounds lighter than the spring version.
Since price was no object, we also elected to
go with a WP Trax drop-out rear shock ($2000).
It is easily recognizable as a works part by
its dual adjusters on the top of the piggyback
reservoir. To top off the shock, we installed an
X-Trig worm-drive shock preload adjuster (out of
the PowerParts catalog) to make spring preload
changes easier. It allowed us to change preload
in seconds thanks to a battery-powered drill
(without having to hit the stock nylon preload
ring with a hammer).
While we were drooling on our high-end
WP suspension, we remembered how much
we loved the NK SFS suspension triple clamp
($1049). It offers a half-inch of energy-absorbing
air suspension for your hands. It is a very creative design, and since we were running Cone
Valve air forks, we thought it was only fitting
that we mounted them to air-suspended triple
clamps. PowerParts offers it in KTM orange.
Guess what, PowerParts also offers orange
Renthal TwinWall handlebars ($129). We selected a slightly lower-than-stock 999 bend, because
the air-suspended bar mounts raise the stock
bars up above our comfort zone.
Step three was to select a wheelset from
KTM’s massive PowerParts catalog. We zeroed
in on the wheels that the Red Bull Factory
KTM bikes run—Factory PowerParts wheels
($618 front, $749 rear). They are comprised
of orange-anodized Kite hubs with 36 spokes
laced to black-anodized Takasago Excel rims.
We spiffed the wheels out with a 270mm Moto-Master Flame rotor ($175 rotor, $99 bracket) and
a 220mm rear Flame rotor ($112). The 270mm
front rotor comes with the adapter bracket to
align the larger size.
Now, you might be wondering why we didn’t
choose to do anything to the KTM 450SXF
engine. That’s simple. We’re happy with it, and,
better yet, it didn’t require any internal modifications to get any extra oomph that we might
desire. We went for easy bolt-on power in the
form of an exhaust pipe. PowerParts offers both
FMF and Akrapovic exhaust systems. We went
with the full-titanium Akrapovic Evolution system ($1299). We chose it for the simple reason
that it is the pipe that Ryan Dungey, Marvin
Musquin and Trey Canard run on their Factory
We went wild on pages 57, 58 and 59 of the
2017 PowerParts catalog. That’s where they
show the orange-anodized doodads. In our
oil-filter cover ($24), oil-filler cap ($19), high-flow
The clutch cover, oil filler cap and high-flow water pump cover all come
from your KTM’s dealer’s showroom...or the KTM PowerParts catalog.
The orange anodized Kite hubs are offset by the saw blade aggressiveness of Moto-Master’s 270mm front rotor. This baby stops...now!
You can buy this NK SFS air-suspended triple clamp as a top and bottom unit or as just a top clamp. The complete triple clamp costs $1049.