water-pump cover ($144) and 7mm-wider shifter
tip ($34). From the non-orange category we
mounted a black-anodized KTM factory clutch
cover ($72) and an aluminum gas cap ($59).
Other major changes include swapping out
the stock guide and buffer pad for a PowerParts-licensed version of the TM Designworks parts,
a Factory seat cover from the 2017-1/2 Factory
Edition ($72), orange/black ODI clamp-on grips
($26), a WP holeshot device, a titanium brake-ped-al tip ($34), rear-brake reservoir extender ($31),
Flex foldable brake and clutch levers ($132),
Akrapovic Ti footpegs ($399), Dunlop MX3S
tires, PowerParts aluminum skid plate ($99) and
an orange 49-tooth Renthal rear sprocket ($71).
The final touch on the bike was to run KTM
PowerParts Factory graphics ($129). They look
like a combination of the stock graphics combined with the team’s Red Bull graphics, minus
the Red Bull signage. The orange/blue/yellow
look is attractive.
WHILE WE WERE
DROOLING ON OUR HIGH-
END WP SUSPENSION, WE
REMEMBERED HOW MUCH
WE LOVED THE NK SFS
SUSPENSION TRIPLE CLAMP.
We didn’t want to forget the test riders.
They had to look their best on our PowerParts
KTM 450SXF. KTM’s PowerParts division has a
separate entity called Power Wear; you can see
the catalog at the www.ktm.com website. Troy
Lee Designs private-labels special runs of KTM
PowerWear gear exclusively for KTM dealers.
Our choice was KTM’s SE Air Slash pants ($189),
jersey ($69) and gloves ($39) in white/orange/
blue, but it is also offered in black/orange/blue.
The real question boils down to whether our
sugar-daddy KTM 450SXF was all it could have
been. Where did we go wrong? Where did we
go right? Where did greed get the better of us?
And, most important, would you choose the
Every MXA test rider is different, as are riders in the general motocross population. While
100 percent of the MXA test riders liked the
way our PowerParts bike looked and oohed and
ahhed at it, one-third of them were unimpressed
with about one-third of the changes we made.
The other two-thirds of the crew loved the bike
but would have made some small changes. Not
a single one of these fickle riders would have
made 100 percent of the changes that were
The big hits? The Cone Valve AER air forks
were a hit. They were more complicated than
We love the fancy-looking high- and low-speed compression dials, but
amazingly you adjust the compression with a 4mm Allen wrench.
The orange Flex levers were controversial. Some test riders complained
about the blocky feel of the levers—especially the clutch lever.
These ultra-sharp titanium Akrapovic pegs are 40-percent-lighter footpegs than the stock pegs. They cost a small fortune.
Akrapovic makes the exhaust system that Ryan Dungey and Marvin
Musquin race with. It is all titanium and very light.