This bike should win every 250 shootout, but it never will as it is currently
configured. The 250SXF is the
black sheep of the KTM lineup.
Yes, the engine produces nearly 43
horsepower—the most of any
production 250 four-stroke—but
horsepower can’t win shootouts if
the power is in the wrong place and
the suspension won’t let you put it
to the ground.
There are a lot of upsides to the
2014 KTM 250SXF. The hydraulic
clutch is buttery smooth. This is
the only bike in the class to come
with an electric starter. The brake
package is second to none. The
hydraulic clutch is bulletproof. And
due to excellent craftsmanship, the
250SXF has one of the highest resale
values on the market
The KTM 250SXF could easily win
“MXA’s 250 Four-Stroke Shootout,”
but first it needs to fix its most
glaring flaws—power placement,
suspension settings and weight.
42. 89 horsepower at 13,500 rpm.
Here are the KTM 250SXF’s
Powerband. The KTM 250SXF
has a high-rpm, rev-it-to-the-moon,
Pro-level powerband. That is great
for AMA National riders, but the
slightest bog by a Novice or a Vet
is a death sentence. The meat of
the powerband needs to be brought
down into the midrange.
Suspension. The 250SXF is
easily one of the worst suspended
bikes in the class. Sadly, the WP
suspension is extremely harsh. Even
our Pro testers complained about
fork and shock performance.
Weight. At 231 pounds, the KTM
is the heaviest bike in this shootout.
The YZ250F weighs 10 pounds less.
It is true that the 250SXF’s electric
starter is a nice touch, but it is a
luxury that KTM can’t afford.
How many times have we said
that the KTM 250SXF is oh-so-close
to being the best bike in the 250
class? Yet every year the Austrians
insist on producing a European-flavored bike instead of one tuned
to American tastes. Give us a potent
midrange powerband and supple
suspension and we’ll live with the
weight of the electric starter. But, a
powerband that makes max power
at 14,000 rpm and forks that knock
your teeth loose will never cut it on