What’s new? It would be easier to point out the parts that haven’t been changed in
this photo. Notice the new head pipe, clutch cover and awesome footpegs.
Years of insistent nagging about the top-end-only 250SXF engine finally sunk in
with KTM. The new powerplant is more Novice-friendly, though still high strung.
like an MXA wish list. Fortunately,
KTM didn’t merely gild the lily.
By now the updates are well-documented, but it’s important to
note the key areas of change. (1)
Engine. The engine has been
redesigned for more horsepower and
a more compact design. ( 2) Frame.
The totally new chromoly steel frame
is 20 percent stiffer in torsion and
30 percent more flexible longitudinally for sharper handling and more
energy absorption. ( 3) Suspension.
The WP 4CS fork features revised
damping settings, and the shock and
linkage have been redesigned. ( 4)
Footpegs. We didn’t mind the old
footpegs; what we did mind was the
footpeg location in relation to the
seat, shifter and handlebars. The new
footpegs are moved back 5mm and
down 4mm for better ergonomics.
( 5) Weight. KTM knocked around 8
pounds off the 250SXF while keeping
the electric starting system.
What’s it like to ride the 2015-1/2
KTM 250SXF Factory Edition? If
exuberant adjectives and alliterative
nouns are your thing, then the bike
is best described as having a potent
powerband capable of moving mountains; it’s fantastic fun wrapped up
in an alluring amalgamation of pleasing parts. Below is a breakdown of
the KTM 250SXF-FE.
Engine. Gone is the top-end-only
powerband that has plagued the
250SXF—well, not completely gone,
but joined by a new dimension. Yes,
the new engine revs to an ear-bleeding 14,000 rpm and produces 42. 80
horsepower at an equally amazing
13,700 rpm. The 250SXF Factory
Edition lays down 20. 99 foot-pounds
of torque (a 1/2-pound more than
last year). It is a monster on the
dyno, but far more important is the
fact that the Factory Edition is much
easier to keep on the pipe. The
power is stronger virtually everywhere on the curve, but the biggest
gains are made from 5000 rpm to
9500 rpm and then again (after a
dip between 9500 and 11,000 rpm)
from 11,000 rpm to its screaming
peak power at 13,700 rpm. The
powerband is still very linear, albeit
with significantly more punch in
the midrange. The bottom end lacks
noticeable surge and does its best
work after 8000 rpm. For comparison, the 250SXF-FE loses the low-end battle to the Yamaha YZ250F
and Kawasaki KX250F; however,
the KTM is very competitive with
the blue and green machines everywhere else and
virtually untouchable at full tilt. This
engine is a noticeable improvement