high-speed damping were reduced to soften the overall
feel through the whole valve stack.
( 6) Triple clamp. The offset on the black-anodized
Neken triple clamps remains unchanged, but the bars
are now rubber-mounted to reduce vibration.
( 7) Mapping. Although KTMs have come with
optional maps for years, the maps haven’t always been
easily accessible to the rider. For 2016, the Keihin
ECU can be changed at the handlebars via a switch—
and there is a dial in the airbox to choose which
maps can be accessed through the handlebar switch.
Additionally, the same handlebar-mounted switch
activates KTM’s new launch control setting, which
stays activated until the rider shuts the throttle off in
the first turn.
( 8) Radiators. KTM’s engineers totally rethought
the design of traditional motorcycle radiators. Instead
of just putting barn-door radiator shrouds on the side
of the gas tank to direct air towards the radiators,
KTM sealed off the radiators from the front, vented
the airflow into channels molded into the gas tank
and eliminated all restrictions that would block exiting
airflow. Additionally, the black plastic radiator guards
have been redesigned to double as radiator braces.
( 9) Air filter. Imagine an air filter that plugs into
the airbox with no wing nuts, thumb screws or
clamps of any kind. You don’t have to imagine it,
because KTM’s 2016 air filter cage has prongs that
are diametrically opposed to each other. You stick one
prong into a fitting in the airbox and hook a loop over
the other one. Perfecto! Plus, no tools are required to
get to the air filter.
( 10) Exhaust. The 2016 exhaust has a resonance
chamber built into the design. Plus, the muffler is
40mm shorter and the mass of the exhaust system is
moved 60mm towards the center of gravity. The shock
has to be removed to get the pipe off the bike.
Q: WHAT IS THE PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE
OF THE 2016 KTM 350SXF?
A: Weight. KTM claims a weight of 223.5 pounds.
We don’t know what they drained to get that weight,
but on MXA’s scale the 2016 KTM 350SXF weighed
226 pounds (with all fluids and an empty gas tank).
Last year’s KTM 350SXF weighed 6 pounds more.
The 2016 KTM 450SXF weighs 227 pounds, and the
250SXF weighs 221 pounds. These bikes are light—
and you can feel the difference.
Q: HOW DOES THE 2016 KTM 350SXF RUN
ON THE DYNO?
A: It romps on the dyno. How else can you
describe a 350cc engine that produces 54. 41
horsepower? That is more horsepower than some
450cc motocross bikes make. At 7000 rpm, the 2016
model makes 37 horses (last year it made 35. 77). At