The handling is almost perfect for laying it over and shredding dirt.
( 2) Orange frame. You asked for it.
( 3) Tires. The 450SXF is spec’ed with Dunlop’s new MX52 tire
combo. This tire will replace the MX51 on the dealer shelves. And
even though we typically run the MX32 on intermediate terrain, the
hard-pack MX52 is a good OEM tire choice.
( 4) Nylon preload ring. KTM knows that this is a mistake, but
they are trying to pretend that it isn’t. At least they changed the
nylon compound to help it take more abuse.
( 5) 4CS forks. Although they aren’t perfect out of the box, they
are a lot closer to perfection than either the old bladder forks or the
stiff 2014 Factory Edition III version of this same fork design.
Q: WHAT DO WE REALLY THINK?
A: Did you notice that we never mentioned the electric
starter, hydraulic clutch, powerful brakes, indestructible chain guide,
no-tools airbox, FIM-legal sound rating, SKF fork seals, quick-release
fuel lines, resilient chromoly frame, CNC-billet bell crank, in-mold
graphics, marine-grade wiring harness, inline fuel filters, or CNC-machined polished hubs? If we had, this test would have read like
a love note to the Austrians. Well, in a way it is.
2015 KTM 450SXF MXA KTM
This is how we set our KTM 450SXF up
for racing. We offer it as a guide to help
you find your own sweet spot.
4CS FORK SETTINGS
Unlike the previous WP bladder fork, the
clickers on the 4CS forks actually make a
difference. This enabled the MXA test
riders to make small clicker adjustments
that made noticeable differences on the
racetrack. Overall, we went out on the
compression. Since the oil height and fork
springs can be changed with half the
drama of the bladder forks, we think the
4CS has lots of tuning potential.
For hardcore racing, we recommend this
fork setup on the 2015 KTM 450SXF (stock
specs are in parentheses):
Spring rate: 0.48 Nm
Oil height: 100mm
Compression: 17 clicks out ( 15 clicks)
Rebound: 9 clicks out ( 15 clicks)
Fork leg height: 5mm up
Notes: Balance between the front and
rear suspension is the key to happiness on
the 450SXF. If the shock and fork are out
of sync, one end will be adversely effected
and not necessarily the end that is set up
wrong. It pays big dividends to take the
time to test different fork heights.
WP SHOCK SETTINGS
The new shock is 4mm longer than
before, but the rear-wheel travel doesn’t
change, because the new shock linkage
allows the shock to hang lower. The
rear suspension feels more supple than last
year’s setup, but every test rider
complained about the tendency for the
shock to G-out, especially when sitting
down on the exit of rutted corners. We
ironed this out with more high-speed
For hardcore racing, we recommend
this shock setup for the 2015 KTM 450SXF
(stock specs are in parentheses):
Spring rate: 5. 7 kg/mm
Race sag: 103mm
Hi-compression: 1-3/4 turns out
( 2 turns out)
Lo-compression: 15 clicks out
Rebound: 10 clicks out ( 15 out)
Notes: As a rule of thumb, most MXA
test riders stayed near the standard
settings, except on rebound. The spring
rate is unchanged from last year, and we
don’t think that the average 450SXF rider
will need a stiffer shock spring (unless he
is very heavy or very fast). The 4CS forks
are better than the rear shock, but the
combination is good.