KTM’s aftermarket map switch allows you to choose between
three settings. The hour meter is strapped to the battery.
The throttle pull can be lightened considerably by cutting the
rubber housing off of the cables. It made a big difference.
In search of a stronger low-to-mid transition, DR.D built MXA
a muffler with the largest core possible.
Out of desperation, I went back to my 450 and raced it
in slow motion, which was hard to discern from my
normal stop-action speed. Riding a fast bike slowly was
no fun. I wanted to race against the men I had always
raced with—not let them go out of fear of grabbing too
“By now you know where I am headed. In my barn
was a 2014 KTM 350SXF. I had spent a month on it
when it was on my MXA test bike list. I knew how to
make it better, and I knew that its linear powerband was
going to be Baby Bear’s porridge for my injured rotator
cuff—not too hot and not too cold. It could be just what
the doctor ordered. So, I raced it. Didn’t like it. Worked
on it. Raced it. Didn’t like it. Worked on it. Raced it. And
I started to get it where I wanted it.
“It should be noted that I chose to race the 350SXF
because, at 7000 rpm, it made 10. 61 horsepower less than
my 450SXF; at 8000 rpm it made 10. 86 horsepower less;
at 9000 rpm it made 8. 61 horsepower less; and at 10,000
rpm it made 5. 83 horsepower less. However, don’t think
that the 350SXF is a dog, because at 11,000 rpm, the
350SXF made 1 horsepower more than the 450SXF.
My shoulder, not my ego, was looking for a bike that
produced a linear style of power—not just easy to ride,
but easy on my shoulder; one that would allow me to
twist the throttle like a moron without paying the penalty.
“Even if you aren’t injured, you will benefit from
following my 20 steps to KTM 350SXF nirvana. I’m not
forcing you to make any changes, but these are the
mods I made to my 350SXF.”
JODY’S 20 STEPS TO
KTM 350SXF BLISS
(1) Triga iBoost throttle body. Although the linear
power delivery of the 350SXF is what drew me to it, I
have always believed that KTM would have done riders
a bigger service by moving the power down into the
powerband so that the 350SXF would be torquier—more
like a 1998 Yamaha YZ400 than a hyper, over-caffeinated
250SXF. Since I know that the factory KTM team uses
the old-school 42mm throttle bodies on their race bikes,
I installed a Triga throttle body tube. It slips inside the
throttle body to downsize it from 44mm to 41.5mm (and
comes with a new butterfly valve). Although the bike
didn’t gain any horsepower with Triga, it didn’t lose any,
either. The plus for me was that the power felt torquier
in the midrange. In truth, it felt slower, but that was just
an illusion caused by how much easier it was to ride.
( 2) DR.D exhaust. Again, because I wanted broader
power with more low to mid, I mounted a DR.D exhaust
system. Not only is this complete system very affordable
at $579.95, but I had Doug Dubach use the largest perf
core he had (1-5/8-inch) to improve throttle response in
( 3) Throttle cable. Thanks to Ryan Dungey’s
mechanic, Carlos Rivera, I learned that if you cut the
rubber housing off the stock throttle cable you could
lighten the feel of the throttle. The rubber housing can be
removed with a razor blade, except for a 1-inch section
that is bonded to the inner housing. You could leave the
1-inch section, or peel it off and use electrical tape to
cover the bare spot. I used electrical tape.
( 4) Mapping. With KTM’s accessory map switch,
you can choose between stock, mellow and aggressive
ignition maps. The switch, which plugs in under the
seat, sells for $50. I run the aggressive map, which
is number 2.