short, 5-foot- 8 stature. KTMs are built for giants. For that
reason, I cut the subframe down by 5mm, which lowers
the rear of the bike by 1 inch. Actually, I don’t cut my
own subframe; I typically steal Mike Brown’s cut-down
subframe. I have done this ever since Mike signed with
KTM, but now that he’s at Husqvarna (and has a carbon
fiber subframe), I’ve got to find a new victim.
( 16) Pro Circuit shock link. To lower the rear of my
350SXF a little more, I run a 1.25mm-longer shock linkage.
It not only lowers the rear end, but it stiffens the initial
part of the shock stroke to hold the rear end higher before
it begins its initial movement. When removing the stock
KTM link arm, I sometimes find that it is bent in the
middle and the bolt won’t come out. In this case, I use
a Harley-Davidson enforcer (read hammer) to drive the
( 17) Works Connection oil filler cap. I have a
confession. I melt KTM’s stock rubber oil filler caps. They
melt completely off the cases, thanks to my leftover two-stroke clutch style. Abusing the clutch generates heat—
lots of it. After melting my third oil-filler cap, I switched
to Work Connection’s aluminum oil-filler cap. It can’t melt
no matter how much I abuse the clutch. Amazingly, I run
the stock KTM clutch; my only concession to my abusive
style is new plates, oil filters and oil at regular intervals.
( 18) Wheels. Originally, I had Dubya lace up a very
sweet set of Talon hubs with orange spokes and D.I.D.
rims. I loved those wheels, but MXA’s Dennis Stapleton
needed a new set of wheels for the AMA Nationals, so I
gave him my fancy wheels (and Dubya refurbished them
for him). MXA had a set of year-old Tusk wheels that had
proven to be amazingly durable for a set of wheels that
only cost $495 (for a pair). They are perfect for my needs
and allowed me to keep my stock KTM wheels equipped
with hard-track tires. Prior to the arrival of the Dunlop
Geomax MX52 and MX32, I ran a Dunlop MX31 front
tire with an MX51 rear. Since those tires have been
discontinued, I run a MX32 front all the time with a MX32
rear in soft terrain and a MX52 on hard terrain.
( 19) Ride Engineering rear axle. Team KTM was
secretly running Kawasaki rear axles in 2013 and have
their own special design for 2014. Why? The stock KTM
axle has the right-side chain adjuster block bonded to
the axle. This design doesn’t allow the axle to free rotate
under torque loads. A heavy load on the stock axle block
causes the suspension and swingram to stiffen under
extreme conditions. Ride Engineering offers machined
KTM axle blocks that accept a Honda CRF450 rear axle to
mimic what Dungey and Roczen use on their bikes.
( 20) DeCal Works. I knew what I wanted my KTM
350SXF to look like and I trusted DeCal Works to
handle the job. If I had to do it all over again, I would
have bought solid-orange radiator wings from DeCal
Works ($49.95), because then they would have put the
graphics on the new plastic for me (for free). This would
have been cleaner than putting the graphics on myself
over KTM’s stock orange and black radiator wings. I
also mounted KTM Power Parts orange frame guards to
disguise the gunmetal gray frame.
Accounting. On the ledger, I spent $3700 in parts for
my KTM, but half of that came from the big-ticket items—
NK SFS Air triple clamps ($750), DR.D exhaust ($579),
Tusk wheels ($500), Triga iBoost throttle body ($350) and
Pro Circuit suspension re-valve ($500). In truth, I could
live without the fancy triple clamps, exhaust system,
throttle body mod and spare wheels. Using that same
logic, I could take up tiddlywinks and live without the
KTM 350SXF. Instead, I’ll just pay the piper and enjoy
working on my bike. ❏
KTM’s stock chain guide is very good, but with the larger rear
sprocket the TM Designworks chain guide was more durable.
The rocks jammed in the knob-in-knob design of the MX32
tire prove that the two parts work independently.
You rarely find one component that makes you feel at home
on a bike—sometimes it takes lots of baby steps.