IF YOU HAVE A 2016 KTM 450SXF
If you own a 2016 KTM 450SXF, you have 90 percent
of a 2017–’ 18 model, but you might look into making
(1) Condenser. In 2016 KTM switched to a smaller
condenser from the previous years. This new condenser proved to be erratic. It is easy to upgrade to the
large condenser that comes on the 2017–’ 18 models. It
is KTM part number 777-110-3500.
( 2) Forks. The 2017–’ 18 KTM 450SXF gets WP AER
front forks, while the 2016 came with WP 4CS forks.
WP’s air fork is the best air fork made, and it saves
over 3 pounds, but there are suspension tuners who
can make 4CS forks work.
( 3) Shock spring rate. The 2016 KTM 450SXF and
2016-1/2 Factory Edition came with the 48 N/m shock
spring. This spring was too stiff for anyone under 180
pounds. The 2017–’ 18 450SXF has a more appropriate
45 N/m spring.
There are some 2017–’ 18 things that you don’t need
to upgrade on your 2016 KTM 450SXF.
(1) Triple clamp. The top triple clamp is more
rigid in 2017 than it was in 2016; however, this is one
of those subjective things that most riders wouldn’t
( 2) Handlebar clamps. In 2016 the handlebars
were mounted to a one-piece-lower bar mount with two
separate top bar mount clamps. For 2017–’ 18 the bottom bar mounts are now two separate pieces while the
top bar mount is one piece. They both twist in a crash.
( 3) Map switch. The 2016 450SXF had the flick-style selector switch that toggled back and forth
between two maps (and launch control). In its place
for 2017–’ 18 is a multi-switch on the left side of the
bars that toggles between two maps, launch control
and traction control. It doesn’t matter how you activate
the features—so, it’s six of one and half a dozen of the
( 4) Rear brake pads. Many racers felt that the
2016 rear brake pads were too grabby, so the 2017–’ 18
brake pads are less aggressive. If you agree, switch to
2017 pads when your 2016 pads wear out.
( 5) Head stays. The 2016’s head stays are steel.
The 2017–’ 18 head stays are cast aluminum. The aluminum saves 60 grams, and the stays retrofit on the 2016
model if you really want them.
( 6) Brake pedal. The 2017–’ 18 rear brake pedal
is 10mm longer than the 2016 pedal. Owners of 2016
KTMs can order a 10mm-longer brake tip from 7602
Racing that does the same thing (www.7602racing.
THE KTM 450SXF TIMELINE
Do you wonder if the latest-model KTM 450SXF
obsoletes the one you own or the one you could buy
on the used-bike market? Here is a quick guide. (1) The
2018 KTM 450SXF does not obsolete the 2017 model.
For the most part, they are the same, save for some
minor fork and shock valving changes. ( 2) The 2016
KTM 450SXF is virtually the same bike as the 2017–’ 18,
with the exception of the forks and weight. The 2016
came with 4CS forks, which were 3. 6 pounds heavier,
but if you have had your 4CS forks worked on to your
satisfaction or switched to Cone Valve forks, you are
good to go. ( 3) The 2016-1/2 and 2017-1/2 Factory
Editions are, for the most part, the same basic bikes as
the 2018 save for some fork valving and shock spring
rates. ( 4) Any KTM 450SXF previous to the 2016 model
(2015 on back) is heavier and slower.
The 2017 condenser (left) will retrofit on the 2016 model.