MotoOnline.com.au rides and reviews the 2015 KTM 250 SX-F.
The KTM 250 SX-F has long been renowned for its strong motor package and racey characteristics right out of the box, with that said, it was a given that myself and fellow MotoOnline.com.au test rider Dylan Wills were super excited to swing a leg over the 2015 model for the first time.
Appin’s Macarthur Motorcycle Club prepared the track to perfection for the day, making it even more exciting to get out there and turn some laps. As expected, the 2015 KTM 250 SX-F impressed us both, read on to hear exactly why!
Heading into 2015 the Austrian manufacturer has massaged the already strong lineup of motocross models across the board. The changes for 2015 may not sound like much, but they’ve really made a noticeable improvement to the bikes out on the track.
Suspension changes are the name of the game for 2015, the 4CS (four chamber system) fork by WP is now standard on the KTM 250 SX-F. This updated fork design is great, it responds to changes quite well and provides great front end feel at all times.
Initially we were experiencing a slightly harsh ride in the front end before both myself and Dylan opted to go five clicks softer on the compression and one click slower on the rebound. These changes, which were done out on the track with a turn of a dial (no tools needed), completely changed the feel of the fork and we were both instantly comfortable.
Adding to the improved front end performance for 2015 is the new 22mm front axle (formerly 26mm). The new axle provides improved rider feedback and also saves 40 grams. The new fork stubs now feature an offset of 33mm instead of 35mm, which together with increased trail deliver greater ride stability. They also accommodate newly developed, 50-gram lighter fork protectors.
With an all-new front end, the 2015 250 SX-F also receives a rear end upgrade with a longer shock and an updated linkage to optimise geometry. The flatter progression with a higher initial rate ensures greater stability and lowers the rear end. In addition, the new design saves another 40 grams of weight.
These updated suspension components are mounted to a lightweight, high strength, chrome-molybdenum steel frame. The frame combines maximum longitudinal stiffness with optimum torsional stiffness. A forged and milled cross-tube connects the two frame halves with the connecting rod of the linkage on the new SX frame for 2015.
The steel-framed KTM’s do feature unique characteristics, but these characteristics are something both myself and Dylan enjoy. If you’re riding hard pack tracks, you’ll notice these even more compared to a soft, sandy surface – the 2015 KTM 250 SX-F really gets the power to the ground.
As usual, the 2015 250 SX-F engine package is very strong and it revs to the moon. With a rev limit of 14,000 rpm, this motor really screams – you can stretch out each gear surprisingly long. Although in saying that, the engine provides enough torque to ride the bike in the lower rev range and shift earlier if that’s your preferred riding style.
The versatile nature of the 250 SX-F engine really shines through with myself, an intermediate/clubman rider, and Dylan, our current Australian Supercross Championship SXD champion, both enjoying the engine while using it two completely different ways.
Once again, the 2015 KTM 250 SX-F features that magical button on the right side of the handlebars – electric start. KTM has their electric start system dialed in at this stage and it’s such a great feature, especially during the Summer months here in Australia.
The 2015 250 SX-F features high-tech brakes from Brembo paired with lightweight wave discs. These brakes are impressive, there’s no denying that KTM has the best brakes on the market today. The power these Brembo brakes provide is hard to match.
In the cockpit, the tapered Renthal Fatbar 827 handlebar can be fixed in a choice of four positions. We opted to leave the ‘bars in the stock position while rolling them back slightly to suit our riding styles. For 2015, the 250 SX-F is also equipped with softer two-component grips to spare the rider’s hands.
KTM have gone with a fresh graphic design for 2015 featuring a lot more white compared to previous models, both myself and Dylan are huge fans of this design. The added white, paired with the orange frame, black Excel rims, black spokes and polished hubs really stands out. Aftermarket graphic and accessory companies will have their work cut out for them to improve these looks.
With the 4CS fork, improved rear end design, powerful engine and great looks, the 2015 KTM 250 SX-F is set to be another top contending 250cc four-stroke for the new year. Be sure to head to your local KTM dealer where the 2015 model will retail for $10,995.