So close but yet?
Don't get me wrong on the star rating cause I really wanted to give it a 'fiver'. First thing I noticed during run in was the gearing sprocket ratios are very long, whilst trying to keep load on at low revs the chain on the 14t drive sprocket had the tendency to 'rattle' against the 'guard'. Once run in we took the bike out for a run and the first thing I noticed was the length of the 14t/52t combo, the track I was at, made it impossible to get it past 3rd without serious risk of freefalling off a 200ft quarry cliff, so dropped the drive sprocket down to 12t, the 12t/52t combo remedied the 'over-run'. The bike felt more 'alive' with this sprocket combo, and the entry and exit of inconsistent corner surfaces became less confidence sapping, was also able to open up the rev cycle of that beautiful 450 engine, the consistency of acceleration/deceleration is inspiring. The frame/chassis at glance looks elegant so you might think it would be fragile, well the quarry the bike gets thrown around has proven the chrome moly design to be up to it and the seating/riding, approach/stance is surprisingly comfortable, not that you ever get comfortable on a dirt squirter.
The 'plastics' are easily removed for servicing and replacement and the chassis settings are user friendly and the electric start is flawless.
I'm kind of old school in some ways, and this bike, to me, seems to have a 'classic' moto-cross feel but with all the goodies of modern tech, so, with the right sprocket combo, whether the track is a fast flowing forest run or 'classic' style moto-cross track, the KTM 450 SX-F performs in all the right areas. The only downside was the issue with the 14t at low revs.
Agility, power to weight, consistency of rev range.
New bikes should be sold with a choice of drive sprocket
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