2016 KTM 250 SX-F
– We Ride the New KTM –
By Todd Kuli
The 250 SX-F was once again the World Champion in MX2 for 2014 and added a prestigious 2015 AMA Supercross 250 Championship to its amazing trophy cabinet. The 2014 season was a great success in racing at all levels around the globe and the remainder of 2015 promises to be no different.
Already known for its strong performance, the new generation 250 SX-F presents itself with a newly developed, stronger engine built into an all-new chassis. The combination of a powerful engine in a lightweight and agile chassis is sure to make the 250 SX-F the star of the show for the future.
The new 250 SX-F, the lightest and best performing bike in its class, is the right choice for both the amateur and professional rider; a winning bike that the competition will find hard to follow.
- NEW lighter Chromoly steel frame provides higher torsional rigidity with less longitudinal stiffness resulting in improved handling and energy absorption
- NEW smaller, lighter aluminum subframe design
- NEW lighter swingarm features a revised internal structure to match the new frame characteristics
- NEW lighter “No Dirt” footpeg design that provides a larger surface area and improved grip
- NEW CNC machined upper triple clamp featuring a rubber damping system for the NEW Neken handlebar and ODI lock-on grips
- The advanced WP 4CS (Four Chamber System) Fork features revised damping settings
- NEW generation WP shock has been developed in conjunction with the new frame and swingarm
- Super lightweight Galfer Wave rotors, CNC machined hubs, high-end Excel rims and Dunlop GEOMAX MX32 tires
- New airbox and filter design provides maximum performance with fast “no tools” air filter changes
- The new 2016 250 SX-F weighs only 220.2 lbs / 99.9 kg
- NEW 250 SX-F engine design is more compact, lighter and provides higher performance throughout the entire range of power
- NEW engine cases redesigned to centralize engine mass and reduce overall length
- NEW Keihin EMS and 44mm throttle body featuring a lightweight direct-connect design
- New electronic Launch Control for efficient starts and multiple engine maps to control the overall power delivery
- New cylinder head design for improved power and reduced weight
- New lightweight forged bridged box-type CP piston, new shorter connecting rod with a shorter, stiffer crankshaft contribute to a strong power delivery
- New 5-speed transmission features wider gears with a new surface treatment on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears along with a special low-friction coating on the shift forks
- New CSS (Coil Spring Steel) one-piece clutch has improved oil supply for better durability
- New super compact and lightweight 1.1lb Lithium-Ion starter battery
- New exhaust header and lightweight silencer are designed be more compact with more power
With the 2016 250 SX-F basically being a completely new bike, I was excited to ride it and see how it compared to previous KTM’s. The first thing I noticed was how light the bike felt. Entering rutted turns, working the bike through the bumps and flying through the air seemed effortless. This ability comes from many aspects of the bike’s engineering. Lower center of gravity, mass centralization and a serious weight loss program put the KTM into a position to handle better than any KTM ever has. It steers with precision, and is stable when the speeds get high.
Suspension worked well for me even though I may not be the prime size for a 250F. At 200 pounds with gear on I’m at the upper range for a small-bore four-stroke. With the sag set in the 105mm range and the clickers in the standard position I was quite happy with the suspension’s action. After some laps I went stiffer on compression on both ends just to hold the bike up a little better. Due to the fear of rain, the track wasn’t worked really deep, so bigger bumps never really formed but the action in the smaller bumps and jump landings was good and always felt controlled. The forks’ compression and rebound adjusters are located on top of the 4CS forks making adjustments on the fly a reality, even with a gloved hand! The new shock worked in conjunction with the forks to provide a balanced ride.
But what about the motor you ask?…well, it’s fast! Where previous SX-F’s where a little lacking in low end power and shear torque, the new motor puts out more power everywhere across the range. While you can scream the little beast to the rev limiter, it’s not necessary. The new-found bottom end helps pull you out of corners while under control and without loading up the suspension with lots of RPM. The handlebar-mounted map switch gives you the option of Standard or Aggressive mode and also controls the new launch control. There is a clearly noticeable difference between the two maps and the aggressive setting was the map of choice for the traction-rich track.
The 2016 KTM 250 SX-F comes with all things you would expect: Industry leading brakes, hydraulic clutch, new rubber mounted handlebars and lock-on ODI grips, Neken fat bars, high end wheels and excellent attention to detail make the KTM a contender. While this certainly isn’t a full test you can rest assured that this bike is capable of any level of competition. From beginner to pro you won’t be disappointed. The Orange Brigade have taken these bikes to a whole new level!
*Fun Technical Tidbit*
All full size KTM’s come with an extra throttle cam to change the twist ratio. Most bikes come with the ‘standard pull’ cam installed with a ‘quarter turn’ option in your tool kit!
250 SX-F Specifications
Engine type: Single cylinder, 4-stroke
Displacement: 249.9 cc
Bore/stroke: 78/52.3 mm
Starter/battery: Electric starter / Lithium Ion 12V 3Ah
Transmission: 5 gears
Fuel system: Keihin EFI, throttle body 44 mm
Control : 4V/DOHC with finger followers
Lubrication: Pressure lubrication with 2 oil pumps
Cooling: Liquid cooling
Clutch: Wet multi-disc CSS, Brembo hydraulics
Frame: Central double-cradle 25CrMo4 steel
Handlebar: Neken, Aluminum Ø 28/22 mm
Front suspension: WP-USD, 4CS, Ø 48 mm
Rear suspension: WP-Monoshock with linkage
Suspension travel: 300mm Front, 300 mm Rear
Front/rear brakes: Disc brake 260/220 mm
Front/rear rims: 1.60 x 21″, 2.15 x 19″ Excel
Front/rear tires: 80/100-21″, 100/90-19″
Steering head angle: 26.1°
Wheel base: 1,485 ± 10 mm (58.46±0.39 in)
Triple clamp offset: 22 mm
Ground clearance: 370 mm (14.6 in)
Seat height: 960 mm (37.79 in)
Tank capacity: 7L (1.85 US gal)
Weight, approx.: 99.9 kg (without fuel) (220.2 lb.)