KTM launched their MY19 range, which features significant improvements, at Antonio Cairoli's private track in Rome earlier this week. The circuit featured plenty of elevation and provided a perfect opportunity for Jordan Divall, the MX Vice test rider, to get to grips with the all-new bikes. Just days on from the event, here are some initial thoughts.
|KTM 450 SX-F|
This bike stood out as my favourite of the day. I found it easy to ride, because as I was coming into corners I felt like I had much more control due to the lightness and agility of the bike. It made it really easy to turn and whilst jumping. The smooth throttle response whilst cornering eliminated any jerkiness, resulting in well-maintained corner speed. Although this bike has smooth throttle control it definitely does not lack power in the parts of the track where you need it.
|KTM 150 SX|
The 150 SX was the most fun ride of the day. The power of the 150 was similar to the 125, but where the 125 died from the middle range the 150 would carry on pulling. You could rev the engine and the power would not drop. The brakes were very impressive and made stopping for the corner very easy, which meant you could brake late. The bike felt very light, which made it easy to lean it over into the turns.
|KTM 125 SX|
The KTM 125 SX was a bit of a disappointment to me. I felt that the throttle response was very good and that I could exit the corner with some speed, but the power seemed to die from the middle range and I felt restricted when trying to rev the engine. I found that this bike was also easy to stop coming into the corner, due to it being very light, agile and having very good brakes.
|KTM 250 SX|
The KTM 250 SX power was a bit like a light switch. When exiting the corner the power was very aggressive. There was no smooth power input when trying to roll on the throttle in the slick and greasy conditions. The bike was very fast in a straight line, but also felt very restrictive when getting towards the top-end power.
|KTM 250 SX-F|
I would say that the KTM 250 SX-F is the most predominant 250F on the market at the moment, as it has lots of power and a very high rev range. It is very fun and easy to ride at a fast speed. When trying to ride the corners in high gear, the bike was a bit lazy. When exiting corners I found that I had to be in a lower gear to be in the right power range, to use all the power up the straight. This bike is very fast in a straight line. It was a very well-balanced bike over the braking bumps and very easy to corner.
|KTM 350 SX-F|
The 350 SX-F felt very similar to a 250F, just with a lot more power. Cornering was very easy and the bike felt very light and agile whilst jumping and under braking. This bike has smooth throttle response and lots of torque, but when you open the throttle there is lots of power to get you up to speed. The rev range is a lot higher and you are able to use the high revs like a 250F. You can also ride it like a 450F though, being in a higher gear whilst cornering and using the torque.
The most impressive aspect of the new 2019 KTM range, in my opinion, was how the improved geometric designs allowed a comfortable riding stance, enabling me to naturally grip the bike with my legs keeping it stable at all times. I also liked how all the bikes were so easy to corner and felt very light and agile whilst riding.
Words: Jordan Divall | Lead Image: KTM Images