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Tested: KTM MY19 Range

A detailed look at the MY19 range.

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The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing outfit radiate perfection in every single way; presentation, work ethic and results. The squad that once struggled to match their Japanese counterparts now lead the industry and are considered the benchmark in all forms of racing. The countless titles that they acquire each season serve as proof of that.

Is that same level reflected in their stock machinery though? There are always sceptics in the industry that believe that the success that a team in the FIM Motocross World Championship experience comes down to the budget that they are able to chuck at their steeds, but a great base to work from is arguably the largest piece of the puzzle. This was evident when the MX Vice test rider, Jordan Divall, travelled to Italy to test the all-new MY19 range from the Austrian manufacturer. Everything was lined up to perfection and no expense was spared at all.

It is humorous to think about a time when riders steered clear of the KTM 450 SX-F, both at a professional and amateur level, as it was not considered up to par. Instances like that are now just a distant memory, however, as most think that being aboard a KTM is the best way to have a shot at a win at any level. Jordan Divall found that out when he jumped onto the 450 SX-F at that KTM launch and immediately pegged that bike as his favourite of the day. The feedback was very interesting and dispelled a handful of stereotypes.

The bigger bike is considered a handful by even the greatest riders, but Jordan Divall was amazed by how easy to ride the KTM SX-F 450 was. The level of control that one had over the steed was clear when hitting corners, as was both the weight and agility. It is actually worth noting that this model weighs one hundred kilograms, without fuel, which is slightly lighter than the previous model. The weight is just a single piece of the puzzle though and does not truly shine until it is combined with the smooth throttle control, which eliminates any jerkiness and helps riders of all levels maintain corner speed.

Following on from that point about the throttle control, some will question whether that takes away from the raw power. Divall was pleased to report that it does not in the slightest though, as that speed is stored away and ready for those parts of the track where it is really needed. A bit of technical spiel that revolves around this subject is actually most intriguing. A press release from KTM confirms that this is the fastest bike that they have ever built and that it also pushes out an unrivalled sixty-three horsepower in a manner that they believe to be the most effective way possible. All of that was evident in testing.

It just seems as though that raw power has been packaged up better than ever, which would explain why more and more amateur riders are considering the once-feared bigger bike for their activities. The 350 SX-F bridges the gap for those who are not quite ready for that step up, remember, as Divall confirmed that it simply feels like a 250 SX-F that has a lot more power. Cornering was easy yet again, plus the bike felt very agile. There is plenty of torque packed into the engine and a rider is able to use the high revs. It seems as though all of that was what the Austrian manufacturer strived to achieve.

Speaking of that 250 SX-F, Divall did feel that it was rather easy to see why it is the most predominant bike in that category. There was plenty of power, a very high rev range and it was just easy to ride. Divall did explain that it felt as though the bike was a tad lazy when trying to hit corners in a high gear, however, and that being in a lower gear on the exits was most important to then use all of the power up the straights. A rider would have to be of a certain calibre in order to run into an issue such as that though. One could argue that point actually lends itself to the lesser rider and could help weekend warriors to keep control of their powerful steed.

Another bit of technical jargon that stood out at the launch, which was held a couple of months ago, was improvements that have been made to the frame. “The new frame on the KTM 250 SX-F has to cater for the dynamic riding styles associated with MX2 racing,” a statement said. “Improved stiffness equals more responsive handling, while the frame works in even better with the WP suspension, to ensure excellent agility and high-speed stability. The frame features no-dirt footpegs with a simple but effective self-cleaning system that let the footpegs return to their original position every time, for complete control in all conditions.”

Anyway, that is enough about the four-stroke range. Onto the two-strokes, a model that KTM continue to dedicate themselves too and therefore please thousands of fans across the world. There are fans who believe in two-strokes, of course, and the main reason that they do that is because they simply think they are more fun. This was evident when Jordan Divall tested every single bike at the launch, as he pegged the 150 SX as the bike that was the most fun to ride. The power of the 150 SX was similar to the 125 SX, but where the latter died from the middle range the 150 would carry on pulling. The difference between the two models is similar to the 350 SX-F and 450 SX-F.

Jordan Divall claimed that he could rev the engine and the power just would not drop. Another point that stood out was that the brakes were very impressive and allowed everyone to brake later whilst entering a turn. One might claim that it is odd for the brakes to stand out when testing a new model, but this is something that is improved with every single year that passes. Two-strokes also attract riders simply because they are cheaper to buy and run, which is also clear with the KTM range. The 150 SX costs one thousand pound less than the 250 SX-F.

The 125 SX, on the other hand, was a slight disappointment to Divall. The immediate throttle response was very good, just as one would have expected, but the power seemed to die from the middle range and that left him feeling restricted when trying to rev the engine. This is an interesting point to focus on, as one must focus on the actual purpose of this bike. It is not used in top-flight competition anymore, so that point may not be overly important to the target audience. It is built for fun, effectively, and those who want a more manageable machine between their legs.

Speaking of managing the power, the 250 SX was a completely different beast. The power was like a light switch, Divall said, so it was extremely aggressive when exiting corners. There was no smooth power input when trying to roll the throttle on in slick and greasy conditions, which has always been a negative point on the two-strokes. Another thing that a user worries about when purchasing these bikes is vibration, but measures have been taken to improve that. The 250 SX engine features the latest technology along with a counter-balance shaft for low-engine vibration, you see. This was evident when testing the steed.

KTM have achieved so much in such a short space of time, but one could question when a ceiling will be hit. The technology and improvements made to the MY19 range indicate that those in Austria refuse to slow down, however, hence why they continue to reach new heights in all forms of racing.

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MY19 KTM 450 SX-F.

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MY19 KTM 350 SX-F.

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MY19 KTM 250 SX-F.

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MY19 KTM 250 SX.

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MY19 KTM 150 SX.

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MY19 KTM 125 SX.

Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: KTM Images

Features

Tested: 5 modifications I like to make to my YZ450F before going racing

Read now.

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MX Vice’s Tester, Brad Wheeler, Shares His Thoughts

Since picking up my YZ450F back in November I have been waiting under bated breath for the chance to race it. Practicing is all well and good, but nothing gets the blood pumping more than lining up at the start with 39 other racers.


Words: Brad Wheeler | Lead Image: Supplied


The lack of racing got me thinking, what are some of the things that I would like to do to the bike before I go to my first race on the BluCru. I have logged around 10-15 hours on the bike now and feel I have established a solid base setting and something I can build on moving forward. With that being said here are 5 modifications I will be making before my first race, which is looking like early March time.

I wasn’t going to do these in any particular order but I think it will be more beneficial for you all if I go from most important to least important, in my opinion.  

1) A genuine Yamaha holeshot device:

More often than not if you look down the starting line at any level of racing you will see bikes with a holeshot device. The point of the device is to preload the front fork. This does several things. It makes the bike lower to the ground, meaning you have a lower centre of mass and more control getting off the line. Secondly, it allows you to get more weight over the front of the bike, meaning you can hit the power harder and not have to worry as much about going into a wheelie. Finally, it also increases balance. Being lower to the ground you can touch the floor more comfortably. 

I have used several different brands in my time, from cheaper to more expensive and I have found that if the OEM makes their own, that is the way to go. In this instance, the Yamaha one is easy to install and simple to use. The clamp opens right up so no need to remove the fork leg. It also has a big button making it easy to engage if you are trying to set your own device. In my opinion, if you are serious about racing, a holeshot device is an absolute must.

TIP: The buttons can work themselves loose over time on any brand of device so be sure to check them regularly.  

2) ProGrip 799 ultra soft grips: 

It’s no secret that Japanese standard grips are not built with comfort in mind. They will most likely outlast any aftermarket grip on the market, but I’m looking for a bit more out of my grip. 

If you’re doing qualifying and 5 motos over the course of a weekend you’re looking at around 120-150 minutes of riding. That’s a lot of holding on. So I want a grip that is kind to my hands and also makes it easier to hold on.

Step forward Pro Grip 799 ultra soft. I have used this grip for as long as I can remember, all the way back to 50cc days. The grip is incredibly comfy and almost moulds to the shape of your hand. Don’t get me wrong, one little slide off and you can kiss the end of the grip goodbye, but that is the price you sometimes have to pay to have a comfier ride. Rather than spending thousands on suspension, try a softer grip first. You’d be amazed at the difference it can make.

3) GYTR factory racing seat cover: 

For me, this really only applies to 450s. My Yamaha 450 is a rocket ship and pulls like an express train. This is great when my arms are fresh and I can hold myself forward, but as fatigue sets in, the sheer torque of the motorcycle pushes me back towards the rear of the seat. 

The standard seat is relatively grippy and as stock seat covers go, is one of the better ones. However, the GYTR factor seat cover has 5 ribs up the seat which aid in keeping you up the front of the bike. The material of the cover itself is stickier than the stock seat cover.  

Other seat covers are available, GUTS does several different varieties of gripper seats but the GYTR is similar to the factory cover that Jago Geerts and Maxime Renaux use, and who doesn’t want to look factory?  

4) Raptor RME013 edge titanium footpegs: 

Footpegs can often be something that people overlook. They’re one of the points of contact between yourself and your machine yet get neglected. Standard footpegs have come a long way from the breadsticks they used to stand on back in the 80s. Even so, the increased grip and strength you get with the Raptor titanium peg is second to none.  

The peg bites into your boot making it virtually impossible to slip off of it. Titanium is not only lighter than steel but is also stronger. Over time the areas under stress on a steel peg become weak and are likely to fracture. However, with titanium, it would take a long time and an incredible amount of force to crack a titanium peg.  

I’m not sure if I am supposed to say this but Star Racing Monster Energy Yamaha actually BUY these pegs for their race bikes. That’s right, Eli Tomac, Cooper Webb, Justin Cooper and the other 36 250 riders they have all use Raptor titanium footpegs.  

Another plus is that the RME013 model doesn’t have the middle section you see on most pegs. This stops mud from getting jammed in there. Raptor also offers a variety of different offset pegs which is something we will be playing around with throughout the year.  

5) GYTR Akrapovic Full Exhaust System: 

The final modification that I will be making before I go racing is the addition of a GYTR  Akrapovic. For me, this is the lowest priority of the 5. Riding a YZ450F, I am not looking for more power, and the ability to move the power around with an exhaust system has been bypassed by the tuner apps available these days. 

That being said, it still has its perks. The GYTR Akrapovic (which I’m almost 100% the same as the Akrapovic Evolution system) weighs 0.85 kgs less than the standard system.  Titanium is also a stronger and more durable material, so will be less prone to cracks in weak spots like welded joints. 

This is Yamaha’s recommended after-market pipe of choice, so you know it is going to work well with the engine. Even if it isn’t more hit you are looking for, it is always nice to have your machine running smoother and sounding a little more factory than your buddies.  

Last but not least, and this cannot be understated, just how awesome the system looks. I truly believe there is something in the whole “look good, feel good” saying. I know if I pull up to the track and I have fresh gear and my bikes looking good, I am already in a positive mindset heading to the line. And as we know motocross is just as mental as it is physical.  

These 5 modifications are not gospel. What works for me, may not work for you. But, I have been racing for 22 years and my experience has taught me that these are the 5 things that make the biggest difference to myself. If you have any questions about the  

above products drop me an email at [email protected] and I will assist in any way I can.  

Tested and written by Brad Wheeler

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MX Vice News

Fox Racing Announces New Adventure Collection

Everything You Need in Adventure-ready Gear. Nothing You Don’t.

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Fox Racing, the global leader in motocross and mountain biking gear and apparel, announced the  expansion into the adventure market with a purpose-built ADV Collection that inspires performance on dirt. The all-new ADV Collection includes three jacket and pant offerings—Recon, Defend, and Ranger—built with a  minimalist chassis, GORE-TEX waterproofing, and CE protection across the board. The collection launches this  Spring on www.foxracing.com, and at participating Fox Racing dealers and channels globally.  


Words: Press Release | Lead Image: FOX


Expanding the brand’s commitment to Equip and Inspire riders, the ADV Collection draws from Fox Racing’s deep  racing heritage and appetite for performance innovation. “We recognize that off-road riding is no longer contained  to tracks and the trailheads of mountains and deserts. It can now be an extension to a rider’s commute or  countryside tour where every technical feature matters to maximize the experience on the bike. The ADV Collection was built with this in mind—connecting riders to dirt with highly versatile gear that has everything you  need and nothing you don’t. It’s a differentiated point of view in an evolving category that’s authentic and credible  to our brand,” said Michael Crocco, Sr. Global Marketing Manager at Fox Racing.  

Developed and tested over the course of three years, the all-new ADV Collection blends the brand’s expertise in  performance racewear with the utility adventure riders demand. Performance starts with the minimalist chassis  design approach and a closer-to-body fit to inspire movement in variable terrain. The main body is GUARANTEED  

TO KEEP YOU DRY with fully seam-sealed GORE-TEX materials, the gold standard in waterproof-breathable  technology. CE protection comes in the form of removable D30® back, shoulder, elbow, and knee protectors, and  reinforced fabrics to increase abrasion resistance and durability. Other features such as stretch fabrics, ventilation, and storage vary across the three product tiers to meet the demands of a multi-day or an out-and-back ride.  

The Recon GORE-TEX ADV Jacket and Pant are 949.95€ and 899.95€, respectively, and deliver maximum mobility and breathability with a minimalist fit for peak performance on dirt. The Defend GORE-TEX ADV Jacket and Pant  are 699.95€ and 649.95€, respectively, and offer maximum storage and ventilation for adaptability on the move. 

The Ranger GORE-TEX ADV Jacket and Pant are 549.95€ and 499.95€, respectively, and are the most accessible offering for essential performance on the bike. 

PRICING

Recon jacket 949,99£ / 949,95$
Recon pant 899,99£ / 899,95$
Defend jacket 699,99£ / 699,95$
Defend pant 649,99£ / 649,95$
Ranger jacket 549,99£ / 549,95$
Ranger pant 499,99£ / 499,95€

Follow @foxracing on Instagram for the official release date of the ADV Collection plus exclusive information  celebrating the brand’s 50th anniversary for 2024.  

About Fox Racing 

For over five decades, Fox Racing has been the global leader in motocross and mountain bike gear and apparel.  Fox outfits the world’s best competitive action sport athletes and enthusiasts with products that combine  innovation and style, rooted in the brand’s original competitive motocross spirit. The company is based in Irvine,  California, with offices, retail stores, and an international roster of sponsored athletes, located around the world.  www.foxracing.com

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Product News

Unboxing RENEN | Performance Motocross Apparel

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MX Vice Tester Brad Wheeler has just got his hands on some seriously fresh Renen gear. Check it out in this latest unboxing video.

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