This week’s announcement of the 2021 KTM and Husqvarnas held a surprise for those of us who thought we knew everything. The 2021 KTM SX-F and XC-F models will have smartphone connectivity that should make mapping changes much easier at the track. The Husky models that will have this system are the FC and FX models. The capability is already built into the 2020 Husqvarna Rockstar Edition and the 2020 KTM Factory Edition. For those of you familiar with Yamaha’s Power Tuner App, you know the basic drill–but there are significant differences between the two.

The single biggest difference between KTM’s system and Yamaha’s is that stock KTMs will not have a wifi transmitter when you buy the bike. It will cost extra. All the Yamaha YZ models have the transmitter included. The Yamaha WR models do not, and if you want it, Yamaha’s accessory department will charge you $300 (plus $150 for a compatible black box). KTM has not set the price yet, but it is, at least, a very easy installation process. The handlebar pad comes off and the transmitter takes its place. There’s a big button in the middle of the pad that activates the sync process.

Once you have the transmitter installed and synced up, you do all the work on your iPhone or Android phone. It’s time to get rid of that flip phone, anyway. The app has several different modes. Under engine tuning, you have Prime mode and Advanced mode. In Prime, there are preselected recipes for various track conditions, sort of like Kawasaki’s and Suzuki’s coupler system. In Prime, you can also tweak traction control to your liking. That system is still activated on the fly though a handlebar switch. In advanced mode, you can adjust engine braking, throttle response, traction control and launch control. 

The transmitter will have to be purchased separately from the bike.

Another feature is a suspension set-up aid. You input all your personal info when you sign up, then the app takes you through your suspension set up, step by step. It can give you advice for different conditions.

You can choose the Prime mode, where the MyKTM app will spoon feed you settings, or Advanced mode, where you get to tweak engine braking, among other things. There’s also a suspension-set-up page.

At this point, we don’t know how effective the tool will be. We do know that we love the Yamaha Power Tuner. This seems similar, but might give you a little more guidance. The only issue we have with the Yamaha is that it gives you so many variables that it’s easy to get lost. The KTM app also offers a few more features not offered by Yamaha. .The engine braking adjustment might be very useful. We have seen tuners do this through idle speed, but that can be problematic, as it throws off the throttle position sensor. The suspension mode is a nice thought, but it seems like a high-tech page out of your owners manual. KTM has a new Technical Innovation Department in Austria that is charged with expanding the capabilities of this tool and inventing others to come. There are endless possibilities, especially if the bike were to be equipped with more sensors. There’s no reason your phone can’t tell you what your rear suspension sag is, or maybe even make suspension adjustments for you. It’s nice to live in the 21st century.


We weren’t too surprised by other aspects of the 2021 KTM and 2021 Husky launch. The reason, as we point out every year, is that KTM historically tips its hand with the Factory Edition, which is shown prior to the start of the Supercross season in January. In Husqvarna’s case, the Rockstar Edition does the same thing. These bikes didn’t look much different from the standard edition, but there were significant internal changes to the WP XACT air fork. The addition of a mid valve changes the way the fork feels significantly. For more on the Factory Edition and the Rockstar Edition click on the images.


SRA GP Racing had had one or two false starts since the beginning of the Covid-19, but on June 21, we got to go racing again at Glen Helen. In the expert class, it could have been a National Grand Prix Championship race, with Zach Bell staring off against Trevor Stewart. When it was over, Bell had won again, which is becoming a habit with him when he doesn’t break down. Dirt Bike Magazine Managing Editor Mark Tilley was the over-40 Expert winner, Gordon Ward was the champ of plus 50 class and Ryan Dudek was the over 30 winner. They all squared off in race three of the day, where Tilley came out on top. Congrats! For results, click here.

The next GP is scheduled for July 19. For more info on SRA Racing, click here.



We are big fans of RideBDR.com,  which is a non-profit organization that creates and preserves off-highway riding opportunities for dual sport and adventure motorcyclists. In case you don’t know already, BDR has tracklogs for rides all over the country. They give you all kinds of info like mileage between fuel availability and lodging, and they do it all for free. As a fund-raiser, the organization is giving away a 2020 KTM 790 Adventure R wrapped with BDR Special Edition graphics and outfitted with top-shelf upgrades from Touratech, WP, MoskoMoto, CruzTOOLS and Cyclops. The accessory list includes upgraded suspension, hand guards, LED auxiliary lights, luggage system, crash bars, and a dry duffle bag. Set up specifically for riding Backcountry Discovery Routes, they also include all 10 Butler BDR maps to help you plan your adventures. Here are some more features:

Custom Special BDR Edition Graphics
WP XPLOR PRO Suspension with Cone-valve Forks
Touratech Zega Evo X Pannier System
Touratech Upper and Lower Crash Bars
Touratech Hand Guards
Touratech 31-Liter Dry Bag
Touratech Headlight Guard
Cyclops Aurora Auxiliary Light Kit with DRL’s
Touratech Aventuro Traveller Modular Helmet
MoskoMoto Nomad Tank Bag
CruzTOOLS RoadTech Kit for KTM
Doubletake Adventure Mirrors
Set of all 10 BDR maps (Butler Motorcycle Maps)
International donations are welcome with the understanding that the prize will need to be collected in Seattle, WA and may be subject to tax or importation limitations.

CLOSE DATE: Jul 31, 2020
DRAWING DATE: Jul 31, 2020
DRAWING LOCATION: Backcountry Discovery Routes (BDR)


We have four adventure bikes that are in the testing process right now, and it’s hot. It’s tough to ride in full ADV gear in the summer. Bohn is a company that makes armored under-gear that can actually keep you cooler than regular clothing. Check it out at Bohnarmor.com

See you next week

–Ron Lawson

Comments are closed.