2022 KTM 250SX-F FIRST RIDE: THE WRAP

 The first 2022 test bike is here, surviving factory shut-downs and pandemics to arrive more or less on schedule. The 2022 KTM 250SX-F is in dealers and we already have had one on the track.  It has very few changes beyond the graphics and the orange frame are new, but this has little to do with the pandemic.  It turns out that KTM didn’t plan to make major changes anyway. There has been extensive testing of a new chassis and a mostly new motor, but in KTM’s long-term plan, 2022 models were scheduled to use the existing platform. The hint is the frame color. There’s a history of the orange frame color being reserved for Factory Editions and the last model before a major change. The 2021 250SX-F did not have an orange frame, so you could have predicted an unchanged 2022 model.

Sean Foos got to be the first rider on a 2022 test bike.

A year ago, we were talking about the coming MY KTM bluetooth app. This was to be KTM’s answer to the Yamaha Power Tuning App, which lets the owner change EFI settings in the field via a smartphone. In KTM’s case, the connectivity unit was sold separately, but only a handful actually made it to dealers. The 2021 KTM 450SX-F Factory Edition came with the unit, but it fell short of expectations. We understand that the units for the 2022 model will be made available eventually and there have been hints of more extensive capabilities, but no official announcement has been made.

The price for the KTM 250SX-F went up $100 for 2022: $9399.

If you remember our 2021 250 shootout, you might recall  most riders preferred the Yamaha over the KTM, but you can’t take that too seriously. It was the closest and most hard-fought shootout in recent history. Even though it didn’t win, riders basically loved the KTM. The power is very smooth and it revs to infinity. Peak power is the bike’s calling card. On the Pro Circuit dyno, it tops out at 44.2 horsepower. For various reasons, the GasGas and the Husky (which use the exact same motor) measure slightly lower. The Kawasaki KX250 is close with 43.9 horsepower although it’s only that close for a very narrow stretch on top. The KTM is a dyno buster from top to bottom. On the track, however, it feels a little lazy down low. Most riders think that it lacks bottom-end power regardless of what the dyno says. This is more about the way dynos work. When a bike is tested on the bench, the throttle is wide open from bottom to top. No one actually rides that way. We roll the throttle on rather than whack it open. The KTM motor, as it turns out, likes to be whacked open and doesn’t especially tolerate half-hearted efforts.

The orange frame is sweet! The graphics make you fee like there’s something wrong with your eyes. Don’t worry, you get used to it.

You won’t find anyone who complains about the way the KTM handles. This goes beyond the fact that it’s so much lighter than other 250s (218 without fuel). It turns well and is stable–there’s really nothing more you could ask, and clearly nothing that any of the other bikes in the 250 class offer. The one glitch is in the suspension department. The Japanese 250 currently have an edge there. The Xact fork, for all its excellent qualities in design and weight, hasn’t really stepped up to the next level the way that KYB and Showa components have. WP’s design with a single compression air chamber and a self-filling balance chamber is simple and brilliant, but coil spring forks like that of the Yamaha consistently get better reviews for comfort and response. The KTM fork isn’t as level through turns and doesn’t offer the same cushy compliance on square edges or on slap landings. That said, the WP fork is excellent on rollers and big impacts. The fact that you can adjust air pressure so easily is a great benefit. It might even be a little too easy; riders often mess around with it when they don’t have to. It can be somewhat of a burden to have to monitor your air pressure on hot days or even to double check your levels after a short period of storage, but come on. It’s no more difficult than checking your tire pressure.

We will continue to ride the 250SX-F and anxiously await new models that are said to be coming from Honda and Yamaha. You can read about it all in the September, 2021 print edition of Dirt Bike.

BETA DUAL-SPORT

2022 Beta RR490-S dual-sport.

The 2022 Beta Dual-Sport Bikes were announced today. The Italians will continue to offer four bikes that look almost identical, but have different displacements.  Click here for the official work on the 2022 Beta dual-sport bikes.

350 RR-S: $10,999
390 RR-S: $11,099
430 RR-S: $11,199
500 RR-S: $11,299

DUBYA WORLD VET DATE AND ANNOUNCERS

The 37th Annual Dubya World Vet MX Championships will be taking place at the Glen Helen Raceway on November 5-7, 2021. Kristen and John Anderson of Dubya USA have revealed that the official Dubya World Vet MX Championship event announcers for 2021 will be Grant Langston and Kevin Kelly (of DMXS radio).

ISDE FUND RAISER

A USA ISDE Trophy Team Fundraiser Golf Tournament will take place in conjunction with the Snowshoe GNCC this weekend. It will take place on Friday @ 9 a.m. located at the Raven Golf Club Course. The cost is $120 per person, which includes lunch at the end of the tournament sponsored by Moose Racing. Event t-shirts for the 7th Annual ISDE Golf Tournament are also available to purchase on the registration page. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

MANI AND THE ERZBERG RODEO

The Erzberg Rodeo might have been canceled this year, but former winner Mani Lettenbichler went there to give us a guided tour around the course. It’s good fun!

HUSQVARNA E-BIKES

Husqvarna Hard Cross 9

Earlier in the week I got to ride the new Husqvarna E-Bike. Whenever I post anything about bicycles in general (and E-bikes in particular) the social media response includes a delightfully toxic element. E-bikes seem to be somehow connected with politics. Whatever: I like them and there’s a direct connection to the motorcycle business. The official press released showed up yesterday:

Husqvarna Extreme Cross 10

Husqvarna E-Bicycles North America is pleased to announce the arrival of its 2021 electric mountain bike lineup—available now through authorized Husqvarna E-Bicycles dealers in the U.S. and Canada. With seven bikes offered across the entire range, riders can be sure to find a model that suits their style with a performance-based selection of E-Bikes in the Downhill, Enduro, All Mountain and Kids categories.

True to the Husqvarna E-Bicycles brand, each model features advanced frame design and performance componentry carefully sourced from leading suppliers in the industry. Each of the Extreme Cross, Hard Cross and Mountain Cross models are available in two component trims to ensure riders have the exact technical package they need to conquer mountains and personal limits.

For hardcore eMTB riders, the Husqvarna Extreme Cross, Hard Cross and Mountain Cross models will definitely get the blood pumping. These top range Husqvarna models are powered by the all-new Shimano E-Bike motor EP8, a revolutionary drive unit crafted to boost your ride. With an increased maximum torque of 85 Nm, riders can face the steepest climbs and toughest trails with boosted confidence, translating to maximum control and a natural riding experience.
In the downhill category, the Extreme Cross 10 and Extreme Cross 9 models offer a purpose-built, full suspension downhill beast with 200 mm travel for those serious about downhill fun. For the days you want to live life by the seat of your pants, this is a platform that will make you feel like your DH World Cup idols. With a dignified amount of power punched in, be lifted by the noticeable boost of torque when required – turning the thrill of up and downhill rides, more exhilarating than ever.

Husqvarna Hard Cross 7

A perfect entry point to eMTB, the Husqvarna Hard Cross 9 and Hard Cross 7 bikes are key to building those single-track skills and confidence, while opening up new possibilities to take on terrains never considered before. A long-travel, gravity-fed, descent-loving bike, the Hard Cross equips those who are prepared with 180 mm travel for a freeride experience like no other.

If open mountain adventures are your passion, the Husqvarna Mountain Cross 7 or Mountain Cross 5 is the E-Bicycle for you. All-Rounders by design, every Mountain Cross model empowers its rider with the certainty to calmly master mountains, flow down hills and cruise through scenic tours – whichever comes first. With 150 mm travel, this medium travel eMTB likes to climb technical trails as well it descends them.

Husqvarna Light Cross 7

Introduce the next generation to the thrilling possibilities of pursuing and conquering any routes they put their mind to. The Husqvarna Light Cross JR 24 provides junior riders with the power and confidence to join in, keep up and have plenty of fun during family excursions.

Husqvarna E-Bicycles has also partnered with FreedomRoad Financial in introducing the industry’s first national E-Bike Installment Loan Program! This revolutionary program offers consumers different payment options and flexible rates to help them with building meaningful credit. More information on this exciting program will be available in the coming weeks.

For more information on the new range of Husqvarna Bicycles and to find your nearest authorized dealer, visit https://www.husqvarna-bicycles.com/en-us.html.

ZACH OUT

Zach Osborne (Photo by Brandon Krause)

The third round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series will take place this weekend at Mt Morris, PA. The sad news is that defending champion Zach Osborne will not be there. It was easy to see this coming; Zach hasn’t been himself all year and now his back injury will force him to sit out the rest of the season. It still promises to be good and we will have all the results posted as they happen.

WORCS LOCATION CHANGE

Dante Oliveira and Robert have two wins each so far in te 2021 WORCS season. Photo by Harlen Foley.

The location for Round 6 has been moved from Wickenburg, AZ to Cedar City, UT at the Three Peaks Oasis Event Park, home of the Landslide Festival. Brand new location. Never been race. New track built from the ground up!
Three Peaks Oasis, N Lund Hwy, Cedar City, UT 84721
All the dates for ATV/SXS and MC will remain the same.
Pre-entry for MC will close on September 7th at 11:59pm CST.
The WORCS 20th anniversary party will take place that weekend. More information coming soon!

 

Have a good ride and be safe this weekend!

–Ron Lawson

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