FRIDAY WRAP-UP: KTM’S 2019 PREVIEW

 

 

RIDING THE KTM FACTORY EDITION

For the official announcement of KTM’s 2019 dual-sport bikes, click here

For the official announcement of KTM’s 2019 off-road two-strokes, click here.

For the official announcement of KTM’s 2019 motocross bikes, click here.

For all other 2019 models released so far, click here.

For an indication of what the 2019 KTM 450SX will be like, the Factory Edition is an indicator of things to come.

The release of a limited number of Factory Editions to the public has become an annual tradition with KTM, whether or not there are any substantial changes to the engine and frame. It just so happens that this time around, the changes are significant–so much so that the bike would technically be illegal by AMA rules if it weren’t offered to the masses. It’s an advance scout for the 2019 production KTM 450SX-F, and it’s here now.

The new features fall into two groups; those that are here to stay and those that are just for the Factory Edition. KTM hasn’t released any official information on the 2019 model year, but it’s rather obvious what will be coming next summer. Here are the features that are new and will probably be on next year’s bike:
New head; one pound lighter and 15mm shorter
The cam has a new surface treatment.
New exhaust pipe with a contoured resonance chamber.
Pankl transmission.
Stiffer frame.
40mm longer aluminum subframe.
The swingarm has a chain adjustment slot that is 5mm longer.
All of the bodywork is new and more compact.
New design for the WP AER 48 fork
New shock valving

Here are the features that are on the Factory Edition alone:

Red Bull Factory Racing graphics, including a big number one.
Orange anodized triple clamps.
A Hinson clutch cover. It’s worth noting that only the cover is related to Hinson, not the clutch itself.
A holeshot device on the left fork guard.
Orange powder coated frame.
Composite skid plate.
DID Dirt Star rims.
Selle Dalla Valle seat cover.
Floating front disc brake.
New rear disc design.
Front brake disc guard.
Orange rear sprocket.

MSRP: $10,955

We have ridden the bike a few times now and believe it or not, it’s faster. We really thought we had reached the practical horsepower limit for a 450 motocross bikes, but the Factory Edition clearly has more power through the middle and on top. We have to admit that it’s still manageable, even in poor traction. The suspension also seems noticeably stiffer. The WP AER 48 fork has a smaller air volume in its balance chamber now. This is the chamber that opposes the main air compartment. Most riders don’t know it’s there because it isn’t externally adjustable on the WP fork. At this point, we don’t know if the stiffer feel is because of the change in the fork, the stiffer frame or the fact that it needs more break in. We’re still testing and the story will appear in the April, 2018 print edition of Dirt Bike.

A SWEDE IN THE MOJAVE

Ken Olausson is a Swedish motorcycle journalist who often contributes to dirtbikemagazine.com with his “Husky Good Old Times Blog” column. This month he has a fun story about one of his first involvements with Husqvarna, which happened in the Mojave desert of California in the days of the Beach Boys. Click the image above for the full story.

SHERCO FACTORY SPECIALS

125 SE FACTORY

Technical points: 

  • Compact powerful engine
  • Optimized engine cooling system
  • Rotary valve (powerful, solid, reliable)
  • Redesigned cylinder head / double segment piston
  • Optimized crankshaft (Specifically developed for enduro)
  • VForce 4R Reed Valve System
  • Powerful 220W ignition
  • 125 specific geometry
  • Blue anodized Excel rims
  • WP XPLOR fork with compression spring adjustment
  • New rear brake disc

Evolutions:

  • Neken fork triple trees: weight gain of 15%
  • “Diamante” Sella Dalla Valle gripper seat cover
  • New Galfer front brake disc
  • New neon yellow handlebar pad
  • Dual material rear sprocket
  • Ultra-strong in-mold graphics Factory kit

250 / 300 SE FACTORY

 

Evolutions:

  • Neken fork triple trees: weight gain of 15%
  • “Diamante” Sella Dalla Valle gripper seat cover
  • Ultra-strong in-mold graphics Factory kit
  • New Galfer front brake disc
  • New neon yellow handlebar pad
  • Dual material rear sprocket
  • Optimized engine cooling system
  • New regulator for the battery charging system
  • Electrical harness: stronger and more flexible
  • New Ignition coil: more powerful which produces better engine performance
  • New FMF exhaust system
  • New engine cylinder: 15% weight reduction, new cylinder porting which improves traction and control.
  • New combustion chamber: optimizes engine flexibility
  • New water temperature sensor to control ignition timing based on engine temperature
  • New exhaust valve: Tighter control of the piston-valve clearance to guarantee a better fit. Reduction of the number of moving parts.

250 / 300 / 450 SEF FACTORY

Technical points:

  • Redesigned gear election drum (softer gear change)
  • New injection mapping (optimized performance)
  • Crankshaft with viper head rod (durability-performance) on 250/300 cc
  • Optimized piston (improved life and more compression) on 300 cc
  • Modification of the oil supply system (temperature control – efficiency) on 450 cc
  • Redesigned gas pump
  • WP 46 shock absorber (outstanding shock absorption) on 250/300 cc
  • WP XPLOR fork with compression spring adjustment
  • New rear brake disc
  • Akrapovic complete exhaust system
  • Blue anodized Excel rims

Evolutions:

  • Neken fork triple trees: weight gain 15%
  • “Diamante” Sella Dalla Valle gripper seat cover
  • New Galfer front brake disc
  • New neon yellow handlebar pad
  • Dual material rear sprocket
  • New regulator for the battery charging system
  • Ultra-strong in-mold graphics Factory kit
  • Copyright : U. Podlogar / GB Studios

SPOTTED AT GLEN HELEN

No, we didn’t see young Ricky Johnson on his YZ250, but we did see the man who shot this amazing photo and lots of others like it. David Dewhurst is now one of the top automotive photographers in the world, but he keeps his motorcycle roots close. He restored a 1978 Husky 390 for the next Husky World Championship, which is coming in March.

The other old bike race series on our schedule is the Old School Scrambles. We noticed there might be a conflict between the two, so there might be changes.

DAKAR WRAPS UP TOMORROW

Ricky Brabec, stage 5

We’re keeping close tabs on the Dakar Rally, which has five Americans this year. It’s been an unusually difficult event, with flooding causing the cancellation of two stages. Currently, Austrian Matthias Walkner has the lead and, barring disaster, he will win it for the Red Bull KTM team. Honda’s Ricky Brabec has had a good run, finishing as high as second in a stage. He’s in sixth right now. And Andrew Short is having a spectacular rookie run, now in 17th. All the results are posted each day here on dirtbikemagazine.com.

That’s all for now

–Ron Lawson

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