RACE TESTING THE KTM 350XCF FACTORY EDITION: THE WRAP

The KTM Factory Editions have been a tradition in the motocross world for over 10 years. These are premium-level motocross bikes that are more or less replicas of the machines ridden by Cooper Webb, Marvin Musquin and the Red Bull KTM Factory motocross team. Now, off-road riders are getting the same treatment. The KTM 350XC-F Factory Edition is a tribute to the bike that Kailub Russell has used to dominate the GNCC XC-1 Pro class for eight consecutive years. The bike is a 2022 350XC-F with a long list of upgrades, including:

Travis Fant got to ride the 2022 KTM 350XC Factory Edition at the Ironman GNCC

An orange frame and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing graphics
An FMF slip-on muffler
A quick-fill tank with standard tank cap
Factory triple clamps anodized in orange
KTM factory wheels
A Factory holeshot device
A composite skid plate
A factory seat with Selle Dalla Valle logo
A Semi-floating front disc
A solid rear disc
A front brake disc guard
An orange rear sprocket
A Hinson clutch cover
$11,799 MSRP ($1000 higher than the standard edition)

Travais Fant and the 350XC-F Factory Edition. Before the rain.

We got a chance to ride the 2022 KTM 350XC-F in what turned out to be the most demanding GNCC of the year: the rain-soaked finale in Crawfordsville, Indianna. Dirt Bike videographer Travis Fant volunteered for the duty and came back somewhat traumatized, but intact. Of course, he loved the bike. What’s not to love? The 350XC-W not only is the bike that Kailub Russell prefers (although he has raced the 450 and 250 at different times), but it’s also the bike used by most EnduroCross riders and a large group of Vet motocrossers, who prefer it over the SX for its six-speed gearbox.

The fuel tank is made by IMS specifically for KTM and will accept a Dry Break quick fuel adapter.

Travis is a dedicated motocross rider who owns a 450SX. He instantly fell in love with the 350. It’s doubtful that there would have been any better choice for not only for his first GNCC, but his first-ever mud survival run. The cool thing about the bike is that it’s not just a Red Bull sticker kit. It’s truly thought out for cross-country racing. Case in point, the solid rear brake rotor. Kailub and crew learned long ago that the vented rotor wears brake pads at an alarming rate in the mud. The fuel tank also can accept a Dry Break quick-fill. Travis declined this feature and used an adapter for a threaded gas cap. The last thing he wanted was a quick pit stop. The various guards are all thought out well to prevent mud build-up.

TRAVIS: “In comparison to the 450, I know it’s not much lighter on the scale but it felt lighter. Maybe less moving parts? Felt like I could move it around a little more. The suspension was plush and had good hold up testing it the day before the race. Raceday everything was different, but the suspension was the last of my worries. The motor was “light” feeling and revved to the moon. Third gear seemed like it pulled forever out on the corn fields. I liked that it wasn’t as jerky as an SXF model in 1st/2nd gear in tight sections. That made for easy throttle control maneuvering the bike in trees.
“Those split triple clamps are the unsung hero of any KTM. Less rigid feeling in the hands! I tested map one and two plus traction control beforehand. Not a huge fan of map one. It was a little too mellow for my liking. Traction control wasn’t for me either. I’d rather have a little more punch when I need it and get to the high rpms where this bike shines. The clutch was good. Brakes never had issues in the mud on race day. Tank was large enough for a two-hour race without a pit stop.
As far as complaints go, KTM needs to fix their electronics suite behind the number plate. It’s exposed and wires pull out … on all their models. The FI light cable and start cable does this. Even on 2016-2018 era KTMs. Don’t need that happening in a GNCC. Seat can be harsh on some people butts. I like the extra grip but it’s not for everyone. I would run the Acerbis frame guards instead of the plastic ones on the bike. The Acerbis guards are great in the wet. Webb got a lot of riders hooked on those guards after the San Diego mudder a couple years ago. ” For Travis Fant’s full story and tips for other GNCC newbies, check out the February, 2022 print edition of Dirt Bike.

2022 BETA 300RX

2022 Beta 300RX

 

Beta is now committed to the motocross worldl. The 2022 limited edition 300RX for 2022 has been revealed with a number of updates. Here’s what the guys at Beta have said:

Engine Upgrades
Diaphragm Clutch: this new clutch provides a lighter clutch pull while offering more progressive control significantly reducing rider fatigue. Both engagement and disengagement have been improved, while the clutch is now capable of transmitting even more torque. Riders can also adjust the clutch settings with three different spring options to suit his/her clutch feel.
Chassis Upgrades
Frame: Changes in welding locations provide less stress on the frame while improving overall feel.
Suspension: New internal settings of the KYB closed cartridge front forks provide better feedback to the rider while reducing harshness & bottoming.
Seat Height: ½” lower seat for improved turning.
Graphics: Updated graphics to match the 2022 Race Editions in the Beta lineup.


Other features for the RX model include:
Electric Starter (optional kick start kit available)
Adjustable power valve, provides a power delivery suited for each rider
Nickel plated Arrow exhaust pipe with a tuned aluminum silencer
19″ rear wheel for moto tire applications
Two-position MAP switch alters ignition timing for wet or dry conditions
Push button seat removal with side air filter access
Silicone cooling hoses for durability
Moto style handguards
Dual material rear sprocket, steel teeth with aluminum center
Moto stand included with each RX model
AVAILABILITY: January
Price: $9,199.00

2022 HONDA NAVI AND NC750X

2022 Honda Navi

Honda just introduced a new mini which might soon fill the pits. The 110cc Navi is decidedly street oriented, but that never stopped Grom owners from taking them off road.
Somewhat of a mix between the Ruckus and the Grom, the Navi has a V-Matic automatic transmission.
MSRP: $1,807
Colors: Red; Grasshopper Green; Nut Brown; Ranger Green
Availability: January 2022 (February in California)

2022 Honda NC750X

NC750X
The Honda NC750X falls into that gray area between adventure bikes and pure street bikes. It clearly has some features that are appealing to the guys who want to go off-road touring, but the wheels, itres and suspension havn’t much of a dirt pedigree. But, the price in pretty good and it has Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) is standard on both manual-transmission and automatic Dual Clutch Transmission models (DCT),

MSRP
NC750X: $8,699
NC750X DCT: $9,299
Color: Grand Prix Red
Availability: December

BAJA 1000 TODAY!

The SCORE Baja 1000 is underway. This year it’s long, covering over 1000 miles on the way to LaPaz. The 1x SLR Honda team decided to forgo some of the other SCORE races this year and concentrate on the 1000. Sadly, Justin Jones decided not to ride this time, but Mark Samuels and Justin Morgan will anchor the team once more.

That’s all for now!

–Ron Lawson

 

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