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First Test of the 2021 KTM 250 SX-F


Presented by OGIO Powersports

Though only suspension updates and new graphics highlight the KTM 250 SX-F for 2021, that didn’t dampen our enthusiasm for throwing a leg over the new machine yesterday at Cahuilla Creek MX. CLICK HERE to hear all about the suspension refinements for ’21.

The tried and true engine package returns completely unchanged, as even the mapping was left untouched for ’21. The bike still comes with an optional vented airbox cover and providing a vented cover is a great idea for the brand as it allows greater airflow that produces more bottom-end response. In wet weather, the stock cover can be used, but for the most part, the vented cover will be the go-to for most riders.

Test rider Pat Foster

On the track, the KTM 250 SX-F produces a nice spread of power. With the vented airbox cover installed low-end snap is good, but the 250 SX-F’s forte is its high-revving powerband that rewards an aggressive rider who can keep the engine singing. While the bike doesn’t have an explosive punch down low, it is very effective in the hands of the right rider.

Test rider Cody Whitsett

The bike handles in typical KTM fashion with excellent cornering characteristics and good stability. The bike has a very light feel on the track and a high level of comfort that is further enhanced by the new suspension settings that allow the fork and shock to ride higher in the suspension stroke where the valving is most compliant. Both ends are highly adjustable and both of our test riders were able to tune the fork and shock to their liking.

Though the changes on the 250 SX-F are minimal for 2021, the bike remains very impressive and is sure to be a hit with consumers. How will it stack up in the 2021 250 Shootout? We’ll just have to wait and see!

Donn Maeda

Donn Maeda is a 30-year veteran in moto-journalism, having worked at Cycle News and Dirt Rider before launching MXracer Magazine and TransWorld Motocross Magazine. Maeda is the Editor-In-Chief at Swapmoto Live and you can catch him on a dirt bike or in the saddle of a mountain bike on most days.

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