The KTM 250 SX is the only two stroke from the “Big 5” still being updated and it’s quickly running away from other available 250’s performance wise. From what I hear, KTM sells out of their two stroke mx bikes every year. I’d love to see other manufacturers begin producing two strokes again, the competition would accelerate development and many amazing two strokes would become available…
I’m sure by now you have read a whole bunch of reviews on the KTM 250 SX. I’m going to tell you about my life with my 2013 KTM 250 SX. Rather than me telling you the same stuff other outlets have, I’ll tell you what I’ve done, what has broke and what I have done to make it work for me.
Power: The KTM has an amazing motor for a 250 two stroke. It is smooth and makes a lot of horsepower. Honestly I don’t think there is another 250 two stroke available today that has a motor comparable to the KTM 250 SX. This is even more true after swapping out stock silencer. I put a Pro Circuit 304 silencer on and it made the bike run better throughout the powerband and especially helped it run better in the top end.
Handling: The KTM 250 SX handles well, but is not quite as stable as TM MX 250. When everything is dialed in, it turns well, is acceptably stable and I feel gives up nothing to other bikes. The hardest thing to get right is front fork set-up. The KTM 250 SX has a very light feel to it, even if it isn’t much lighter than other 250 two strokes.
Getting Comfy: It took me about 3-5 hours to get comfortable on the 2013 KTM 250 SX. I had the suspension set up for me before even riding it (most everybody does this anyway). I moved the forks around a bit and ended up on the first line down from the top. After a few clicker adjustments and getting the sag set I was happy with the suspension.
I tried different handlebar clamp positions and ended up with them in the front hole turned backwards. I tried stock and lower pegs and stuck with the lower pegs. (I’m 6’2″)
Exhaust: The stock pipe doesn’t last very long. I had a couple cracks welded, then gave up on it and bought a FMF Factory Fatty. I also have lost one pipe spring prior to writing this.
Rear Brake Pedal: One of my first days riding the bike, riding on the track by myself, somehow my rear brake pedal got completely destroyed. I’m not sure if it is some sort of design or quality issue, but I have no idea what caused this to happen.
Radiator: Another mysterious problem I had was with the right radiator. With about 10 hours on the bike, I had never fallen on the right hand side and the right radiator began to leak. The leak continued to get worse and worse until I replaced the radiator. Maybe it was caused by roost?
Seat: After about 10 hours my seat foam began breaking down. It seemed I was always sitting on the plastic seat base and it was rather hard on my butt. I ended up with the Acerbis X-Seat, next time I’ll probably try a different solution.
Nuts & Bolts: Make sure you use loctite and keep an eye on all of the bolts, they have a tendency to loosen up and disappear.
What is the MSRP of the parts I had to replace?
Pipe: $249.99 FMF Factory Fatty
Seat: $199.99 Acerbis X-Seat
Pipe Spring: $6.81
Rear brake pedal: $108.14
Right radiator: $198.44
How much is it gonna cost to freshen up? (MSRP)
Gasket kit: $64.23
Thoughts on the 2013 KTM 250 SX after 20 hours:
Despite it’s vibration related & mysterious issues the 2013 KTM 250 SX is a great bike so far. It’s fast, light and handles well. It could use to be a little more durable, but other two strokes I’ve had have had a similar amount of issues. Wish there was a way to iron these issues out. As much as I hate to say this, being a two stroke lover and all, it seems four strokes have less of these little issues (exhausts, losing bolts). Just don’t blow one up. Next I’d like to see how this thing performs with an APT Smart Carb on it.