2014 KTM 450 SX-F In Stock Form
Don’t ask me what lured me into buying a 450 again. I’ve never liked how they handle and to me they are about the least fun option when it comes to riding a dirt bike. Least fun riding a dirt bike is kinda like bad pizza or bad ….., it’s still good, but in a 450’s case it’s still riding, it’s still fun.
In the past I have had all kinds of bikes and all kinds of reliability issues with these bikes. You can read about a lot of my experiences with these bikes right here on PPS Moto – 2011 KTM 350 SX-F, 2006 Yamaha YZ 250, 2013 KTM 250 SX and the 2012 TM MX 300. Other bikes that became problems in less than 40 hours include the 2010 KTM 250 SX, 2006 and 2007 Kawasaki KX 450F. I have had no issues with this bike whatsoever. Literally all I have had to do to date is change oil and air filters. It has been very nice to not have to deal with bike issues at all. The only thing this bike needs right now is a re-packed silencer.
This has been the most reliable bike I ever owned, but I do have some complaints. The handling is finicky everything needs to be exactly perfect for it to work right. In the bottom end, the engine is very abrupt. It hits hard, then dips. I hope to fix both of these things.
My number 1 goal with this bike was to make a 450 that I actually liked how it feels and handles.
My 2014 KTM 450 SX-F
- Goal: Help my bike handle as well as possible.
- Ohlins RXF Fork MSRP:$3,505.00
- Weight:Left: 10.1 lbs (stock: 10.33 lbs); Right: 10.66 lbs (stock: 10.96 lbs)
- Ohlins TTX Shock MSRP: $1,250.00
- Weight: 8.42 lbs (9.21 stock)
- Goal: Smooth out bottom end hit, strengthen power where it dips a little in stock form.
- MSRP:$949.99 Starting at $610.39 on Amazon
- Weight: 1.5 lbs (header) 4.15 lbs (slip-on)
- Stock: 2.5 lbs (header) 5.25 lbs (slip-on)
- Goal: Cut weight
- MSRP:$114.95 Buy on Amazon for $86.95
- Shorai Battery Weight: 1.36 lbs, this is exactly 2 lbs less than the 3.36 lb stock battery that came on my KTM 450. You’ll never find this much weight loss for less money.
Ride Eng. Linkage
- Goal: Replace damaged part.
- MSRP: $219.95 Buy on Amazon from $179.95
- Quick Thoughts: Honestly, I don’t think the Ride Engneering linkage improved my KTM 450 SX-F at all.
- Goal: Make more room for my legs. Make sitting and standing on my bike more comfortable.
- MSRP:$189.95 – $199.95 from $180.45 on Amazon
- Weight: 6.2 oz each (stock 2014 KTM 450 SX-F pegs weigh 6.7 oz each)
Things I tried that didn’t stick
20mm Higher Bar Mounts
- Issue: Too tall, did not work for me.
- MSRP: $139.99 Buy on Amazon from $94.31
- Issue: Too tall and too flat. Made it feel like you are sitting on top of the bike in corners, made just about any corner a challenge.
Did I actually reach my goals?
Although the Ohlins suspension is quite amazing, this bike needs to be set up perfect to work right – sag, fork height, clickers, tire pressure. Not one of these things can be off for this bike to work properly on any given day and these settings different for every track. I don’t think this is the suspension’s fault, I think this is a chassis thing. This is a finicky bike and may not be your best option if you’re the type who just wants to go out and ride.
Did I improve the bike?
Yes I did, it’s lighter, the suspension is much better and the FMF Factory 4.1 RCT did exactly what I wanted to the power.
Should you try to upgrade your bike or buy a 2016 KTM 450 (or YZ 450, or KTM 350)?
I think you would be better off buying a 2016 KTM 450, 350 or YZ 450 than dumping money into your 2015 or older KTM 450 SX-F. They are all lighter & handle better and no matter what you think of the 350, have more power than you’ll ever need.