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The 2024.5 KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition is here and it’s not the same KTM! I thought why just go to Glen Helen or Fox Raceway again with this new Factory Edition so I loaded up the truck and trailer and headed to Georgia with the new orange brigade. I put around 3.5 hours on the new machine and I can tell you it doesn’t feel like the “older” 2024 version. So what feels different? Here are a few things that I think is worth noting, just in case you’re interested in purchasing the latest Factory Edition.
Chassis: Lately, I have longed for the days of the “softer” feeling KTM frame of 2018 as well as the 2019 frame because I felt like there was just some more “average guy comfort”. With this 2024.5 some of that 2019 comfort has come back, especially on the edges of the new Dunlop MX34 tires. It doesn’t take to be at Glen Helen to tell that out of the box the 2024.5 frame is more forgiving immediately. Unlike the 2024 frame, the Factory Edition frame doesn’t need much “break in” time. Some of you freak out on me when I say, “let your 2024 bike break in at least 8-10 hours”. You’ll sit there and tell me the frame doesn’t stretch and that I am crazy but I am telling you that the 2024 frame needs some time on it to feel even remotely compliant on the edge of tire. Maybe that is the bolts, spokes, wheels, etc seating, but nonetheless the KTM usually needs more time than a Japanese bike to break in. This 24.5 frame feels better at 3.5 hours than my 24 test bike did at the same time. On the track the FE chassis can be leaned over (on throttle) and allow the rider to feel more contact patch (planted feel) than the older frame. KTM refused to give me actual numbers or percentages on how much/less rigidity it actually has but it feels pretty significant. There are cut out on the frame near the shock tower as well as some updated linkage ratio specs. Slap down landings has more compliance to me and when you need to set up for a corner, the new chassis feels like it doesn’t have as much of deflection (or just a general harsh feel) as the older chassis. Cornering character (to me) has improved (maybe because of the MX34 tires over the MX33) and the FE feels lighter in corners (maybe due to the lighter frame), but it does have a little pushing in the front end in area 3. Some of this is a low rear shock feeling but nonetheless this chassis is a step in the right direction (again). I also didn’t notice as much side to side rear end deflection on braking bumps with the 24.5 chassis. Straight line stability is also improved a little and to me, this 24.5 frame is in the right direction. When we tried the last KTM frame change at Red Bud, it had me thinking that it was decent because of the soft dirt so this time I made sure to ride a couple different places with hard dirt as well as some of that DEEP east coast loam to make sure I wasn’t misunderstanding the chassis again. If you like your KTM but need more comfort when the track goes to crap, this FE could be what you’re looking for.
Engine: I went back and looked and some old articles as well as some older videos of myself talking about the KTM 450 powerplant and I have been very favorable to this engine and nothing has changed with the FE. With the Akrapovic slip on installed the FE’s engine character is broader/longer than the stock muffler and to me it has a nice blend of low end RPM response and pulling power. It is the most friendly 450 engine character there is available. If you’re asking, “what about the 24’ KX450 though Keefer”? The KTM engine is more connected to the rear wheel and has more power available than the KX450. This engine is beautifully blended with power and linear feel. Every time I ride this KTM engine, it makes me realize how much better rear wheel connection is on the KTM compared to other models. No wheelies coming out of corners when accelerating out of corners or no need to fan the clutch to keep the front end down! Also, the KTM Connect App actually DOES WORK! My favorite part is turning the engine braking down inside the app, which not only livens up the engine but helps chassis comfort in a lot of off throttle situations (braking bumps, coming down hills).
KTM Connect App: It’s back! KTM now has an app for you KTM FE owners that has a lot of features/benefits that actually make a difference on the track. Oh and it has a built in LitPro unit as well! What is the Connectivity Unit Offroad? The CUO is a data and GPS-based two-piece system. The first unit is attached between the front fork and triple clamp and behind a KTM SX-F FACTORY EDITION’s numberplate. The GPS receiver then sits on top of the front fender, when activated, the CUO is synced automatically and instantaneously with a rider’s KTMconnect App (free to download from Google PlayStore or Apple AppStore). Riders can now activate a series of wireless connectivity functions and features to fully customize their KTM for a variety of track conditions and also dissect and improve their on-track performance. Use this menu option within KTMconnect to modify the engine behavior and characteristics of a KTM SX-F FACTORY EDITION. Riders have the choice of PRIME, allowing toggling levels of Traction Control, or ADVANCED settings, encompassing engine braking, throttle response, traction control, and launch control, along with the ability to engage the Quickshifter. Moreover, there are pre-configured presets tailored for specific tracks, including SAND, GRAVEL, HARD PACK, DRY, and WET parameters. This enables any rider to swiftly fine-tune the demands of a particular riding session or adjust for individual skill and fitness levels. Additionally, there is a default option to restore the engine mapping to its original state. I have included my favorite setting attached here. The best part of this whole CUO deal is that you can dial back your engine braking and it REALLY WORKS! It is an amazing feeling when you have a four stroke with minimal engine braking and it helps this new chassis even more. It frees up the suspension and makes the spool up (revving) even lighter/quicker.
Are you lost with your suspension settings? Choosing the SAG ASSISTANT or SUSPENSION SETTINGS tabs in KTMconnect allows for additional customization tailored to a rider’s weight, skill level, and specific track or weather conditions. By inputting weight and measurement data, the system generates recommendations for shock preload or spring rates. Furthermore, riders can receive guidance based on their skill level, categorized as BASIC, ADVANCED, or PRO, and specific advice for tracks with varying surfaces like SAND, SOFT, MEDIUM, and HARD. This feature provides comprehensive support for optimizing suspension settings based onindividual preferences and riding conditions.
LitPro: Another valuable collaboration with analysis experts LitPro enhances the RIDER feature on KTMconnect, leveraging the capabilities of the CUO. Through user-friendly software integrated into the app, RIDER not only dissects the motorcycle rider’s performance metrics on a lap-by-lap basis but also provides highly personalized insights for each session. Speed at a specific Point Top Speed Average Speed Acceleration Points Deceleration Points Lap 99 (theoretical fastest lap) Analysis Gear Position Engine RPM Throttle Position Water Temperature in Celsius Traction Control Map Selection Mode Heart Rate G-Force Jump Distance
Suspension: The new FE settings are not a huge improvement compared to the 2024 model but the new chassis really helps the contact feel on straight line. When you have longer ruts with bumps inside of them, the latest WP AER fork feels more planted, which is a good thing. I do think that the overall suspension spec is a little soft, but I would rather have it a little soft rather than too stiff. The overall balance of the bike is pretty good and there isn’t a lot of pitching even though the suspension spec is a little soft. I am not a complete hater on WP’s AER set up, as I have tried a re-valved AER fork recently that I was really impressed with so there is hope. The new chassis really helps my dislike of the AER fork, but nonetheless it isn’t the worst stock suspension I have tried recently. I ran my sag at 103mm and fork height at 5mm with great results. I also ran 10.8 bar in the fork during break in but am still playing around with fork/shock clickers. If you’re north of 180 pounds, you will want to run 10.9-11 bar and back off the compression a couple clicks to keep hold up on de-cel and jump faces. Out back I ran 102-104mm of sag and that kept the rear end from squatting too much out of these deep ruts on the east coast. I tried going in (stiffer) on high speed but so far have settled with stock high speed compression setting and higher on sag (102mm) to keep the rear end from feeling soft on heavy loads.
Is The 2024.5 450 Factory Edition Better? I feel like every time I answer these types of questions after my first impression I end up jumping the gun a bit and then I find some things that I don’t like about a certain new bike. Soooooooooooo… I am going to wait to answer that as a whole but I will say that this updated frame will give you a more compliant feel on the edge of tire and have a little more forgiveness on slap down landings. The engine is one of the best in class and to me the added pieces of the Akrapovic slip on muffler as well as the split clamps only helps this package as a whole (to make it easier to ride). I will be keeping this Factory Edition back east so I can dissect this machine in deep/rutty conditions. I am excited to give you a different perspective on some upcoming tests with the orange brigade FE so stay tuned to our website as well as my YouTube channel.
2024 KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION HIGHLIGHTS:
Exclusive Red Bull KTM Factory Racing graphics with
Orange Selle Dalla Valle seat.
Reworked frame delivers improved flex characteristics and shines in factory orange powder coating.
New radiator shrouds improve cooling and rider contact.
New CUO (Connectivity Unit Offroad) adjusts engine characteristics, assists suspension setup, and features LitPro functionality to provide key riding data.
New Dunlop GEOMAX MX34 tires.
Updated WP XACT fork and shock settings to improve bike balance and control.
Powerful 450 engine is light and compact and features a durable Hinson outer clutch cover.
Akrapovič Slip-On muffler improves low-end grunt while reducing weight thanks to a titanium construction.
Factory triple clamps anodized and adjust between 20 or 22 mm offset.
KTM Factory wheels featuring DID DirtStar rims laced to fully CNC-machined orange anodized hubs.
Factory holeshot device in the fork guards, carbon composite skid plate,
Gray ODI lock-on grips, and orange
Rear aluminum sprocket provide race-ready touches.
High-tech Brembo brakes combined with a semi-floating front disc, including a carbon composite brake disc guard.
Map select switch quickly sets Traction Control, Launch Control, Quickshifter, and selects between two maps.
Selectable Quickshifter function allows clutchless upshifts from 2nd to 5th gear..
Engine Type: Single Cylinder, 4-Stroke
Displacement: 449.9 cc
Bore / Stroke: 95 / 63.4 mm
Compression Ratio: 13.6:1
Starter/Battery: Electric Starter / 12.8V, 2Ah
Transmission: 5 Gears
Fuel System: Keihin EFI, 44 mm Throttle Body
Lubrication: Pressure lubrication with 2 oil pumps
Primary Ratio: 29:72
Final Drive: 13:51
Cooling: Liquid Cooling
Clutch: Wet Multi-Disc DDS-Clutch, Brembo Hydraulics
Ignition: Keihin EMS
Frame: Central Double-Cradle Type 25CrMo4 Steel
Sub Frame: Aluminum reinforced Polyamide
Handlebar: Neken, Aluminum Ø 28/22 mm
Front Suspension: WP XACT USD Fork, Ø 48 mm
Rear Suspension: WP XACT Monoshock with Linkage
Suspension Travel Front/Rear: 310 / 300 mm; 12.2 / 11.81 in
Front/Rear Brakes: Disc Brake 260 mm / 220 mm
Front/Rear Rims: 1.60 x 21'' / 2.15 x 19'' DID DirtStar
Front/Rear Tires: 80/100-21” / 120/80-19” Dunlop MX34
Chain: 520 Gold
Silencer: Akrapovič Slip-On Line
Steering Head Angle: 26.1º
Triple Clamp Offset: 22 mm
Wheelbase: 1,493 mm ± 10 mm / 58.7 ± 0.4 in
Ground Clearance: 343 mm / 13.5 in
Seat Height: 958 mm / 37.7 in
Tank Capacity, Approx: 7.2 L / 1.90 gal
Weight (without fuel), Approx: 103.9 kg / 229 lb