Hey man, I had a quick question for you. I’m 22 and looking at getting back in the sport. I rode from the time I was about 3-13 but have been out of it for almost the last 10 years due to high school and college. Now that I’m graduated from college, I have the itch to ride more than I ever have. I’m looking into getting a new KTM 250 SXF next spring or summer. I think a 250 would be a better bike to relearn on than a 450 but I wanted the opinion of someone with a lot more knowledge than myself. I have a buddy that has a 2014 KTM 450 that I’ve ridden once. I did enjoy it, but had some wicked arm pump after only a couple laps. He thinks I’m better suited for a 450 because I’m 5’9” and 180 pounds. My thought is if I get a 250 and want the 450, I can always updgrade later. What’s your opinion on the situation? Sorry about the long message! Thanks for help!
I agree with you. A 250 is safer and will be more fun for you to get you re-acquatinted with than a 450. A new KTM or Yamaha is a great bike to re-learn on and are both reliable machines. Stoked you’re getting back into it and let me know what you get!
Yo Keefer, now your back from vacation I was curious about some new triple clamps for my bike? I was looking at the ride engineering ones but was confused by the offset. Can you explain what the offset is/does and if there is another brand you would suggest? Thanks dude! -Josh
Going be real honest with you here. If it was me I wouldn’t change the offset of the Honda myself. The standard offset is 22mm and that is a “happy” place for that chassis. The cliff note version is the offset predicts how close or far away your front wheel sets from you head tube. I can go into a lot more and talk about rake, trail, etc. but I will spare my fingers and your eyes.
Basically the Ride Engineering clamps (same rigidity as stock) are good clamps, but to me you don’t need clamps or a different offset on this bike. However, if you’re just looking for more bling to your bike, than yes, go with a 22mm offset. -KK
Kris, For my 14′ YZ250F. If i adj. high-speed compression stiffer by 1/4 turn. Should i slow down the rebound a little. If so, how much. Also I ride at Pala/Fox track often, I’m in my 50’s/ novice rider and would like to take a some riding lessons. Who would u recommend as a good teacher. Thanks for your time.-Mark
It depends on what you want from your rear end. If you stiffen high speed it is like bringing up your rear end a little. I would try doing this first and riding it then adjusting rebound as necessary. If you want everything to slow down in the back then yes going slower on the rebound is fine. Just know that going slower on rebound might negatively affect rear end traction on acceleration bumps.
As far as coaches, that is a hard one to pinpoint. I don’t trust a lot of people to teach me and there are a dime a dozen out there. Sean Lipanovich is a good one to look into. See if you can find his name around the web. Even though Ryan Hughes is a little kooky, I feel like he’s a good teacher as well.
Greetings from Ohio! Hope you are enjoying your vacation!
Wanted to get your insight into the 2019 CRF450R Works Edition. I bum rides on Drey’s 2017/18 CRF450R’s here in Ohio on a regular basis. The tracks I ride have a lot of clay content so soft and watered early but dry and concrete hard pack by 2pm and the 17/18 CRF450R chassis is STIFF for me (Drey is a tough guy). Is the 19 CRF450 chassis a noticeable difference and the direction of comfort/bump impact on hard pack and chop? How about the Works Edition suspension – the coatings reduce the friction enough to give a plush and more friction free feel on the little chop and braking bumps?
Next question is 2019 YZ250F: I just rode a new 2018 YZ250F and owned a 2016 YZ250F at the same time I owned a 2016 KTM 250 Factory Edition so I am familiar with those bikes. I am very interested in a 2019 YZ250F with all the updates (chassis and engine). Is the new stiffer chassis and stiffer suspension setting any worse for bump impacts on hard pack tracks? Has it lost any of that great KYB plush feeling?
Of course I listen to your podcasts and read your test reports – all are excellent. I just like direct communication!
I appreciate your insights! -Forrest
All reasonable questions..
Much like you I do not like the 2018 CRF450R chassis on dry, hard pack, square edge tracks. The 2019 is much better in those conditions and I am so excited for more people to see the difference. Is it as forgiving as a Kawasaki frame or KTM steel frame? No it’s not, but it’s much friendlier. To me the “WE” is a little firmer of a feel and I actually preferred the standard bike more than the “WE” for suspension comfort.
As far as the 2019 YZ250F it hasn’t lost any comfort and to me is actually better than the 18 on choppy tracks. The engine doesn’t have quite the low end on very low RPM’s like it once had, but is still better than the rest on bottom end power. The stiffer chassis makes the bike feel more balanced and less harsh on bigger bumps as well. The new blue bike is good. We (Honda) need to match them in performance soon!
Tell Drey “hey”, but I will probably see him this week anyway! You should get a couple Keefer Inc. t-shirts and make Drey jealous!
I want to start off with thank you for all the content you put out. It’s really helpful in a lot of different ways. But here is my question. I’ve listen to your gear reviews and bought some fly lite hygrogen gear. Gear fits and works amazing. So thank you for the recommendation. I also have recently bought some Thor prime and pulse air gear. After wearing both I’ve personally found I can grip the bike better and my knees stay more planted while wearing Thor. Am I crazy or does the different material around the knee make that much of a difference? Some background since you ask. I own a 2017 KTM 350 SXF and ride a mixture of woods and MX. Also Live in central Minnesota. If you have the time I’d like to hear your opinion. If not I understand your a busy guy. Again thank you for everything you do.
The leather on the Thor Prime is bigger so gripping is a little better. I understand that completely.
The Pulse has a grippier leather as well, but you’re right, but the FLY isn’t that far off. Pay attention to the yolk (butt area) of the Thor pants however because the FLY pant stays up better with the BOA reel and doesn’t slip when I seat bounce.
Kris – Thanks for another well done review. https://www.keeferinctesting.com/gear-2/2017/7/10/sidi-crossfire-3-sr-product-evaluation
I’m in a similar boat and share the same experience when considering the Crossfire 2’s and the review Left me with 2 question..
Are U still favoring the Tech 10?, and is your next go to boot the Crossfire 3?
Also read Your 17’ KTM 450 SXFFE & Cone Valve Fork/Trax Shock Review. Don’t recall if that was one or two reviews but pretty sure that combo is your go to. Mines pictured below. Re The CV and Trax… I agree… Best A kit on earth. Dunno if u’ve discovered better post article. I find it’s hard to express how much better than well tuned stock hardware they are. I can go on and on. I have two sets…one for MX, one for PNW Woods/Enduro. No more mystery suspension tuners. Steve Ross at Factory Connect is excellent to deal with. Currently I’ve put the enduros away, built myself a really decent Moto technical home track and am trying to reacquire some Mx skills, and get second nature on the 4stroke jump characteristics since all my Moto/Desert racing was on diff generation of Honda CR 500’s.
Missed the Cush of the flex bars on the enduros was getting numb hands with he stock SXFFE setup… Recently installed the NK SFS triple clamps. Planning on grabbing myself the 19’ SXFFE when it’s out.
During the SX season Im sure u notice the new Trax shock design on the Factory KTM and Husky bikes. Still not avail in a kit.
Keep up the great reviews and let me know if your in Seattle and have time for a grilled steak dinner and ice cold beers.
Thanks for the email.
I am still running Tech 10’s compared to Crossfire 3’s. I like the Tech 10 for a little more ankle protection and it just fits my fit slightly better. After Tech 10’s it would be a close second to a Crossfire 3 and SG-12. Those three boots all offer something great between protection and comfort.
You’re right I love the CV’s and Trax stuff! It balances the bike out so much better! You’re bike looks sweet!
Thanks for the email
Hey Kris, I just picked up this 2018.5 KTM 450 SX-F bike last week and was wondering what settings you recommend. I ride mostly motocross and am 41 years old 175 pounds. I prefer a softer setup lol. I’m coming off of an 18 YZ450f and have always been a Yamaha guy but wanted to try another brand for a few reasons. Hopefully I will fall in love with it because it’s expensive AF lol. Thanks! -Chris
Only thing I would watch out for is fuel filters. Keep a couple on hand.
Fork setting for me was pretty close to stock! I used 10.6-10.8 bars to start out with and stiffened compression a couple if I was at 10.6 bars. I went back and forth on rebound adjustment depending on track.
The shock I stuck with 105mm of sag and cranked the high speed compression in a quarter turn.
I changed out stock bar for a Pro Taper Husqvarna or Carmichael bend.
Use the black throttle cam and you’re set!! -KK