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Tested: 2020 KTM 250 SX

KTM 250 SX 95.7kg 42.6kg

KTM’s 250 SX continues to get developed every year. Unlike its enduro EXC sisters, it retains a carburettor. But everything else it is in line with the SX-F range. The 250SX’s motor has been designed for mass centralisation and has an anti-vibration countershaft.

As on the Husqvarna, the KTM 250SX runs reduced air pressure in the WP XACT 48 fork to adapt it to the bike’s lower weight.

Just as in the KTM 250SX-F, Lesiardo was happy with the settings but Dami found the bike a little stiff so reduced compression and rebound by a couple of clicks.


Motor oil: 0.8 litres
Oil change: after running in (5 hours) and then every 20 hours
Air filter cleaning: after every race, replaced when used in sand
Piston Replacement: every 20 hours
Valves: Check after the first 3 hours and then every 30 hours
Starter motor: N/A
Oil mix:60:1
Front: Dunlop Geomax MX3SF 80 / 100-21
Rear: Dunlop Geomax MX3S 110 / 90-19

What the testers said:

Morgan Lesiardo:

Obviously the KTM is largely the same as the Husqvarna TC250, but at the top end the power stretches a little more and the rear shock kicks a little more. Between the two I prefer the KTM, mainly as the suspension feels better than on the Husqvarna. However, I’d always prefer to work on suspension settings rather than having to work on an engine that doesn’t perform. However, this is not really the case with the 250SX, which has lots of power. The problem with two-stroke 250s is always trying to find traction, but on this track today there was no problem.

Stefano Dani:

Compared to the Yamaha YZ250, the KTM is a bit more difficult to ride and for me I never feel totally confident with the KTM’s front end. The engine is more abrupt compared to Yamaha’s smoothness, which makes it more difficult to ride. And when I started riding it, it seemed that the clutch slipped a bit. But I put the feeling down to that it just got less traction than both the four-stroke 250SX-F and the YZ250.

In terms of general handling I found it harder to get the best out of compared to the other two-strokes, especially on the wet ground. And even on jumps I did have to put more effort in to go fast.


The KTM 250SX is one bike that divided our testers: Morgan loved it madly, Stefano Dani found it less pleasing even compared to the very similar Husqvarna TC 250. He didn’t like the KTM’s suspension and more abrupt delivery. But it is undoubtedly a thoroughbred racing bike with a powerful engine and a very agile chassis.

It’s a great all-round performer, with a stunning amount of raw mid-range power. If you know how to get the best out of it, it’s an incredible bike.