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Tested: 2020 KTM KTM 250 SX-F

KTM 250 SX-F 99.4kg 39.9 bhp

The KTM is one of the reasons behind Jorge Prado’s almost unbeaten run in the MX2 world championship. The engine drives hard everywhere and its precision is beyond reproach. For 2020, the KTM 250SX-F is largely unchanged, but the bike is machine all others have to match up to with its advanced and compact dohc motor, a resonator integrated in the exhaust pipe, light WP air suspension and sophisticated electronics.

The WP XACT 48mm air fork is right in the ballpark, although one tester reduced air pressure and compression damping to make it less of a jolt on the arms. Both loved the rear WP XACT shock which soaked up the bumps without bottoming and gave excellent traction.


Motor oil: 1.0 litre
Oil and filter replacement: after break-in (3 hours) then every 10 hours
Air filter cleaning: after every race, replaced when used in sand
Piston Replacement: every 50 hours
Valves: Check after the first 3 hours and then every 30 hours
Starter motor: No maintenance required
Front: Dunlop Geomax MX3SF 80 / 100-21
Rear: Dunlop Geomax MX3S 110 / 90-19

What the testers said:

Morgan Lesiardo:

It’s a great bike everywhere –  the most complete bike you can buy. It is fast and easy to ride. Its biggest strength is the engine, with power and torque that that allows you to pull a higher gear when you want to go really fast.

Off the start gate, the KTM has a clear advantage in the combination of engine strength, power delivery and electronics.

The only slight flaw is in the initial feeling. As soon as you climb on it seems a bit stiff, and the instant throttle response can catch you off guard. But get used to it and its awesome.

Stefano Dani:

This has my favourite 250F engine, even more explosive than the Husqvarna FC250. On a track like this where you have lots of stop-start corners, it helps a lot. The KTM really has a lot of power right through the whole rev range, and gets excellent traction. I also like the suspension. I didn’t have to stiffen it like I did with the Husqvarna.

There is a big difference between the map settings and both the launch and the traction control work well, without cutting too much power. This year I found the bike even more well sorted. It’s really a great package.


It’s hard to find anything bad to say about the KTM 250SX-F. The other manufacturers envy the engine that no one has been able to beat for years. The intensive development carried out in the factory at Mattighofen has produced a bike that is cutting-edge in all aspects, from the chassis to electronics, and it all works so well together.

The scores speak for themselves, with big numbers for the engine and power. Only the suspension is not the best, mainly down to personal taste. But again the KTM sits at the top of the MX2 heap.