2021 KTM 450 SX-F

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edited June 10 in Cars Motorcycles
2021 KTM 450 SX-F
2021 KTM 450 SX-F (KTM/)

Ups

  • Lightest in its class at 234 pounds fully fueled
  • Fast, yet easy-to-ride engine
  • Best brakes in class
  • Ever-improving suspension
  • ODI lock-on grips are a plus

Downs

  • Noticeable engine vibration
  • Wide Neken handlebar throws off otherwise comfortable rider triangle

Verdict

The KTM 450 SX-F receives praise in engine, suspension, ergonomics, and braking departments to make it a motocrosser worthy of its podium finish in the Dirt Rider comparison.

2021 KTM 450 SX-F
2021 KTM 450 SX-F (Jeff Allen/)

Overview

The 2021 KTM 450 SX-F continues to round out the podium in Dirt Rider’s 450 MX Comparison. The full-size motocrosser is admired for its torquey engine, neutral-handling chassis, light weight, and excellent brakes, all of which provide ample reason for it to place third in the DR comparison for the second consecutive year.

Updates for 2021

The 450 SX-F sees revised ECU mapping, updated and reworked front and rear suspension internals and settings, new Dunlop Geomax MX33 tires, a new hourmeter casing, and new graphics and color scheme for 2021. A notable addition to the Factory Edition model is the connectivity unit that comes standard and is integrated onto the new bar pad. This connectivity unit allows the rider to wirelessly tune the engine via the MyKTM smartphone app. Different Red Bull KTM Factory Racing graphics grace the bodywork of the Factory Edition.

Pricing and Variants

The 450 SX-F is available for an MSRP of $10,199 and the Factory Edition has an MSRP of $11,299.

The Factory Edition is fitted with a list of other features including: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing graphics kit, Akrapovič exhaust, orange anodized triple clamps, orange frame, orange rear sprocket, KTM Factory wheels, composite skid plate, semi-floating front disc with disc guard, Factory seat, holeshot device, Hinson Racing clutch cover, and the connectivity unit/MyKTM app connectivity as standard.

2021 KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition
2021 KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition (KTM/)

Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance

On our rear-wheel dyno, the KTM 450 SX-F produced 54.8 hp at 9,500 rpm and 34.6 pound-feet of torque at 7,400 rpm—impressive numbers to carry its light, CW-measured 234 pounds around the track.

In Dirt Rider’s extensive review, Andrew Oldar noted that the 450 SX-F has long, smooth, and predictable delivery and while it has a similar power curve to the CRF450R, the most powerful of the bunch, the KTM is slightly easier to control.

This powerplant not only appeals to vet and pro riders, but to amateurs as well with its strong engine and easy-to-ride mannerisms. A couple of downsides to the 450cc SOHC four-stroke would be that vibration is noticeable and the engine is not as lively as its competitors.

The Brembo hydraulic clutch system was also praised for having a touch more of an on-off feel compared to the others in its class.

2021 KTM 450 SX-F
2021 KTM 450 SX-F (Jeff Allen/)

Handling

Riders commended the 450 SX-F for its neutral handling and overall comfort. Comfort keeps on improving year after year due to the ever-updated suspension. With improvements made to the KTM’s WP suspension setup, the test riders had positive things to say about its suppleness, holdup, and ease of adjustability.

“The 450 SX-F initiates corners with ease and turns predictably,” Andrew Oldar said in the 450 Shootout. “While at speed, it holds a straight line and provides the rider with confidence.”

Brakes

When it comes to stopping power, the KTM 450 SX-F’s Brembo units are the best in the class.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

No miles per gallon is currently recorded. Its 1.8-gallon fuel tank is one of the largest in the class and is the same as the Husqvarna FC 450 and GasGas MC 450F. The rest of competition ranges from 1.6- to 1.7-gallon tanks.

2021 KTM 450 SX-F
2021 KTM 450 SX-F (KTM/)

Ergonomics: Comfort and Utility

At a measured 234 pounds, the 450 SX-F is the lightest in the class, though, on the track it doesn’t always feel that way due to its smooth power delivery and slightly heavier engine feel, DR reported.

The chassis is long and narrow, with a well-proportioned rider triangle. The wide Neken handlebar throws the ergonomics off slightly. Another notable comfort characteristic is that the SX-F is the second quietest in its class, being only slightly louder than the FC 450.

Electronics

The SX-F is equipped with traction control, launch control, and a handlebar-mounted map select switch.

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Like its Husqvarna equivalent, the 450 SX-F comes with a 30-day warranty.

Quality

With its neutral handling, mostly comfortable ergos, commendable engine, and top-of-the-line Brembo brakes, the SX-F has what it takes to be a podium finisher.

2021 KTM 450 SX-F
2021 KTM 450 SX-F (Jeff Allen/)

2021 KTM 450 SX-F Claimed Specifications


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MSRP: $10,199
Engine: 450cc, SOHC, liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
Bore x Stroke: 95.0 x 63.4mm
Transmission/Final Drive: 5-speed/chain
Fuel Delivery: Electronic fuel injection w/ 44mm throttle body
Clutch: Wet, multiplate; hydraulic actuation
Engine Management/Ignition: Keihin EMS
Frame: Steel central double cradle
Front Suspension: 48mm WP Xact fork, air pressure, compression, and rebound adjustable; 12.2 in. travel
Rear Suspension: WP Xact shock, fully adjustable; 11.8 in. travel
Front Brake: Brembo 2-piston caliper, 260mm disc
Rear Brake: Brembo 1-piston caliper, 220mm disc
Wheels, Front/Rear: Spoked wheels w/ Excel rims
Tires, Front/Rear: Dunlop Geomax MX33; 80/100-21 / 110/90-19
Rake/Trail: 26.1°/N/A
Wheelbase: 58.5 in.
Ground Clearance: 14.6 in.
Seat Height: 37.4 in.
Fuel Capacity: 1.8 gal.
Wet Weight: 222 lb. (w/ all fluids except fuel)
Contact: ktm.com

Cycle World Tested Specifications


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Seat Height: 37.6 in.
Wet Weight: 234 lb.
Rear-Wheel Horsepower: 54.8 hp @ 9,500 rpm
Rear-Wheel Torque: 34.6 lb.-ft. @ 7,400 rpm
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