Greatest Motocross Bike third Place—2023 KTM 450 SX-F

KTM’s motto is “Prepared To Race,” and that actually rings true. In comparison with sister manufacturers Husqvarna and GasGas, KTM’s full-size motocross bikes have probably the most breathable airboxes, which give them the sharpest energy supply of the three. Additionally, standard-height suspension with the firmest settings helps the orange machines go well with a variety of rider weights and ability ranges. The KTM will get the nod over its white and crimson Austrian counterparts within the 2023 450 Motocross Shootout rankings and is bested solely by two bikes from Japan, giving it the ultimate spot on the rostrum.

“I feel like I’m going fast on the 450 SX-F, but not compared to other bikes. I use far too much energy riding it.” <i>—Allan Brown</i>

“I really feel like I’m going quick on the 450 SX-F, however not in comparison with different bikes. I take advantage of far an excessive amount of vitality driving it.” <i>—Allan Brown</i> (Jeff Allen/)

2023 KTM 450 SX-F Engine

On the Grime Rider dyno, the 450 SX-F churned out 54.3 hp at 9,400 rpm and 33.8 lb.-ft. of torque at 7,000 rpm, putting it runner-up in peak horsepower and third in most torque. Regardless of its heavier-feeling engine character, the KTM has probably the most constant powerband from backside to high. Low-end is middle-of-the-road and enough for many, particularly within the harder-hitting map 2.

Associated: 2023 KTM 350 SX-F First Journey Evaluation

KTM is one of three manufacturers to introduce an all-new 450 motocross bike in 2023.

KTM is certainly one of three producers to introduce an all-new 450 motocross bike in 2023. (Jeff Allen/)

The well-rounded energy supply helps make it straightforward to trip for lengthy durations of time. With two maps, traction management, launch management, and a quickshifter, KTM shares a few of the greatest engine tunability within the class with Husqvarna. Similar to its Austrian relations, the 450 SX-F is spec’d with a Brembo hydraulic clutch, which gives a easy pull on the lever and is tremendous constant.

Orange makes the most horsepower and torque of all the bikes from 8,400 rpm to 9,500 rpm.

Orange makes probably the most horsepower and torque of all of the bikes from 8,400 rpm to 9,500 rpm. (Robert Martin Jr./)

2023 KTM 450 SX-F Suspension

Each the WP Xact 48mm air fork and WP Xact shock now function toolless clicker adjustability, which is a handy function for trackside tuning. Plus, the low- and high-speed compression adjusters on the shock physique are extra simply accessible than Husqvarna’s. With extra of a performance-based really feel, the KTM’s suspension rides in a better, plusher a part of the stroke than the Husqvarna’s as properly, which provides it extra general consolation for a wider vary of rider weights and ability ranges.

Associated: 2023 KTM 450 SX-F Manufacturing facility Version First Look

“I would like for low-end power to be improved as it’s a little soft, but the 450 SX-F seems to work best when ridden with precision and calmness.” <i>—Michael Wicker</i>

“I would really like for low-end energy to be improved because it’s just a little tender, however the 450 SX-F appears to work greatest when ridden with precision and tranquility.” <i>—Michael Wicker</i> (Jeff Allen/)

Fork bottoming resistance is excellent, however we’d gladly commerce a few of it to have the ability to use extra of the journey. The elements are balanced, however the shock is delicate to trip top. KTM’s suspension setup fits intermediate- to pro-level riders fairly properly, whereas nonetheless being a lot tunable for these of novice capacity.

“Getting the air fork to work great across the track is difficult. It seems to work in either big bumps or small ones, and not the other.” <i>—Tanner Basso</i>

“Getting the air fork to work nice throughout the observe is troublesome. It appears to work in both huge bumps or small ones, and never the opposite.” <i>—Tanner Basso</i> (Jeff Allen/)

2023 KTM 450 SX-F Chassis/Dealing with

With its full revamp, KTM’s 450 motocross bike gained 4 kilos over final 12 months for a measured moist weight of 239 kilos, nevertheless it’s nonetheless the second-lightest bike within the class behind the GasGas. Though it feels heavier than earlier than and isn’t as nimble, the 450 SX-F nonetheless handles fairly neutrally and is among the most secure. It doesn’t steer as precisely because the prior-generation mannequin, however nonetheless has the power to chop down in corners and alter path simply advantageous.

Associated: 2023 KTM 125 SX, 250 SX, and 300 SX First Journey Evaluation

Weighing in at 239 pounds wet on our automotive scales, the KTM remains second-lightest in the class.

Weighing in at 239 kilos moist on our automotive scales, the KTM stays second-lightest within the class. (Jeff Allen/)

Just like the Husqvarna, it boasts a cushty ergonomics package deal, apart from the handlebar and seat being just a little vast for some check riders’ liking. Brembo manufactures probably the most highly effective filth bike brakes available on the market, that are a standout function of the Austrian trio.

“The 450 SX-F is very predictable, especially in high-speed rough sections where it matters!” <i>—Cody Johnston</i>

“The 450 SX-F may be very predictable, particularly in high-speed tough sections the place it issues!” <i>—Cody Johnston</i> (Jeff Allen/)

Why the 2023 KTM 450 SX-F Ought to Have Gained

KTM’s new-generation flagship motocrosser is best in some methods and never nearly as good in others, so the 2023 platform may be seen as a lateral transfer within the grand scheme of issues. For a motorcycle that has a lot going for it to start with, that’s sufficient to maintain it on the shootout podium for yet one more 12 months.

“Where the KTM really shines is in flatter turns that require you to maintain as much traction as possible.” <i>—Michael Wicker</i>

“The place the KTM actually shines is in flatter turns that require you to take care of as a lot traction as attainable.” <i>—Michael Wicker</i> (Jeff Allen/)

Why the 2023 KTM 450 SX-F 450 Didn’t Win

In comparison with the highest two finishers, it isn’t as agile, lacks some suspension plushness, and doesn’t have as a lot consolation within the chassis.


Helmet: Arai VX-Pro4

Goggle: Fox Racing Vue

Jersey: Fox Racing Airline

Gloves: Fox Racing Airline

Knee Braces: Alpinestars Bionic-7

Pants: Fox Racing Airline

Boots: Fox Racing Intuition

Quantity Plate Backgrounds: DeCal Works preprinted

2023 KTM 450 SX-F Specs

MSRP: $10,899
Engine: SOHC, liquid-cooled single-cylinder
Displacement: 450cc
Bore x Stroke: 95.0 x 63.4mm
Compression Ratio: 13.1:1
Transmission/Closing Drive: 5-speed/chain
Grime Rider Measured Horsepower: 54.3 hp @ 9,400 rpm
Grime Rider Measured Torque: 33.8 lb.-ft. @ 7,000 rpm
Gas System: EFI w/ 44mm throttle physique
Clutch: Moist, multiplate Damped Diaphragm Metal (DDS); hydraulic actuation
Body: Central double-cradle chromoly metal
Entrance Suspension: WP Xact 48mm fork, air strain, compression damping, and rebound damping adjustable; 12.2 in. journey
Rear Suspension: WP Xact shock, spring preload, high-/low-speed compression damping, and rebound damping adjustable; 11.8 in. journey
Entrance Brake: Brembo 2-piston caliper, 260mm disc
Rear Brake: Brembo 1-piston caliper, 220mm disc
Tires, Entrance/Rear: Dunlop Geomax MX33; 80/100-21 / 120/80-19
Rake/Path: 26.1°/NA
Wheelbase: 58.7 in.
Floor Clearance: 13.5 in.
Grime Rider Measured Seat Peak: 38.0 in.
Gas Capability: 1.9 gal.
Grime Rider Measured Moist Weight: 239 lb.
Availability: Now