Dirt Rider - - Comparison -

I am very fa­mil­iar with all th­ese bikes. I rode the 450 first, and since I pre­fer a larger-size bike I im­me­di­ately be­came ac­cus­tomed to it. I am a smooth type of rider who likes to roll the throt­tle on cal­cu­lated com­ing out of cor­ners, and find­ing creative lines is key for me to go fast around the track. The KTM 450 SX-F lets me do this and agrees to my rid­ing style the best.

The 350 is a lit­tle more hy­per­ac­tive than I want out of a ma­chine but is still so much fun to ride. The track we tested on was faster with big­ger-size jumps, and the 350 had no prob­lem clear­ing them all. How­ever, I feel like I can’t lug the bike as much as I pre­fer, es­pe­cially when the track gets hard-packed and choppy. The more I rode the 350 like a 250, the bet­ter I felt my lap times were get­ting. I do like the free feel­ing of the en­gine and the lack of en­gine-brak­ing on the 350 the most, how­ever.

The 250 plain and sim­ple just doesn’t have enough power for me to take in­side lines and clear ob­sta­cles. In or­der to get over those ob­sta­cles I have to seat-bounce the jumps, and my back has too many miles on it to keep rid­ing like that. The 250 felt awe­some to lay into cor­ners, but com­ing out of them is where I felt it lacked the fun fac­tor for me.

—KRIS KEEFER 5’11”, 170 LB., PRO

Per­sonal Rank­ing: 1. 450, 2. 350, 3. 250 Ac­tual Lap Times: 1:54 (450), 1:57 (350), 2:02 (250)

“I would buy the 450 if I was 6 feet and weighed 180 pounds. With me be­ing a lit­tle out of shape and not able to mus­cle the more pow­er­ful bike around I feel like I get tired sooner.” —KELLY GELHAUS

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