Inside The 2018 KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition

Every year one of the most eagerly anticipated motocross motorcycles is the Factory Edition of the KTM 450 SX-F. KTM delays the release of the Factory Edition until the last moment—just a month ahead of Anaheim 1—so the bike can get the benefit of additional months of R&D.

Ready for Supercross and Motocross, the 2018 KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition does not disappoint. Let’s look at what KTM did to the 450 SX-F to create the Factory Edition that will be campaigned by Marvin Musquin, Broc Tickle, Blake Baggett, Benny Bloss, and others.

2018 KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition horsepower1. The motor is significantly updated from the standard 2018 KTM 450 SX-F. The changes are not minor—the top end is completely different—it’s shorter and has more direct flow into and out of the combustion chamber. The transmission is also beefed up and made by Pankl, a company owned by the same holding company that owns KTM. Also, the clutch is now a DDS (Damped Diaphragm Steel) design that eschews traditional coil springs.

2. The exhaust is also changed to complement the different power characteristics. The muffler is shorter to reduce weight far from the center of gravity. The header pipe gets a new resonance chamber. For easier maintenance, it is no longer necessary to remove the shock to detach the header from the motorcycle.

3. The 2018 KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition gets an improved front end. In addition to new settings for WP suspension, the Factory Edition has a more robust triple clamp and a change in frame rigidity. The front disc is floating, rather than having a fixed mounting, and has a guard.

4. The bodywork and seat are changed. The bodywork makes it easier to move around on the Factory Edition, while the Factory ribbed seat features a Selle Dalla Valle logo. The bodywork also gets Red Bull KTM Factory Racing graphics. Underneath the seat is a longer subframe to stiffen the rear of the motorcycle.

2018 KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition for sale5. The clutch cover is from Hinson Racing. Not just a cosmetic change, Hinson Racing claims the billet aluminum cover improves heat dissipation, is stronger than the KTM cover, hard-coated to reduce boot wear, and machined to more precise tolerances.

6. The wheels are stronger. Professional supercross and motocross racers pound wheels hard, and the 2018 KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition gets highly regarded D.I.D. DirtStar rims. There is also an additional five millimeters of rear wheel adjustment.

7. A composite skid plate protects the 2018 KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition engine. It also makes the bike slipperier over obstacles, and when coming up short on double and triple jumps.

2018 KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition price8. Orange is the new orange. The Factory Edition gets orange applied to the triple clamps and rear sprocket.

9. The price of the 2018 KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition has not yet been set.

Outdoor photography by Simon Cudby. Indoor photography by Don Williams.

2018 KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition Specs
ENGINE
Type: Single cylinder four-stroke
Displacement: 450cc
Bore x stroke: 94 x 63.4mm
Compression ratio: 12.75:1
Valve train: SOHC; four valves
Fueling: 44mm Keihin throttle body
Ignition: Keihin EMS
Starting: Electric w/ 12.8-volt, 2 Ah lithium-ion battery
Lubrication: Pressurized w/ two pumps
Transmission: 5-speed
Clutch: Web multi-disc DDS w/ Brembo hydraulics
CHASSIS
Frame: Central double-cradle chromoly
Subframe: Aluminum
Front suspension: Fully adjustable inverted WP AER 48 fork; 12.2 inches
Rear suspension: Linkage-assisted fully adjustable WP shock; 11.8 inches
Front wheel: 1.60 x 21″; D.I.D. DirtStar
Rear wheel: 2.15 x 19″; D.I.D. DirtStar
Front tire: 80/100 x 21; Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Rear tire: 120/90 x 19; Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Front brake: 260mm floating disc w/ Brembo hydraulics
Rear brake: 220mm fixed disc w/ Brembo hydraulics
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
Wheelbase: 58.5 inches
Rake: 26.1 degrees
Seat height: 37.4 inches
Ground clearance: 14.8 inches
Fuel capacity: 1.85 gallons
Wet weight (no fuel): 222 pounds
2018 KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition Price: $TBA MSRP

2018 KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition Photo Gallery