Testing the 2024 KTM 450SX-F Factory Edition on the Track

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KTM extended an invitation to us for a preview of the 2024 450SX-F Factory Edition at Glen Helen Raceway this week. Regrettably, upon our arrival, we encountered unexpected rain, but it seemed to be localized only at Glen Helen.

Undeterred, we decided to retrieve the bike and ventured into the hills for a private testing session. The Factory Edition, a tradition since 2012, provides early access to a bike that hasn’t yet reached full production.

KTM assured the importation of the minimum required units before spring to comply with the production rule, maintaining this tradition over the years, regardless of significant changes that could potentially violate AMA rules.

This year, notable modifications have been made to the frame, featuring reduced material around the steering head and shock tower. This departure from the AMA rules, which generally allow adding but not removing material from the frame, has been addressed with new engine hangars.

Testing the 2024 KTM 450SX-F Factory Edition on the Track
Testing the 2024 KTM 450SX-F Factory Edition on the Track (Credits: KTM Press Center)

The suspension has also undergone substantial changes, including a new linkage with a smaller pivot bolt, adjusted lever ratio, increased spring rate, and valving changes for both the shock and Xact air fork.

Unlike previous releases, this Factory Edition stands out with additional enhancements like an Akrapovic silencer, disc guard, glide plate, holeshot device, upgraded wheels, and new shrouds.

One significant update is the inclusion of an upgraded KTM Connect Bluetooth system. Originally introduced in the 2021 Factory Edition, this system has undergone substantial improvements.

With a sending unit on the fork tube and a GPS unit on the front fender, it retains engine tuning features such as engine braking, throttle response, traction control, and launch control.

Notably, it now integrates with a subscription LitPro service, adding a range of features for lap times, heart rate, and general training.

During our initial testing at Glen Helen, we focused on experiencing the new frame, with rider Sean Lipanovich providing valuable feedback. Lipanovich, having extensive testing experience with the 2023/2024 standard frame, noted immediate differences.

The new Factory Edition excels in turns similar to the current standard model, offering improved straight-line comfort, especially at lower speeds.

The updated frame reduces track feedback and minimizes motor pulsations and vibrations. Despite the change, the bike’s performance in big impacts and whoops remains consistent.

The article delves into the KTM Connect app’s extensive features, including the KTM LitPro service, providing detailed telemetry data integrated with the motorcycle.

The testing team plans to explore the app thoroughly in the upcoming full test, scheduled for the April 2024 print edition of Dirt Bike.

The article concludes with a mention of upcoming KTM tests, including a short comparison between the KTM 450XC-W and the lesser-known KTM 500XWF.

Details about the 53rd Virginia City GP scheduled for April 27th-28th are highlighted, emphasizing a Drawing Party on April 6th and new features for the 2024 event, including the use of the historic Virginia City Train Depot for the Vendor Area.

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By Annie Linardos

I'm a journalist student and completed my masters in Journalism and Mass Communication. With a strong track record as an intern at Mathrubhumi News and The New Indian Express as a reporter and content writer, I'm creative, motivated, and have a keen eye for the truth and attempting to use the expertise and talents to contribute to the emerging field of journalism. I have also been working as a freelance writer and have the capability of producing interesting and bold articles.

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