USED BIKE: 2016 – 2019 KTM 450 SX-F | Used Bikes
Once upon a time, the KTM 450 SX-F was a blister-tearing, arm stretcher but KTM has done very well over the years to tame it and make it more rideable. Don’t take that the wrong way, it is not slower.
It is just more forgiving and much easier for an intermediate rider to handle than it was. There is still enough torque and horsepower to impress even the pickiest professional riders.
The suspension is set up to race. It can be a little on the hard side for a novice or recreational rider but the intent of these bikes is to go racing at a high level so if you’re buying one to putt around a paddock then I’m afraid you’re taking it out of its comfort zone. It would be like buying a Ferrari to herd sheep.
Mechanically, the KTMs are more reliable than they were and just as trouble-free as any other brand. In the past, European bikes were known to be unreliable and this misconception seems to have stuck with Kato over the years, with a certain crowd of haters trying to keep the rumor alive.
These guys are usually people who have never ridden one or had a mate that owned one back in the ’90s. You won’t find many guys riding around on a current KTM SX-F and complaining about it.
Unfortunately what is true is that parts are more expensive, especially if you need to dive into stuff like gearbox components, clutches or crankshafts. Even after-market companies put the prices up on their parts for KTMs, just because the genuine options are far more expensive.
Of course this is not the case with every single genuine or after-market part, but it is the case with many. I’ve had several diehard KTM fans over the years try and challenge my view on this and I have been happy to prove them wrong. I have even had to prove my point to a few KTM dealers who thought I was making it up.
In its defense, KTM doesn’t make low-quality parts for its motorcycles so if you want to replace anything then you will need to pay for the quality. So if you don’t want to be spending a fortune on new bits as soon as you’ve bought a second-hand KTM 450 SX-F there’s a few things to look out for.
Make sure the bike starts easily and idles well, without blowing smoke or any rattles. The engines are strong but the piston and rings do wear out from time to time, causing low compression and smoky exhaust fumes.
Check all the frame and wheel bearings, especially the swingarm ones. Ride the bike and make sure the clutch is not slipping and the bike selects all cogs smoothly, without jumping out of gear. A transmission issue can be rather costly. Technical Editor Mat Boyd
KTM 450 SX-F Price Guide – prices from redbook.com.au
2016 $6800 – $8100
2017 $7600 – $9000
2018 $8550 – $10,150
2019 $9150 – $10,900