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2012 KTM 250SX Issues

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I have a 2012 250SX and am having some issues with the top end. Basically they have only been lasting me 5 hours or so. I am on my 4th top end now. After the 2nd time it went, I switched to the 300 kit but still getting the same results. I have noticed that pretty much every time I change my air filter I have a noticeable amount of dirt in the air box. The main tracks I ride on are sand but I take 4 air filters to the track with me and change after almost every moto, which I have never had to do on any other bike (I rode CRF450s for about 4 years before I switched). I even switched to a Loudmouth air intake but still get dirt in the air box. I love the bike but the lack of reliability has me at the end of the line with it. I shouldn't have had to spend the amount of money that I have on this bike for the amount of riding I have done.

Has anyone else had any issues like this? Anyone out there have any experience with the 2012 350 or 450 SX-F, are they reliable bikes? There are some brand new 2012's around for a decent price right now and I've been thinking about making the switch back to a thumper.

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I have a 2012 250SX and am having some issues with the top end. Basically they have only been lasting me 5 hours or so. I am on my 4th top end now. After the 2nd time it went, I switched to the 300 kit but still getting the same results. I have noticed that pretty much every time I change my air filter I have a noticeable amount of dirt in the air box. The main tracks I ride on are sand but I take 4 air filters to the track with me and change after almost every moto, which I have never had to do on any other bike (I rode CRF450s for about 4 years before I switched). I even switched to a Loudmouth air intake but still get dirt in the air box. I love the bike but the lack of reliability has me at the end of the line with it. I shouldn't have had to spend the amount of money that I have on this bike for the amount of riding I have done.

Has anyone else had any issues like this? Anyone out there have any experience with the 2012 350 or 450 SX-F, are they reliable bikes? There are some brand new 2012's around for a decent price right now and I've been thinking about making the switch back to a thumper.

i have a 2012 ktm 250 xc 2t and i just changed the top end it lasted me 70hrs of woods racing. I also have a 2013 350 sxf and it has almost 10hrs on it and i have no problem out of it once so ever. It runs and does everything perfect.

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You shouldn't be getting ANY amount of dirt past your air filter. Are you cleaning properly and applying enough air filter oil? Another thing might be your not seating the air filter all the way. I know on my '10 250sx you can fit the air filter cage and it seems to be in but it's not actually seated all the way. Gotta watch that.

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My 2011 250 XC went three years of racing and riding before it needed the cylinder replated. Lucas at 32:1

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May sound dumb, but are you sure you are installing your air filter correctly? It is fairly easy to get it in wrong, but look correct. You should not be getting any dirt past your air filter. Mine will be filthy in the outer part of the box, but clean as a whistle after the filter.

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I have a 2012 250SX and am having some issues with the top end. Basically they have only been lasting me 5 hours or so. I am on my 4th top end now. After the 2nd time it went, I switched to the 300 kit but still getting the same results. I have noticed that pretty much every time I change my air filter I have a noticeable amount of dirt in the air box. The main tracks I ride on are sand but I take 4 air filters to the track with me and change after almost every moto, which I have never had to do on any other bike

It sounds to me that you have either a manufacturing defect (Unlikely) or a user maintenance issue (Likely). The KTM 250 engine is known to be very reliable, otherwise you would hear about this all the time nor would KTM sellout year after year. If you are seeing dirt within the airboot, then there lies the likely problem. Seating the KTM filter cage properly is a skill and it needs to be checked and verified by running your fingers around the cage to make sure it snap in tight. I've seen where the inside rim of the airboot pushed inwards and makes getting the cage to seat properly difficult. There is no real need to change filters during the ride if you are doing everything right. Good luck, hunt down the problem.

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I have been using a Loudmouth air intake and they are pretty hard to mess up. Even with the stock filter cage I always made sure it was sealed up properly and would still get sand behind the filter. I did have one time where the filter wasn't seated right but since then I have been triple checking to make sure it is on correctly. I have been using Amsoil synthetic oil mixed at 60:1.

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Well frankly getting dirty past your filter isn't the engines fault. So you can't blame the engine like it's UN reliable the when you know the dirt is the cause. No engine will last that way. I'd say if you are certain you are getting it seated properly then take off the box and start looking at any seams, corners etc that could give you a leak. Good luck and let us know what you find. Even if it's a dumby attack.

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There is no real need to change filters during the ride if you are doing everything right. Good luck, hunt down the problem.

filters.jpg

I appreciate the feedback. Here is a picture of my filters after my last race weekend. You're telling me that I don't need to change those? The one on the left isn't too bad, that is the last one I used that weekend but the other two are pretty bad. The filters still get just as dirty, sometimes worse, practicing too.

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filters.jpg

I appreciate the feedback. Here is a picture of my filters after my last race weekend. You're telling me that I don't need to change those? The one on the left isn't too bad, that is the last one I used that weekend but the other two are pretty bad. The filters still get just as dirty, sometimes worse, practicing too.

I am, that looks normal and it's certainly not the cause of why dirt is getting into the engine. The filter is certainly doing its job and it should be super dirty, and unless its super packed your bike is still getting enough airflow and generating most if not all of its power. Sure, if you we're racing pro nationals you would probably change them between each moto, but for normal hacks changing after each day of riding it enough. While I change me filter after each ride in "most" cases, we all know people that go much longer between filter changes without the problems you are having. On a couple of occasions, I've ridden my 250sx for a weekend on a track that has super silty and sticky dirt and my filters looked 5x worse than that, yet no dirt was ever evident in my airboot. Like thumpinyami59 said, inspect carefully...you found the evidence, now find the cause.

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September 2012, that's when I put the 300 kit on too. I would say I put 5 to 10 hours on the bike with racing and practice since then and I just did the top end again two weeks ago, the piston had two cracks in it.

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You must have a leak somewhere between your air box to carb ... there is no way dirt should be getting past (and this comes from a guy who hates the KTM flimsy setup air filter). Especially since you have changed it to a more reliable sealing type (the loudmouth)

Are you using lots of sealing grease around the edges of the filter ? I use a lot of sealing grease and often find dirt around the edges of the filter .. but the grease stops it in its path. Not sure if the Loudmouth design needs it though.

The CRF design, while a PIA to change, used to let me sleep at night knowing it was sealed. The KTM quick change gimmick ... not so much. I hate it, others rave about it because it saves you 5 seconds during filter changes ... yeah ... ok 🙄

Good luck in sorting it out .. but you have something else going on. 👍

Edited by supervokes

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Thanks supervokes.

I haven't been using grease with the loudmouth system, but I was with the stock filter cage and would still notice dirt getting through at the bottom left corner. I can't say I am sold on the KTM air box setup, it is quick to change filters but to me it just seems so open and dirt can get in a lot easier than other bikes. I had 06, 07 and 09 Honda 450s before this bike and and never had dirt getting past the filter.

Also to everyone who is saying that it is user error, I am very careful with my bike maintenance and make sure everything is good so we can take that off the table.

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Ok now you know dirt is coming through the bottom left corner. Figure out how to stop the dirt from passing there.

I have a 2012 250xc and the filter is a pain in the butt to seal, but I've never had dirt past my air filter.

Is the boot installed on the Carb correctly? Maybe its tweaked causing a weird distortion on the sealing rim of the boot.

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But the dirt was only coming through that corner with the stock cage and filter. With the loudmouth it doesn't come through the same spot but dirt still gets through somewhere. The carb boot is installed correctly, it doesn't look distorted or anything.

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The flange for the airfilter is riveted to the airbox. Have pulled your airbox off completely and inspected this flange? Or maybe your shock spring wore a hole through the airboot.....

Are you sure the cage or loudmouth system isn't warped?

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I just put a new airbox and side number plates on the bike last night (getting ready to sell), the flange isn't riveted, I just popped it out and back in to the new air box. I know the loudmouth isn't warped, I checked it last night, I would have to look closer at the stock cage but it looks fine.

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You can probably run your bike without an air filter and still get more than 5 hours on the top end in most dry conditions! There's a certain metallurgy involved that says air filtration alone cannot be the only reason for only 5 hours on your top end even if you're riding in diamond dust. I also own a 2012 250SX and have had no top end issues for over 80 hours riding in the Nevada desert which is some of the most brutal terrain in the USA in terms of dust and contaminants. From the pictures of your air filters they are doing their job! If your top ends are only lasting 5 hours I would be on the phone to KTM especially after the 300 conversion.

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