Need advice... My first four stroke and first KTM... a 450 SX-F Anything I should know?

Guys, I need help.  I just moved to the L.A. area of California from the midwest.  I'm getting back into riding after a 7 year hiatus.  I've had a dozen 250 two strokes, and one Gas Gas 300 EC in my lifetime.  I'm an average rider.  6'1 and 220lbs.  I just bought a 2011 KTM 450 SX-F that has maybe 30 hours on it since new.  It's super clean and I absolutely love the powerband.  However, I know next to nothing about four strokes or KTM's.  Before I go riding what do I need to do to it, check, or know?  I plan on keeping this thing for years.

Thanks for your help in advance. 

Use good oil, clean air filter that is mounted properly and you're good.

Maybe It goes without saying but I would check all the bolts tight. I bought a used bike last year and the front axle was barely hand tight. Definitely check the air filter too.

I just got back into riding like you. I wasn't lucky enough to get away from the Midwest though. Enjoy the ride and better weather

Depending on the oil you use change it every 2 to 3 rides and keep the air filter clean. Ride on.

Thanks guys for the advice.  Sounds like they are pretty solid machines.  I plan on changing all fluids, bleeding the brakes, and greasing anything and everything possible.  Any advice on tire pressure and suspension set up for single track in soft to intermediate terrain?  It's a motocross bike, but has had suspension work done by Race Tech for a 175lb rider.  I'm 220lb.  I'm still losing weight, but feel 205-210 will be my lowest weight.  I'm 6'1 and have a big build naturally.  I want the suspension to be plush, but wonder if springs for a 175lb might be too soft for trail riding.  I never did understand suspensions set up.  I would turn the clicks on compression until I liked it, but on rebound I didn't have a clue.

Any advice?

You should spring lighter for woods so it may just work ok

I have a 2010 which is kinda the same bike without linkage............and check your sprocket bolts! it cost me a wheel last weekend.....oil changes, fresh filters....haven't had any other problems......

I just got back into it too.  I  rode 2t 250s for years, but quit when my daughter was born in '03.  Now that my son is actually old enough to ride (daughter isn't interested) I recently got him a 2014 TT-R110 and myself an '04 450SX and we're back at it.


I'm slowly making my way through ALL the recommended maintenance in the service manual, because I don't know what was done before I bought it.  I clean the air filter every couple rides, make sure it's got oil in it, check the bolt tightness, keep the tire pressure at 14psi, and clean it.  Other than some basic maintenance when I first bought it (wouldn't start when warm) that's about all I do. 


I checked the sag on my suspension and it was within the tolerances listed in the service manual.  My thoughts on the suspension are that unless it's really uncomfortable or you're bottoming out all the time, It probably doesn't need much adjustment.  I'm 6'2" and about the same weight as you, and the factory suspension settings and the springs it came with seem sufficient for me. 

Thanks guys.  I'm going to check all the bolts, the sag, tire pressure, and go ride it.  September 1st is opening day here in Cali!

An hour meter helps for maintenance intervals. Also, I always have 3 air per bike. Always have one ready and just clean them all at once. I have 2 strokes and 4 strokes. Take care of your 4 stroke and it will take care of you. Maybe an initial valve check. It's like putting a new top end on a used 2 stroke right off the bat

BTW, I meant 3 air filters per bike, lol

BTW, I meant 3 air filters per bike, lol

Great advice guys.  I checked the RaceTech website and typed in my style of riding, weight, age, experience, etc.  It told me that the stock springs are perfect for my much heavier weight.  I guess since I'm not jumping very far it works fine. I'm pumped I don't have to spend any more money.  I had to buy everything from scratch, from trailer to riding gear, to oils, tools etc.  It's been a costly couple months but I couldn't be happier.

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