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2019 kTm 450 XC-F First impressions

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Hey guys just want to give a quick report and get some feedback after my first ride on the 2019 KTM 450 XC-F.

Positives:

-Love the brakes. 

-Love how light it is. 

-Very "positive" steering.  It goes exactly where you point it.

 

Now for the difficulties:

-WAY low on low end power (tried all the maps and have the black throttle cam installed)

-Runs hot and extremely lean (lots of decel popping)

-Vibration is very high. It's approaching pre 2017 2 stroke levels

-AER fork very stiff and non-compliant at 130 PSI (this may change after 10-15hr break-in as I observed on my 2018 300xc)

 

Would love to pick everyones brain on how to get more low end power.  This has to be an oversight on KTM's part.  It feels like a 250.

 

Bikes I've owned (or still own) in the last 12 months:

2018 KTM 300xc

2017 KTM 350xc-f

2017 Alta MX-R

2016 Yamaha YZ450FX

ktm450_right.jpg

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Sounds like it needs mapping

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Try doing a passive reset on your mapping just before riding for the day.

Basically start the bike and don't touch the throttle until you can barely touch the radiator tops with an ungloved hand.  It should take about 2-3 minutes.  Then, shut it off and let it cool for a few minutes before going riding.  

I bet that'll take care of most of the decel. popping and mapping issues.

As far as the AER fork is concerned, unless you're under 110 lbs you shouldn't be anywhere near 130 psi on those forks.  Call up KTM or your dealer and get the "Fork setting list" using your VIN number.  You should be at around +150 psi, with the clickers opened up to soften everything up.  Remember the air pressure is the "spring", and the clickers affect how fast that spring can act.

My '19 FS450 seems to have picked up low end grunt the more the motor has loosened up.  It's now at 6.7 hours.

Edited by zibbit u2

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I'll try the passive reset tomorrow.  Thanks.  Haven't heard about that one.

My experience with the AER48 on my 2018 300xc was that they were pretty harsh no matter what you did until they were broken in at around 10-15 hours.  Also using a zip tie on the fork leg to monitor travel and still have about another 1/3 travel to go at 130psi.  Again this was only single track that I was riding in.

Anyone care to share experiences with remapping?  In my research I've heard that Twisted Development has experience doing this...

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I have a 2016 YZ450FX and 19 450 XC-F too.  Power is much more mellow on the KTM and if I had just gotten on the bike and someone told me it was a 350, I would have believed it.  I'm using the map 2 with traction control on, and whatever throttle cam it came with.  It wakes up if I blast to wide open throttle, but it's still nothing like the FX.  I didn't change the fork clickers much, but I'm around 270lbs and 142 psi seems about right for me.   While sitting on the KTM while motor running, it seems like it vibrates less than the YZ.  However, a lot more vibration travels through the handlebars when riding; that's my biggest complaint.  Overall I'm pretty happy with it.  Also, it does run a lot hotter than the YZ.  I bought the KTM/Husky fan, and that really works good. 

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The power on the 450 SXF is deceptively smooth. It’s producing good tractable power but doesn’t have the grunt that many desire. My ECU was remapped by Twisted Development and I added a tooth to the rear. Now I can ride most tracks in 3/4 gear. The Twisted map won’t produce massive grunt off the bottom but more everywhere. I was happy with the results.

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The SXF/XCF bikes don't have grunt anymore. That went away in 2010.  You just have to ride it differently and use the clutch a lot more......like constantly, for me.

I had a 2017 450FX, and it was WAAAAAAAYYY more agressive in power, in all respects.....but it also wore you out very fast, no matter how you mapped it. The stiff frame compliance did not help either, that is why I sold it.

The Blais Racing map allows you to have a bit more grunt, but I added flywheel and clutch weights to give it better power deliver 'feel'.

The forks are pretty bad for trail riding. The bikes geometry is set up for throttle on most of the time. Any other kind of riding and you have to start modifying the suspension. 

The vibration varies widely from bike to bike. My '18 is not so bad. My friend's is terrible. 

If you have decel popping, it needs the passive re-set badly. I would also check the header / crush washer mounting for leaks.

When you do the passive reset, make sure you use NO throttle to start or idle, until it starts to puke coolant (190f water temp), then shut it off. 

I added a fan to mine, along with a 2.2bar cap, and no more issues, even doing nasty-clutchy single track in 100 degree weather.

 

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Did the passive reset.  Didn't seem to help my popping situation.

Sent the ECU off to Twisted Development today and going to order a 50t rear sprocket.  Also going to look into drilling holes in the airbox cover.

Will keep you posted.

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These bikes are smooth fast, not torque fast like Yamaha's. Adapt your riding style to that and I bet you'll be faster than anyone with their "explosive" bottom end power bikes...and you won't get tired. Blais Racing has the best map settings for these bikes, and also helps it run much cooler.

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Thanks for all the feedback.  I guess I like to ride lazy...lol.  Want to be able to easily pop the front wheel up around a blind corner in 2-3 gear to get over an obstacle.  The YZ just made that sooo effortless.

I got the ECU back today from Twisted Development.  Talk about service!  They turned it around same day.

Talk about a transformation!!! I haven't had it in the dirt yet but just up and down the street for a couple minutes I am very impressed. Popping is gone.  I can whack the throttle from idle and it doesn't cough and die.  LOTS more power throughout the entire range.  very happy customer so far.

Will keep you posted after a ride this weekend.

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I like the gray plastic...where did you get the graphics?

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Mapping never really helped my 18.5 450 factory edition get the snap or low end. The biggest low-end improvement was the throttle cam and adding two teeth to the rear sprocket. I also cut out that flap on the air box cover. Funny I rode it both with the air box cover on and off and couldn't feel a difference either way. This new covers come pre-drilled at the factory. Also I set my TPS to .62 volts. 

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