2018 KTM 250SXF Reliability?

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3/21/2021 8:04 PM

Hey guys, I have a 2019 YZ250F at the moment and really struggle with the handling on it. I've gotten my suspension done and still have trouble with the cornering and how heavy the bike feels for me, since I'm only 5'7 and 145 pounds.

I know the KTM's are lighter and I've considered getting one. Someone I know of is selling a clean 2018 with 19 hours for $5900. Is this a good price point? Are the KTM's known to handle better, even with the air forks? And how reliable are the 2018s?

Hopefully some guys that have rode both Yamahas and KTMs can chime in.



3/22/2021 5:42 AM

I had a 2016 YZ250F and now have a 2018 250SXF - and I much prefer the KTM. It feels smaller, more compact, lighter, and more nimble - almost like an 85 - and I like that feeling (some don't, I know). The Yamaha seemed like it was ten feet long to me, so it had to go. Not that I wasn't as fast on it, I just wasn't having nearly as much fun. Both bikes were/are completely reliable, but then, I'm not the kind to bang off the rev-limiter, either. I try my level-best to ride in the same way legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden taught his players to play, which was, "Be quick, but don't hurry." If that sounds like how you ride as well, the pumpkin will suit you perfectly.

Hope that helps.


3/22/2021 6:02 AM

If properly maintained, all modern bikes are reliable. Have you considered a 125? Based on what you’re looking for, that might be the hot ticket.


3/22/2021 6:04 AM

Silas444 wrote:

I had a 2016 YZ250F and now have a 2018 250SXF - and I much prefer the KTM. It feels smaller, more compact, lighter, and more ...more

Thanks for the reply.

I feel like I would benefit from a smaller feeling bike. The yamaha just feels huge to me when I'm riding it. It's almost impossible for me to be smooth on it and I feel like I'm always trying to muscle the bike around to get it to do what I need it to do, instead of just flowing.


3/22/2021 6:05 AM

quadzrulebro wrote:

If properly maintained, all modern bikes are reliable. Have you considered a 125? Based on what you’re looking for, that might ...more

The funny thing is that I rode 125s from since I started a few years ago, so that's the weight that I'm used to. I thought about going back to one but I like a 250F better! 125s are super fun though!


3/22/2021 6:28 AM

My son went from a '17 YZ250 to an '18 KTM 250 SXF back in '18 and has been on KTM's ever since. My son rev's the bike out and the KTM's are known for their top end so he just likes the engine and the pull a lot better. That bike was a great bike. Had a 100 hours on it when I sold it without any problems. Kept the air filter clean, the oil changed and did a top end at around 50 hours. I looked into having the bottom end done before I sold it and the dealer told me we didn't have to. So I asked some other mechanics and they told me the same thing. Didn't have to worry about the bottom end on these bikes. I sold that bike over a year ago and the kid who bought it said it's still going strong.


3/22/2021 6:41 AM

One other thing I'll add: Normally I only keep a new bike around for a year, as I usually want something new and I usually get it. My '18 experience has been completely different, as I have no interest in selling it. I've ridden newer bikes and the '18 is just..... well, I think it's a bit of a unicorn. That frame is so spot-on, and the engine is amazing when revved high. It's just a BEAST up there. I've had more than one guy I race with just assume I was on a 350. The AER forks are good, but a bit needy.

I've got my suspension packed up and about to be shipped off to MX-Tech for a shock revalve and "Lucky Carbon" fork treatment, with my intention being that I'll keep the bike NEXT YEAR as well. I have never in my life kept a modern bike that long.

They're all good nowadays, yes, but they're not all equal.


3/22/2021 7:00 AM

Theyre good till the forks snap off w00t


3/22/2021 10:09 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/22/2021 4:22 PM

Yes, KTMs are very reliable compared to what's written in the owners manual or compared to other brands. A lot of that can be thrown off by poor maintenance or too many hours.

Most people should be overwhelmingly happy with 75 hours before engine work on a modern 250F, yet they expect them to run 200 hours when that's just unrealistic ...

My best advice is to ask your friend for a ride of his KTM before you buy it. I love riding other peoples bikes, and am pretty unashamed to ask for a couple of laps. That's the best way to know if you prefer it and I would definitely have no qualms about asking for a ride if you're serious about buying it.


KTM250SX YZ125 YZ85 PW80 ZX6 FZX700

3/22/2021 10:26 AM

Ride it a year, and if you like it but a new one in a year. you aren’t taking a huge risk at that price and hours. If you decide you have to have a spring fork you can carry it over when you buy a new bike every year.


4/5/2021 9:04 AM

I figured I would give an update. I sold my Yamaha and bought the 18 250sxf on Saturday. I got a couple practices on a rutty track and the bike handles amazing compared to my Yamaha. I felt comfortable right away and was already faster in a couple sections than I was before.

Thanks to everyone for the replies, I'm glad I bought one.