Factory team racers are the envy of every motocross rider in the world. Because they get the good stuff – works bikes. In the past, only the elite of the elite have been able to get their hands on the few that are ever available, but not anymore. Now anyone – even a novice – can own one if you’re lucky enough to find one and are willing to cough up the $9899 KTM wants for its latest 450 SX-F Factory Edition (“FE”). Lucky in that KTM is again only offering just a small handful (699) FE models in the United States, so getting your hands on one might be a little tricky. Sure, $9899 is a lot of money for a motocross bike but being able to purchase what is essentially the same bike that the factory KTM riders are riding for under $10,000 isn’t too bad, really.
The KTMs that are currently being ridden by Factory Red Bull KTM Team’s Ryan Dungey and Ken Roczen, Rockstar Energy Team’s Davi Millsaps and Ivan Tedesco, and BTO Motorsport.com’s Andrew Short and Matt Goerke, started out as production 2014 Factory Edition production bikes, just like the ones now being offered to you. Everyone else on the circuit right now is riding the “standard” 450 SX-F ($8999 MSRP).
The latest Factory Edition is actually the third generation FE 450 from KTM. The first was the Factory Edition “Dungey Replica,” a bike that KTM pretty much was forced into producing in order to comply with the AMA’s homologation rule after having lured Ryan Dungey away from Suzuki and signing him to its factory race team at the end of the 2011 season. Part of the deal between Dungey and KTM was to have a fuel-injected 450 SX-F in Dungey’s hands at the start of the 2012 season. At his signing, however, KTM did not have a fuel-injected SX-F 450 in its 2012 production lineup, but the company was planning on having one in its arsenal for the following model year (2013), but that would be too late for Dungey, so KTM had to speed things up a bit to conform to the homologation rule.
It all ended up being a win-win situation for both Dungey and us, because the result a few months later was the early release of the production 2012½ Limited Edition “Dungey Replica” 450 SX-F production bike, complete with fuel-injection and Dungey-replica graphics that included his familiar number-five attached to the sides. KTM built the minimum 400 of these Dungey Replica units to meet the homologation requirements.
Turns out, the Dungey Replica worked well. KTM (it was able to give its factory team rider(s) the latest possible equipment for the start of the racing season and us a pretty cool bike a few months later) and the company returned with a similar Factory Edition program the following year (2013), again offering limited edition Dungey Replica models that, just like the year before, sold out right away. This year, the Factory Edition is back but without the fives on the bike. KTM no longer refers to the Factory Edition as “Dungey Replica,” just Factory Edition. Perhaps this has something to do with the team now having two 450 factory riders under its canopy. The new FE, however, still shares the factory race team graphics, sponsor logos and coloring, including an orange powder-coated frame and anodized sprocket, gold-anodized triple-clamps, blue seat cover and black rims. KTM has boosted production of the latest FE to around 900 units.
To read more of our 2014 KTM 450 SX-F review in this week’s issue of Cycle News, click here