Features 25 Oct 2023

Three Things: KTM Mini advancements

Fleet of upgraded next-gen models introduced leading into 2024.

There’s a lot of interest surrounding KTM’s latest generation of minicycles, led by the 2024 KTM 65 SX, alongside a 50 SX – including the up-spec Factory Edition – and also the newest addition to its electric pathway, the SX-E 2. Collectively, there are three all-new models that have been introduced in the past month alone and we take a look at them up-close in this latest Three Things feature.

Image: Supplied.


Based on the sharp, current look of KTM’s larger SX range, the 2024 KTM 65 SX has a striking new stance for the new year. It adopts the ability to adjust the ride height and ergonomics to cater to riders of different sizes, so for riders on the taller or shorter end of the 65cc model size range, several adjustment possibilities are also available. The rear shock position can be changed from the standard position and can be moved to an alternative lower position with a 14mm difference. The front fork can be pushed in or pulled out of triple clamps as well, for a difference of 3mm. In addition, the handlebar mount can be adjusted in a total of four positions, movable toward the front wheel or rear toward the rider. As well, bodywork can be adjusted from the standard position to a higher position, including the tank and seat, moved up with a plug adapter from the by-pack to be positioned under the tank. The subframe can be mounted in an alternative position to support the higher bodywork, too, with the intake boot joining the carburettor/airbox adjustable in two positions to fit both height options. This also influences the overall wheelbase from a standard 1129.8mm to 1138.8mm, and ground clearance from a standard 241.2mm to 254.9mm, with a seat height difference of 715mm to 760mm. Featuring the latest in two-stroke technology, the KTM 65 SX remains the one to beat in the highly competitive 65cc class. Apart from using the lightest and most durable materials, the engine features a pressure-controlled exhaust valve and a manual six-speed transmission with a hydraulic clutch system. A new crankshaft mounting concept is also added in a bid to simplify motor maintenance. The 2024 KTM 65 SX features a set of formula floating brake calipers, with a 198mm wave disc up front and a 180mm wave disc at the rear. A new forged rear brake lever additionally improves the control and quality. Suspension-wise, the 2024 KTM SX 65 carries over the same WP Xact AER fork as the KTM SX 50, while the WP Xact monoshock on KTM 65 SX offers 253.5mm of suspension travel, opposed to 190.5mm of suspension travel on the KTM SX 50.

Image: Supplied.


Different height options have been engineered into the 2024 KTM 50 SX also, allowing the suspension, handlebar position, bodywork, and subframe to be adjusted for height. This ultimately allows the 2024 KTM 50 SX seat height to be lifted from 634mm to 683mm to suit beginners and intermediate riders. Several adjustment possibilities allow for a more tailored fit, again inclusive of the shock, forks, handlebar mount, bodywork and associated elements. Like the shape, the graphics too have been designed with inspiration from the full-size motocross range. It features KTM orange graphics, applied using an in-mold process, along with KTM-specific seat textures and grip patches. Motor-wise, the 50 SX has increased its overall engine capacity from 49cc to 49.98cc, thanks to an increased stroke. This has led to ignition timings being adapted to cater to the longer stroke, with the ignition itself updated to a digital system. A new three-shaft design is also used, whereby the crankshaft is positioned near the center of gravity for mass centralization, changing the intake angle for the reed valve for more efficient performance. Additionally, the engine is fitted with an automatic centrifugal clutch, providing the ideal stepping stone toward fully-geared models, while improving overall engine cooling. The multi-disc clutch delivers a precise and predictable power delivery across the RPM range and can be set up to suit different rider preferences, skill levels, or track conditions easily without the use of any special tools. A completely new cylinder design helps increase peak power to 15hp, with a wide and usable powerband across the rev range. Featuring the latest in suspension technology, it’s fitted with the WP Xact AER fork, while in the rear of the bike, mounted directly to the swingarm, an all-new more compact WP Xact monoshock is matched perfectly. On top of that, an all-new KTM 50 SX Factory Edition will be released, higher in specification and performance. The 2024 KTM 50 SX Factory Edition shares its base componentry with the standard KTM 50 SX, but elevates the package with a complete KTM Factory Racing-inspired graphics kit, high grip orange KTM Factory seat, and gray ODI lock-on grips, while it’s fitted with Dunlop Geomax MX53 tires and features a CNC-machined Hinson Racing outer clutch cover, along with an orange KTM Factory spark plug connector, coupled to an iridium-type Brisk FE specific spark plug. A KTM Factory exhaust flange fitted to a full nickel-plated FMF Fatty expansion chamber and FMF Powercore 2 silencer complete the package.

Image: Supplied.


Making headlines with its exciting introduction, KTM has added a pure, entry-level options for the youngest of riders to begin their dirt bike journey. The KTM SX-E 2 is designed and built around a center-tube aluminum extrusion frame concept that reduces the number of components needed. With fewer connections and mounting points, the chassis provides maximum durability and rigidity, striding the line perfectly between balance, strength and safety. At the rear, the subframe is made from a high-quality glass-fiber reinforced, impact-resistant plastic composite for low weight and added shock absorption. Providing the forward drive for the 2024 KTM SX-E 2 is a lightweight, maintenance-free 1.8 kW HUB motor powered by a water-resistant BLi300 Lithium-ion power-tool-type battery, delivering a maximum of 50nm torque. Being devoid of any additional parts like chains or sprockets, this concept keeps weight low and provides added safety in the event of a crash. However, the real perk comes with the ease of swapping the battery with one easy movement, extending ride time with multiple batteries, and easy battery replacement in case of damage. This also acts as an anti-ride device, with the battery simply removed. Charging is taken care of by an external charger, supplying up to 500W that can be connected to any 110 or 230-volt socket, taking approximately 60 minutes to achieve a full 100 percent charge. Up front, a non-adjustable WP Hydraulic Fork with 90mm of travel takes care of the bumps, while a preload adjustable 34mm hydraulic monoshock takes care of matters at the rear. The monoshock is mounted directly to the swingarm, offering 70mm of travel, and is perfectly matched to the front forks in terms of exceptional balance and damping characteristics. Young riders find their feet easily thanks to a two-level adjustable seat height. In standard configuration, the seat height is 470mm, but can easily be increased to 500mm by lifting the bodywork and seat unit and mounting the rear shock in an alternative position. This, along with the ability to lower the front fork in the triple clamp and adjust the heights of the foot-peg carrier, means the rider can grow with the SX-E 2. In keeping with its smaller dimensions, the SX-E 2’s fitted with lightweight, 10-inch black powder-coated aluminum HPDC wheels front and rear, wrapped in Kenda tires, supported by a set of radial, hydraulic 140mm disk brakes on the front and rear, with the brake pads being compatible with high-end market bicycle brake pads for easy availability. The hand levers are adjustable to fit smaller hand sizes. Plus, from a safety and usability standpoint, it’s fitted with a roll-over sensor that cuts power in the event of a crash or tip-over. A wrist lanyard key also provides a direct connection between the rider and kill-switch, which stops the motor in the event of an uncontrollable riding scenario. Whether the riders progress onto the larger SX-E 3 or SX-E 5 models within the electric line-up, or elect to step up to the more traditional SX models, the options are broad with KTM – inclusive of alternate brands, Husqvarna and GasGas with similar varieties of their own.