I have been riding for a long time but have never had any motocross lessons before so it was really cool to spend the day with Josef Dobes hearing about the right and wrong way to ride different parts of the track. I learned a lot, especially about just letting the bike do more of the work for you. I started feeling really good on the bike by the end of the day and now need to try and get some more seat time to practise all of the things I learned! Doubt that will happen with 2 young kids, but anyway…
Dobes was riding a 2014 KTM 350 SX-F and I was on a 450 SX-F, with a new FMF 4.1 full pipe and muffler. The 450 was just completely transformed by the FMF pipe. The stock pipe really chokes that bike. With the 4.1 system it was way more responsive, had a little bit more power everywhere, sounded like a full on race bike and gave the 450 a lighter feeling overall. Highly recommended!
One of the surprising things when we switched bikes for a few laps and I rode the 350 was how much I missed the bottom end on the 450. Despite being a bigger engine the 450 actually feels smoother because there is power everywhere. The 350 hits really hard, but just when the revs are up. In some places it’s more fun to ride and I found it easier to turn, but man I am just in love with that 450 engine, especially with the FMF pipe on it!
I hope to make a full 450 SX-F VS 350 SX-F comparison test in the future.
One other thing I learned is that if you are around my height (5ft 10inch / 175cm) then you should try a lower powerparts seat on your KTM. Dobes runs one and persuaded me to try it and it made such a difference to my riding. It helped me to get in a better position on the bike for corners, dropped my center of gravity, gave support and took stress off my arms on the gas and made it much easier for my legs to reach the ground. It’s an easy thing to change but made a remarkable difference.
Thanks to Stephane and Dobes for taking some of the photos.