Where to start?!
The funniest thing is the amount of questions I asked myself prior to discovering the 2017 KTM EXC line up: Did something change? How about the grip? What’s the difference between the 2016 and 2017 Enduro range? Etc etc…
To be explicitly clear enough and to my surprise: The All New KTM EXC line up is a new KTM Enduro World in itself.
Simply, you have to go deep in their Enduro DNA, specs and technical body so you could understand how beautiful these new beasts are.
To all those who just want a free, fast answer, a whole makeover was made on the 4-stroke and 2-stroke models, including body, frame, engine and suspension. So let’s start with a quick overview!
Maintaining its KTM identity, the 2017 EXC range offers a new riding experience. Unquestionably, in Mud we trust!
It was born to challenge the hills defying the falls and embracing the dirt to give you a muddy Enduro extravaganza!
Whether on the unsteady terrain of Spain or floods of mud, the mixture of the new engine and suspension, guarantees a more powerful performance.
Dig in the Muddy Makeover:
2-stroke VS 4 –stroke:While changes have with no doubt alternated both, the 2-stroke had a 90 degree upgrade!
With no more vibration, you wouldn’t even recognized its sound if you were blindfolded!
World of 4-Stroke!
So here’s what captured the moment and my mind while riding this line up.
First, what I can definitely assure is that the clutch, engine and new frame had majorly affected the grip of the bike! More handling that’s for sure, new WP XPlor fork and shock bring the line up to a WHOLE new level! For more Chassis Handling, these bikes got the new engine head stays, replacing the steel by Aluminum. You cannot imagine the handling on the bike due to its lightweight chrome-moldy steel frame, it has such a precise cornering and excellent stability. The frame is a kilogram lighter than its lightest competitor in the market!
- 250 SX-F
The 2017 model of the 250 SX-F is an anticipation for its continuous podium invasion.
It goes even 3 kg lighter along with new WP AER 48 Air-sprung forks for better handling. The traction control applies on the rear tire giving it more control precisely on slippery grounds along with 10mm longer rear brake pedal for improved inflection.
- 250/350 EXC-F:Well how can we best describe them?
2017 is no different in one specific thing: More power, more throttle response and more flexibility.
In fact the 350 is now more agile at corners and tensed channels with less usage of the clutch.
This bike is equipped with Keihin Engine Management System with electronic fuel injection featuring an all-new 42mm throttle body. The engine response is instantaneous. You can select a stronger power curve and activate the traction control system by choosing between two different mappings through the Mapping control on the handlebar.
What about the traction control?
The traction control doesn’t come standard, BUT the maximization of the traction control added to this line up is based on power and throttle inputs depending on increase in RPM.
à That means more stability, more precision and byebye loss of traction!
The traction control applies on the 4 maps which is clearly visible to the rider, making it easy for him to detect and differentiate all 4 maps selection.
The light weight is not unfamiliar to the 250 model.
In fact, it witnessed a 3kg weight reduction and is ideal for new Enduro beginners.
To all those who are born to live “off road”, this one’s for you!
The 2 siblings are definitely eye catching but the winner of this round is the 350 as you can now ride it like you mean it: Short shifted, Low revs, more rocky terrains, more mud!
- 450/500 EXC-F: Off road animals!
From a technical point of view, Holy Moly what a change!
New Exhaust, transmission, throttle, camshaft and 5 kgs weight loss making the 2017 EXC-F 450 the tarzan of the off road dimension.
Big boys, big toys: the 500 is amazingly agile.
In fact, it presents a new handling character, more power and a (13/50) more extended gear. So remind us again, 2016 who?!
Both animals do wonders with the traction control that finds its DNA in KTM MX- models.
World of 2-Stroke!
The 2-stroke are a definition of “Faster and less vibrant”. That’s my fast answer to all of impatient readers out there!
The 2-stroke models come with a new carb, a new Mikuni 38mm TX carburetor and exhaust system. The engine is a twin valve controlled by a power valve.
It is definitely lighter and easier to handle. The 250 and 300 models are with no doubt more powerful and bring to the table a new era for the 2-stroke generation in the market.
With less vibration, upgraded suspension and frame, I certainly asked myself: How can it get even better later on?! (Would appreciate your point of view)
Concerning the 125 and 150, these are two little beasts! They present a wider gearbox.
Judgment:More control, more speed, inspiring changes for a smoother experience!
Without doubt, the 2017 KTM Line up sets a new level for the Enduro Generation.
The only negotiable thing here is your trade in for your old dirt companion as the new KTM Enduro range is to die for!
Bring on the gear because it’s going to get a whole lot of muddy this October!
By Lou Agha