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Off-roader in street clothing? The KTM EXC-F250 is KTM’s street-legal quarter-litre!

We come to you at the time that KTM is sitting on top of the world.  In MotoGP, the pinnacle of World Championship motorcycle road racing KTM has just taken back to back race wins - the Austrian MotoGP and the Styrian MotoGP - and is celebrated as the top European Enduro motorcyle maker on the Continent.

KTM is also in innovation mode: the Austrian manufacturer has introduced  a high-performance clutch (Damped Diaphragm Steel – DDS) for jolt-free and consistent-bite properties even under aggressive usage, electric starter (with a robust starter generator for multiple sure-fire starts in case of need in enduro conditions), Chromoly steel frame providing lightness and yet designed for greater torsional rigidity for superior handling and bike response under race pressure,  a 4-valve liquid-cooled cylinder -head with twin lightweight camshafts and Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) Coating  finger followers, and 42mm throttle body (normally seen on the KTM 390) stringently metering the fuel injection to supply the rider’s torque demands across the high levels of the 250cc Enduro’s performance capabilities. This is not all; KTM has worked hard at mass-centralization moving the 250 Enduro’s crankshaft closer to the centre of gravity so that the rider is aided by the light and easier handling through wooded dirt roads, around foliage and fording streams with concealed boulders.

Through it all, this KTM EXC-F 250 is a totally street legal machine yet competitive in the dirt, a performance enduro machine, a race-ready motorcycle out of the box, all built around a free-revving engine. “The KTM EXC-F 250 is the best performing motorcycle package an enthusiast could find today,” - the words of KTM Sri Lanka’s Brand Ambassador successful motocross racer and double national champion Jacques Gunawardena. And he must know off-roaders, after all he has lived aboard them for half his lifetime. The EXC-F 250 is Austrian made and Jacques tells us that this bike is constructed to USA specs. 

KTM’s Enduro 250 needs less than the most cursory of checks as it comes out of the delivery packaging, and it is ready to go serious racing in the dirt. If that is what you have in mind for it. Jacques tells us that the suspension and other settings on this bike are so easy to tune-in. “Within ten minutes of riding off the asphalt and on to the dirt I can dial in all the settings to the sweet spot, and go racing from there on.”  His current race machine is the potent KTM SX 250, and he finds the Enduro version enjoying similar characteristics.

Alternatively, if you prefer, this bike could give you kilometres of fun on the black top, and with its street legal equipment (speedometer, headlight, taillight, turn lights, registration number plates, rear view mirrors, horn, and street-trail tyres that the bike comes equipped with as standard), you’d feel totally at home in either environment.

KTM’s innovation does not end here, though.  From two wheels to four the KTM production lines see the Xbow ready-to-race but street-legal motor car, which is more a race car with creature comforts. The Xbow is ultra-lightweight built on a carbon fibre monocoque and is powered by a turbocharged 4 cylinder 2.5 liter Audi engine mounted amidships and driving the rear wheels through a 6-speed transmission and 400Nm of torque and 304 PS of power. Indeed, so ready-to-race are the KTM products across the range that the Xbow is FIA (Federation International Automobile, the governing body for top-flight motor racing worldwide) homologated for racing purposes. All the while retaining its street-legal character.

As if that is not enough, the focused KTM design team has not drawn its shutters for the day.  Instead the team is hard at work on the transport mode of tomorrow, the electric mobility machine. Welcome the two-wheeler Emotion, designed to operate between the tight-area manoeuvrability of a moped and the longer-distance virtues of a scooter / motorcycle. 

KTM motorcycles (and now, cars) come from the Austrian manufacturer of the globally known premium range of KTM products, under whose umbrella also are the specialist suspension product WP. The KTM Company equips its vehicles with the highest quality standard world-reknown components, of course WP itself, Brembo hydraulic systems and components, Bosch electronic management systems, and Akrapovic exhaust systems. Top flight international race competitors use these components as standard on their race winning machinery.

These products are used in the international competition series of Dakar Rallies, Motocross, Supercross, Enduro and Super Enduro, Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and MotoGP World Championship Motorcycle road racing. KTM and its associate products have carried their brand names and their riders to victory after victory in these international competition categories, the most recent being the back-to-back MotoGP rounds. 

The EXC-F rides on a set of knobbies (the name given by dirt track enthusiasts to the knobbed tyres used in motocrossing).  There are categories of knobbies (based on the size of the knobs and the lands between them). This decides the use.  For instance, the knobby tyres on our EXC-F Enduro are lesser-knobbed, keeping in mind the street legal requirements. Yet, the tyres do have great adhesion in the dirt too, meaning the rider of this on-road-off-road machine needs not to spend precious time changing tyres over to fit the terrain.  KTM understanding the psyche of the EXC-F’s rider has already thought about it and has equipped the bike with the mixed-use knobbed tyres as standard.

 While your initial off-roading activities may lean towards entry-level motocrossing, regular success aboard the KTM in this pursuit could make you want to convert your street-legal machine to a modified-for-motocross version. More pronounced knobbies would be one of the immediate mods, while re-tuning the engine characteristics and installing a race-tuned Akrapovic exhaust system would certainly be high on your priority list. Since this is the most recent EXC-F version the fuel tank is made of a new development in plastics technology. The older tech plastics suffered from fuel evaporation through the plastic skin. Advantages of the new tech plastic shell include no evaporation of the spirit, the fuel level is visible to the eye – this means no mechanical/electrical/electronic fuel gauge is needed - and the light weight of the plastic (as against the conventional thick, heavy metal tank) construction helps keep the overall weight down.  

The EXC-F 250 being the street legal bike it is shows us its soft side - the engine is softly tuned (timing of valves and ignition are for road running) and the bike is tractable even at low revs and in traffic conditions, especially for riders equipped with mechanical sympathy and a soft right wrist. With its remarkable off-road capability, the EXC-F could be expected to be a harsh-riding machine in traffic, but the KTM tech people have thought of the road use angle and designed the engine characteristics to be so friendly.

The suspension settings front and rear (14 adjustment stops at the monoshock at the rear) are kept on the road-rider friendly selections. Stiffening the suspension for dirt tracking is by a couple of hand operated knobs.  Keep the suspension on the road-settings and you are in for a comfortable, irregularity-soaking long-distance ride. The KTM styling concept has always been in keeping with the technical advancements. In the EXC-F, too, the body panels are smooth, passenger grab handles cleverly incorporated in the rear mudguard, and the overall styling of the usually high KTM art and minimalism levels we’ve got used to seeing. 

The EXC-F is an attractive 250cc on-road-off-road machine which will handle either terrain with cool composure. And will look good standing in your garage.

 

KTM AG’S SOLE DISTRIBUTOR IN SRI LANKA IS DPMC

KTM’s Sri Lanka Sole Distributor is David Pieris Motor Company (Pvt) Limited (DPMC), also the local sole distributor for India’s Bajaj Motorcycles and Automotive products. In fact, the Indian giant Bajaj is a part owner of Austria’s KTM and associate manufacturing companies. We discussed with the Company’s Group Corporate Communications person Manuranga Nayanajith and KTM Sri Lanka’s Brand Ambassador Jacques Gunawardena about the bike under test their most recent offering of the KTM EXC-F 250 a street legal enduro machine.

“The KTM EXC-F 250 is the bike for the sport enthusiast, the riders who are interested in leisure riding, as the EXC-F is the ideal bike for both your daily commute and for dirt riding. This is the best package for on and off road riding,” says the Motocross Champion himself Jacques Gunawardena, adding that, “the EXCF-250 is the nearest you can get to a motocross bike which is also street-legal.”  In fact during the off-season, Jacques takes his own street-legal KTM EXC-F 250 out into the dirt and on to the motocross circuits for the fun and joy of riding a well-packaged dirt machine.    

“The EXC-F 250 has been introduced to the Sri Lanka public in January this year (2020) and we have had enthusiastic response for this on-road-off-road concept.  This bike can be ordered through our KTM showrooms in Battaramulla” says Manuranga Nayanajith.

The enthusiastic Team KTM is at 120 Pannipitiya Road, Battaramulla (about 100 metres from the Battaramulla junction on the road towards Pelawatte); or call Team KTM on number +94(0)114700600. “The range of KTM motorcycles in Sri Lanka is the KTM Duke 125, 125 EU, 200, 250, and 390; the RC 200, 390; and the street-legal on-road-off-road bike the KTM EXC-F 250.

 

KTM EXC-F 250  TECH  SPECS

ENGINE

Liquid-cooled 4-stroke

single-cylinder DOHC 4 valve

249.1 cc Fuel injection

Keihin 42mm TB

Bore 78mm x Stroke 52.3mm

Electric start

 

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

12 Volt   

 

TRANSMISSION

6 speed

 

CHASSIS AND RUNNING GEAR

Frame: Central Double-Cradle

Subframe:  Aluminium

Wheelbase        1482 mm

Tyres    Front    90/90  x  21     Rear  120/100  x  18

Brakes  Front    Disc, 260 mm  Rear    Disc, 220 mm

 

SUSPENSION

Front   48mm inverted telescopic fork, WP Xploror

Rear    Monoshock, WP Xploror

 

DIMENSIONS AND CAPACITIES

Length                 2195 mm

Width                     815 mm

Height                 1195 mm

Saddle height        960 mm

Ground clearance  355 mm

Weight                   107 kg

Fuel tank                 8.5  liters   See-thru