2017 KTM SX, XC, XC-W and EXC-F News.
Photos courtesy KTM.
Here are links to riding impressions of the new bikes:
2017 KTM 125Sx & 150SX
2017 KTM 250SX
There is a lot of news for KTM in the 2017 model release specifically in the new 250/300cc two-stroke and in all of the XC-W and EXC-F range. As we speculated when we saw the 2016 bikes, we knew an all-new 250cc bike would be coming. And it is here along with a 300cc companion in XC and XC-W versions. Going forward there are no more Green Sticker KTM bikes as all EXC-F four strokes are street legal and XC-W two-strokes are competition bikes. There will also be some new displacement sizes, specifically a 250cc EXC-F to go along with the 500cc and 350cc versions. We had heard rumors of a 450cc EXC-F but no information was provided about that displacement for sale in the USA. Missing is the 200cc two-stroke size as KTM has leveraged the 150cc into XC-W form for off-road racing.
On the EXC-F front the chassis and engine are all-new but should look familiar. They are straight from the SX line tuned for their intended purpose and to run the linkageless shock. The architecture of the engine is just like the SX with more centralized shaft configurations that make the cases more compact on all displacements relocating the crank closer to the bike’s center of gravity. From here KTM placed a heavier crank, lower compression ratio and more power production from the electrical system as well as the wide-ratio six-speed gear box. The throttle bodies on the EXCs are smaller (42mm) and one missing component is the actual kick-starter, these are electric-start only as pictured but for sure there will be the ability to add the kicker if an owner wants. The weight drop on the 350 and 500 is claimed to be between 6-10-pounds. Tires (Continental TKC 80s) and the final drive ratio are set to keep the bike quiet in sound tests.
On the chassis side EXC-Fs share a lot of similarities with the XC-W two-strokes. The new frame and bodywork is very similar and nearly identical to the XC-Fs of 2016, meaning thinner all around with a flatter profile. On the suspension side of the equation the WP suspension is now called Xplor. The fork is a 48mm open cartridge design with damping adjustment isolated to the top of the tubes and compression on one side and rebound on the other, similar to the 4CS fork. The rear shock is linkageless and uses a new PDS system that has cups determining the position instead of the needle design previous. All of these changes are designed to keep the performance, lower weight and not send the retail price through the roof. The two-strokes are claimed to be about 6 pounds lighter.
The big news on the 250/300cc two-stroke motor is the use of a counterbalancer to reduce one of the biggest complaints of two-strokes– vibration. The Balance shaft and gear, pictured above, rides off the ignition flywheel and has weights running inside both the ignition side and the clutch side. Reports from some who have ridden it are very positive especially on how smooth it makes the bike feel. The electric starter (On all but the SX) is now located on the bottom of the motor and does not use gears that ride in a dry cavity like before. The cylinder is also new with a redesigned powervalve activation much like the one found in the 125/150. Enduro21.com has a complete story with all of KTM’s specific changes to the 250/300cc motor here.
There were rumors of fuel injection making an appearance but KTM is committed to keeping the two-stroke as simple as possible till regulations mandate it gets more complicated with electronics and sensors. The switch to a Mikuni carb on all two-strokes was due to the fact the supply from the other carb manufacturer is a problem, they are not making them any longer. It will be interesting to see if fuel range stays the same as it is common to get more power with Mikuni but also higher fuel consumption too.
Though the SX line got all the changes last year they were not ignored for 2017. The forks are now WPs 48mm AER air-spring fork just like the 2016 Factory Edition bikes were equipped with. Matching suspension changes were valved into the rear shocks of the SX bikes as well as a new tripleclamp to match the fork. Aluminum headstays now hold the engine. For the engines, additional features have been integrated into the ECU allowing for traction control at the push of a handlebar mounted button.
The bar mounted switch will allow a rider to choose between two different ignition/fuel maps, two different levels of traction control and activate KTM’s launch control. It will come on all of the SX-F and XC-Fs. The traction control is sensed based on engine RPM, gear selection and throttle position, not wheel speed sensors.
The 2017 bikes are scheduled to start arriving at dealers as soon as late June with the EXC-Fs being a little later, more likely in September. Prices have jumped a few hundred dollars on most models from what we can tell.