First Look: 2021 KTM SX/XC Models

Welcome To 2021

After releasing the new XC-W and EXC-F range last week, KTM just announced their 2021 SX and XC big bike model lineup. The models are likely on their last year of the typical three year development cycle, so drastic changes weren’t expected. However, KTM has delivered in the form of a new off-road two-stroke, along with a feature we’ve been waiting for for years. 

The big announcement is the implementation of the new “myKTM” power tuning app, similar to the Yamaha Power Tuner App that was introduced way back in 2018 on the YZ450F. KTM’s version is set up quite a bit different, since it utilizes a special “bar pad” that connects to the ECU. Your iPhone or Android device will connect via Bluetooth using the app. Some changes you can make include mapping, traction control, engine braking, launch control, and throttle response. We’ve praised the GYTR Power Tuner App for its effectiveness and ease of use, and the new myKTM app appears to be a winner. It effectively gives you an endless amount of exhaust combinations all at your fingertips (and without hitting the wallet hard). The app will be available on July 21, 2020 and works with the 2020.5 450 SX-F Factory Edition and the 2021 SX-F models only. 

Two-stroke tiddler fans can now rejoice as KTM’s small bore off-road racer is now back! A few years ago, the 150 XC went missing from KTM’s lineup, and many were forced to gravitate towards the 125 SX for a small bore racer. For 2021, KTM is back in the class with the new 125 XC. Like most other XC models, it’s largely based off of the SX model, only with enough tweaks to make it a capable off-roader. E-start, 18 in. real wheel, big tank, and a few other add-ons transition this bike nicely into the off-road race bike category. 

The 450cc models (SX-F and XC-F) have a few new engine updates for the new year. A new connecting rod boasts an upper copper-beryllium bushing that is designed to give the motor more of a free-revving characteristic while also improving durability. It’s mapping has also been updated with a goal of increasing bottom end power while the Map 2 has been made to be more aggressive. On our 2020.5 Factory Edition First Impression earlier this year, we noted how big of a difference there was between the two maps and we suspect it’ll be similar on this model. 

The other changes relegated to the ‘21 KTM SX and XC models include Dunlop MX33 tires all the way around, updated suspension settings, updated linkage bearing seals (as seen on the Factory Edition) and updated graphics. The biggest change seen by all are the reworked fork internals with extended oil and air bypasses claimed to maintain more of a consistent feel. A new mid-valve is also featured in the damping leg. Onto the air leg of the fork, KTM is utilizing a smaller rebound spacer which is claimed to offer more of a coil-spring feel by increasing the air volume in the negative chamber. Finally, the WP XACT shock has a new o-ring around the link piston which is supposed to reduce fading over the duration of a moto.

The new SX and XC two-strokes received an updated throttle assembly for a smoother pull and increased cable life. On the small bore two-strokes, the 150cc and 125cc models boast a thicker inner clutch hub which is supposed to help with durability.

KTM’s new models appear to have some significant changes in store for 2021 and we can’t wait to get our hands on some in the near future. Stay tuned for more on these bikes and other 2021 models as we learn more!

You can check out KTM’s Intro Video and some details on the myKTM app here ~