We asked YOU what you wanted to know after our first day of riding on the 2024 KTM XC-W’s at Cahuilla Creek MX and these were all the topics that came up. The most popular question is regarding the new WP closed-cartridge spring forks that replace the outgoing XPLOR forks. Along with a new chassis and new engines, there’s a lot to talk about with the new orange bikes.
“Are they spooging turds like the SX and XC or do they have their own mapping? Does the cylinder have different porting then the xc/sx?Does it have lower compression as the xcw’s did in the past?”
The 2024 XC-W’s do have their own mapping and engine internals, including different cylinders and port timing on the two-strokes and nearly all of the engine internals (cams, piston, connecting rod, etc) on the four-strokes. The 150 XC-W and 300 XC-W in particular are really good at lugging tall gears in the tight and technical terrain and you can be fairly lazy without much worry of stalling (moreso on the 300 of course). The power is very smooth and builds up to a strong mid-range, but falls off on top as one might expect for a trail oriented bike. However, for as smooth as it is, it is much more lively and exciting than the last couple XC-W TPi bikes.
“How’s the pds on the 450 in the whoops?”
This is where the bike “struggled” the most, but anything other than race bike stiffness is hard to put through the big whoops with any kind of speed. As far as the three bikes go, the 450 handled the bigger whoops the best, staying more planted and stable than the lighter two-strokes.
Forks! Everyone wants to know about the new forks.
The new forks feel really good. Jimmy believed the XPLOR forks were really good for their intended purpose, but a lot of weekend warriors and internet experts disagreed. Having now ridden these forks on the XC-W’s and with some time on them on an XC, we feel confident that they are good (coming from someone who isn’t always gelling with KTM’s). Overall, they feel like a race fork but dialed back to accept a slower pace and slower terrain, small bumps, etc. We never made a clicker change all day and felt more than comfortable with just sag adjustments.
What is the transmission best suited to? Hard Enduro, desert, trails?
The transmission is a good overall off-road setup. We primarily used 2nd-4th gear all day as there wasn’t anything crazy fast and we didn’t ride any hard enduro, but it feels spot on for just about anything you’ll encounter on the trail.
How does the clutch feel? Same?
The clutch feels like a typical Brembo hydro clutch – which is good.
Gas mileage? good trail bike? Egos?
We didn’t do any fuel mileage on our first day, though we didn’t seem to use a whole lot of gas for the amount of time put in on the bikes. Ergo’s feel like a KTM and are pretty easy to adjust to. Nothing stood out for better or for worse.
250xcw or 300xcw and why
We didn’t get the chance to ride the 250 today, but the 300 is so impressive that we’d be hard pressed to not choose that. KTM did a really good job with this motor and we really couldn’t find a complaint on day one.
Dyno test the 450 xcf-w vs the xc
Our wrist dyno will tell us that the XCF-W is smoother and easier to manage that doesn’t like to be revved all that much while the XC-F is a race bike and accepts the higher RPMs, though it can be a bit much when ridden aggressively.
Have you taken them off any sweet jumps?
We took them off a couple sweet jumps and we felt really good when we didn’t come up short or go long!
What’s seat height lookin like?
We didn’t measure seat height but it felt about identical to the previous gen KTM.
How good is the new 450 and how good is the new fork. For real
Good and very good. The 450 is ultra smooth and just easy to ride but still has enough excitement and pop on the trail to keep it fun. The fork feels like a race fork but dialed in for the trail riding it’s designed for.
Compare to yamaha suspension and chassis – how it feels?
Overall bump compliance isn’t quite as good as the Yamaha, but it still felt planted and comfortable across the square edges and small bumps and rocks. The Yamaha KYB suspension in particular has a more supple and plush feel that feels connected to the ground that this suspension didn’t have, but the WP setup felt lively and aggressive.
Nice 300 xcw or 450 xcfw and why for or type of singletrack?? GP
If you’re after a pure fun factor, it’s hard to argue against the 300 XC-W. The bike is just plain fun to ride and can be ridden rather lazily or fairly aggressively. It’s much lighter feeling and easier to maneuver and throw around on the singletrack and the motor is strong enough and has enough torque to pull most riders around. The 450 is very, very easy to ride. The power and chassis feel and everything is smooth, works in unison, and could be a better GP bike based on horsepower and how it’s slightly easier to ride fast, but the 300 is tough to beat overall.
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