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KTM MY2020 EXC Enduro range
What has KTM got in store for MY2020?
KTM’s 2020 EXC range burst onto the scene with a bang at the World Press introduction in Bassella, Northern Spain. The process of evolution in the KTM off-road range saw the motocross models undergo major changes last season and for 2020 it is the turn of the EXC Enduro bikes.
They have applied a long list of changes across the now seven-strong line-up, which includes new frames, updated WP suspension, heavy work on both two and four stroke engines, new bodywork design and ergonomic changes all aimed at improving performance and rider experience.
Jumping back into the EXC Enduro range for 2020 is a brand new 250 EXC TPI and 300 EXC TPI two-strokes, as well as the 250 EXC-F, 350 EXC-F, 450 EXC-F and KTM 500 EXC-F four strokes to complete the KTM enduro range.
The 2020 EXC range also extends to the six days models along with a new, limited-edition, KTM 300 EXC TPI Erzbergrodeo Edition with a production run of 500 units.
The infamous 2019 Erzbergrodeo, the 300 EXC TPI, familiar to so many, is KTM’s biggest selling enduro model and proves the point that two-strokes, and in particular, the Transfer Port Injected models are very much at the heart of off-road motorcycle sport.
The 300 EXC TPI engine stands as a favourite with traditional and extreme enduro riders because of its versatility and you really feel that from the get-go with the new model.
The evolution of the TPI engine for the MY2020 models includes a new ambient pressure sensor and 39mm Dell’Orto throttle body working together with the power valve, a reworked idle system supplying more air (improving cold starts) and a redesigned air intake funnel to deliver a more precise power delivery. Each important improve the responsiveness and efficiency of the engine.
MY2020 TPI engines get their cylinders upgraded with fully machined exhaust port windows for improved timing precision. At the same time, a reworked exhaust control valve drive and adjuster produce more precise adjustment and increased efficiency.
One major element in terms of feel for power is the new exhaust system. KTM says their engineers put a lot of effort into developing the exhaust for all 2020 EXC models and they are key factors behind the improved power delivery you can quickly feel on the bike.
The new, heavy duty exhaust pipes use an innovative 3D stamping process that makes it possible for that distinctive corrugated surface. The result is an exhaust pipe which is slimmer and more resistant against impacts, while significantly reducing noise.
It’s easiest to feel performance difference when you jump on the 250 EXC TPI. Naturally the 250 lives better in the mid-range so it makes for a more attack-minded bike. If the 300 is the favourite for many riders at events like Erzberg because of its range of power then the 250 is in its element in a classic enduro test. Where the 300 makes you feel capable, the 250 is encouraging you and telling you to go faster!
Riders like Taddy Blazusiak and Jonny Walker were both parts of the development process from the first TPI bikes to the latest models. Their constant demands caused a great deal of work in the software development for these new models, which have the latest versions of ECU engine mapping.
Another one of the development changes which the factory racers played a part in is a new lateral engine headstay. New on all models, the metal part connecting the cylinder head to the frame is contributing to cornering precision while reducing vibrations.
The engine has moved in the chassis by a single degree rotated forward on the TPI models, but along with changes to the position of the radiators (dropped by 12mm), it has helped the character of the bike to change subtly for the better.
Hot on the heels of the EXC TPIs is the 350 EXC-F. Many people’s favourite EXC simply because it feels like a great balance of power, weight and handling.
Like the 300 2T, the 350F delivers power that can be docile and careful or it can give you the “grunt” when you want it, which is why so many from racer to hobby riders like it.
Having a range of power at your right hand gives you the flexibility of using one or two gears for long periods like the bigger four strokes, but it is still ready and lively if you want to switch it to beast mode.
It comes as a surprise how usable all the four strokes are despite their quite different characters. The bigger machines, the 450 and 500 EXC-F particularly, are great at tracking and sticking to a line along the faster sections of the course or the rocky up hills when you’re driving on the gas to make it to the top.
The 2020 KTM 450 and 500 EXC-F engines have perhaps the biggest changes with a new, more compact SOHC, 15mm lower and 500g lighter cylinder head. Re-designed ports on the bigger 4T engines are controlled by a new overhead camshaft closer to the centre of gravity to improve handling. New intake and exhaust ports, and more rigid rocker arms produce more consistent performance.
An improved axial mount for the decompressor shaft means more reliable starting and a new, more efficient integrated engine breather system reduces oil losses. All now come with a fan as standard.
KTM continues to develop its EXC Enduro range and, increasingly, the breadth of development includes software as much as it does hardware. Changes to chassis for MY2020 have delivered a very real improvement to the handling across the EXC range which now turn better, deliver more feedback to the rider, and hold lines with more confidence whether you’re on a single track or wide gravel road. The engine changes across all models have increased the usable power available on all two and four strokes.
2020 KTM EXC models will be arriving in dealers worldwide from June onwards.
For more information visit www.ktm.com
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