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2017 KTM sport enduros in an individual test

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After the Austrians put a completely new generation of crossers on the bikes for the current model year, the enduros are up for 2017.

NOTAfter the Austrians have put a completely new generation of crossers on their bikes for the current model year, it’s the turn of the Enduros for 2017. Everything is new, from the suspension to the frame and bodywork to the engines. The new EXC enduros were recently presented in Les Comes / Spain and will be on the market in the next few weeks.

2017 KTM sport enduros in an individual test

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KTM two-stroke lifts smooth running to an unknown level

The new KTM two-stroke lifts the smoothness to a previously unknown level, it is finely controllable and very clean on the gas. Any bite from previous two-stroke engines has disappeared. The only small downer is that the engine pushes a little when the throttle is closed. KTM is still trying to get this under control by optimizing the carburetor set-up. But with the new qualities, the two-stroke engines, which have already been popular up to now, should definitely get another boost.

The chassis is also set up quite smoothly, good on rocky terrain. In contrast to the air-sprung cross forks, the fork continues to work with steel springs in both bars, while the rebound and compression stages are divided. The response behavior and the traction on the front wheel are good, the Open Cartridge fork only reaches its limits with a hard, cross-like driving style. The chassis was also diligently developed. The now lighter frame has a lower flexural stiffness to improve the driving experience. The torsional stiffness, however, has been increased for better driving stability. The shock absorber has moved more towards the center, making the whole chassis less asymmetrical. KTM continues to hold on to the leverless, directly hinged PDS strut, while the Husqvarna derivatives have a lever system. Rightly so, because with the new chassis you don’t miss more progression, responsiveness or traction.

Four-stroke engine also completely revised

Everything is new with the four-stroke models too. The 2017 engine generation is based on the current cross engines, making it lighter and more compact. Let’s focus on the 250, which has the greatest differences to its predecessor. The new motor delivers more pressure at the bottom, but also rotates more freely at the top. A recommended extra is the map switch, because the differences between the mappings are clearly noticeable and meaningful, and it also includes traction control that is helpful and effective in the enduro sector. As with the Crossers, however, the 250 has the greatest drag torque of the four-stroke range, which makes the load changes a little harder and allows the fork to dip deeper in push mode.

There are great advances in ergonomics and handling. The new machines are not only lighter, but also narrower and more compact, moving the reduced mass closer to the center of gravity. This is particularly beneficial for handling in difficult terrain. A short fling to the 350: Naturally, it offers noticeably more pressure in all speed ranges, runs very cultivated and with less drag torque. A fantastic motor for the hobby enduro rider who also benefits from the optional traction control on slippery surfaces. The same applies to the two large four-stroke 450/500 EXC-F, which have not been tested here, as to the smaller models; they too received new engines, chassis and components.

2017 – what’s new?


After a long time (1992), KTM designed a completely new quarter-liter two-stroke engine including a balance shaft for the first time. The electric starter, which was previously flanged on, is now integrated into the housing below the crankshaft. For now it stays with the carburetor, injection comes later.


  • Four-stroke more compact and lighter, derived from the cross engines
  • 250/300 two-stroke engine completely redesigned with balancer shaft and integrated electric starter
  • Optional map switch for various engine mappings and traction control

landing gear:

  • Frame lightened by 300 g with higher torsional stiffness and reduced bending stiffness
  • WP shock absorber designed more progressively with double pistons and 600 g lighter
  • WP fork XPlor 48 with open cartridge, steel springs and separate rebound / compression stage in the fork legs
  • Silencer according to the FIM noise limit, but shorter and closer to the center of gravity
  • New slimmer bodywork
  • Weight reduced by up to five kilograms

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