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2020 KTM EXC Model Range – First Ride and Impressions

The 2020 KTM EXC models were introduced to International Media at the baSSella Experience off-road park in beautiful weather at Bassella, Spain.

KTM EXC MY2020 FAMILY

KTM Factory Riders Josep Garcia and Nathan Watson were there to share their experience with the new EXC family.

And now lets list in our opinions on the highlights of the press conference which started with the new KTM EXC 2020 models brought in to conference salon by Josep Garcia and Nathan Watson.

Josep Garcia & Nathan Watson

HIGHLIGHTS OF KTM EXC MY2020

  • Brand New KTM 150 EXC TPI !
  • Limited (500 units) KTM 300 EXC TPI ERZBERGRODEO 2020 !
  • 60% New Parts Used on EXC MY2020 Range! (650 pieces)
  • Re-designed Frame
  • 1-Degree Forward Tilted 2-Stroke Engines
  • Radiators mounted 12 mm lower than before, which significantly lowers the center of gravity.
  • The back of the bike is more slimmer with the new muffler !
  • Center Tube of Radiators enlarged by 4 mm.
  • Newly designed oil tank for 2-Stroke TPI’s
  • Another extra new ambient pressure sensor for faster response to altitude changes for 2-Stroke TPI’s

We had the opportunity to test out all 7 models of the off-road dirt bikes from the KTM 150 EXC TPI ( Which joined the EXC family latest ) to the KTM 500 EXC-F . We were able to do so in a very fair way at the baSSella Experience Center’s Special Test Track and Enduro Test Tracks! Steep hills, jumps, slippery and wet rocks…

Sezer Savaşlı on KTM 150 EXC TPI
Photo: Marco Campelli

So, you will find the answer to the most asked question “Which is our favourite bike?!” at the end of this text. 👹 

A few words for the entire KTM EXC MY2020 family!

Sezer Savaşlı on KTM 300 EXC TPI
Photo: Sebas Romero

First of all, the 60% innovation on the bikes are not just marketing words! It was easy for me to spot the differences from the bike I have been actively using as a project bike which is the Enduro Channel Editon – KTM 250 EXC TPI.

The frames use the same proven geometries as before but have been re-designed in several key areas for an optimized stiffness to provide increased feedback to the rider. The bike feels more balanced and stable. You feel it especially when you hitting steep climbs, heading downhill or hard on the brakes.

Sezer Savaşlı on KTM 300 EXC TPI
Photo: Sebas Romero

The changes that took place with the re-designed frame; the radiators were fixed to be 12mm’s lower than before, and with the new design of the silencers is easier to move back and front on the seat, which gives us enhanced control on the bike. Especially on the tricky lines.

This improves contributes to a better cornering feel overall.

4-Stroke / KTM EXC MY2020

The most important thing to underscore for the 4 strokes would be that the power delivery is much more responsive and smooth! And revised cylinder heads with higher compression on all models.

KTM EXC MY2020 – 4 Stroke Models

The innovations on the engine in order to move and make the centre of gravity more central really helped with the riding dynamics. This really makes the bike more fun to ride specially on the tricky trails. And also It responds very quickly to your direction changes.

The kickstart kit will not be sold as a kit anymore for the 4-Strokes. With the space that was left out earlier for the kickstart is now a free space and they utilised this space very well by building a better exhaust system and the weight of the bike is less now that the kickstart kit is gone.

2-Stroke / KTM EXC MY2020

One of the most interesting upgrades on the 2-Stroke bikes would be that the bike is now tilted 1-degree further down to the front which I was very impressed with when I tested it out at the baSSella Experience Center’s Enduro Test track. The main goal of this innovation is to enhance your control on the front tire of the bike. The bike was more responsive to my demands on the track!

KTM EXC MY2020 – 4 Stroke Models

Now you wont be able to find the kickstart on the 2-Strokes anymore. But you can by them as a kit and assemble it yourself like it was with the 4 strokes until this year. However in my one year experience with the TPI I never had the need to use the kickstart.

SUSPENSION

All EXC models are fitted with the WP XPLOR 48 upside-down fork. We believe the best standard forks you can buy on the market! A split fork design developed by WP and KTM, it is fitted with springs on both sides, but with separate damping circuits, with the left-hand fork leg damping only the compression stage and the right hand one only the rebound. This means damping is easily adjusted via the dials on top of both fork tubes with 30 clicks each, while the two stages do not affect each other.

Already distinguished by outstanding response and damping character- istics, the fork receives a new, calibrated mid-valve piston for MY2020
to provide more consistent damping, as well as new upper fork caps with new clicker adjusters for easier adjustment, in addition to a new color/ graphic design. New settings keep the front end higher for enhanced
rider feedback and provide even greater reserves against bottoming out. Standard on the SIX DAYS models and optional on the standard models, the convenient, three-stage spring preload adjuster has been reworked for easier operation without tools.

KTM EXC MY2020 – SIX DAYS PORTUGAL

OUR FAVS and WHAT BIKE IS for WHICH RIDERS

KTM 150 EXC TPI / 2-Stroke

If I had to find a word to define the newest and smallest member of the family it would have to be “Instructor”.

KTM 150 EXC TPI

When you watch the Junior class racers at the World Enduro Championship you can see that at every corners and extreme conditions they use the throttle mostly wide open! Usually riders are always at full throttle and trying to not lose the momentum they have to utilise the turns in the best way possible. Because of this Enduro School starts at 125cc Junior Class!  Alongside all the innovations and upgrades the KTM EXC family made the new TPI technology makes KTM 150 EXC TPI the best “Instructor” at the school.

KTM 150 EXC TPI

The moment you turn the throttle on the KTM 150 EXC TPI, I have to tell you that you will feel a lot younger and faster! ( This might not be a positive thing for everyone 👹 ) The satisfaction of riding this bike especially on single tracks cannot be compared with any other bike. I’m not talking about pros and cons, which is a completely different topic!

If I ever had the chance to form a dream garage of my own you would definitely find a KTM 150 EXC TPI however you could never see it clean.

KTM 300 EXC TPI / 2-Stroke

Is it surprising that this bike is on this list? Hell no! We know that the KTM 300 EXC TPI is the favourite of the market. Of course this has its reasons. Not just that but these reasons continue to improve.

Sezer Savaşlı on KTM 300 EXC TPI
Photo: Marco Campelli

With the lightness of this bike and the improved low end torque, this bike is definitely an “Extreme Beast”!

The improvements on the frame and with the bike being tilted 1-degree to the front you can definitely see the effects on fast and tricky rides.

In summary, if you like riding in conditions which can be defined as Extreme Enduro or Hard Enduro your choice is still very clear…

KTM 350 EXC-F / 4-Stroke

The KTM 350 EXC-F was definitely the bike that surprised me the most in a good way out of all the other 2020 models.

Sezer Savaşlı on KTM 350 EXC-F
Photo: Sebas Romero

This bike definitely feels like a 2-Stroke when evaluated in the lightness of the bike however you can feel the power of the 4-Stroke engine and you also have the advantage of the low end torque right underneath your hands. On the innovated 2020 models with the new map and power delivery the bikes are much more smooth and efficient. These combinations, of the new and central centre of gravity and everything else made the 350 EXC-F MY2020 the most difficult to return to KTM after my test ride. 😒

When you watch the riding video you easily notice screams and shouts which will tell you how fun it was to ride this bike. 

KTM 300 EXC TPI ERZBERGRODEO

Words: Sezer Savaşlı