2024 KTM XC-W Lineup Take a look at [300, 250, and 150 Reviewed]

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After getting my foot within the grime bike door with my early-Sixties Honda C100 (aka the Tremendous Cub 50) beater that featured a knobby rear tire and a hard-as-rock ribbed entrance tire, the bigger world of off-road bikes opened as much as me. Unexpectedly, I observed that there was a Husqvarna and Penton bike seller throughout the road from the canine grooming place our toy poodle frequented. As soon as contained in the doorways of the tiny store, my eyes widened, and my head began spinning with potentialities. I used to be instantly drawn to the 1971 Penton 100 Berkshire, igniting a life-long love affair.

2024 KTM XC-W Lineup Test: Penton motorcycle

When it got here time for me to step as much as the 125 class, my dad and I mentioned what I ought to experience. The Husqvarna had put out its first 125; it was a phenomenal machine, and the primary 125 that price over $1000 (about $7500 in immediately’s {dollars}). Though the Penton 125 Six-Day was fully redesigned for 1972, it nonetheless had the Sachs engine, which featured a transmission with extra neutrals than gears.

Given the dearth of mechanical acumen of my father and me, we determined to play it secure and get a Yamaha AT2-M motocross bike. All issues thought of, I most well-liked to experience all weekend when our household was tenting, moderately than lamenting a mechanically sidelined bike. The Yamaha 125 MXer was the fitting selection, and it by no means let me down.

Regardless of that, the Pentons caught with me as aspirational bikes. Nevertheless, my abilities as a mechanic—altering spark plugs and oil, lubing and adjusting the chain, cleansing the air filter, and premixing gasoline—remained restricted. So, I by no means fulfilled my dream of proudly owning a Penton.

2024 KTM XC-W Lineup Test: Penton in Austria
Due to the bike magazines of the day, I did study concerning the Penton legacy. In 1968, after a profitable racing profession and the tragic demise of his spouse, enduro legend John Penton employed KTM—then unknown in america—to construct two-stroke enduro bikes to his specs. They had been bought underneath his identify and distributed from the Penton headquarters in Lorain, Ohio. His sons Jack and Tom and different enduro legends, resembling Carl Cranke and Invoice Uhl, established the Penton as a successful bike.

After promoting 25,000 off-road bikes in 10 years, the Penton model identify was retired. In 1978, KTM purchased out John Penton, and the championships began piling up with the Austrian founders’ initials on the tank and engine.

Simply 45 years later, I discover myself in Millfield, Ohio, at Sunday Creek Raceway, the positioning of The John Penton GNCC Nationwide, suiting as much as experience the 2024 KTM XC-W two-stroke enduro lineup, together with the four-stroke 450 XCF-W. I can’t picture a extra becoming location to check the all-new XC-Ws. I’ve dreamed of driving by way of the Ohio woods, and now I’m lastly realizing that fantasy on three bikes which might be direct descendants of the Pentons that had captured my creativeness.

2024 KTM XC-W Lineup Test: Prices

Whereas the 2024 KTM XC-Ws are all-new bikes this 12 months—motor and chassis—they’re inheriting designs that beforehand debuted on different KTM grime bikes. Whereas some might bemoan the delay, it gave KTM a 12 months to work out any bugs earlier than the XC-W lineup bought up to date. Moderately than rehash all of the modifications, and just about every part modified, take a look at our 2024 KTM XC-W Lineup First Look protection for 20 quick details value of element—there’s fairly a bit to eat and digest.

The 2024 KTM XC-W lineup has three fashions—the 300, 250, and 150. To maintain it brief, the 150 is one thing of the odd man out. The 300 and 250 are nearly an identical apart from the bore and tune of the motor. The 150 has a unique powerplant design, and the WP suspension is ready up softer from the manufacturing facility. Regardless of the similarities, driving the three bikes ends in six extremely distinctive experiences. Did I say six? Sure, I did.

Arriving from Austria, the three 2024 KTM XC-Ws have a single commonplace energy map—Map 1. Nevertheless, add an adjunct swap for about $150, and also you get entry to a high-performance map—Map 2. That modifications the persona of all three XC-Ws, nearly as a lot as switching between fashions.

2024 KTM XC-W Lineup Test: Two-stroke motors

With an abbreviated model of The John Penton GNCC Nationwide course at my disposal, a condensation that features all of the salient challenges of the world, I got down to establish the personalities of the three XC-Ws, together with the modifications afforded by the totally different energy maps.

My testing course of was to do a lap on one mannequin in the usual Map 1, then up the ante with one other lap at Map 2. Then, I’d leap on one other XC-W and repeat the method. This went on all day lengthy, because it was arduous to maintain me off the bikes. The climate was terrific, and a Biblical rainstorm a number of days earlier meant the traction ranged from excellent to sloppy—very best testing situations, and I wasn’t going to cross up a second. I’ll take the three XC-Ws in displacement order to maintain issues simple to observe, then examine the bikes on the finish.

2024 KTM 150 XC-W

Displacing 144cc, this mannequin is closest to the 125 Six Days I coveted 50 years in the past. After all, every part is totally different, however the thought is similar—agile dealing with with a motor that doesn’t overpower.

Utilizing Map 1, the 2024 KTM 150 XC-W is a sweetheart. You may hit the throttle arduous with out struggling horrible penalties. The motor is certainly not gradual, although the ability supply feels fully controllable. There’s good energy off the underside, so you must be a few gears off to even get it to consider bogging.

2024 KTM XC-W Lineup Test: Woods Tested

Shifting is superb on the 150, with the transmission and energy supply feeling a contact extra direct than on its more-powerful huge brothers. As a result of it places out much less energy, KTM engineers left the damping operate out of the clutch basket, whereas retaining the diaphragm metal spring design. It’s a very good factor the 150 has a unbelievable transmission, since you undoubtedly must shift extra regularly with the smaller motor. With none doubt, the texture of the Brembo hydraulic actuation is excellent.

There may be one disappointment relating to the two-stroke XC-Ws in comparison with the 450 XCF-W thumper. The 2-strokes don’t get traction management and the up-only quickshifter—perhaps subsequent 12 months.

Clicking as much as Map 2 offers the 2024 KTM 150 XC-W a clearly extra aggressive really feel. Since you’re solely working with 144cc, the bike continues to be simply managed, even within the technical sections with roots and rocks whereas threading by way of the bushes. The course has a number of tight turns earlier than steep uphills, and Map 2 permits hitting the uphill arduous, moderately than counting on torque to sneak your method up, as you do in Map 1.

2024 KTM XC-W Lineup Test: MSRP

In Map 2, the 150 revs up extra shortly, so you will get into the meat of the powerband, which does depend on revs. The torque curve isn’t flat—torque and horsepower enhance as revs do, with treasured little overrev. So, it’s all about dialing in as a lot energy as you and the terrain can deal with moderately than specializing in counting revs. With the digital energy valve, you don’t get successful within the powerband—the output will increase linearly, making throttle response endearingly constant. All this additionally occurs in Map 1, although at a a lot slower tempo.

In all conditions, the brand new throttle physique injection EFI is flawless. The ability by no means hesitates or comes on too sharply. Particularly in Map 1, the 2024 KTM 150 XC-W is a motorcycle you would put a newbie on, so long as the seat peak isn’t a difficulty.

The dealing with of the 150 XC-W is completely impartial. It doesn’t really feel the necessity to dive into corners or dispute you when it comes time to show. Stability is spectacular for a dust bike this gentle, although entering into the upper ranges of sixth gear can have you desirous about a steering damper if the terrain begins getting tough.

2024 KTM XC-W Lineup Test: 150
2024 KTM 150 XC-W.

The suspension is plush, so that you don’t get beat up on the rougher trails. On the grass observe, the suspension didn’t backside out on the jumps—admittedly, I wasn’t getting huge air—or g-outs. Whereas some individuals aren’t thrilled with progressive-damping suspension moderately than linkage, I had no points with the WP Xplor shock. The WP Xact spring-equipped fork by no means jolted me, and had loads of bottoming resistance. The suspension appears to return from the manufacturing facility dialed in for my weight and skill, so I didn’t spend a lot time fidgeting with the damping, despite the fact that no instruments are wanted, and spring-preload is spot-on straight from Austria.

The 2024 KTM 150 XC-W is a critically enjoyable bike to experience, letting you decide the extent of dedication. The chassis is greater than able to dealing with the 30-or-so horsepower the marginally oversquare mill places out. You’re feeling like Superman as you check its limits, and yours.

2024 KTM 250 XC-W

Now we’re getting critical. The 250 is the racer of the three, however there’s extra to it than that.

Must you purchase the 2024 KTM 250 XC-W with out the map-switching button, you would be tricked into considering it’s merely a really strong-running path bike. In the usual Map 1, it’s an aggressive experience, but nonetheless simply managed. Energy is there from prime to backside, matching the ratios of the six-speed transmission completely. A damped clutch slyly smooths off the sharper edges of the undersquare two-stroke’s energy supply, serving to you discover traction when a snappier hit would ship the rear Dunlop Geomax AT81 spinning—keep in mind, no traction management but on the two-strokes.

2024 KTM XC-W Lineup Test: The John Penton GNCC course

With the efficiency considerably rising as you progress from 144cc to 249cc, you respect the slender ergonomics of the brand new chassis and plastic much more. The 2024 KTM 250 XC-W simply feels excellent, with all controls the place you anticipate them, reacting as you anticipate they’ll. On some previous KTMs, I’ve had the occasional boot-top grabbing difficulty with the plastic—that appears to have been banished on the 2024 XC-Ws.

Put the 2024 KTM 250 XC-W into the livid Map 2, and put together for a aggressive experience. The motor spins up just like the 150, however with 250 energy getting put to the bottom.

In Map 2, issues occur in a rush. As I used to be swapping between the maps, a little bit of adaptation was all the time required. Going from Map 1 to Map 2 on the 250 magnified the change greater than on its two brothers. I discovered myself blowing by way of corners, or spinning up the Dunlop unexpectedly. Recognizing this, I sometimes snuck in an additional lap on the 250 in Map 2. The extra I bought used to Map 2, the higher I may exploit it, and the quicker I went.

2024 KTM XC-W Lineup Test: Oil injection

Nevertheless, harnessing all that energy and its unbridled supply makes the 250 XC-W in Map 2 extra fatiguing to experience than any of the 5 different choices among the many three bikes. Though the XC-Ws are enduro bikes moderately than cross-country racers, the 250’s Map 2 nonetheless is a potent beast. Due to the digital energy valve, it may be manageable with a light-weight throttle hand, however there’s no level to that—simply use Map 1.

Transferring by way of the woods and on the grass observe at a race tempo, the 2024 KTM 250 XC-W permits you to study the constraints of the chassis. Certain, professional and professional riders will undoubtedly need firmer suspension damping and higher-rate springs. Nevertheless, for my regular-guy intermediate race speeds, the stiffer-than-150 settings for the WP suspension labored completely.

The chassis settles in properly to soak up impacts and put energy to the bottom, but it resists bottoming impressively, even when arduous on the brakes on the backside of a steep downhill; that is one thing the WP suspension guys labored on for the brand new bike. Even off the showroom flooring, the no-tool clickers have a variety of adjustment that can fulfill a broad vary of riders—solely outlying riders who’re particularly gentle, heavy, or aggressive might be searching for totally different springs. Irrespective of how arduous I rode, the damping refused to flag resulting from heated oil or cavitation—thank the closed cartridge design.

2024 KTM XC-W Lineup Test: 250
2024 KTM 250 XC-W.

If I had been critical about racing, the 250 could be my 2024 KTM XC-W of selection. I might get the magic swap so I’ve entry to Map 2 once I’m recent, and know that I’ve the smoother Map 1 obtainable ought to I begin to get drained on the finish of an enduro or cross-country race. Path riders who prefer to experience like they’re racing might be drawn to the thrill on the single-track that the 250 XC-W affords, and we wouldn’t be shocked to see somebody ripping round a vet motocross observe on one when nobody is trying.

2024 KTM 300 XC-W

It’s widespread data amongst path riders {that a} 300cc two-stroke is a formidable powerplant, whether or not within the fingers of a novice rider or with an professional on the controls. The 2024 KTM 300 XC-W reinforces that notion, because the 293cc engine is as {powerful} or docile as you want.

2024 KTM XC-W Lineup Test: 300
2024 KTM 300 XC-W.

Of the three 2024 XC-Ws, the 300 is the model the place you would possibly take into account passing on the $150 button that brings Map 2 to the desk. For single-track path driving and senior-class racing at lower than breakneck speeds, the 300 XC-W is a unbelievable mount within the mellow Map 1.

The ability comes on in a extremely controllable method in Map 1, and there may be greater than sufficient torque from simply off idle to the higher midrange to fulfill a overwhelming majority of riders. It’s nearly unattainable to make a mistake with the throttle or be within the fallacious gear, because the tractor-esque energy retains pulling and placing the ability to the bottom with none argument. You’ll end up utilizing the gearbox and the positive Brembo hydraulic clutch a lot much less regularly—decide a gear with a prime pace that satisfies you and go.

Riders who frequent quick grime roads or the desert will discover Map 2 fascinating. When no obstacles or tight corners face you, letting the 2024 KTM 300 XC-W wind up with out a lot restraint is fantastically enjoyable. It ripped within the quicker grass-track parts, fortunately discovering traction because the two-stroke slingshotted me throughout the sector. Wheelies are simple and enjoyable, as is drifting by way of turns, simply modulating wheelspin with the throttle.

2024 KTM XC-W Lineup Test: Grass track enduro racing

The chassis and suspension setup that serves the 250 so nicely, additionally fits the 300. With the elevated rotational mass, the 300 doesn’t flip fairly in addition to the 250, nevertheless it’s shut, particularly in Map 1. The KTM 300 XC-W could be a little bit of a handful throughout path modifications in Map 2 within the tight stuff—the positive Dunlop Geomax MX33F can solely accomplish that a lot—and that’s why Map 1 is the default map that each one consumers get. Energy drops off when overrevving, so the way in which to experience the 300 quick is to maintain the engine in its magnificently meaty midrange.

Ripping by way of the woods in Map 1, the 250-spec suspension isn’t taxed by abrupt energy inputs, making for clean crusing over ruts, logs, and rocks, whereas taking up mud and hillclimbs confidently. When you could have a motor nearly as good as this 293cc two-stroke, you’re feeling like you are able to do no matter you want—and you may. All that is aided by a moist weight of simply 236 kilos with the two.4-gallon gasoline tank crammed, and the splendidly slender ergonomics. The seat peak sniffs at 38 inches unladen, but is manageable in motion.

Braking is particularly vital on the 300, and the Brembo items are top-notch. The preliminary chew isn’t abrupt, and it’s simple to modulate the brakes successfully so neither tire locks up, even in slick situations. I solely suffered rear-brake chatter constantly on one tough downhill, and the problem appeared throughout the KTM XC-W line—clearly, that spot had KTM’s quantity. In any other case, the braking is exemplary in each really feel and energy.

2024 KTM XC-W Lineup Test: Electronic power valve

With a giant two-stroke motor, options resembling electrical begin, EFI, oil injection, and an digital energy valve all earn their preserve. It’s nice to push a button to get going, have unblemished fueling, constant lubrication, and benefit from the manipulated exhaust ports for clean energy supply all through the powerband. As a lot as we’ve got loved 300-class two-stroke up to now, the 2024 KTM 300 XC-W elevates the enjoyable issue to a brand new stage.

Which One Is For You?

KTM has accomplished a unbelievable job of focusing on the three 2024 XC-Ws to totally different riders—all you must do is be practical about who you’re, what you need, and what you want.

Riders searching for a handy guide a rough, light-feeling experience will gravitate to the 2024 KTM 150 XC-W. The 150 appeals to lighter, smaller, and youthful riders, whereas nonetheless attractive senior riders who don’t need to be challenged by energy or weight. Established path riders might be rolling the 2024 KTM 300 XC-W out by way of the dealership’s entrance door and into their vans’ beds. It’s simple to say the 300 is all concerning the motor, however that may be overlooking the spectacular chassis the three bikes share. That leaves the 2024 KTM 250 XC-W for a rider searching for essentially the most aggressive experience, and a mount for the 250cc class at GNCC races and enduros.

It took me a long time to get to the American ancestral residence of KTM grime bikes, however I made it. I wasn’t in the slightest degree disillusioned, and that was actually helped by having the 2024 KTM XC-W lineup at my beck and name. Whereas readers will need me to select a winner, you shouldn’t care which XC-W I like finest—it doesn’t matter for you. Nonetheless, I don’t need to depart anybody too disillusioned, so I’ll say that the 250 isn’t aimed toward me, so I’m left hopelessly torn between the grunting 300 and the zippy 150—it would depend upon my temper for the time being.

Location images by Mack Faint
Studio images by Kiska
Historic images courtesy of KTM

RIDING STYLE

  • Helmet: Alpinestars SM5
  • Goggles: Progrip 3450 Mild Delicate and EKS Model EKS-S
  • Pants + jersey: Alpinestars Fluid Narin
  • Gloves: Alpinestars Full Bore
  • Physique armor: Alpinestars Bionic Professional V2 Jacket
  • Knee braces: Alpinestars Bionic-10 Carbon
  • Socks: Fly Racing Knee Brace
  • Boots: Alpinestars Tech 7 Enduro 

2024 KTM 300 XC-W, 250 XC-W, and 150 XC-W Specs

ENGINE

  • Kind: Single-cylinder 2-stroke
  • Displacement: 300: 293cc; 250: 249cc; 150: 144cc
  • Bore x stroke: 300: 72mm x 72mm; 250: 66.4 x 72mm; 150: 58 x 54mm
  • Fueling: Keihin EMS w/ 39mm throttle physique
  • Beginning: Electrical
  • Cooling: Liquid
  • Exhaust: Electronically managed energy valve
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Clutch: 300, 250: Moist-multiplate Damped Diaphragm Metal w/ Brembo hydraulics; 150: Moist-multiplate Diaphragm Metal w/ Brembo hydraulics
  • Remaining drive: 520 X-ring chain

CHASSIS

  • Body: Double-cradle chromoly metal
  • Subframe: Polyamide bolstered w/ aluminum
  • Handlebar: Neken tapered aluminum
  • Entrance suspension; journey: Absolutely adjustable 48mm inverted WP Xact fork; 11.8 inches
  • Rear suspension; journey: Linkage-less, absolutely adjustable WP Xplor piggyback-reservoir shock w/ progressive damping; 12.2 inches
  • Wheels: Large
  • Entrance wheel: 21 x 1.60
  • Rear wheel: 18 x 2.15
  • Entrance tire: 80/100 x 21; Dunlop Geomax MX33F
  • Rear tire: 110/100 x 18; Dunlop Geomax AT81
  • Entrance brake: 260mm disc w/ Brembo caliper
  • Rear brake: 220mm disc w/ Brembo caliper

DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES

  • Wheelbase: 58.6 inches
  • Rake: 26.1 levels
  • Triple clamp offset: 22mm
  • Seat peak: 37.9 inches
  • Floor clearance: 14.7 inches
  • Gasoline tank capability: 2.4 gallons
  • Moist weights: 300 and 250: 236 kilos; 150: 230 kilos

PRICES

  • 2024 KTM 300 XC-W Value: $11,449 MSRP
  • 2024 KTM 250 XC-W Value: $11,099
  • 2024 KTM 150 XC-W Value: $10,099

2024 KTM XC-W Lineup Take a look at Photograph Gallery



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