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2015 KTM Off-Road Line First Look

Tuesday, June 17, 2014
For 2015 KTM has updated its XC, XC-W and EXC models with a list of upgrades and changes. The XC line gets the most attention with major frame and suspension revisions, while the XC-W and EXC see fewer, but still notable, alterations.

XC Models

KTM’s XC line is designed for cross-country racing such as GNCCs, Hare and Hounds and Endurocross. Starting with the frame, the Austrian company has added a machined cross tube that joins the two sides of the chromoly steel skeleton and connects the linkage rods to the frame. This unit is lighter by 58 grams and allows for more exact production tolerances. The frame is now powder-coated KTM Factory Orange.

The swingarm has been revised to minimize weight but retain optimal stiffness and flexibility for better traction, stability and comfort. Additionally, the linkage ratios have been reworked for a higher starting rate to achieve a flatter, less progressive curve. KTM claims this will provide better control with a slightly lower rear ride height. The rear WP Suspension shock has been re-valved for the new linkage as well as to match the 8mm longer WP 4CS front forks that feature a new hydro stop design and altered spring rates.

The front-end also gets a smaller diameter front axle, down to 22mm from 26mm, to decrease weight. An adjusted offset and increased trail were made possible with the smaller axle by moving it rearward 2mm. New axle clamps on the front fork protectors allow easier access to the fork legs for quicker cleaning. A new aluminum O-ring support for the lower steering stem bearing drops 22 grams while the stem bolt cuts an additional 8 grams.

The XC models ride on black Giant rims mated to CNC-machined hubs with black spokes and silver nipples. Dunlop GeoMax AT81s handle the traction duties while a new 50-gram lighter rear sprocket transfers the power.
All models get a black anodized Neken tapered handlebar, hand guards that have better impact resistance and softer two-compound grips.

Engine changes on the 250 XC-F and 350 XC-F include a lighter clutch basket and new clutch springs for more consistent feel. Inside the engine, new O-rings on the oil-pump suction screen increase durability for all models in the 4-Stroke XC range.

The 2-Stoke 250 and 300 XC models have a lighter clutch basket.

XC-W and EXC Models

The XC-W and EXC line-up gets fewer changes, with many mirroring the XC machines such as the KTM Factory Orange power-coated frame, Neken handlebars, hand guards, grips and black Giant rims. The XC-W models get the same Dunlop GEOMAX AT81 tires while the EXCs will ride on Metzler Six Day DOT rubber.

The 200 XC-W gets an updated PDS with a new rear shock featuring a mono-seal joint ring for better function and simplified maintenance. A lighter and more efficient 3ah battery has been fitted and the carburetor has been reworked for a smoother power delivery.

The 2-Stroke 250 XC-W also receives the 3ah battery and carb tweaks along with an optimized CDI curve to work with the power valve opening at 200 rpm higher for a smoother power delivery. The ignition cover has improved sealing with a new gasket as does the inner clutch cover gasket. Short gearing has been installed on the electric starter for higher initial torque. The 300 XC-W sees all of the same updates minus the CDI and power valve.

On the 4-Stroke 250 XCF-W, a six-speed transmission has shorter gear ratios in fourth and fifth with an overdrive sixth gear. The DDS (damped diaphragm steel) clutch is revised for lighter weight and uses a diaphragm spring. New O-rings on the oil pump suction screen increase durability. The 350 XCF-W and 350 EXC get the same DDS clutch changes and oil pump screen O-rings.

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