KTM just announced its 2024 enduro lineup, and if you’re a fan of dual sports that are dirt-oriented, there’s good news. The KTM 350 EXC-F and 500 EXC-F both return for 2024 in street-legal form. Canada also gets a competition-only four-stroke, the KTM 450 XCF-W. We also get the two-stroke KTM 150 XC-W, 250 XC-W and 350 XC-W, all of which are offroad-only bikes.
What’s new for 2024?
KTM says 95 percent of the parts on these machines are new, but it seems the big changes are in the chassis and electronics systems, not the engines. The EFI system on the 2T lineup is updated, and the 450 4T model gets significant plug-and-play electronic rider aid options.
There’s a new frame for all enduro models (hydro-formed and laser-cut, then welded by a robot). This is supposed to offer better straight-line stability and improved feedback and energy absorption. Without riding the machines, it’s impossible to know whether they actually deliver, but it is worth pointing out that the new frame also allowed KTM to tilt the engine two degrees backwards in the frame and drop the countershaft sprocket position by 3mm. This is supposed to help the bikes fight the tendency to squat on steep inclines and in hard corner exits.
The bikes get a new composite plastic-and-aluminum subframe, which contains a sort of electrical “smart box,” replacing the machines’ fuses and relays (more on that below).
To match that new frame, there’s a new fork and shock. Of course, KTM turned to the in-house specialists at WP. The new WP XACT closed cartridge fork comes with a mid-valve piston design and easy clicker adjustment for compression and damping. There’s a progressive damping-style shock in back again, with no linkage. The WP XPLOR PDS shock is also clicker-adjustable for compression and damping, and rear preload is also supposed to be simple to adjust.
There’s also new bodywork and new fuel tank on all models. It’s supposed to make it easier for the rider to control the machine, particularly in the standing position.
The biggest news here is probably the updated Offroad Control Unit. This little black box tucked under the seat has a strip of LEDs which glow green when a circuit is working, and red when it isn’t. KTM says this is supposed to make it easier to diagnose a problem, instead of searching for fuses all over the bike. Expect considerable commentary on this system in the Facebook groups and user forums in the months to come, as riders try to figure out what makes it tick, and how to hack it.
KTM also updated the fuel injection system on the two-stroke bikes. The new Throttle Body Injection system is supposed to be almost as smooth as a carburetor setup. KTM also designed a new reed valve case with plastic flaps on the outside, “for improved sealing of the intake tract. This new design avoids fuel excess in extreme up- or downhill sections which could lead to the fueling running rich.” Perhaps this will take away some of the issues of the previous 2T EFI system, which some users were unhappy with.
Because the two-stroke models have fuel injection and an ECU now, KTM was also able to include electronic exhaust control. That in turn allows for multiple engine maps; riders can choose from two different maps if they have the optional Map Select Switch.
KTM’s competition-only 450 XCF-W also got significant electro-upgrades. Traction control is now available as an option, along with a quickshifter. Note that the quickshifter only works on upshifts on second through sixth gear. These electronic rider aids are also controlled with the optional Map Select Switch.
Of course, if you break the lineup down model-by-model, there are many other smaller changes on all six machines. If you want to know more, you’re best-off seeing the details on KTM’s Canadian website. No price tags listed yet, but KTM does say the XC-W and XCF-W bikes will be at dealers from June onward, and dual-sport KTM EXC-F models are coming in August. By that time, MSRPs should be sorted out; ask your dealer, and they probably have a good idea already.