Dirt and Trail August 2019



It is easiest to feel that performance difference when you

jump on the 250 EXC TPI. Naturally the 250 lives better in

the mid-range so it makes for a more attack-minded bike.

If the 300 is the favourite for many riders at events like

Erzberg because of its range of power then the 250 is in its

element in a classic enduro test. Where the 300 makes you

feel capable, the 250 is encouraging you and tells you to

go faster!

One of the notable development changes which the

factory racers played a part in is a new lateral engine

headstay which is one of those parts on a bike which you

think, as a normal rider, you cannot possibly feel. New on

all models, the metal part connecting the cylinder head

to the frame is contributing to cornering precision while

reducing vibrations KTM says.

Rupert Walkner, who is charged with so much of

KTM’s R&D on the off road range, says everybody can tell

this difference: “you would be surprised the difference to

change this part. Anyone can notice it.” Explains Walkner.

By now it was also becoming clear there’s something

different about the way the new models handle on the

track. New valving inside the forks plus that engine stay

stiffness change and an increased amount of lateral torsion

applied to the area behind the headstock in the main frame

each contribute to improved feel for the front end of the

bike across a range of riding conditions.

There were some tough ruts forming into corners at

the Bassella course after so many riders and bikes that

you really needed to hit the line to make the turns and all

models showed how accurate the new chassis can be

even when braking bumps are trying to throw you off line.

Tackling some of the Bassella course’s tough downhill

sections proved the point about slimming the ergonomics

of the 2020 bikes. The 2020 rear fender is 40mm longer

but with the new rear mufflers the feeling space and

control between your legs as you hang off the back of the

bike is improved.


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