Here is our video review of the KTM 300 EXC 2017! It is really, truly an incredible bike.
I rode up and down things I would have never believed I could do before this trip. After my buddy and excellent rider I had planned for the video had to drop out at the last minute it came down to me to do most of the riding and my friend Lorenzo Mengolini who was initially just going to be our guide did the filming!
I am a bronze class rider I guess at best, but this bike gave me the confidence to really push the limits of what I could do.
We were riding near Lorenzo’s home town Modigilana in Italy which is an absolute enduro paradise. There is a great mix of terrain for testing an Enduro bike. From fast and flowy, to super steep and rocky.
Transcript from the video –
The 2017 EXC’s are the new generation enduro models from KTM and for the first time in 6 years, they are completely new from the ground up. KTM focused on 3 key aspects; weight, performance and ride ability.
Most noticeably they come with the same all new plastics which were first seen on the 2016 SX line, but dig a little deeper and there are so many new parts which result in close to 5kg’s of weight reduction.
The shrouds feel slightly thinner than on the last generation model and are equally as good to move around on. The also offer a wider surface area to better allow riders to grip the bike with their knees. The stock graphics are ok, but we designed some new ones and had them printed up on thick Vinyl by Backyard designs.
The footpegs are a similar design to the 2016 SX bikes, except that they sit 6mm higher for better ground clearance.
The new frame is designed to allow 30% more longitudinal flex, and 20 percent more torsional rigidity. How does this translate when riding it? Well the bike not only corners better now but also has greater stability in a straight line.
The new XPlor forks are just amazing. Not only are they lighter than the old ones but they also offer improved adjustability. We let 4 different riders spend some time on the bike and they all came back raving about the front forks, and how they sit nice and high in the travel, give a super smooth ride over small bumps and yet seem to be able to handle big impacts and rocks with little problem too.
Another thing you notice straight away when riding is just how much less vibration is transmitted through the bars than on the old models. KTM say they have reduced vibrations by 50% thanks to a counter-balanced fitted to the new 2 stroke motors. This not only makes the bikes more comfortable to ride, but also helps to reduce fatigue on the riders as well as the bike.
Talking of the motor, we had some trouble setting up the carb initially. It felt like it was never getting enough fuel, and after completely disassembling it we traced the issue back to a tiny spec of white plastic inside it which must have come from the fuel tank. We also made another small change to allow more fuel in. Afterwards the motor was great, lots of torque and it also revved out nicely too.
Most of the time when riding hard enduro we would run a high gear and let the powerful torque carry us up climbs in the low to mid-rev range to avoid spinning the rear wheel too much.
If we had one complaint about the bike, other than the slightly fiddly carburation, and rubbish stock tires, it would be that the bike doesn’t come with a skid plate. A skid plate is absolutely essential for riding in technical rocky terrain as without it you quickly crush the Chromoly steel frame. This is really the only element which makes the bike fall short of KTM’s ready to Race mantra. Apart from that. it really is ready to race!
In conclusion, the 300 EXC has always been the top choice of hard enduro riders. The new 2017 KTM EXC is a significant improvement on the previous generation which was already an excellent bike. For all of the same reasons as well as the fact that the new models are lighter, handle better and vibrate less we are sure the 300exc will again be the top choice for most people riding hard enduro.