KTM 300 XC and 250 XC First Look | Off-road Two-strokes
The pair of two strokes in the KTM XC lineup—the 300 XC and 250 XC—get various updates this year.The 2019 KTM 300 XC and 250 XC have changes that range from detailed to major. Let’s see what makes the 2019 KTM XC two-strokes different from last year.
1. The 2019 KTM 300 XC and 250 XC frame is updated, and the engine repositioned. In addition to the frame being stiffened to enhance straight-line stability, the motor is pivoted up one degree. According to KTM, this is done to provide more front wheel traction. Additionally, lighter aluminum head stays are used for 2019.2. The WP suspension gets firmer for 2019. Matching the improved straight-line performance of the frame, the settings in the WP fork and shock are firmed up for higher speeds. The shock also gets a new main piston. A stiffer triple clamp, another nod toward increased stability, holds the fork more securely.3. There’s a longer axle slot on the swingarm to allow for a longer wheelbase. There’s another 0.2 inches of axles adjustment to the rear of the 300 XC and 250 XC. If accessed, it will give the motorcycles more stability in a straight line, following the lead of the frame reworking.4. There’s a new airbox setup on the 2019 XC two-strokes. According to KTM, the new airbox and intake snorkel system will flow more air, as well as keep dirt away from the cage-mounted Twin Air filter. To match the new airbox, the carburetor settings have been changed.5. The engines in the 250 XC and 300 XC get a machined exhaust port. This allows for a more precise operation of the power valve, which in turns improves the delivery of power.6. WP makes the new expansion chambers on the 2019 KTM 300 XC and 250 XC. The new exhaust is narrower and offers more ground clearance. The revised shape is designed to better prevent dings. From a performance standpoint, KTM says that over-rev ability is enhanced.7. The mufflers on the 300 XC and 250 XC are all new. Instead of being held in place by plastic, there are steel mounting brackets for the mufflers. Additionally, the perforated inner tubes are new, plus the silencer packing is lighter (by 10 ounces) and more effective at reducing sound.8. A new cooling system should make the 2019 KTM 300 XC and 250 XC avoid overheating. Mounted lower to move the center of gravity down, the new WP radiators also boast increased coolant circulation for more efficient cooling. To facilitate that, the water pump has been redesigned for increase flow. Additionally, the radiators are designed to be more resistant to crash damage. The shrouds are narrower, making it easier to slide forward on the XCs for cornering.9. The fuel tank is new, and holds 2.65 gallons. For fast refilling during races, the filler cap is a quarter-turn bayonet design with a quick-release button.10. The bodywork and seat have been changed. The seat gets new silicone strips and a seat focused on increased comfort. The bodywork—designed by KTM R&D and Kiska Design—is intended to make it easier to move around on the 300 XC and 250 XC.11. To keep the rear fender more stable, the subframe has been extended over an inch and a half.
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!