KTM has released its 2019 line of dual sport motorcycles, and there are few changes this year to the 500 EXC-F, 350 EXC-F, and 250 EXC-F.Of course, the EXC-F has been a highly successful line for KTM, so the Austrian company didn’t have a compelling need to rethink what is already working.
1. There are suspension changes for the 2019 KTM EXC-F line. The WP Xplor PDS shock gets a new main piston for 2019. The WP shock and Xplor 48 fork both get firmer settings for 2019. The suspension at both ends is fully adjustable for damping and spring-preload.2. New this year for all three 2019 KTM EXC-F models is a lighter, higher-capacity lithium-ion battery. This improves handling, due to the loss of weight, in addition to more reliable activation of the Mitsuba starter motor thanks to the stronger electrical output.3. A new seat cover is more comfortably and grippier. This was achieved via foam strips added to the rear half of the cover.4. BNG are always welcome, and the 2019 KTM EXC-F dual sport bikes have them. According to KTM, the new graphics have a “high-end Ready to Race appearance.”5. As before, DOHC motors with titanium valves power the 350 EXC-F and 250 EXC-F. The 250 EXC-F, in particular, is a high revving motor, topping out at 12,800 rpm.6. The 500 EXC-F’s 510cc motor uses a SOHC design, and it also features four titanium valves. All three motorcycles use a Keihin Engine Management System with a 44mm throttle body.7. Common across the 2019 KTM EXC-F dual-sport line is a six-speed transmission, DDS clutch, and Brembo hydraulics. There’s also a damping system in the clutch hub to smooth out the power and increase durability.8. All three models are Continental TKC 80 Twinduro tires.9. The 2019 KTM 500 EXC-F, 350 EXC-F, and 250 EXC-F are street legal in all 50 states.Photography by Heinz Mitterbauer.
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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!