For decades, the 250 cc 2-stroke cross country class has been at the forefront of pure unadulterated performance. It is epitomized by sweet-smelling 2-Stroke smoke, top-end powerbands and rocketship-like acceleration. The 2023 KTM 250 XC takes that to an all-new level, thanks to a container-load of cutting-edge advancements across the board. For 2023, this 2-Stoke legend has stepped up, and even further out of reach of the competition.
BODYWORK & GRAPHICS
FUNCTIONAL BODYWORK: The 2023 KTM XC and XC-F range feature an entirely new and improved rider triangle, providing improved knee contact - especially when standing on the pegs - with improved gripping surfaces all around. New plastics work to expel mud buildup in wet, muddy conditions, with a new, flatter seat profile and high-grip orange seat cover providing exceptional rider movement and control. A handy grip pocket under the seat, just above the airbox, makes gripping the bike and lifting it much easier. In terms of graphics, the 2023 KTM XC and XC-F design takes its cue from the early 1990s when purple was one of KTM's predominant colors.
FUEL TANK: A new 2.24 gallon polythene fuel tank incorporates a threaded filler cap and an integrated fuel pump. The fuel pump features an external fuel line which is specifically positioned to make it less exposed and susceptible to damage, while ensuring a steady, uninterrupted flow of fuel.
FRAME: No matter how gnarly the trail is, you'll stay in complete control thanks to an all-new frame design that has not only been engineered for longitudinal rigidity, but also repositions rotating mass closer to the center of gravity. Thicker frame walls also improve reliability, flex characteristics and offer unmatched rider feel. A new shock mounting also provides improved anti-squat behavior for better traction out of corners, while the footpeg mounting position has moved inwards for less risk of hooking up on roots or rocks. Additionally, the inclusion of forged brackets on the lower frame rails allows for easy installation of the skid plate.
POLYAMIDE-REINFORCED ALUMINIUM SUBFRAME: Weighing in at only 4 lb, the new 2-piece polyamide (60%) reinforced aluminum (40%) subframe provides impressive weight savings. With the help of computational dynamics, carefully calculated rigidity was engineered into the subframe, delivering outstanding handling and feedback, while remaining robust and reliable.
WHEELS AND TYRES: These don't only look the part - they play it too! High-strength, lightweight black alloy rims by GIANT are coupled to CNC machined hubs using lightweight spokes and silver anodized aluminum nipples. The spoke nipples incorporate a revised design reducing the frequency of spoke checks and maintenance. A Dunlop GEOMAX MX-33F takes care of business at the front, with a GEOMAX AT81 completing the package.
FOOTRESTS: All-new, CFD designed footrests offer a bigger contact area for better control of the bike while standing on the pegs, but also makes them less susceptible to hooking up on deep trail ruts, logs and rocks . This was achieved by a new, narrower frame mounting design, which also helps reduce overall weight.
SWINGARM: A new hollow, die-cast aluminum swingarm is designed to offer optimal stiffness and reliability at the lowest possible weight. The topology has been optimized for rigidity, while an improved casting process reduces weight by approximately 190 g. A new 22 mm rear axle has also been fitted to match the new flex characteristics of the chassis. This, along with a new chain guard and chain gliders result in improved durability and less chance of hooking on boots or external objects out on the trail, as well as reduce dirt build up around the swingarm and chain guard.
AIRBOX: The airbox is designed with precisely positioned inlet ducts aimed at preventing air deformation ensuring maximum airflow and maximum filter protection. The air filter is easily accessed, without tools, by removing the left side panel. Easy maintenance is guaranteed by the Twin Air filter and filter cage design that features a simple fail proof mounting system for safe and accurate filter installation.
ENGINE & EXHAUST
ENGINE: The KTM 250 XC has always represented the very best of unsurpassed power and lightweight construction. The simplicity and low maintenance cost of the 2-Stroke motor have made it a favorite amongst hard-core cross country racers for generations. For 2023, The KTM 250 XC enters the pits with increased performance and an overall engine weight of only 52.6 lb - with a number of ground-up engine enhancements to ensure the KTM 250 XC engine maintains its benchmark as the one to beat.
EFI: Pre-mix gets a remix across the 2-Stroke KTM XC range, with Electronic Fuel Injection setting the standard. Now there's no more jetting setup pre-race, and thanks to the all-new Keihin EFI, the ECU coming from Vitesco and reed valve case design, you can be guaranteed of laying down optimal power at any altitude, all of the time.
CYLINDER: A 66.4 mm bore, highly innovative electronic exhaust port management, and a machined finish for accurate port timing means the cylinder on the KTM 250 XC does more than just house the piston. It results in much-improved rideability, engine control, and more adjustability of the engine characteristics, thanks to 2 selectable and distinguished engine maps. Also, it's auto-calibrating, meaning there's no more hassle with wrong power valve adjustments.
CYLINDER HEAD: Connected to the cylinder head is a new radiator hose which features a visible water temperature sensor displaying the engine temperature at a glance for a quick understanding of the running condition of the KTM 250 XC. During servicing, accurate reassembly is guaranteed thanks to clear indication markings on the cast aluminum cylinder head.
COUNTER BALANCER SHAFT: Only good vibes! The KTM 250 XC features a laterally mounted counter balancer shaft which significantly reduces vibrations, resulting in a smoother and more comfortable ride with less rider fatigue.
THROTTLE BODY: An important update across the 2023 KTM XC range is an all-new 39 mm throttle body. Taking its learnings from the 4-strokes, the injectors are positioned in a double-injector pattern to ensure the most efficient flow into the combustion chamber, while the throttle cable is mounted directly without a throttle linkage providing smoother, uninhibited throttle action. This all adds up to cleaner, smoother fuel ignition, and more power without the fuss.
CRANKSHAFT: Designed with weight reduction and performance in mind, the crankshaft in the KTM 250 XC engine improves throttle response and contributes to the lightweight feel of the motorcycle. The perfect balance of rotating masses is achieved by balancing the weights of the crankshaft flywheel, the new rotor, and thanks to the innovative counter balancer shaft, engine vibration is kept to an absolute minimum.
CRANKCASES: The new KTM 250 XC engine is designed with mass centralization and weight reduction as the main criteria. As a result, the crankcases have been designed to house the internal components of the engine in the perfect position to achieve an ideal center of gravity, while adding the least possible weight. The casings are manufactured using a high-pressure die-cast production process, resulting in thinner but more reliable wall thickness. And just to add a little extra - the KTM brand logo gives the black powder-coated engine cover the ultimate READY TO RACE look.
EXHAUST: More compact but with added 'Braaap!', the header pipes on the 2023 KTM XC range provide exceptional ground clearance for when the going gets extra tricky, while a compact lightweight aluminum silencer provides the signature 2-Stroke soundtrack.
DS CLUTCH: The KTM 250 XC features a DDS (Dampened Diaphragm Steel) clutch, which includes a single-diaphragm steel pressure plate instead of traditional coil springs. It integrates a damping system for better traction and durability. The clutch basket is a single-piece CNC-machined steel component, which has been revised to accommodate the new gearbox in 2023, and continues to allow the use of thin steel liners that contribute to the compact design of the engine.
ERGONOMICS & COMFORT
WP XACT FRONT SUSPENSION: 48 mm air type WP XACT front fork with a split damping function provides all the confidence you need to attack the trails. New hydrostops in the fork legs improve bottoming-out resistance and account for less rebound when attacking big bumps while hauling across country. Redesigned fork protection rings also increase protection against dirt, making them as reliable as they are awesome.
WP XACT REAR SUSPENSION: An all-new rear shock design results in a reduction of overall length and less weight compared to the previous generation while keeping the suspension travel at 300 mm. Adjustability is now taken care of by a hand-adjustable dual compression control knob, that allows quick adjustment of high- and low-speed settings without tools. This, together with the newly designed rebound and preload adjusters, allows riders to adjust their shock settings without tools and without the help of a technician in the pits.
HYDRAULIC CLUTCH: The high-performance Brembo hydraulic clutch system guarantees even wear, near maintenance-free operation and perfect modulation in every condition. Meaning that play is constantly compensated so that the pressure point, and function of the clutch remain identical in cold or hot conditions, as well as over time. Countless hours of race focused testing have proven the high-quality, Italian-made Brembo hydraulic systems exceptional reliability.
NEKEN HANDLEBAR: All KTM XC and XC-F models are equipped with a tapered handlebar made of high-strength aluminum by NEKEN. The proprietary KTM bend delivers optimal control and unintended rider impacts are absorbed by the newly designed KTM branded bar pad, which features the same design patterns as seen on the frame protectors and tank spoilers - now that's a touch of class.
MAP SELECT SWITCH: The 2023 KTM 250 XC features a map select switch as standard, allowing the racer to switch between 2 perceptible engine maps. Map 1 provides a linear, predictable power delivery, while Map 2 gives it the full beans with crisp, explosive power output.
START/STOP SWITCH: Starting the 2023 KTM 250 XC is as easy as pressing a button. Literally! Lighting quick starts come thanks to an ultra-lightweight 12.8V 2 Ah lithium ion battery placed under the rider's seat, close to the center of gravity, new high-quality stator and pickup and super robust design, and an all-new start/stop button design.