Think of the 2023 KTM 500 EXC-F as a sledgehammer. Hard-hitting, effective, and utterly devastating. But, thanks to a nimble chassis and its even more compact high-tech engine, this large-displacement power machine is surprisingly light and rideable. As a result, this 510 cc SOHC single-cylinder powerhouse has an incredible power-to-weight ratio and provides nothing less than the most dynamic, and exciting option for weekend outrides, enduro competition, or rally event.
Bodywork & Graphics
DECALS: Drawing inspiration from the RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING TEAM, the 2023 KTM EXC-F range features an orange-coated frame and boasts a bold 90s inspired color scheme, using the tried and tested in-mold graphics application for greater friction and fade resistance, meaning your steed will look factory-fresh after even the toughest time spent on the trails.
FRAME: All KTM EXC models feature high-tech, lightweight Chromoly steel frames with race-derived geometry, optimal stiffness, and unparalleled feedback for the rider. This translates into a playful handling character, with remarkable stability at speed - not to mention FACTORY RACING style thanks to the striking orange coating. The subframe is made of extra-light and ultra-stable aluminum profiles, weighing less than 2 pounds and providing rear fender stability and durability in the event of a loop out.
SWINGARM: The KTM 500 EXC-F features a one-piece aluminum swingarm, which is manufactured using a gravity die-cast production process. This results in exceptional strength at the lowest possible weight and the perfect flex behavior.
WHEELS: KTM uses lightweight, CNC-machined hubs and high-end GIANT rims on all EXC models. These guarantee maximum stability and the bare minimum weight, while aluminum spoke nipples feature an innovative design, which reduces the need to continuously tighten the spokes.
TIRES: Dual purpose, puncture-resistant Continental TKC 80 tires are designed for all-day riding comfort, with extreme grip and performance across any terrain, on road or off.
SUSPENSION: For 2023, all KTM EXC-F models feature top-shelf WP suspension systems, focused on providing all riders of all levels with unmatched performance and consistency across all terrain types.
FRONT SUSPENSION: Leading the way in dual-sport-focused suspension, these adjustable 48 mm diameter WP XPLOR upside-down forks provide unmatched performance from both expert and amateur riders alike. Adjustability also comes easily, with compression damping dialed in on the left fork and rebound on the right.
REAR SUSPENSION: The race-proven and fully adjustable WP XPLOR shock absorber features conical bushings between the pistons that allow for reduced suspension fade and wear. And, not only is this PDS rear suspension design the of choice of champions in the quest for podiums, but it also leads the way when it comes to providing maximum traction for the rear wheel.
BRAKES: When it comes to bringing this machine to a stop, you'll be happy to have high-tech Brembo brake calipers and lightweight wave discs doing the work. These also take years of competitive racing into account, providing the perfect combination of ideal pad density and steel quality for longevity and consistent feel.
FUEL TANK: All KTM dual-sport models are fitted with lightweight polyethylene tanks, with a ¼‐turn bayonet-style filler cap makes for quick and easy operation. The integrated fuel pump ensures a direct feed to the injectors, while a 90° connector provides protection against damage. The tank is also manufactured using see‐through plastic, so riders are able to gauge fuel levels at a glance and on the go.
AIR BOX: The easy-access airbox on the KTM 500 EXC-F ensures optimal flow dynamics, thanks to specially designed intake snorkels. This means air is force-fed into the motor, resulting in the perfect balance of power and throttle response. Keeping the air clean, is a large Twin-Air air filter fitted to a rigid cage for ideal placement at all times.
Engine & Exhaust
ENGINE: Combining compact dimensions with immense power output, this 510 cc fuel-injected SOHC powerplant is the most powerful and refined on the market. Its class-leading power delivery is available throughout the entire rev range and with its low weight of only 29.2 kilograms (64.3 lbs), is also the lightest half-liter engine out there.
CYLINDER HEAD: The KTM 500 EXC-F engine is fitted with a compact SOHC cylinder head for optimal mass centralization. The head configuration promises efficient power delivery and unrivaled performance. A single overhead camshaft also ensures optimal gas flow, with low-friction rocker arms and timing chain guides guarantee consistent performance throughout the rpm range.
CRANKSHAFT: Located in an ideal position close to the center of gravity, the KTM 500 EXC-F's crankshaft contributes to easier handling. It utilizes a short connecting rod, which makes for an overall compact and lightweight engine. The engine's pressurized lubrication system provides the necessary oil feed for the big end bearing. This design has a direct benefit for the crankshaft with extended service intervals. So just pin it, all day long.
ENGINE CASES AND COVERS: A lightweight engine case design allows for a very centralized shaft configuration while contributing to an efficient centralization of mass. Additionally, the engine covers feature a smart surface structure that reduces the wear caused by the rider's boots, keeping them looking as fresh as the day it rolled off the production line, while a reinforced clutch cover and engine guard mean the engine case is more robust.
TRANSMISSION: The KTM 500 EXC-F features a robust 6-speed transmission made by PANKL Racing Systems. The gears are made of a strong, forged raw material, ensuring the highest durability and reliability level. All four-stroke engines are fitted with a gear sensor, giving the option of different engine characteristics for each gear.
ENGINE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: The state-of-the-art Keihin Engine Management System, with electronic fuel injection, features a 42 mm throttle body with separate systems for cold starting and idle adjustment. The throttle cable mount also allows for easy access and a smooth routing of cables for crisp throttle response, every time.
CYLINDER AND PISTON: Inside the short 95 mm bore cylinder is an extremely lightweight, forged bridged box-type piston made by König. Despite its incredibly low weight, it has an extra rigid structure for enhanced durability. Thanks to its lightweight construction, the oscillating masses are low, giving the engine extremely lively characteristics. The compression ratio of 12.75:1 delivers an exceptional engine performance and reduces the risk of engine knocking. Additionally, the top of the piston is optimized for highly efficient fuel combustion.
BALANCER SHAFT: The multifunctional side-mounted counter balance shaft masterfully balances all the oscillating forces, while also driving the water pump. It effectively keeps engine vibrations to a minimum, resulting in the smoothest ride even at the highest engine speeds.
CLUTCH: The KTM 500 EXC-F is fitted with the extremely durable, KTM-developed DDS clutch (damped diaphragm steel), with a wear-free steel basket and heat-resistant clutch plates. It uses a diaphragm spring instead of the usual coil springs, which results in considerably easier clutch action. Additionally, the Brembo hydraulic system provides easy and precise clutch modulation throughout the entire operating temperature range.
E-STARTER: The standard electric starter on the KTM 500 EXC-F uses a proven starter drive and a strong starter motor made by Mitsuba. As demonstrated time and time again, it provides quick and reliable starting, saving you precious time and energy when you need it most.
COOLING: Keeping the engine cool when the going gets tough comes courtesy of a pair of radiators, mounted close to the center of gravity. These make use of CFD technology (Computational Fluid Dynamics) and clever coolant circuit routing, achieving optimum engine temperature for the highest performance, in all conditions. Above all, the delta distributor, integrated into the frame triangle, features a large center tube for highly efficient coolant flow, as well as radiator fans as standard on all 4-stroke models.
EXHAUST: Packing a punch and delivering an unmistakable engine note, all 4-Stroke KTM dual-sport models feature an easy-access two-piece header pipe that can be disassembled easily to allow access to the rear shock. An aluminum muffler sleeve has a short and compact profile.
Ergonomics & Comfort
HANDLEBAR: All KTM EXC models are equipped with adjustable, high-strength aluminum tapered handlebars made by NEKEN. These can be mounted in four different positions. Standard with ODI vulcanized grip on the right side and a comfortable ODI lock-on grip on the left, your only worry is hanging on, and letting rip.
FOOTPEGS: Self-cleaning footpegs prevent mud from clogging up the pegs, even when dragging them through deep ruts. This means your boots maintain their grip, and you maintain your focus on the trail.
SEAT: Go ahead, take a seat. The 2023 KTM 500 EXC-F's seat is covered in grippy black vinyl, and is perfectly shaped to allow riders complete freedom of movement, but comfortable enough to maintain longer sessions in the saddle.
Software & Electronics
BATTERY & WIRING HARNESS: No one wants to kickstart a 510 cc behemoth. For that reason, the KTM 500 EXC-F is fitted with a time-proven electrical system, powered by a super lightweight 2 Ah lithium-ion starter battery. The wiring harness also has most of the electrical components carefully positioned into a common area below the seat, making them easily accessible.