While the 2013 season has barely begun for some KTM do not waste time and reveals terrain 2014 now his bikes! This year is the 250 EXC-F has received the most attention. So to honor the small 4-stroke enduro for this first test of the 2014 KTM range.
Completely revised in 2012, the KTM Enduro range of 2013 had seen a rather quiet in terms of evolution. This is also the case in 2014, with one exception: the small 250 EXC-F. This is the only enduro receive significant updates from the previous vintage.
If the chassis is close to what we know, this is the engine that it moves a lot with a new mechanical base inspired by the mill of the 350 EXC-F.
A dusty special between trees, cross a drunken test and 35 km loop in rocky and narrow paths of Sardinia we are ready to tell you all about this new bike!
Enduro Dressed for Cross
But let’s start at the beginning, because even before the ride EXC-F, there are a few points to make static. Hard to miss the new look of the Austrian receiving a brand new look, as the entire range of Enduro elsewhere.
Finally, new … yes and no, as you may have noticed: it is identical to that found on the Cross range since last year. No particular concern in terms of aesthetics, the unit is “fitting”, but notes, however, that the KTM seems gradually regain its massive look at the gills.
For the rest, the range of equipment remains valid: Excel rims and hubs imposing, footrest catching, translucent tank, new stiffer handguards, Brembo brakes and hydraulic clutch, semi-rigid chain guide, new fan radiator … In short, there is no shortage much to the KTM, though we regret the absence of skid plate and tees cut in the mass.
We stay on familiar ground when taking place behind the handlebars, with a cockpit still high but not unpleasant and controls hair falling perfectly in place. Still, the gills appear to expand a little more than the previous model, but nothing too bad.
If the frame of the KTM 250 EXC-F 2014 receives “that” small changes relative to the engine, it must be admitted that the above adjustments and there were good. From the first meters, we feel that the emphasis was on comfort, suspensions crash ample just riding on a saddle too comfortable.
The Orange swallow pebbles effectively and gum rather well the rough roads. It does not hit in the wrist or the back. All damper / PDS is still a good job, traction is very good. The bike gaining vitality, becomes more playful than before hair and maybe even a little easier. Changes in support are fast, precise cornering inputs, the KTM 250 EXC-F gives confidence driver.
If the comfort of Katé delight the majority of enduro, the pickiest would probably have preferred a final compression a little firmer to avoid bottoming when entering safe holes or breaks. But overall, we do not find fault with this crippling easy to handle and efficient bike.
A Dragster just Right
The motor is often one of the big strengths of the Austrian motorcycles. Well one of the KTM 250 EXC-F is no exception to the rule. Already elastic and easy, the 2014 vintage received more in terms of performance, while remaining accessible to man in the World.
The difference is not overly significant, but we feel that the boot is higher. In slow singles strewn with loose stones, a light throttle enough to move serenely at low revs. No piston stroke, no need to be constantly on the clutch lever can be wound on the second report, without fear of stalling. Ideal for output quiet Sunday.
Otherwise, in attack mode on the cross test, the KTM 250 EXC-F 2014 is doing better than before: it does not make hand when entering the mud sills, it does not explode either the support as we can do with the 350, but it does not lose efficiency. But it is at high speed as the performance gain arises: there is more on the side of the extension, the bike is slowing less quickly.
Conclusion: A Reference Better Than Reference …
The KTM 250 EXC-F often serves as a reference in the category of enduro 250 4 stroke … and this is likely to continue with the vintage 2014. The Austrian gains in performance just right where you need to place a notch above what we already know, without becoming elitist and difficult to take in hand motorcycle.
No doubt the EXC-F can have it both ways. The backpackers and other cushy amateurs classic Enduro, as the agitated trigger wishing to gas and drive the clock in competition. On this last point, however, the suspension a little firmer end of the race would not be a luxury, although the KTM 250 EXC-F 2014 is drawn with honors from the field test of Cross.
This is the side of the rate that things are really spoiled: the KTM 250 EXC-F 2013 is displayed at € 8,790, but it will cost € 8990 to offer the 250 EXC-F 2014 … An increase of 200 € say not (too) surprising given the changes. Still, in the end, it stings!