KTM 500 EXC Review leading the Best Enduro Category

The word around market these days is KTM 500 EXC is new mountain king as it is the Best Dual Sport bike. In addition, this bike has even been praised for raising the stakes in off road bike category.  Well it debuted back in 2012 and within this short amount of time, this bike made quite a name for itself. But with its latest release, should we expect something even better or is it just the same ride with minor modifications, let`s find out!

KTM 500 EXC introductory video:

Looks and Designing

The first expression for KTM 500 EXC Looks is it’s a bit high for short legged enthusiast. But it`s comfortable once you get on it! The ergonomics are good but they somehow cramped some space between seat and handlebar when it comes to ride the trail. The midsection is made slim as radiator shrouds have been tucked nicely for avoiding the catching boot if you need to stick your leg for making a swift turn.

Coming back to ergonomics, carrying on with the digital speedometer, odometer along with the trip-o-meter. These all well together functions as a standard clock but with average speed functions for performance oriented features like the lap timer with stopwatch and mileage meter.  Screen is made sensitive to position of sun keeping the daytime in mind.

2014 KTM 500 EXC

KTM 500 EXC Review

[ Image Credits: Topspeed / KTM ]

But when it comes to the night drive, that`s another story! The screen provides great back-lighting in orange for making it easy for rider to monitor his vehicle. Apart from the screen, LED Tail and Headlamps also do an astonishing job.  The lights are made wide for swath even when used in low beam mode. Their size makes them conspicuous and bright enough.

I would give 7 out of 10 to the look of this outstanding bike according to its design for the long run.

Engine and Power

If you pay close attention to the figures you will realize the KTM 500 EXC Engine isn’t quite a 500. The actual displacement is 510 cc, well credit goes to 95 mm bore and 72 mm stroke. Packing extra heat makes this single cylinder engine an ideal example of compact design for high performance along with four stroke. SOHC and 4 valve configuration comes with some neat engineering with counterbalance shaft which plays the role of water pump drive.

In addition, the new KTM 500 EXC uses Eaton Oil pumps which acts are multi-taskers. These pressure pumps are responsible for lubricating engine and clutch while it cool downs the ignition. Apart from that, the scavenge pump sucks oil from crankcase as well as lubricating transmission. A quick roarer thanks EFI system which is dialed for aggressiveness.

Time for some facts apart from figures. with all this configuration, KTM ‘s Best Dual Sport is capable of product 50 BHP horsepower. In addition, it also outputs max torque of 30 ft-lb. sharp at cornering, if you are under expression that big displacement means unsatisfying economy, then you must know this bike can make nearly 140 miles in 2-4 gallon gas before needing a refill!

We can give 7 out 10 to the engine specs of KTM 500 EXC.

Ride and Handling

The Best Enduro from KTM is light and precise. As for the chassis, it`s made tough enough for picking the technical sections without much hassle. With its non-perimeter chromoly steel chassis, we get a removable sub frame in addition of aluminum swing-arm. With its 58 inch wheelbase, 26 degree rake and 4.3 inch trail foster featuring a feathery with effortless predictable feel.

The precise turning which settles with both rough and loose train are appraisable. The laser like steering requires more than a little node of head to change the rides direction and it sure is impressive. In addition, this bike easily remains stable even at high speeds on most whooped out terrain. As for the street, it handles like the dirt bike which is riding on a skinny 21 inch front.

Here the DOT knobby tires become a bit whippy but there are no head-shakes at high speeds. Even if you try the freeway rain grooves. What to say, this is typical KTM! Yes the Best Enduro bike from the brand lives up their name and promise. The fact is, we are living this moment.

As per the above shared specs I would give 8 score out of 10 for it ride and handling.

What do We Have to Say about It?

If kept simple, KTM 500 EXC isn’t something faultless. The biggest gripe here is use of stock equipment. when it’s time for some off road, it isn’t much fun. Installed with hand guards, this bike is a wood for riding, it doesn’t have the skid plate for protecting engine against rock damage on rough terrain.  If that was bad enough wait there’s more.

We are not proud to say we found it the hard way, after tripping through the rocky side, both side covering the test unit lead oil. This lent us becoming certified welders before riding the dual sport again. So if you are waiting for our word, you need to buy additional skid plates before hitting the dirt. As for the overall styling, KTM did a good job, it`s far from ugly!

Being far away from ugly doesn’t meet you don`t need to place substances over style. Yes, the white and orange theme is good for off road but they are not great, for the price tag of $10,000, it’s a quick grab. But if you are looking for some muscles. Here you need referring to something else than KTM 500 EXC.

The Final Word

What to say, it’s an Open Class Best Dual Sport for season. The electric power with its precise handling and stiff suspension pays amazing attribute to this ride. This should be enough to please the first time off road riders. The good news is, there is nothing boring about KTM 500 EXC. Yes, however you are planning to ride it on dessert or woods, you can build a fair competition with the x machine for its $10k price tag. So why go anywhere else when you got the amazing dirt ride which comes with a license plate. So if you step in the market to find something even better, you will have a hard time!

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