🎥 2018 KTM 500EXC-F: First Mods
Back in mid 2016, when KTM first unveiled their new-generation, 2017-model 500EXC-F in Spain, even KTM’s design team admitted they’d initially thought it would be a challenge to get the new donk’s stonking 62hp to the ground and retain the 500’s notorious rideability. But it soon became clear that clever mods to the 2017 engine’s crank, exhaust and mapping had combined to make this all-new machine’s power delivery more tractable than its (less powerful) predecessor. At the same, the 500EXC-F shed 5kg. And, even more significantly, by centralising the axis of the engine’s heaviest rotating masses – the clutch and crankshaft – KTM managed to create a much more neutral handling package by reducing gyroscopic forces.
As a result, the 2017 500EXC-F felt noticeably lighter, more agile and more user-friendly than its predecessor, and closer to the smaller-capacity four-strokes in KTM’s enduro range than ever before. And there’s no doubt that that has a lot to do with the fact the 500EXC-F has recently taken over (from the 350EXC-F) as KTM’s biggest-selling model in Australia – in spite of its $14,700 price tag making it the most expensive model in the brand’s enduro range.
But how can KTM’s 500EXC-F – which only got minor mods for 2018 – be improved? Well, now that we’ve ridden, raced and lived with our 2018 500EXC-F project bike for a couple of months, here’s a summary of what we’ve fitted to the machine to bolster its performance and protection, or simply to customise its ride.
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