The new KTM 350xc-f is finally here! It has been a couple of years since I tested a 350, but it has always been one of my favorite bikes. Time to get our bike build underway.
Since the 2011 introduction of the KTM 350, I have been a fan. The displacement is a near ideal mix of all the best aspects of power and weight. In total I have probably logged nearly 300 hours on various models – exc, xc-w and xc-f. In 2016 the newest version of the sx-f/xc-f line debuted, adding power and reducing weight. Those changes have now been applied to the exc model too.
Each model has its own strong points. The street legal exc models have been hugely popular. The xc-f was always racier and featured linkage and closed chamber or 4CS fork. The xc-w was perhaps the best all around, being simpler than the exc, but having the same lovely motor and suspension characteristics.
KTM has chosen to trim the models down to just two now; eliminating the xc-w line of fourstrokes. My thought is to see just how civilized the racier xc-f can be when set up for enduro duty. This is one of the most common inquiries I get from readers regarding “which bike should I buy”.
So off we go with the bike build. Next week I plan to take the 350 to Baja in stock form to get a good baseline for feel and performance before we start the modifications. So stay tuned for updates.