The 250 cc 4-stroke landscape is one fraught with competition. However, the KTM 250 XC-F has for years been the leader, boasting a state-of-the-art engine management system, the strongest 250 cc 4-stroke engine in pit lane, and a high-performance, race-bred chassis setup, the KTM 250 XC-F remains an education in speed and agility.
The KTM 250 XC-F engine is known to be the strongest engine in the 250 cc 4-stroke class. Screaming to 14,000 RPM, but is equally happy producing tons of torque and low down, it’s a perfectly versatile powerplant, with no compromise. Add to that also, compact architecture, excellent mass centralization, and a low weight of only 47.6 pounds, and the accolades begin to make perfect sense.
The centerpiece of the compact DOHC (double overhead camshaft) engine is the cutting-edge cylinder head. It features two overhead camshafts, which activate titanium valves via super-light cam followers with a hard DLC coating. That gives this engine a revvy character, but doesn’t take anything away from its low-down power delivery.
The KTM 250 XC-F’s crankshaft utilizes a short connecting rod, which makes for an overall compact and lightweight engine with a snappy power delivery. A plain big (bottom) end bearing with two force-fitted bearing shells runs directly on the crank pin. The necessary oil feed for this bearing is ensured by the engine’s pressurized lubrication. This design is a decisive benefit in terms of the crankshaft service interval, which can be lengthened due to the plain bearing. So just pin it, all day long.
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.
The KTM 250 XC-F is fitted with an ultra-slick 6-speed semi-close ratio PANKL transmission. An advanced ´No Dirt´ gear shift lever design prevents mud and sand from blocking the joint of the lever and guarantees trouble-free shifting. The transmission shaft also features a C4 bearing that has a bigger overlap for reliability, even at extremely tough operating conditions. As with all KTM XC-F models, the engines are fitted with a gear position sensor, giving the option of different engine characteristics for each gear.
The state-of-the-art Keihin Engine Management System, with electronic fuel injection, features a 44 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.
Inside the short cylinder, with a bore of 78 mm, thumps a box-type piston made by CP. Its crown geometry is adapted perfectly to the high-compression combustion chamber, where its rigid structure and low weight shine.
The KTM 250 XC-F makes use of a side-mounted balancer shaft, which does three jobs. It maintains low oscillating masses and reduces engine vibration, drives the water pump, and drives the timing chain.
The KTM 250 XC-F is fitted with the extremely durable, KTM-developed DS clutch (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.
The standard electric starter on the KTM 250 XC-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.
With one touch of a button, the map switch allows riders to select between a standard map setting and a more aggressive map for loamy, high grip dirt conditions. This is particularly useful for changing track conditions, quick off-the-line launches, or in situations where you simply need to catch a breath and let the bike do the work for you.
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.
When it comes to power delivery and performance, the exhaust on all 4-stroke models plays a key role and packs a punch that is hard to beat. It features a model-specific header pipe with an advanced resonator called FDH (Flow Design Header), which is a small chamber around the pipe. The design allows the exhaust to be disassembled without removing the shock absorber, providing easier access to the shock. The aluminum sleeve, end cap, and internal design of the silencer also allow for slimmer ergonomics, making the bike feel slimmer, without compromising regulatory noise limits.
The KTM 250 XC-F is built around a high-tech, lightweight chrome-moly steel frame, which provides class-leading levels of handling, rideability, precision, and stability. Designed to take the hardest of hits, the frame itself acts as a shock absorber for the front and rear suspension, soaking up any jumps and jolts. The frame also features an extra-light subframe made of aluminum, which tips the scales at less than 2 pounds, keeping the weight low and the speed stellar.
The cast aluminum swingarm design offers low weight and perfect flex behavior, perfectly complimenting the frame. And being a single-component casting, it eliminates any inconsistencies and inherent weak points created by welding, making it stronger and better looking.
The KTM 250 XC-F is fitted with a lightweight set of high-end wheels, consisting of CNC-machined hubs, Giant rims, and black spokes with aluminum nipples. These are wrapped in Dunlop Geomax AT81, which together, provide maximum, grip, traction, and stability with the absolute and minimum weight.
The KTM XC range features the same 48 mm USD air-sprung WP XACT front forks with AER technology as found on our championship-winning motocross bikes. These are a split fork with separate functions for each leg. That means damping functions are on the right side, whereas the air spring is on the left. This left leg features a 2-chamber system with a capsuled air cartridge to prevent loss of air pressure. The air spring is easy to adjust to any rider weight via a single air valve. No extra special tools are required; the fork air pump is supplied with the bike. The right fork leg integrates a damping cartridge that tailors to all your damping needs. It can be adjusted to the track conditions and the rider’s preferences with a twist of a dial.
Big bumps beware – the WP XACT shock absorber has been developed with the entire frame and swingarm architecture in mind, including the linkage system and the WP XACT front forks. It also features machined and anodized components, making it a truly impressive piece of equipment to look at too.
High-quality, CNC machined triple clamps keep the handlebars in check via rubber damped fixtures. These also allow for two positions of adjustment, with a handy hour meter fitted alongside so that you know when it’s time to give your machine a little TLC.
When it comes to bringing this machine to stop, you’ll be happy to have high-tech Brembo brake calipers and lightweight wavy discs doing the business. 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.
All XC-F models have lightweight, see-through polyethylene tanks with an integrated fuel pump system and a capacity of 2.25 gallons. A quick-release filler cap makes for easy and reliable closure. And don’t worry about when the gas starts running thin – the aforementioned clear tanks mean you’ve always got an eye on the fuel level.
The easy-access airbox on the KTM 250 XC-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.
A slim, factory-inspired blue seat finished with grip ribs for improved rider connection and provides the ideal combination of comfort and control.
All KTM XC-F 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.
Sophisticated ´No Dirt´ footpegs prevent clogging of the footpeg pivot, even when digging in deep ruts. Looking for a higher riding position? Then just mount the footpegs of the EXC models, which are 6 mm higher than the XC versions.
The 2022 KTM XC Range receives a distinctive visual update, taking the bike even closer to the RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING look, with a new blue seat and the distinctive motorsport finishing touch; the orange frame.
The KTM 250 XC-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.
Getting power to the ground is one thing. Getting it hooked up is another. TRACTION CONTROL is a highly beneficial feature that guarantees more efficient traction and better control of the bike when accelerating on wet or slippery hard-pack surfaces. A handy feature is being able to toggle it on or off via the handlebar map switch – even when on the fly.