Think of the 2023 KTM 500 EXC-F as a sledgehammer. Hard-hitting, effective, and utterly devastating. But, thanks to a nimble chassis and its even more compact high-tech engine, this large-displacement power machine is surprisingly light and rideable. As a result, this 510 cc SOHC single-cylinder powerhouse has an incredible power-to-weight ratio and provides nothing less than the most dynamic, and exciting dual-sport experience available.
Combining compact dimensions with immense power output, this 510 cc fuel-injected SOHC powerplant is the most powerful and refined on the market. Its class-leading power delivery is available throughout the entire rev range and with its low weight of only 29.2 kilograms, is also the lightest half-liter engine out there.
The KTM 500 EXC-F engine is fitted with a compact SOHC cylinder head for optimal mass centralization. The head configuration promises efficient power delivery and unrivaled performance. A single overhead camshaft also ensures optimal gas flow, with low-friction rocker arms and timing chain guides guarantee consistent performance throughout the rpm range.
Located in an ideal position close to the center of gravity, The KTM 500 EXC-F crankshaft contributes to easier handling. It utilizes a short connecting rod, which makes for an overall compact and lightweight engine. The engine’s pressurized lubrication system provides the necessary oil feed for the big end bearing. This design has a direct benefit for the crankshaft with extended service intervals. 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 500 EXC-F features a robust 6-speed transmission made by PANKL Racing Systems. The gears are made of a strong, forged raw material, ensuring the highest durability and reliability level. All four-stroke engines are fitted with a gear 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 42 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 95 mm bore cylinder is an extremely lightweight, box-in-box type piston made by König. In conjunction with the light but extremely durable piston pin, it is a major contributor to the engine’s high performance, low vibrations, and speed. The compression ratio of 12.75:1 delivers exceptional engine performance and reduces the risk of engine knocking. Additionally, the top of the piston is optimized for highly efficient fuel combustion.
The multifunctional side-mounted counter balance shaft masterfully balances all the oscillating forces, while also driving the water pump. It effectively keeps engine vibrations to a minimum, resulting in the smoothest ride even at the highest engine speeds.
The KTM 500 EXC-F is fitted with the extremely durable, KTM-developed DDS clutch (damped 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 500 EXC-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.
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, as well as radiator fans as standard on all 4-stroke models.
Packing a punch and delivering an unmistakable engine note, all 4-stroke KTM EXC models feature an easy-access two-piece header pipe that can be disassembled easily to allow access to the rear shock. An aluminum muffler sleeve has a short and compact profile.
All KTM EXC models feature high-tech, lightweight Chromoly steel frames with race-derived geometry, optimal stiffness, and unparalleled feedback for the rider. This translates into a playful handling character, with remarkable stability at speed. The subframe is made of extra-light and ultra-stable aluminum profiles, weighing less than 900 grams providing rear fender stability and durability in the event of a loop out.
The KTM 500 EXC-F features a one-piece aluminum swingarm, which is manufactured using a gravity die-cast production process. This results in exceptional strength at the lowest possible weight and the perfect flex behavior.
KTM uses lightweight, CNC-machined hubs and high-end GIANT rims on all EXC models. These guarantee maximum stability and the bare minimum weight, while aluminum spoke nipples feature an innovative design, which reduces the need to continuously tighten the spokes.
New slots in the outer fork tube mean the 48 mm diameter WP XPLOR upside-down forks feed more oil to the bushes and reduce friction and heat build-up. The fork springs have also been updated with a new polished surface finish to improve consistency and new valve dedign increases rebound damping performance. The forks retain their adjustability, with compression damping on the left and rebound on the right.
The race-proven and fully adjustable WP XPLOR shock absorber has received a re-tune, with factory settings making it firmer, and new conical bushing between the pistons to improve bottoming reserves. This has resulted in reduced fade and improved wear, taking the PDS rear suspension design even further in its quest for podiums.
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 KTM enduro models are fitted with lightweight polyethylene tank, with a ¼‐turn bayonet-style filler cap makes for quick and easy operation. The integrated fuel pump ensures a direct feed to the injectors, while a 90° connector provides protection against damage. The tank is also manufactured using see‐through plastic, riders are able to gauge fuel levels at a glance and on the go.
The easy-access airbox on the KTM 500 EXC-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.
Go ahead, take a seat. The 2022 KTM 500 EXC-F’s seat is perfectly shaped to allow riders complete freedom of movement, but comfortable enough to maintain longer sessions in the saddle, and is covered in a grippy factory-inspired seat blue vinyl.
All KTM EXC 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.
Self-cleaning footpegs prevent mud from clogging up the pegs, even when dragging them through deep ruts. This means your boots maintain their grip, and you maintain your focus on the trail.
Drawing inspiration from the RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING TEAM, the 2022 KTM EXC range features a bold contrast of orange and blue tones, as well as a factory-inspired blue seat. These are applied using in-mold graphics, which feature greater friction and fade resistance, meaning your steed will look factory-fresh after even the toughest time spend on the trails.
No one wants to kickstart a 510 cc behemoth. For that reason, the KTM 500 EXC-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.