THE HOW & WHY
It was never KTM’s master plan to stop making off-road
bikes. The U.S. government forced the issue. Off-road bikes
and street-legal bikes were both required to meet federal
noise and emission standards. It didn’t really make sense to
go through the certification and homologation process for
a dirt-only bike and then not go a step further and make it
street-legal. For purists, KTM offers its closed-course off-road XC line, which isn’t subject to regulation at all.
This year’s EXCs are completely new bikes, with new
motors, new frames and new suspension. The motors
are very similar to those in the motocross bikes that were
introduced last year, but the EXCs have provisions for
kickstarters, whereas the race bikes don’t. If you want a
kickstarter as a backup to the electric starter, you can buy
a kit. All three bikes are much, much lighter than they were
last year. In fact, they’re even lighter than the XC-W dirt-only bikes of 2016. Score one for the new master plan.
After a bureaucratic delay, the
2017 KTM dual-sport bikes
have finally arrived.