Living, loving and even at times loathing (just a little) the 2024 KTM EXC 250 – here’s our top 10 stand-out things we’ve learned about the all-new orange enduro machine in our workshop.

Enduro21 has had the KTM EXC 250 since October 2023 (yeah, it was late coming, blame KTM…) but ever since then we’ve been living day-to-day with it on the trail, in the workshop, jet washing, switching parts and basically doing all that normal stuff anyone does with their enduro bike.

With the complete new EXC range this year, it genuinely has felt like having a new bike to get to know, albeit with some familiar bolt sizes (mostly) and the orange colour.

With it being such a ground-up new bike there are some stand out things about our EXC and in no particular order, these are the 10 biggest talking points so far…


1. This sounds like we’re sucking up to KTM already but let’s start with a positive: genuinely we haven’t got on a standard EXC in years and felt so at home, so ready for any ride and so comfortable on the pegs. Whether that’s ripping a trail or scaling a technical rock gulley it felt good from the get-go. And for the first time ever (we think), that has meant no changes to OEM footrests or handlebars.

Literally all we did was set the sag, adjust a few clickers, and we haven’t touched it since. The only thing we’d like to change, but haven’t because we can’t see a way of doing it, is the steering lock or turning circle which isn’t as good as older EXCs. A bit more lock in the tight stuff would be handy.

2. Which leads to point number two: the suspension is so much better compared to the old kit. It transforms the standard handling compared to the previous generations of EXC, plus even the 2024 GASGAS EC enduro range which all carry open cartridge forks.

You can now hit things harder, land jumps better and ride a bike which stays in control underneath you. On beaten-up courses, where you have extended periods of hard work on a worn track, the shock gets hot and the damping goes off a bit still but not anything like the old Xplor kit.

If you’re a top national or championship level rider then, yeah, WP Pro Components suspension is still there for you. But honestly, from our expert level downwards, we’d say save your money.


3. The tank is a bit of a pig to take on and off. New routing for the fuel hose is not easy and for the first few times the tank was off, it took an absolute age to put back on again in the correct way to marry up the fuel hose connectors.

The reason is that fuel line which is squashed in the behind a wodge of wiring loom, down the inside of a frame rail. It takes some pulling out and threading back in every time. It feels like it’s getting squashed under the back edge of the tank if you’re not careful. We’re left wondering why the quick connector isn’t up top, right next to where it enters the tank?

4. Mud still collects in the usual places and some new ones. You know that little collection spot on top of the front fender? Yep, it’s still there. There are a couple of new ones too like just in front of the shock mount point on the swingarm plus right between the swingarm and the mud flap which drops off the bottom of the air box.


5. The TBI engine runs and rides cleanly in different weather conditions. Hot or cold, the new motor is crisper and thankfully more like a two-stroke should be with only a bit of a lean feeling sometimes when revving flat out. Generally the throttle and engine response is sharp and it helps make the bike a blast to ride. No spoilers here but just to confirm the TBI injection is better than the TPI. 

6. The new panels and general design updates makes it feels tidy to ride and work on. The lines are neat, the turned-in radiator shrouds make it narrower overall to handle and ride (plus the new, slimmer expansion pipe) and details like a new, more precise fit for the standard radiator protectors show the thought and R&D behind the “complete redesign” tag from KTM. 

That extends to working on the bike and things like accessing the air filter, the slightly off-set oil filler cap or removing the front’s just easier. The air filter now sits neatly in place too, inside a soft rubber lip and drops in easily with the front clip now being hinged.

That said, the air box drain hole is a bit vulnerable to getting clogged with mud from the back wheel and we’re checking that more than with previous models.


7. It’s not all sweetness and light with the panels because to take the right-side rear panel off, which is necessary to clean around the shock where mud gets thrown up, is waaaay harder than it should be. First the lower subframe mount, ideally the seat and still you’re not in there or quite sure if the panel clip at the top is supposed to come off. Rear mudguard next and/or the subframe? We’re still under there looking…

8. Sticking with the middle of the bike, the air filter is among a short list of things which, as we traded old for new over the years, does not transfer. Or rather the stack of spare filters built up over a decade or so don’t fit the new bike. The rear axle bolt is 30mm (not 27mm) too, which consigns the expensive combination spanner/wrench bought soley for that rear nut to the bottom of the toolbox….


9. We couldn’t live with those massive standard KTM handguards. They were too much. We’re not sure what KTM were thinking unless a lot of the testing was in mudder or ice conditions?! Whatever, the giant front spoilers are gone in favour of an Enduro Engineering perch-mount set.

10. Having tested the KTM, the Husqvarna and GASGAS standard enduro models it’s clear the Brembo brakes are the best option from Austria. They have better feel, more precision and consistency from the levers – if you’ve got a Husky or GG you’ve been hard done by.

Wondering what other non-standard parts we’ve fitted?

It’s a short list but a practical one. Galfer sent us a Steve Holcombe replica Shark rear brake disc which we fitted along with a wave front and their sintered pads. The Shark rear is thicker and therefore stronger than standard, plus it adds to the precision of the back brake and works well in wet and muddy conditions...


We fitted some Scott lock-on grips too which have a similar feel to the stock ODI ones but slightly thinner and look good with the orange colour match (images are in the gallery at the top of the page).  

AXP sent us some protection parts including their radiator guards, Xtreme Sump plate, chain and sprocket protector and the rear disc guard which all went straight on. It’s great to add purposeful protection parts without adding much to the overall weight.

Oh, and we switched out the original stop/start switch with a replacement from KTM. The original was found to be shorting on some bikes (not on ours) and we bolted on a set of fork bottom protectors to stop the dings to the fork feet.

Make no mistake, we’re putting the EXC through some decent testing while we have it...


What next? We need to try different gearing because the standard first gear could do with being better tuned to slow speed, hard enduro riding and we’re happy to sacrifice some top speed for that.

We’ve been trying a range of tyres and a “tested” on the Kenda Equilibrium rear shown in some of these images is coming soon – keep your eyes peeled for other test reports in the products section of E21.


Photo Credit: Enduro21