2024 Fantic XE 300 and XEF 310 – Enduro21 reader questions answered
Ahead of testing Fantic’s 2024 XE300 and XEF310 enduro models, Enduro21 put a shoutout to readers asking what you wanted to know. Here are the answers.
When it comes to response to certain topics, Enduro21’s readers can usually be relied upon for their broad knowledge, riding experiences and ‘real world’ take on anything to do with dirt bikes.
Not many things get as much interest as bikes and within that category, Fantic has ranked pretty high these last few years for numbers of people checking out the stories about the new 300 two-stroke.
That’s why we put a shout out on social media before we headed to Italy to test the 2024 XE300 two-stroke and XEF310 four-stroke – two all-new models from Fantic – asking for your questions.
Here’s the answer (in no particular order) to the most common ones, which focused more on the 300 two-stroke, from the loudest voices…
Check out our riding impressions and more from this test: Tested: 2024 Fantic XE300 and XEF310 – you really need to take these bikes seriously
Can the XE300 do Hard Enduro?
If you’re looking at one of these for hard enduro or indeed trail riding, keep looking because they’ll be good for it.
In terms of how they handle hard enduro terrain, we’ll refer to our own YZ250 project bike and say it’s one of the beauties of it – you can hit an MX track one day and then dial it softer the next and go slogging on the extreme trails the next. Steering lock isn’t the best but the latest EXC isn’t great in that way either.
The XE300 has more skills than that because of the really impressive 300 motor which fuels nicely and gives you that all-important extra amount of torque power if you’re planning on going to Erzberg. Add in here the e-start, hydraulic clutch and fan as standard too.
You have a multitude of options with standard power maps tailored to enduro and for each individual bike, an app so you can quickly adjust fuelling to suit different conditions and 10 different traction control settings plus the easy chance to use an app to make your own maps and set them. On the move you can then switch between settings at any time.
Are they available in the USA?
Right, this seems to be a big one for many Enduro21 readers in North and South America, and beyond as far as New Zealand where Fantic don’t really have an importer or dealers. They’re coming is the short answer to this question.
Fantic told us the real reason why they don’t stretch too much outside of Europe is because it is such a big up-scale and so far it was something they couldn’t commit to. They are/were waiting until they have a strong enough model range.
Which they now with these two new models we are saying and, although there is no actual date we can give you, expanding into the US at least is something which Fantic say they should and will be doing. Dualsport, road legal bikes in the US? In some states that’s a whole different ball game so don’t quote us on that one becoming a reality.
There’s no issue with Yamaha in the US by the way (contrary to popular myth). Fantic in reality are helping Yamaha by filling a gap in enduro and off-road. Don’t forget that every Fantic bought and sold is also money in the bank for Yamaha with the parts supply.
Of course there may be conflict with the MX range which is a big deal for Yamaha in the US market, so don’t expect to see Fantic’s XX models over there. But the XE enduro/off-road range? There’s no reason why not.
Big bonuses with the e-start and hydraulic clutch
The two things missing for many people with the YZ range is the electric starter and hydraulic clutch. It’s on a long list of reasons why you should look at a Fantic not a Yamaha if you ride enduro to be frank.
Repeated testing showed the electric start system was reliable all day long and it does seem pretty ‘out-the-way’ up there unlike some systems you might see aftermarket for Yamahas.
The hydraulic clutch is great too. Not just because it makes the lever lighter than a cable type but for consistency of the biting point as the clutch gets used, hot or bothered.
The instruments and electronic controls feel good to use and general user-friendliness is also worth pointing out in this context i.e. the 2024 Fantics are a long way removed converted MX bike.
The 300 XE comes with its own unique fuel tank with separate oil reservoir for the injection system with the oil filler cap sitting up top next to the petrol filler in a specially designed Acerbis tank. It all fits together neatly around the unique cooling system design, radiators, seat and side panels.
We can’t tell you about fuel consumption, it’s impossible on a test like this because you get off one bike, jump on another in quick succession. But the bikes were ridden constantly over several hours and we didn’t see too much refuelling going on so would guess they aren’t thirsty.
Another point we already made in our first riding impressions story is why they thought a black tank was a good idea. A clear tank would be better for enduro rather than the black one, so you can see how much you’ve got left.
What’s the engine specification?
The Fantic 300cc two-stroke motor is a new engine designed, engineered and manufactured by Minarelli (which is part of Fantic). It’s based on the crankcases from the 250 model, but almost everything has been worked on to create the throttle body fuel injection, 300cc motor.
As we’ve written in our riding impression test report, Fantic claims this to be the most powerful motor on the market.
The 292.2cc engine has a 72x72mm bore and stroke and 11.5:1 compression ratio (stock YZ250 is 249cc/66.4x72mm/10.6:1). Twin throttle body injectors are developed with Athena to be Euro5+ compliant, it has an electronic exhaust valve claiming a “full torque curve at low rpm”, separate fuel and oil injection (not pre-mix), adjustable mapping and traction control with handlebar mounted switches, a hydraulic clutch and an electric start.
Does the new 300 2T engine have a balancer shaft?
That question makes us think you’re concerned about bad vibes, particularly through the bars? The quick answer is no, there’s no counterbalance shaft but it doesn’t need one.
The YZ250 engine doesn’t, in our experience have an issue with that and though vibrations can grow with age and wear in an engine, it’s not a problem we have found and that was the same response when we asked Fantic.
No sixth gear?
Obviously there are times when a sixth gear on an enduro bike is a bonus. Cruising on the road, wide-open in a stubble field or desert to be faster and/or to save fuel. Five-speed boxes top out faster and make you burn more fuel but it’s pretty common in enduro and off-road to see an MX bike converted (or an XC version for example) and therefore is happily using a five-speed box.
The Fantic 2T uses the Yamaha-derived five-speed gearbox with “a transmission dedicated specifically to the XE300”. They made adjustments to the Yamaha crankcases to accommodate the starter motor, but not enough to make room for a sixth gear.
The gearing on the XE300 is a mix between the YZ250 and the YZ250X with a final ratio of 14/50 (14/51 on the XEF310).
On this test that worked nicely but it will be great to test it again in different conditions. First gear is a little tall for really technical, extreme enduro kind of riding but that is easily adjusted and our own experience with the YZ250 is that dropping sprocket sizes makes all the difference.
95% of the time, simply swapping sprockets is enough to tailor any five-speed transmission for wherever they are riding. But we understand the issue for some who want the extra top gear.
Do they feel like motocross bikes?
It was a good question coming through on a WhatsApp from a friend while we were on this test. The answer is straightforward no.
Both new bikes, their new engines, the fuel injection, the mapping options, the suspension settings are all developed specifically for enduro and mark it well away from that.
Sure, they use the same Yamaha motocross chassis’, and to that end they have a different feel to a steel backbone style chassis bike. But the overall feel thanks to the set-up of the suspension, the design of the plastics, seat and riding position create a difference.
Having worked on converting a YZ250 to be more compliant in enduro, we know the difference and perhaps more than any of the Fantic enduro models, both of the new bikes here feel like enduro bikes through and through.
Are the motocross brakes too much for enduro?
The Nissin braking system which is a direct donor part from the Yamaha YZ range is still a bit much for many enduro conditions in our view. The hard and stony conditions on this test track only served to exaggerated the fierce Nissin front brake set-up with easy lock-ups with the big 270mm disc or rotor on the front. The 245mm on the rear also seems a little vulnerable (it’s 260/220mm on an EXC for comparison).
Conditions were against Nissin here – icy at times and littered with kamikaze stones aiming at the front tyre, it was a recipe for a lost front.
You get dialled in with your own bike of course and start to adjust your lever feel. But it would be great if Fantic could team up with another of their European partners and set their enduro models up with braking components more tuned to our kind of riding. Say, Brembo for instance?
Fantic hit the right spots with two core enduro models right in the thickest part of the market which should rightly appeal to everyone and anyone. Check our test report with riding impressions to find out how we rated them: Tested: 2024 Fantic XE300 and XEF310 – you really need to take these bikes seriously
Thanks for the questions BTW!
Photo Credit: Cristiano Morello