2024 KTM 500 EXC SIX DAYS Edition – the perfect dual-sport & trail bike?
KTM announced the 2024 EXC SIX DAYS edition models last month ahead of this year’s ISDE in Argentina but is the slightly tweaked dual-sport version of the big 500 four-stroke the ultimate trail bike?
There are plenty of Yamaha Tenere 700 fans out there enjoying as much off as on-road riding, and KTM would surely point you at the 690 Enduro R as their best trail bike. But if you don’t want the heavier bikes, particularly an adventure bike, the big guy in the EXC range could be the one.
Lighter, with great components, agile chassis and much more alert power characteristics, enduro bikes make perfect trail tools as many will already attest to.
Enduro21 caught up with one global traveller Aaron Steinman who clocked up 10,000 miles on his 500 EXC-F in an epic round-the-world trip a few years ago.
It’s fair to say a big factor here also are the significant upgrades to the 2024 EXC range. As we found in our test report from the world press test in May this year, the new chassis’, suspension, electronics, two and four-stroke engines are a step-change in the orange bikes’ lineage.
Perfect trail tool?
The big 5 Hundy is a great enduro bike of course and has a very good record particularly at the ISDE, usually in the hands of an Australian. Plus Jaume Betriu was clocking solid EnduroGP results on one before switching a 300 TBI two-stroke for teh 2023 season with Eric Auge Team.
As many Enduro21 readers will know, North America pitches a slightly different specification model line-up in the dual-sport range and this is where it morphs into a trail bike. Essentially these are EXCs with more concession for road or street use: mirrors, extended license plate hanger and dual-sport tyres.
As KTM point out, the 500 EXC-F SIX DAYS is part of a long-standing tradition dating back almost 20 years. The ’24 models have a bit more bang for your buck besides the Argentina graphics.
KTM dual-sport 500 EXC-F SIX DAYS parts:
- All-new generation model with new chassis and engine wrapped in new bodywork
- SIX DAYS graphics, logos, seat cover, and orange frame to celebrate the International Six Days Enduro
- Anthracite coated muffler with SIX DAYS logo
- Handlebar with SIX DAYS graphic and grey ODI lock-on grips for optimal control
- Orange-anodised, CNC-machined triple clamps deliver exact control and smooth fork action
- Select protection pieces include a composite skid plate, orange chain guide, and rear brake safety wire for uninterrupted terrain conquering while a front axle puller gives the factory service touch
- Brembo braking system clamps down on a floating front wave disc and a solid rear disc for unmatched dual-sport braking power and performance in extreme conditions
- CNC machined hubs, high-end Giant rims with SIX DAYS logo and Continental TKC 80 tires provide excellent performance while reducing unsprung weight
- Redesigned engine works with the new frame, subframe, swingarm, WP XACT Closed Cartridge spring fork, and WP XPLOR rear shock for unmatched performance
- New handlebar shape and mounts increase grip surface for reduced bar twist
- New diecast footpegs with larger surface area and reduced weight offer increased clearance
- New 300%-brighter LED headlight with quick release
- Hydraulic Brembo clutch and brakes offer highly controllable modulation and light operation
Does all of the above make for the perfect trail bike? We’re reminded of Chris Birch taking the Silver category victory on a 500 EXC proving it’s capabilities in the what you could label the ultimate trail ride. As mentioned above, Aaron Steinman proved the bike can be good for globe-trotting too.
In the hugely improved ’24 EXC model guise with the SIX DAYS upgrades, surely you ain’t finding a better bike for the trails than this one?
One thing we can’t ignore is the $13,949 price tag but whether you are in the market for a high-specification, ready to go trail bike, or if you want to use it for inspiration and upgrade, this is arguably the benchmark.
2024 KTM 500 EXC-F SIX DAYS Edition complete specification:
Engine Type: Single Cylinder, 4-Stroke
Displacement: 510.9 cc
Bore/Stroke: 95/72 mm
Starter: Electric, Lithium Ion 12.8V 2Ah
Transmission: 6 Gears, Wide Ratio
Fuel System: Keihin EFI, Throttle Body 42 mm
Lubrication: Pressure Lubrication with 2 Oil Pumps
Primary Ratio: 29:72
Final Drive: 14:48
Cooling: Liquid Cooling
Clutch: Wet Multi-Disc DDS Clutch, Brembo Hydraulics
Ignition: Keihin EMS
Frame: Central Double-Cradle Type 25CrMo4 Steel
Subframe: Aluminum Reinforced Polyamide
Handlebar: NEKEN, Aluminum Ø 28/22 mm
Front Suspension: WP XACT Closed Cartridge USD Ø 48 mm
Rear Suspension: WP XPLOR Shock with PDS
Suspension Travel Front / Rear: 300 / 310 mm; 11.8 / 12.2 in
Front/Rear Brakes: Disc Brake 260 mm; 220 mm
Front/Rear Rims: 1.60 x 21” / 2.15 x 18” Giant
Front/Rear Tires: 90/90-21” / 140/90-18” Continental TKC 80
Chain: 520, X-Ring
Steering Head Angle: 26.1º
Triple Clamp Offset: 22 mm
Wheelbase: 1,489 ± 10 mm / 58.6 ± 0.4 in
Ground Clearance: 374 mm / 14.7 in
Seat Height: 963 mm / 37.9 in
Tank Capacity, Approx: 8.5 l / 2.24 gal
Weight (without fuel), Approx: 115 kg / 253.5 lb
The 2024 KTM 500 EXC-F SIX DAYS is available from August 2023 onward.
More information: www.KTM.com
Photo Credit: KTM | Mitterbauer + Platzer