2015 KTM EXC-F 250 & EXC 250
I really impressed by all new 2015 KTM’s EXC-F 250 and EXC 250 when I rode the bikes in Romania. But there can be a big difference between how well-prepped the EXC’s behaves in the dry and sunny Italy last year compare to wet and slippery terrain of Sidiu, Romania, where the world toughest Enduro rally is going to be held in a couple weeks time.
So to get a measure of what kind of Enduro bikes the 2015 KTM 4 stroke EXC-F & 2 stroke EXC is, I grabbed the bike at the KTM media launch. The plan was to put up as much mileage in the wet and wild terrains as I could in a day. Just one problem – I keep falling off the bike as I’m short Asian asphalt rider, but after KTM’s mechanics lowered down the WP front and rear shocks, I was zipping around trying to chase down my Enduro guide Erik Themel, who is the Red Bull Romaniacs track manager. Braving the cold and wet Romania weather and a few falls early in the morning on the first trails, in the name of riding journalist, I got better in handling the EXC-F250. Amazing what a few tweeks can do!
9:00am: I can see my breath as I pulled out the bike from the front of the Hohe Resort & Spa where all the 2015 KTM bikes were parked, 25 enduro bikes ranging for 125cc to 500cc, all for this group of journalist from all around the world. The air is cold and the sky is beginning the process of giving up the grip on the day as the sky turns grey. Hit the starter button and the bike settles into a quiet uncomplicated sound of the air box that betrays the engines performance.
9:15am: Despite the cold, the ride to the first enduro test ground was fantastic as I was riding a 2 stroke EXC250 something I should do more often in Malaysia! Heading out with a plan to reach all the 4 enduro trail test points within the eight hours of riding.
9:35am: First Test point reached, and my guide Eric, told me to head out on my own to scale the hilly terrain. While he search a special test trail for me, I went up the steep rocky terrain and got stuck half way up the hill. A couple of first gear wheelies (couldn’t change to second cos the hard boots) but managed to survive the first enduro test. Confidence building, and a change from 2 stroke to a lowered 4 stroke, bring it on!
10:30am: Next is the hill test, although Eric and me took a shorter path to the top of the hill, it was a great achievement to scale the hill. The EXC-F250 was easier to ride as the four stroke torque handles better in the wet. The EXC-F is a proven winner in the highly competitive Enduro series, as this machine enjoys the accolade of many prestigious World Championship titles. I can bet my last penny I could get at least a top three positions in Malaysia’s local Enduro races after this experience in Romania. The basis of this bike shares many components with the successful EXC-F 350, and enjoys class leading performance. Aside from updated plastics and graphics, the bikes come standard with orange frames and black Giant rims. There’s now a MAE digital speedometer, black Neken handlebars, softer compound grips and improved hand guards. Completely revamped for the last model year with a new engine and new bodywork, the enduro receives several clever detailed enhancements to ensure it’s superiority in its class.
12:00 noon: Break for lunch, much needed water, gulped down two glasses instantly, as I didn’t bring my camel bag as required!
After lunch, energized and back on the bike, I was wishing to pull some wheelies on the EXC-F, but weather was still damp and wet, and my dear guide Eric thinks I should wear a jacket to keep warm. Next destination is the river photo shoot point near the dam. Ride to the shooting point 30km……. down hill too dangerous as now our group added another journalist from Columbia, aslo an asphalt journalist. I was so confidence with my ability on the EXC-F, down the trails I was neck and neck with Eric. But as advised by Eric, down hill in Paltinis hill are a treacherous as it can be. We decided to take a different route after I nearly bump Eric off the hill!
There terrain was slippery and rocky but now I notice the lines in the path! 3-4 gears sometimes second gears, all the way to the photo point, 30km of rocks, mud , occasionally trucks and pick-up’s in our route. This ride was the most enjoyable as we try to beat mother nature by riding as fast as possible.
Around 4:00pm: reach our photo point and photo taken, we head back to hotel.
Another 35km back to, still drizzling and lucky for three of us in the group we reach back hotel had some beers and rub our legs and tired hands of almost 100km of Romaniacs terrain. Do it again, of course!
Despite the cold, the ride in Romania was fantastic. Thumbs up for KTM Austria!
The other group came back two hours later drenched and wet. During dinner everyone exchange their frolics in the Romanian terrain. Well done KTM for providing the best Enduro Experience an Asphalt rider can get. Lastly…….. I want more!
2015 KTM 250 EXC-F
249.91cc Single Cylinder 4-Stroke
Bore x Stroke
78mm x 52.3mm
Keihin Efi 42mm
Central tube frame made of chrome molybdenum steel tubing
WP Suspension Up Side Down 4860 MXMA PA
WP Suspension PDS 5018 DCC
1,482 -/+ 10mm
Motonation Sdn Bhd 016 417 1160
For more information on KTM 2015 EXC’s please contact Malaysia’s official KTM importer Motonation Sdn Bhd: NO.363K,Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah 11700 Gelugor, Penang, Malaysia. Phone:+60 16-418 8890 / +60 16-417 1160 or visit www.ktm.net.my