2024 KTM 450 XCF-W Review – Specs

The 2024 KTM 450 XCF-W, KTM’s flagship headlight-equipped enduro motorcycle, undergoes a substantial makeover this year. Featuring a new chassis to complement its potent four-stroke motor, which itself receives some noteworthy updates, the 450 XCF-W brings a host of improvements to the table. With these enhancements, there’s much to discuss, so let’s rev up the virtual throttle on the keyboard and delve into the exciting details.

The 2024 KTM 450 XCF-W’s SOHC four-valve motor gets electronic rider aids, though you have to pay a nominal fee to get them. If you spring for the optional power/traction-control switch—less than $200—you get access to two engine maps available, defeatable traction control, and a quickshifter. Each map can be used with or without traction control, giving the rider four power delivery options. Most aggressive is Map 1 with TC disabled, while the tamest is Map 2 mode with TC engaged. If you decide to go without the switch, you get the Map 2 mode and no traction control, so the switch appeals to riders at both ends of the aggression spectrum. The switch also unlocks a quickshifter that allows full-throttle clutchless upshifts from 2nd gear through 6th gear.

There are additional electronic updates. Instead of vulnerable fuses and relays, there is an Offroad Control Unit under the seat. This keeps track of different electronic units on the motorcycle, shutting them off should they become a problem. Simply pop the seat to quickly determine which part needs attention via a series of green and red lights. Also, there is now a Rollover Sensor to shut the motor off in the unlikely scenario that you crash.

Physical updates to the power production system include a new airbox, fuel tank, fuel pump, and exhaust. The airbox has intake vents that smooth airflow to the Twin Air filter, helping keep the throttle response consistent. The filter can be accessed without tools, and the airbox is designed to discourage water intrusion. A new one-piece fuel pump is positioned at the bottom of the new transparent 2.24-gallon polyethylene (XPE) fuel tank to better scavenge remaining fuel. The external fuel line has been repositioned to make it less likely to get damaged while riding. The new exhaust system makes maintenance easier—you can remove it without pulling the shock.

The new frame on the 2024 KTM 450 XCF-W is designed to better serve the rider. KTM engineers have worked on the flex—torsional and longitudinal—to “exceptional rider feedback, energy absorption, and straight-line stability,” according to a KTM insider. Claimed improvements include anti-squat characteristics and increased stability. Also, the new frame uses the latest manufacturing technology; it is hydroformed, then laser cut, and welded by a robot.

Attention has also been directed toward the rotating mass of the big thumper. To lessen motor forces that can disrupt the rider, the engine has been rotated two degrees rearward, and the front sprocket is moved 3mm lower.

Forces from the suspension are mitigated by the new frame and new WP suspension. The top shock mount is no longer on the main frame tube. A bridge design reduces the forces the rider experiences from hits to the rear end by spreading it across the chassis. Also, the new swingarm is die-cast aluminum to reduce weight and optimize stiffness. A narrower 22mm rear axle adds some give to the rear end to work with the swingarm’s rigidity. In the front, the steering head is forged, and the steering stem has more flex, making the chassis more forgiving and less fatiguing.

Yes, the 2024 KTM 450 XCF-W has new suspension. The new WP Xact fork now has a spring, along with a closed cartridge design. The spring keeps things simple, while the closed cartridge reduces the oil foaming that can cause inconsistent damping action. There’s also a more aggressive hydrostop to reduce bottoming. Suspension travel is increased 8mm, with the overall length of the Xact fork up 12mm. The WP Xplor PDS shock means no maintenance-intensive linkage that is also susceptible to damage in rocky terrain. The shock is shorter this year, and the stroke reduced; however, the rear wheel travel is unchanged at 300mm. Inside, the shock has a new main piston and bearing seals. Damping is fully adjustable on both units without tools. Adjusting the spring preload at either end requires implements.

The new subframe is aluminum with polyamide support. The two-piece design weighs four pounds, and is designed to enhance durability. Instead of permanently deforming in a fall, the new hybrid subframe is designed to flex back into position thanks to the injection-molded polyamide. Like the frame and swingarm, the subframe is designed for optimized rigidity and is part of the handling package.

Ergonomics have been updated. The seat has a flatter profile, and the footpegs moved inboard slightly. There’s more knee contact with the frame to facilitate control, and higher-traction plastic where it interfaces with the rider. Lifting the bike for whatever reason will be easier thanks to grips integrated under the seat. Expect less mud on you in goopy conditions—the new front fender had mud fins that protect the radiator from fouling. The frame is powdercoated black for durability.

The 2024 KTM 450 XCF-W gets new retro-tinged graphics, and a new price tag: $11,999 MSRP. Watch for a full test of the new 450 XCF-W soon.

Studio photography by Kiska
Action photography by Rudi Schedl

2024 KTM 450 XCF-W Specs

ENGINE

  • Type: Single-cylinder 4-stroke
  • Displacement: 450cc
  • Bore x stroke: 95 x 63.4mm
  • Valvetrain: SOHC; 4 valves
  • Fueling: Keihin EMS w/ 42mm throttle body
  • Muffler: Aluminum; USFS-approved spark arrester
  • Cooling: Liquid
  • Starting: Electric
  • Transmission: 6-speed w/ optional upshift-only quickshifter
  • Clutch: Diaphragm-spring wet-multiplate w/ Brembo hydraulics
  • Final drive: 520 X-ring chain

CHASSIS

  • Frame: Double-cradle chromoly steel
  • Subframe: Polyamide reinforced w/ aluminum
  • Handlebar: Neken tapered aluminum
  • Front suspension; travel: Fully adjustable 48mm inverted WP Xact fork; 11.8 inches
  • Rear suspension; travel: Linkage-less, fully adjustable WP Xplor piggyback-reservoir shock w/ progressive damping; 12.2 inches
  • Wheels: Giant
  • Front wheel: 21 x 1.60
  • Rear wheel: 18 x 2.15
  • Front tire: 80/100 x 21; Dunlop Geomax MX33
  • Rear tire: 110/100 x 18; Dunlop Geomax AT81
  • Front brake: 260mm disc w/ Brembo caliper
  • Rear brake: 220mm disc w/ Brembo caliper

DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES

  • Wheelbase: 58.6 inches
  • Rake: 26.1 degrees
  • Triple clamp offset: 22mm
  • Seat height: 37.9 inches
  • Ground clearance: 14.7 inches
  • Fuel tank capacity: 2.2 gallons
  • Wet weight: 250 pounds

2024 KTM 450 XCF-W Price: $11,999 MSRP

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