Dedicated to the racing side of things, the KTM 505 XC-F is a motorcycle destined to the motocross rider inside you. Built for pure, high-tech performance, it results into a torque-producing machinery that is always ready to step up for the challenge.
KTM has made quite an entry by presenting the brand new possible MX3 leader, a motorcycle that is equipped with a strong-pulling 477.52cc single cylinder, four-stroke, SOHC, four valves, liquid-cooled engine. The manufacturer made no concessions when it came to this model so many riders will choose if for its successful attempt to be located among the ultimate machines that come to see the track.
The Husqvarna TC510 is also among those motorcycles as it is built to reach the podium with its magic twists of throttle. The unit receiving gas as a consequence of that action is the impressive 510cc single cylinder four-stroke, four-valves, DOHC, liquid-cooled engine. The engines on both the Husqy and the KTM are mated to five-speed gearboxes so these two couldn’t have been more comparable. And when it comes to the price, KTM’s closest competitor is offered for an MSRP of $7,198.
Offered for a buck more than the Husqvarna (I’m serious, MSRP is $7,199) is the Honda CRF450R, a true MX expert that has undergone some pretty important changes becoming sharper than ever before and featuring all-new works-style brake rotors, retooled frame geometry, and Honda Progressive Steering Damper. But a bike is best characterized through its engine and in this case KTM will have to deal with a 449cc single cylinder Unicam four-stroke liquid-cooled engine.
Yamaha likes being a little special and as a result it presents their most performing motocroser ever, the YZ450F. As a 2008 model year it features chassis refinements and engine fine-tunes, but what sends it in the battle is the 449cc liquid-cooled DOHC four-stroke fitted with five titanium valves. Marketed for $7,099 or $7,199 (special White/Red color scheme), the Yamaha proves competitive from all points of view.
It seems that Japanese motocross bikes these days don’t go higher than $7,199 as Suzuki also markets its RM-Z450 for this price. But what comes special on the Suzuki is the fuel injection system feeding the already competitive 449cc, four-stroke, singe-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-valve engine. Its most important feature, the one that sets it apart as being the world’s only mass-produced, fuel-injected motocross bike, comes from GSX-R road racing bikes which make a good point and plan on doing the same on the dirt track.
Kawasaki couldn’t have missed this battle as its KX450F has been revised both in matters of performance and handling. As a result, the 449cc liquid-cooled, four-stroke single with DOHC and four valves delivers its power smoother especially at the lower-end of the rev range. MSRP for the green racer is $6,999, which makes it the cheapest alternative that the market has to offer.
Just like a true motocross machine the KTM 505 XC-F looks compact, slim and ready to…win, this time. What immediately betray the “nice guy” character in front of the rider’s eyes are the racing plastics on each side, the front number plate and the high-mounted fenders, as well as the narrow seat. Virtually everything, that is!
The rims are blacked-out in order to match the rest of the bike’s mysterious appearance given by the black mudguards, fork, side panels, fuel tank, frame and muffler. Handlebars are mounted pretty high in order to allow the rider have more control over it while jumping on the motocross track and the seat positions at the ideal spot, also for a better feel of the bike.
Docile-looking and yet reassuring is the small thumper sitting underneath the fuel tank. Its total opposite, the braking system stands out with petal disc brakes for more efficient cooling under hard braking.
Base color is KTM Orange, helping this motocrosser be easily identifiable when flying its way towards the finish line.
MSRP for the 2008 KTM 505 XC-F if $8,248 and after taking a first look at it I reckon the bike is well worth it. Although not competitive when considering the other manufacturer’s suggested retail prices, the KTM still manages to achieve a good balance between bang and buck. Considering the fact that buck is a little heavy, bang has to be very strong in order to compensate and remain true to these sayings.
Riders who are willing to get a feel of Europe’s ultimate motocross bike have now a single name in their heads: KTM 505 XC-F. The bike stands as a one-of-a-kind combination of power, handling and looks and even though it is by many considered as being a bit expensive, I never heard anyone complaining about its reliability, torque or riding feel. All these features reach the highest and most competitive levels.
Engine and Transmission
Engine type: Single cylinder, 4-stroke, SOHC, 4 valves
Displacement: 477.52 cc
Bore x stroke: 100 x 60.8 mm (3.94 x 2.39")
Compression ratio: 12.5:1
Starter: E-Starter / 4 Ah
Transmission: 5 gears XC semi-close-ratio
Carburetor: Keihin MX FCR 39
Control: 4 V / DOHC with cam levers
Lubrication: Pressure lubrication with 2 Eaton pumps
Engine lubrication: 10W50
Primary drive: 29:74
Final drive: 14:52
Cooling: Liquid cooled
Clutch: Wet multi-disc clutch, operated hydraulically
Ignition: Kokusan digital SX
Chassis and Dimensions
Frame: Central double-cradle-type 25CrMo4
Subframe: Aluminium, removal
Handlebar: Renthal Aluminium Ø 28/22 mm (1.10/0.87")
Front suspension: WP USD Ø 48 mm (1.89")
Rear suspension: WP monoshock PDS
Suspension travel front / rear: 300 / 335 mm (11.81 / 13.19")
Front brake: 260mm (10.24") disc, Brembo double piston
Rear brake: 220mm (8.66") disc, Brembo single piston
Rims, front / rear: 1.60 x 21"; 2.15 x 18" Excel
Tires, front / rear: 80/100-21"; 110/100-18"
Chain: 5/8 x 1/4"
Main silencer: Aluminium
Steering head angle: 63.5°
Wheel base: 1481±10 mm (58.31±0.39")
Ground clearance: (unloaded) 380 mm (15")
Seat height: 925 mm (36.42")
Fuel capacity: approx. 9.2 liters (2.43 gal)
Weight (no fuel): approx. 108.3 kg (238.76 lbs)