You know when people say that a bike is so good that it can just about do anything? The KTM 450 EXC is that kind of bike, capable of justifiably claiming to be the most widely ridden bike in enduro sport and a serial winner in the E2 World Championship.
And here’s the best part: the 2012 model has been revamped and slimmed down in practically every aspect - from the frame to the electronic injection and the engine management system to the material selection and the new chassis and redesigned OHC engine. Every which way you look at the 450 EXC, you just can’t help but be smitten over it.
Powering the 450 EXC is a newly developed engine, redesigned from scratch. It is now more compact, lighter, and more powerful than before. Reduced reciprocating weight and a balancer shaft are also part of the bike’s powertrain set-up, as is a pressure pump that lubricates the engine and a suction pump that draws oil from the crankcase, using it to lubricate the transmission and the clutch. The 450 EXC also has a new, laterally integrated balancer shaft that not only eliminates vibration, but also serves as the drive for the water pump. This intelligent multi-functionality contributes to the compactness and low weight of the 450 EXC’s new engine.
Another new element to the 450 EXC puzzle is the newly developed clutch, with a robust steel cage and transmission-friendly back-damping, making use of a spring washer for the first time instead of the customary conical springs. This substantially reduces the operating force needed to operate the bike to full efficiency.
Find out more about the KTM 450 EXC after the jump.
With the 450 EXC’s newly developed engine, KTM engineers have created a new dimension: The power unit has been redesigned from scratch and is now more compact, lighter and more powerful than before. Reduced reciprocating weight and a balancer shaft minimize vibration.
The 450 EXC’s new engine is equipped with a common oil circuit for engine and transmission, and two oil pumps. A pressure pump lubricates the engine, while a suction pump draws oil from the crankcase, using it to lubricate the transmission and the clutch. At the same time and in conjunction with a steel diaphragm, negative pressure arises in the casing, which boosts the engine power.
The 450 EXC’s new, laterally integrated balancer shaft not only eliminates vibration, but also serves as the drive for the water pump. This intelligent multi-functionality contributes to the compactness and low weight of the 450 EXC’s new engine.
The 450 EXC’s new engine case weighs almost 2 kg less than its predecessor, although it offers better resistance to damage due to stone impact or falls. This has been achieved by using a high-strength, elastic aluminum alloy and changing from sand-casting to die-casting.
The 450 EXC’s cylinder has been further developed especially for the new engine configuration. The new, 15 % lighter forged piston minimizes reciprocating weight and optimizes durability at high engine speeds. New, nitrided piston rings ensure highest levels of resistance to wear.
All ports and the combustion chamber have been redesigned in the OHC cylinder head of the 450 EXC’s new engine. The new camshaft actuates four valves via lightweight rocker arms, with high-quality titanium valves being used on the intake side.
Chassis and Suspension
The completely revamped frame made from high-quality chrome-molybdenum steel is characterized by even greater lateral stiffness. Furthermore, it is even better at absorbing jolts introduced by the suspension system, whereby the simple handling and comfort of the 450 EXC have been further optimized.
The 450 EXC’s new, lighter, cast aluminum swingarm accommodates the shock absorber more centrally, in order to load the swing arms more evenly. The new, 7 mm longer PDS shock absorber with adjustable rebound and high/low-speed compression damping, and a new setting is installed more flatly, so providing even more progression.
The 450 EXC is equipped with the latest WP upside-down fork with wider adjustment ranges and a new setting. The sensitive responsiveness and outstanding damping of the open-cartridge fork with 48 mm outer tubes are a perfect complement for the 450 EXC’s simple handling and precision.
Practically unbeatable in terms of weight and stability, the new wheels have CNC-machined hubs, Excel rims, zinc/nickel-coated spokes and aluminum nipples. They reduce the unsprung and gyroscopic masses, hence bolstering the simple handling of the 450 EXC.
The 450 EXC’s new bodywork with the very slim seat and spoiler lines, plus excellent contact points, perfects the bike’s ergonomics, making handling even simpler and more precise. The longer rear fender protects the rider even more effectively from swirled up stones.
Single cylinder, 4-stroke
Kick- and electric starter / 12V 4Ah
Keihin EFI, flow restrictor 42 mm
4 V / OHC with rocker levers
Pressure lubrication with 2 oil pumps
14:36 17:32 19:28 22:26 24:23 26:21
Wet multi-disc clutch, Brembo hydraulics
Central double-cradle-type 25CrMo4
Neken, Aluminum Ø 28/22 mm
WP-USD Ø 48 mm
WP-PDS shock absorber
Suspension travel front/rear
Disc brake Ø 260/220 mm
1.60 x 21’’; 2.15 x 18’’ Excel
X-Ring 5/8 x 1/4"
Steering head angle
Tank capacity, approx.
Weight, without fuel, approx.
Zimbio----"Reduced reciprocating weight and a balancer shaft minimize vibration.
The newly developed Keihin engine management system with electronic fuel injection ensures spontaneous responsiveness from the engine. The 450 EXC’s new engine is equipped with a common oil circuit for engine and transmission, and two oil pumps. NEW BALANCER SHAFT
This intelligent multi-functionality contributes to the compactness and low weight of the 450 EXC’s new engine."