Top 10 KTM Motorcycles (Best Of)

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KTM has risen to become one of the world's leading manufacturers of aggressive street and dirt motorcycles. Learn about the most popular KTM motorcycles here.

Some of the most popular KTM models are the KTM 250 SX, 450 SX-F, 300 XC-W Six Days, 125 XS, the 890 Duke, Free Ride E-XC, 1290 Super Duke, and the 990 Super Moto R. All of these boast impressive functionality and speed and are a favorite among motorcycle enthusiasts.

KTM is a European brand that has built a reputation for making some of the craziest, fastest, and most adventurous dirt motorcycles available on the market today. KTM's dirt motorcycles have consistently won championships throughout the world in various landscapes like dunes, mountains, back roads, and dirt motorcycle courses.

KTM motorcycles are distinguished not just by their design. Instead, it's the two-stroke engine buried beneath the frame that makes these motorcycles so popular. We understand the capabilities of all models from this company but, these ten motorcycles discussed below should definitely be on your wish list.

In this article...


KTM 250 SX

The KTM 250 SX has an excellent reputation within the industry. Its two-stroke engine is one of the most powerful options. Secondly, this is the motorcycle to buy if you're searching for a small and lightweight KTM.

This small two-stroke boasts a remarkable power-to-weight balance, with enough power in a sturdy but compact frame that allows riders to navigate rugged terrain without burning a muscle. The KTM 250 SX is a terrific motorcycle for individuals who seek class-leading acceleration and want something controllable, which is made possible thanks to KTM's proprietary WP suspension, tough brakes, and straightforward riding aesthetics.

The fuel-injected DOHC engine of the model is supplied by a 44mm Keihin throttle body with a KTM-specific reversed fuel injector, which is located on the base of the throttle body.

The motorcycle stays true to its line-up with 41.1 horsepower and 19.1 lb-ft of torque, the motorcycle stays true to its line-up. The 250 SX-F was created with high-rpm power in mind. It's comparable to a 250cc two-stroke engine in terms of smoothness. For aggressive biking, second and third gear is ideal.

The KTM's suspension adjustments are comparable to the engines, but they're more suited to the demanding rider. The air fork's flexibility is excellent, but if you're not used to tuning them, it might be a little perplexing. The WP Xact shock is more conventional, with spring preload, low- and high-speed compress, and rebounding adjustability all included.

KTM 450 SX-F

The 450 SX-F Factory Edition is not a street-legal KTM; instead, it is a true race motorcycle. Only experienced off-road riders can get the most of it.

The motorcycle's potent 450cc four-stroke single camshaft engine generates immense power while being manageable, making it a great race motorcycle. You're going to see a lot of power in a small box with the powerful engine packed in a slim, compact frame.

KTM also incorporated billet parts, a movable front brake disc, and a holeshot mechanism to make the whole thing even sportier. This model was responsible for three successive AMA Supercross Championship victories, making it one of the most potent KTM dirt motorcycles ever produced.

The 450 SX-F is praised for its comfortable ride and neutral balance. The ever-updated suspensions ensure that comfort improves every year. The KTM's WP suspension setup has been improved, and the ride's flexibility, holdup, and versatility have all been upgraded dramatically.

The model is also the lightest in the category, coming in at 234 pounds, but due to its smooth power delivery and a bit heavier engine feel, it may not always feel the light on the racetrack. The rider triangle is very well balanced, and the chassis is long and slim. The broad Neken handlebar slightly throws off the ergonomics.

KTM 300 XC-W Six Days

The KTM 300 XC-W Six Days is part of KTM's phenomenally successful Six Days dirt motorcycle series. The 300 XC-W, however, is a two-stroke, which makes it different from most of the other motorcycles in this line-up. Apart from that, there are no significant differences.

The KTM 300 XC-W Six Days is a purebred dirt motorcycle that excels in all types of terrain owing to its fantastic two-stroke engine, which has been refined for better weight management, features a twin-valve, and has far less noise thanks to a redesigned balancer shaft. The engine is connected to a hydraulic DDS clutch-operated six-speed gearbox.

Ultimately, the tiny two-stroke engine represents the peak of contemporary two-stroke engineering, providing exceptional power and torque in a limited and durable design. It can produce about 55 hp, which is pretty good for a dirt motorcycle.

Furthermore, all XC-W versions come with Neken handlebars composed of tensile strength aluminum alloy and are exceptionally sturdy. The handlebar can be secured using the tried-and-true conventional KTM mount in four different locations. The Orange Frame highlights a plethora of decorative features on the ride.

The innovative chassis of the 300 XC-W Six Days blends maximum longitudinal rigidity with excellent mechanical properties, thanks to light chrome-molybdenum steel section tubing. It provides outstanding ride consistency and simple handling, and accurate steering action.

KTM 690 Enduro R

The KTM 690 Enduro R is popular among single huge cylinder adventure motorcyclists. It merges off-road concentration with street motorcycle capabilities so that you can ride on different types of terrains. The model comes with a single-cylinder 690cc engine that produces 67 horsepower, which should be more than enough for rapid road riding but lightweight enough to make it an agile off-roader.

It can manage both asphalt and gravel. It's a classic enduro motorcycle regarding the chassis, with a sports-oriented riding position but ample room for sit-down riding. Sharp, stylish, and very adaptable, the KTM 690 Enduro R is one of the finest KTM dirt motorcycles available with real-world use.

Furthermore, the KTM 690 Enduro R comes with a unique set of electronics. There are two power levels and two traction control settings – both are dynamic and make a big difference.  Most of the time, you'll be pleased with the quicker Road mode power delivery and the resulting wheel lofting and slipping management.

KTM 125 SX

The 125 SX is a great option for beginners looking for a dirt ride. It isn't the most extreme KTM available. However, for someone new to the 125cc classification, it is the quickest and simplest to manage.

The KTM 125 SX didn't become famous for extravagant features; instead, the ride is renowned for its effectiveness, minimalism, and compact size. This model is perhaps the most potent 125cc two-stroke in its category, and it accomplishes this by offering an excellent power-to-weight balance.

The engine weighs only 39.5 pounds and generates incredible power across the rpm range. The chassis is small and light. Aside from the remarkable performance, this small 125 also has outstanding suspension, with a WP AER 48 front fork and a corresponding WP rear shock that provides a comfortable ride.

The redesigned exhaust port configuration improves engine efficiency, and the upper curve of the exhaust port has been machined for better port synchronization.  Like all other KTM race models, this motorcycle is also equipped with WP suspension.

The clutch is a multi-plate device with Brembo hydraulic systems, and the full-size wheels are wrapped in Dunlop GeoMax MX 3S.

KTM Freeride E-XC

This is KTM's first electronic motorcycle to be released in the United States, and it features a powerful engine, quick charging periods, and an emissions-free driving experience. The Freeride is equipped with a permanent magnet synchronous electric engine capable of generating 21.5 horsepower and 31 pound-feet of torque.

Moreover, the Freeride E-XC is driven by a replaceable and detachable 260V, 2.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that can recharge to a full load in 80 minutes – though the actual riding duration per charge is likely just around an hour.

The 21-inch and 18-inch tires give it the appearance of a full-size motorcycle at first sight, but as you sit on it, you'll realize it's just slightly smaller. The wheelbase is 55.8 inches, and the seat is 36 inches. It's not as light as it appears, weighing 238 pounds.

The swingarm is like the 85 SX; however, it is lighter. The handlebar is slightly smaller than on a full-sized motorcycle, and the machine is relatively narrow overall. The footpeg mounts are convertible 8mm backwards to accommodate different users and riding patterns, which is a great touch.

KTM 150 XC-W

Any KTM dirt motorcycle with the XC label is designed for cross-country riding. You get a motorcycle with a wide-ratio transmission when you attach the W. That is to say, the six-speed transmission installed on this motorcycle is designed to get the most from the 150cc two-stroke engine.

As a result, the gear ratios are perfectly synchronized with the engine's power range. It's a great model for beginners concerned that a 125 won't be powerful enough to get them about or for veterans wanting to move up a size.

The cylinder bore on the KTM 150XC-W TPI is 58mm, with revised port scheduling and a new power valve. The cylinder has two domes containing fuel injectors, which provide gasoline to the back transfer ports in the fuel-injected use. For improved engine performance, the cylinder has a revised exhaust-port arrangement.

To achieve more accurate port scheduling, the upper curve of the exhaust port has been carved. Lastly, the redesigned cylinder enables the use of a standard style of spark plug, which is more commonly available.

A robust Chromoly steel frame is used on the redesigned 150XC-W TPI. While some parts of the chassis remained the same, KTM modified specific areas to have more lateral and transverse rigidity to improve rider comfort and general reliability. The laterally mounted engine head supports are now composed of aluminum for reduced vibrations.

The company also altered the frame guards to assist the rider's hold on the motorcycle while acting as a heat shield for the exhaust silencer. The chassis is 40mm longer, providing the back fender with a sturdier basis. It's still made of aluminum to keep the weight reasonable.

KTM 890 Duke

 KTM's 890 Duke R, nicknamed the "Super Scalpel," is the sharpest vehicle in the middleweight bare sport motorcycle category, thanks to its remarkable agility, jubilantly entertaining motor, high-quality components, and top-spec electronic system.

The DOHC parallel-twin 889cc engine, developed on the 790 powerplants, has undergone extensive testing and is now ready for the spotlight. The bore and stroke are increased to 90.7 x 68.8mm, resulting in a 90cc displacement rise and a 13.5:1 compression ratio. To boost lift, a redesigned cylinder head fits one-millimeter bigger intake and exhaust valves, as well as a more forceful camshaft configuration.

These upgrades result in a higher power at the back wheel, with the 890 Duke R producing 111.0 horsepower at 9,500 rpm and 67.0 lb-ft of torque at 7,000 rpm. The 890 Duke R offers an immense treasure of technological safety aids such as the TFT dashboard, which is colorful and offers a lot of data to play with.

Overall, the Duke R strikes the sweet spot in terms of performance, providing an adventure that seasoned riders will like as well as something that younger riders can grasp, unlike many of today's modern Super Naked motorcycles. Most significantly, it is a form of power that you can use on the streets.

KTM 1290 Super Duke R

Since its debut in 2014, the 1290 Super Duke R has combined convenience with track-level performance and accessible low- and midrange power. The ride comes with a 1,301cc LC8 75-degree V-twin. The redesigned ram-air intake and wider exhaust headers, in addition to new top-feeder injectors and 56mm throttle bodies, together add to its stated 180 horsepower at 9,500 rpm and 103 lb-ft of torque.

The engine casings have been thinned to reduce weight, and the hinge for the longer swingarm has been lifted 5mm for increased stability thanks to new cast-in mountings. KTM engineers succeeded to trim a kilogram off the weight of the previous system by using a larger-diameter steel exhaust system with dual catalytic converters instead of the earlier single-cat unit.

There are three riding settings, Rain, Street, and Sport, on the electrical front, with the required software rearrangements to accompany the upgraded motorcycle. The old motorcycle's four-axis IMU has been substituted with a six-axis system that communicates with the stability control and ABS systems for more accurate intervention at any lean angle.

KTM 990 Supermoto R

The 990 R is a development of the Supermoto 950, with the Super Duke R's 999cc LC8 engine and a larger fuel tank. Considering the absence of a fairing, the 990 Supermoto is quite comfortable over long distances. The road performance is excellent, with fantastic feedback provided by the high-quality WP suspension and ample stopping power provided by the Brembo braking, which is perhaps the best in the industry.

The contrast between the white bodywork and the orange chassis is stunning, and unlike prior KTMs, this one exudes quality and class. The engine produces a conventional 115 hp at 9000 rpm and a maximum torque of 97 Nm at 7000 rpm.

The motorcycle really shines on the track where the multi-adjustable WP suspension performs flawlessly, and each change in the suspension is easily visible. The KTM's tall, wide bars make it simple to throw it around curves and make low speed riding a breeze. Furthermore, the tubing chrome-molybdenum steel frame has been reinforced with an aluminum subframe, making it stronger than before.

The Supermoto R's mechanics are relatively simple. You have Bosch ABS, a fantastic technology that gives you more control over your brakes without being too intrusive to prevent you from having fun. You can tell that the Brembo brake system, Marchesini tyres, and WP suspension are all high-quality components.