Introducing KTM’s outstanding next-generation enduro machine: the 2020 KTM 500 EXC-F. It’s the most powerful, authentic, dual-sport motorcycle on market. It’s more than just a street-legal dirt bike too. It’s a tough and versatile package that can tackle heavy-duty trails one day, and carve through city streets with incredible ease the next. If you’re looking for versatility, this highly acclaimed dual sport-should have your attention.
Powered by a potent 510.9cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine, the 500 EXC-F produces north of 41 horsepower and 26.5 lb-ft of peak torque, which makes it capable of delivering exceptional power right through the rev range, in a smooth and responsive way. The engine has recently been upgraded with new camshafts, a refined exhaust system, and fuel-injection. It’s also remarkably compact.
The small engine works in partnership with the lightweight nature of the rolling chassis, which includes a chromoly steel frame, advanced WP XPLOR USD-suspension, a WP XPLOR rear shock with a Progressive Damping System, Brembo brakes, and GIANT rims. What’s more, the 2020 KTM 500 EXC-F also comes equipped with all the necessities for road-riding, such as a horn, lights, an electric starter, with a powerful lithium-ion battery too.
The 2020 KTM 500 EXC-F is available in KTM’s signature orange color scheme, with black accents. The MSRP is set at $11,399, with an additional freight fee of $450.
On this page:we’ve curated specs, features, news, photos/videos, etc. so you can read up on the new KTM 500 EXC-F in one place.
Combining compact dimension with an immense power output, the KTM 500 EXC-F’s fuel-injected SOHC engine is the most powerful and refined 500 cc on the market, thanks to newly developed camshafts, exhaust system and updated electronic fuel injection. Its class-leading power delivery is available throughout the entire rev range and with its small dimensions and low weight, this engine is compact, light and the most competitive powerplant out there. With Euro IV homologation, it’s not only considerately green, but leaves the competition green with envy too.
The 500 EXC-F engine is fitted with a newly developed SOHC cylinder head which is much more compact, 15 mm lower and 500 gr lighter improving the mass centralization and contributing to even better handling. The gas flow through the newly shaped ports is controlled by a new overhead camshaft which is now closer to the center of gravity for improved handling. It features a better axial fixation of the de-compressor shaft and a new, more efficient integrated engine breather system. The four new valves are shorter and adapted to the new head design, but retain the same valve timing as the predecessor. The rocker arms have been optimized with a stiffer design, guaranteeing more constant performance throughout the rpm range. A shorter timing chain and new low-friction chain guides contribute to the engine’s overall reduced weight and lower friction. The new head configuration promises more efficient power delivery and unrivalled performance.
The KTM 500 EXC-F’s crankshaft is located in an ideal position close to the center of gravity, contributing to easier handling. It utilizes a short connecting rod, which makes for an overall compact and lightweight engine with a snappy power delivery. A plain big (bottom) end bearing with two force-fitted bearing shells runs directly on the crank pin. The engine’s pressurized lubrication system provides the necessary oil feed for this bearing. This design has a direct benefit for the crankshaft with extended service intervals, which are lengthened due to the plain bearing. So just pin it, all day long.
Crankcases and engine covers
The EXC models feature reworked engine cases, reducing the weight by nearly 300 g. The design allows for a very centralized shaft configuration, making the engine very short and compact, while contributing to an efficient centralization of mass. Additionally, the engine covers feature a smart surface structure which reduces wear caused by the rider’s boots, keeping them looking as fresh as the day you bought it, while a new reinforced clutch cover means the engine is more robust, even in rocky terrain.
The 500 EXC-F uses a new 6-speed transmission made by PANKL RACING SYSTEMS, that now features a stronger, forged raw material, ensuring the highest durability and reliability. There was no need to change the gear ratios that are perfectly matched to the power characteristics of the engine. All four-stroke engines are fitted with a gear sensor, giving the option of different engine characteristics for each gear.
Engine management system
The state-of-the-art Keihin Engine Management System, with electronic fuel injection, features a new 42 mm throttle body. There are separate systems for cold starting and idle adjustment, while an improved seal of the MAP sensor (MAP = Manifold-Absolute-Pressure) makes the system even more reliable. A reworked throttle cable mount allows for easy access and smoother routing of the cables. Additionally, for 2020, the ECU features new maps which have been adapted to the new exhaust, airbox and engine configuration, regulating the unique traction control and are activated by an optional map-select switch. It also provides different maps for each gear, according to the information received from the gear sensor, ensuring maximum power as you shift through the gears.
Cylinder and piston
Inside the short 95 mm bore cylinder, is a new, extremely lightweight, box-in-box type piston made by König. In conjunction with a 10% lighter piston pin, it is a major contributor to the engine’s high performance, low vibrations and engine-speed. The compression ratio has increased from 11.7:1 to 12.75:1 for even better engine performance. Additionally, the top of the piston has been optimized for more efficient combustion.
The multifunctional side-mounted counter balance shaft masterfully balances all the oscillating forces, while also driving the water pump. It effectively keeps engine vibrations to a minimum, resulting in the smoothest ride even at the highest engine speeds.
The KTM 500 EXC-F is fitted with the extremely durable, KTM-developed DDS clutch (damped diaphragm steel), with a wear-free steel basket and heat resistant clutch plates. It uses a diaphragm spring instead of the usual coil springs, which results in considerably easier clutch action. The diaphragm spring is also compact enough to allow for a damping system to be integrated into the clutch hub, contributing to better traction and durability. Additionally, the Brembo hydraulic system provides easy and precise clutch modulation.
The standard electric starter on the KTM 500 EXC-F uses a proven starter drive and a strong starter motor made by Mitsuba. As demonstrated time and time again, it provides quick and reliable starting, saving you precious time and energy when you need it most.
All EXC models feature new high-tech, lightweight chromoly steel frames. This includes hydro-formed elements produced by state-of-the-art robot welding. They retain their race-proven geometries, but by re-designing certain areas they now have a higher lateral, longitudinal and torsional stiffness, resulting in better feedback for the rider, playful handling and improved stability. The laterally attached engine head stays (the connection between cylinder, head and frame) are now made of aluminum, reducing vibration and further contributing to precise cornering. The bikes also feature newly designed lateral frame guards with a structured surface, improving grip, while also serving as a heat protector against the muffler on the right side. The subframe is made of extra-light and stable aluminum profiles, weighing less than 900 gr and is 40 mm longer than before, providing better rear fender stability.
The KTM 500 EXC-F’s one-piece aluminum swingarm is manufactured using a gravity die-cast production process, offering exceptional strength at the lowest possible weight. The single-component casting process offers low weight, perfect flex behavior and also allows for a large number of geometry solutions.
Ergonomics & Comfort
All KTM EXC models are equipped with the same high-strength aluminum tapered NEKEN handlebar. The handlebar allows for four different positions. The handlebars come standard with an ODI vulcanized grip on the right side and a comfortable ODI lock-on grip, which does not require any wire or glue, on the left. All models can be fitted with an optional ignition curve selector switch on the handlebar for selecting alternative maps. The rider also has the option to activate TRACTION CONTROL from this optional switch; a unique feature which guarantees more efficient traction, especially in slippery conditions, and can be activated with the push of a button during riding.
Software & Electronics
Battery & wiring harness
All engines are fitted with the proven electric starter, which is a major benefit for any offroad activity. It is powered by a super lightweight 2 ah lithium-ion starter battery, which provides safe, reliable starting. A reworked wiring harness and revised packaging has most of the electrical components concentrated into a common area below the seat, making them more accessible and reliable.