There are three XC-F models in the 2021 KTM line-up: the 250, 350, and 450. We’re here to talk about the largest displacement of the three, the 2021 450 XC-F. This serious off-road enduro bike shares a lot of DNA with KTM’s motocross offerings, but with added versatility to make it a more capable cross-country motorcycle, over a wide range of terrain types. It doesn’t just share DNA with any old motorcycle either: it features many of the same components found on the race-spec championship-winning 450 SX-F too.
The secret to this European-made enduro machine’s success is the compact but powerful fuel-injected, four-stroke, 449cc single-cylinder engine. It has been tweaked for the new year to comply with Euro5 regulations, but without compromising any power. It’s still a seriously potent ride—with approximately 52 horsepower on tap—and an impressive power-to-weight ratio.
What separates the XC-F range from the XCF-W is the suspension setup. Like all KTM motorcycles, WP Suspension handles the suspension duties. However, unlike the XCF-W models that use WP XPLOR units, the XC-F range uses WP XACT hardware instead.
For 2021, the 450 XC-F is available exclusively in KTM Orange.
The 2021 KTM 450 XC-F starts from $10,799 USD / $12,099 CAD.
On this page:we’ve curated specs, features, news, photos/videos, etc. so you can read up on the new 2021 KTM 450 XC-F in one place.
The 450 XC-F features the same compact 450 cc powerhouse as in the ripper 450 SX-F. KTM’s engineers worked tirelessly to increase the READY TO RACE ability of this machine by including the latest engine management technology and refining the SOHC cylinder head and the latest electronic fuel injection. This means the 450 XC-F pumps out unrivaled horsepower with one simple goal in mind – to win races!
Inside the SOHC cylinder head, an overhead camshaft controls four ultra-lightweight titanium valves via extremely rigid rocker arms, which are DLC-coated on the intake side. A configuration like this allows engine speeds of up to 11,500 RPM; a baffling figure for a large displacement thumper. Lateral brackets made of aluminum allow an efficient fixation of the engine to the frame and contribute to the bike’s featherweight feel.
The KTM 450 XC-F’s crankshaft 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 necessary oil feed for this bearing is ensured by the engine’s pressurized lubrication. This design is a decisive benefit in terms of the crankshaft service interval, which can be lengthened due to the plain bearing. So just pin it, all day long.
Crankcases and engine covers
The design of the die-cast crankcases allows for minimal weight and a very centralized shaft configuration. This makes the engine short and compact, while contributing to an efficient centralization of masses. The engine covers also feature a solid surface structure, which reduces the wear caused by the rider’s boots. This way, your XC-F will keep looking better longer.
The KTM 450 XC-F uses a lightweight 5-speed transmission with gear ratios that are perfectly matched to the power delivery of its large displacement engine. The 1st and 3rd gears are treated with a special surface coating for better reliability. An advanced ´No Dirt´ gear shift lever design prevents mud and sand from blocking the joint of the lever and guarantees trouble-free shifting. All 4-stroke engines are fitted with a gear position sensor, giving the option of different engine characteristics for each gear.
The high-tech, lightweight chrome-moly steel frame has a knack for easy handling, outlandish rideability, precise cornering and excellent stability. You can also count on precisely calculated stiffness of the frame. This results in better absorption of the energy created from the front and rear suspension, sucking up jumps and bumps. In short: more comfort and less rider fatigue. Laterally attached, lightweight aluminum engine head stays (the connection between cylinder head and frame) contribute to more precise cornering and a reduced vibration level. The engineers were able to pull off all that, while making their frame 2.2 pounds lighter than that of the lightest competitor on the market. In addition, it is easier to maintain, easier to work on and supplies more space for the tank and other components. The bike also features an extra-light subframe made of aluminum, which tips the scales at less than 2 pounds.
All KTM XC 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. Additionally, the bike is fitted with a map-select switch on the handlebar for selecting alternative engine maps. The rider also has the option to activate TRACTION CONTROL from this 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.
Sophisticated ´No Dirt´ footpegs prevent clogging of the footpeg pivot, even when digging in deep ruts. Looking for a higher riding position? Then just mount the footpegs of the EXC models, which are 6 mm higher than the XC versions.
Battery & wiring harness
A strong lithium ion battery breathes life into the engine and contributes to low vehicle weight. The lightweight battery and wiring harness are centralized in a compartment above the air filter box, allowing the mechanic to remove the subframe without moving the electronics. A happy mechanic is a good mechanic.