The KTM 500 EXC-F builds on the framework laid out by its little brother, the 350 EXC-F, which is also part of the new 2021 lineup. Namely, the bike is a dual-sport that is fully and truly dual sport. Powered by a 510cc four-stroke single, it develops approximately 58 HP, and more than enough torque for its relatively lightweight frame and body.
The Austrian company hasn’t skimped out on this model, either. A full set of WP XPLOR suspension front and rear give the 500 EXC-F enormous trail riding and off-road credibility. That same suspension is also supple and comfortable on the street, smoothing out bumps and allowing one to ride to the trail before riding the trail.
It’s a go-anywhere-do-anything dual-sport that will be at home either on or off the road. Add in the fact that it is compact and light, but not ridiculously so, and you can also park it in the garage next to your car or other KTM bikes!
The 2021 KTM 500 EXC-F starts at $11,599 USD / $13,299 CAD.
On this page:we’ve curated specs, features, news, photos/videos, etc. so you can read up on the new 2021 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. Its class-leading power delivery is available throughout the entire rev range and with its low weight of only 64.4 lbs, this engine is the most compact, lightest and most competitive powerplant out there.
The KTM 500 EXC-F engine is fitted with a compact SOHC cylinder head for optimal mass centralization while contributing to even better handling. The head configuration promises efficient power delivery and unrivalled performance as the gas flow through the ports is controlled by a single overhead camshaft. It features a durable axial fixation of the de-compressor shaft and an efficient, integrated engine breather system. The rocker arms and low-friction timing chain guides guarantee a consistent performance throughout the rpm range.
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.
Engine cases and covers
The compact engine cases are manufactured using a high pressure die-cast production process which helps with weight reduction, while retaining strength and durability. 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.
The KTM 500 EXC-F features a robust 6-speed transmission made by PANKL Racing Systems. The gears are made of a strong, forged raw material, ensuring the highest durability and reliability level. 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 42 mm throttle body with separate systems for cold starting and idle adjustment. The throttle cable mount allows for easy access and a smooth routing of the cables. The ECU 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 an extremely lightweight, box-in-box type piston made by König. In conjunction with the light but extremely durable piston pin, it is a major contributor to the engine’s high performance, low vibrations and engine-speed. The compression ratio of 12.75:1 delivers exceptional engine performance and reduces the risk of engine knocking. Additionally, the top of the piston is optimized for a highly efficient combustion.
All EXC models feature high-tech, lightweight chromoly steel frames. This includes hydro-formed elements produced by state-of-the-art robot welding. With its race-proven geometries and optimal stiffness, the frame provides great feedback for the rider, playful handling and remarkable stability. The laterally attached engine head stays (the connection between cylinder, head and frame) are made of aluminum, reducing vibration and further contributing to precise cornering. The bikes also feature 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, providing great rear fender stability.
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.