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ENDURO TEST | 2024 KTM 450 EXC-F | Bike Reviews

Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive! But not all heroes wear capes. We test the 2024 KTM 450 EXC-F.

The mighty 450cc enduro machine has been somewhat forgotten about in recent times. Mid-cap four-strokes like the KTM 350 EXC-F are the preferred trail capacity for most singletrack warriors, lightweight two-strokes like the 300 EXC are the weapon of choice for hard enduro punters and big-bores like the 500 EXC-F are almost unbeatable in the high-paced desert stuff. Even the 250 EXC-F is a more suitable mule for beginners and rightfully has its place as the entry-level bike. So where does the 2024 KTM 450 EXC-F fit in?

As strange as this is to say, the 2024 KTM 450 EXC-F has turned into the do-it-all bike. Yep, that’s right, the 450cc capacity is actually more versatile than any other bike on the market. Ever since the European manufacturers started bringing in bikes of all shapes and sizes, specific capacities have been shaped to fit a particular mould but not the 450.

A 300cc two-stroke has been fine-tuned as the hard enduro scalpel and while it can do other disciplines, it’s not all that good at them, and as for the 500 EXC-F, it is now more brutish than its predecessor and if you plan on slicing tight single trail you’ll be up for some arm pump. The 2024 KTM 450 EXC-F on the other hand is a little more manageable than the 2024 KTM 500 EXC-F in the tight stuff and for most of us mere mortals is plenty fast enough in the desert. Sure, in hard enduro it isn’t going to win any trophies but it will come closer to podium glory than the 300 EXC will go at winning Finke.

My point is, the 2024 KTM 450 EXC-F now suits more disciplines than any other bike because it’s largely been left alone while the other capacities have been custom-designed to suit a certain style of riding. So if you want a bike that can do it all, look no further than the KTM 450 EXC-F.


While the intended use of the 450 EXC-F hasn’t really changed the actual motorcycle has. For MY24, 95% of the 2024 KTM 450 EXC-F is new. It gets a fresh frame design, new closed-cartridge suspension, refined bodywork, LED headlight, and loads of engine changes.

At the core of the 2024 KTM 450 EXC-F is an entirely new hydro-formed, laser-cut, and robot-welded frame. Sound impressive? We think so. The aim was for more longitudinal and torsional flex characteristics for better energy absorption, and stability. These things are most noticeable when trying to punt one through the desert.

The 450 EXC-F got a brand-new 48mm WP XACT Closed Cartridge spring fork with an innovative mid-valve piston concept that’s meant to improve oil flow. It hangs onto the proven PDS shock system but slightly revamped and fine-tuned for better integration with the new frame design.

Both front and rear suspension is fully adjustable for compression and damping via hand clickers, eliminating the need for tools. Additionally, rear preload adjustability is also there. By our knowledge, we think this is a first for any manufacturer in the dirtbike industry.

It also gets a fresh, lightweight two-piece subframe, crafted from a blend of polyamide and reinforced aluminium and it has a host of new electrical components like the new Offroad Control Unit, which is now integrated into the subframe for better accessibility and protection.

KTM also banged on about the rider triangle meaning the seat, handlebar, footpeg relationship, being improved while the front mudguard now has mud-repelling fins and the 8.3 litre fuel tank is also new. There’s plenty more to bang on about when 95% of a motorcycle is all-new but let’s get into testing.


Twist the throttle on the 2024 KTM 450 EXC-F and the hairs on the back of your neck will stand up. The power from the 449cc single-cylinder, four-stroke engine is arm stretching. On a separate test recently with ADB’s Chief Tester Ben Grabham, he indicated that the 450 EXC-F is less than 10km/h slower in the desert at top 10 speed. Meaning, for most of us, riding the 450 EXC-F in the desert is at no disadvantage.

I was blown away at how much power it had anywhere in the rev range. Regardless of your revs or gear, you could just swing on the throttle and it would pick up and scream. It could be lugged and revved, it loved it all. In third gear single trail, it meandered along nicely although it did take a little more stopping and turning than the 350 EXC-F and when in the fast stuff, while it revved slightly higher making it dance a little more than the 500, it was negligible and made no difference to my fastest speeds.

I was also amazed at how low it would rev and how easy it was to ride. But at the same time, you could jump on the aggressive map and scare the absolute bejeebus out of you! It would have no problem keeping up with a 500 in the desert or a 350 in the bush. And as for hard enduro, well of course it’s not going to lug like a two-stroke but I found I could point and shoot and if I managed not to stall, it got great traction and drive thanks to all the anti-squat additions they made for this year. It drives better than any other year, sometimes too good as it would want to stand up all the time!


The new frame and suspension are massive game changers across the Austrian board. As a result, the 2024 KTM 450 EXC-F now feels racier than ever thanks to a firmer suspension setup and narrower, stiffer frame. On the model we tested it took four hours of riding just to bed the frame in! And believe it or not, the new suspension and frame also help the 450 EXC-F’s claim as the most versatile machine in the line-up.

It now feels more agile than ever with a thinner girth and easier to manoeuvre chassis. KTM have tried to centralise the mass even further by rotating the engine and the result means a rear end that won’ break traction and a chassis that feel incredibly planted.

The closed cartridge fork is also now more stable than ever. Gone are the days of the front-end blowing through on nasty rutted out corners. The front-end holds up well for stock gear and the rear-end tracks straighter than ever.


The 2024 KTM 450 EXC-F truly is the ultimate do-it-all dirtbike. Thanks to a more agile and predictable chassis you can now manhandle the 450 a little easier in the singletrail and the more powerful engine means you can push it harder to keep up with your mate on his 500 EXC-F in the desert. If you’re looking to buy one bike to trailride, race in your local off-road, try some motocross and then blast the desert, the 2024 KTM 450 EXC-F ticks all those boxes.

2024 KTM 450 EXC-F

ENGINE Single-cylinder, four-stroke engine



STARTER Electric

BORE x STROKE 95mm x72mm

CLUTCH Wet, DDS multi-disc clutch, Brembo hydraulics

EMS Keihin EMS

WEIGHT (DRY) 108.4kg


FRONT BRAKE Brembo Disc 260mm

REAR BRAKE Brembo Disc 220mm

FRONT SUSPENSION WP XACT-USD, 48mm. 300mm travel

REAR SUSPENSIONWP XPLOR PDS shock absorber, 310mm travel





FRONT TYRE Maxxis MaxxEnduro 21-inch

REAR TYRE Maxxis MaxxEnduro 2118-inc

RRP $18,595*