2024 KTM 300XC-W Extended Review: A Regular Update

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The 2024 KTM 300XC-W, equipped with the new-generation Throttle-Body Injection (TBI) two-stroke engine, has been a focus of discussion since its introduction on the XC and SX two-stroke competition models in 2023.

Anticipating the transition to XC-W models, we were eager to assess the bike’s performance and compare it to the familiar 300s. With over 40 hours on the 2024 KTM 300XC-W, our findings reveal notable differences from its predecessors.

Having spent months in the Dirt Bike shop, the 2024 KTM 300XC-W has now accumulated 40 hours. The first impression is its unexpected smoothness and trail-oriented characteristics.

While seemingly sharing the same motor as the 2023 300XC, significant differences exist in the cylinder, head, and, most notably, the mapping. The new XC-W exhibits a more subdued nature.

2024 KTM 300XC-W Extended Review: A Regular Update
2024 KTM 300XC-W Extended Review: A Regular Update (Credits: Ultimate Motorcycling)

This trait is advantageous in wooded areas, offering a calm, smooth, and predictable experience with excellent traction. However, in more challenging terrains like sandy or steep hills, the machine struggles to ascend to the summit.

Ryan Koch, having extensive time on both the new 300 and its predecessors, notes a departure from the previous generation’s ability to climb steep terrains effortlessly with a quick clutch maneuver.

The TBI 300XC-W lacks the power to sustain third gear on steep inclines despite identical gearbox ratios. Experimenting with a 48-tooth sprocket tightens the gaps but makes the first and second gears excessively low.

Temperature management becomes a concern as the 2024 300XC-W tends to run hot, even in relatively short periods of technical and slow conditions. The new-style radiator cap requires removal due to frequent overheating, presenting some challenges in the process.

In terms of its frame, the 2024 300XC-W adopts a new chassis loosely based on the 2023 SX motocross bikes. Featuring PDS rear suspension instead of linkage and a new coil-spring version of the Xact fork, the bike boasts impressive ergonomics with slim and sleek bodywork, facilitating easy maneuverability.

However, the stiffness of the chassis, a characteristic noted in the motocross frame, impacts low-speed performance, lacking plushness in both suspension ends. The previous generation’s ability to navigate rocks is contrasted by the 2024 model’s tendency to be unsettled and deflect more frequently at lower speeds.

Yet, the bike performs better at higher speeds, suggesting divergent goals between the motor and chassis development teams.

Other improvements include a redesigned kickstand, enhanced handguards, and an upgraded LED headlight. The new skid plate on the bike’s belly offers improved protection to the frame and engine. Air-filter access sees enhancement with more space and visibility for correct filter seating.

After 40 hours of use, the motor displays no signs of weakness, distinguishing itself from the previous TPI bikes that experienced chronic sensor issues. Despite potential improvements in fuel range with the TPI bikes, the 2024 300XC-W remains a serious contender, markedly different from the TPI model.

In the broader context of new releases, manufacturers have unveiled their 2024 dual-sport bikes, street bikes, and unchanged models. One notable entry is the Kawasaki Ninja 7 Hybrid street bike, featuring intriguing technology that may influence dual-sport bikes in the future.

The hybrid power unit combines a liquid-cooled traction motor and a 48V lithium-ion battery pack, enabling short-distance all-electric riding at low speeds.

Heat management is addressed with dual radiators, a liquid-cooled oil cooler, and a system directing hot air away from the rider. The regenerative system contributes to an extended cruising range by recycling deceleration energy back to the battery.

Additionally, various models from Kawasaki and Honda have been released or re-released, offering options for riders with diverse preferences and needs. These include the Kawasaki KLX230 SM, KLX®230 S, KLX®230 S ABS, KLX®230SM ABS, Honda SCL500 “Scrambler,” CRF300L, CRF300L Rally, XR650L, XR150L, and the Honda Trail 125, each catering to different riding styles and preferences.

On a different note, Lars Larsson, a pioneering motocross and off-road racer from Sweden, will be honored at round 2 of the Anaheim Supercross on January 27th, 2024.

Recognized for his contributions to motocross racing in America and achievements in ISDT/ISDE competitions, Lars Larsson remains an iconic figure in the motorcycle community.

Born in 1941, Lars has had a remarkable career as a factory rider for various brands and continues to race at the age of 83, earning induction into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2002.


By Annie Linardos

I'm a journalist student and completed my masters in Journalism and Mass Communication. With a strong track record as an intern at Mathrubhumi News and The New Indian Express as a reporter and content writer, I'm creative, motivated, and have a keen eye for the truth and attempting to use the expertise and talents to contribute to the emerging field of journalism. I have also been working as a freelance writer and have the capability of producing interesting and bold articles.

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