KTM has proven you don’t need to ride a bike with its most powerful engine to succeed in the highest levels of cross-country racing. Take Kailub Russell, for example. The FMF KTM Factory Racing rider has won several premier class Grand National Cross-Country (GNCC) championships aboard a KTM 350 XC-F. In fact, the Austrian brand’s 350cc four-stroke cross-country motorcycle may very well be the ideal machine for the rider who wants to spin laps at the motocross track and hit some single-track trails, even all in the same day.
Although we haven’t put a stock 350 XC-F through its paces as of late, we tested a modified 2019 KTM 350 XC-F on the tracks and trails of Cahuilla Creek MX in Anza, California, citing it as a machine that “can be ridden off-road and at the motocross track nearly equally well—a true testament to what a cross-country dirt bike should be.”
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The only cross-country bike competitor of the same displacement as the 350 XC-F is the Husqvarna FX 350. A few other off-road bikes one might consider if they are looking at purchasing a 350 XC-F would be the KTM 300 XC TPI, Husqvarna FX 450, Yamaha YZ250FX, and Honda CRF250RX. Compared to its competition in the pricing category, the 350 XC-F costs the same as the FX 350, $500 more than the 300 XC TPI, $200 less than the FX 450, $2,000 more than the YZ250FX, and $2,200 more than the CRF250RX.
KTM’s 350cc four-stroke cross-country machine received revisions for the new decade in the form of a new setting in the WP Xact air fork for improved damping along with a new fork piston for better performance. Further back on the bike, the WP Xact shock features a new setting and a new compression adjuster for improved tuning. In an effort to make it look visually different than the 2019 model, the 2020 350 XC-F has new graphics as well.