For the rider who wants to hit the trails on a 450cc motorcycle that has lots of the same features as a motocross bike, but has some off-road-specific components to make it more suited to tighter, more obstacle-filled terrain and longer rides, one such option is the KTM 450 XC-F. Sharing 95 percent of its parts with the KTM 450 SX-F motocross bike, the 450 XC-F utilizes much of the same technology as the Austrian manufacturer’s flagship motocrosser, but has a cross-country-specific suspension setup, a larger 2.25-gallon fuel tank, kickstand, 18-inch rear wheel, and Dunlop Geomax AT81 tires.
KTM was one of the first manufacturers to introduce a 450cc cross-country model to its lineup, and in the years since then, other brands have followed suit. With that, the Austrian manufacturer has competition including the Husqvarna FX 450, Yamaha YZ450FX, and Honda CRF450RX. As far as pricing, the 450 XC-F is the second-most expensive of the four with the FX 450 costing $100 more, the YZ450FX coming in at $1,000 less, and the CRF450RX retailing for $900 less. Dirt Rider gathered the four 450cc cross-country motorcycles for a comparison test in 2019 and praised the 450 XC-F for its powerful yet easy-to-ride engine, nimble handling characteristics, and Brembo hydraulic clutch and brakes.
For MY20, the KTM 450 XC-F’s WP Xact 48mm fork features a new piston and a revised setting, along with its WP Xact shock utilizing a new compression adjuster and an updated setting as well. Inside the engine is a new piston with a reworked shape that is designed to provide improved performance and reliability. Cosmetic changes in the form of new graphics are the final change made to the 450 XC-F for 2020.