A closer look at the Six Days-inspired KTM 500 EXC-F
KTM’s pedigree in off-road racing is unquestionable. The Austrian brand is synonymous with enduro racing, and that includes the sport’s marquee event, the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE). It’s with that event in mind that KTM brings us the latest iteration of its 500 EXC-F weapon, the Six Days limited edition.
At just 233 pounds before fuel, and with a 511cc single, the 2020 500 EXC-F packs plenty of punch. On all models, a new, 42 mm throttle body and revised mapping improve the 500's fuel range and give it more power. Traction control is also available to help meter out the grunt. Compression is up to 12.75:1 (from 11.7:1) thanks in part to a new piston design. The engine itself is 500 grams (0.9 pounds) lighter, and more compact, allowing KTM to bring the rotating mass of the crankshaft closer to the bike’s center of gravity. The six-speed gearbox is new too and has been designed to improve reliability.
A whopping 300 mm (11.8 inches) of suspension travel up front and 310 mm (12.2 inches) of travel out back make short work of obstacles thrown in its path. The 48 mm upside-down forks have a new mid-valve piston which KTM says provides more consistent damping and helps keep the front higher. Rebound and compression damping is standard. The second damping piston in the rear shock has been revised slightly for 2020, with a reworked shape aimed at improving sealing and providing more end-of-travel support. The rear shock can be adjusted for high and low-speed damping.
The frame has been redesigned for stiffness and weight, resulting in a 40 mm longer subframe. New radiators, seat, and fuel tank all combine to make the 2020 500 EXC-F more compact.
KTM “Power Parts”—factory-fitted upgrades available for order —include a Recluse clutch, traction control mapping switch, as well as upgraded pegs, levers, guards, and lighter triple clamps.
The largely cosmetic Six Days package comes with:
- New rims with new Six Days logo
• WP XPLOR forks with preload adjusters
• Silencers with new Six Days logo
• Engine guard
• Front axle puller
• Solid rear brake disc
• Floating front brake disc
• Orange frame
• Orange CNC triple clamps
• Handlebar with new Six Days logo
• Orange chain guide
• Grippier Six Days seat
• Brake pedal safety wire
• Exclusive Six Days graphics
The 2020 KTM 500 EXC-F and 500 EXC-F Six Days are available for pre-order now with deliveries expected to begin mid-September, 2019.