KTM Naming Convention Help: EXC, SF, SX, SXC, SMC, MXC, R ...?

Discussion in 'Dakar champion (950/990)' started by discoganya, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. discoganya

    discoganya Engineer, Rider, Dad

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    As I search Craigslist, I'm totally confused. Which ones are dual sport?

    EXC, XCW, SF, SX, SXC, SMC, SMR, MXC, R, Enduro, Super Enduro, Duke, Super Duke ...?

    Why are the engines referred to as LC4 and LC8?

    Is there an easy way to understand this multidimensional grid:

    Model designation x Engine type/size x Street legality x Model Years available

    Thanks!
    #1
  2. sonoran

    sonoran #8645110320 Supporter

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    If it were only that easy...

    If you are looking for 250-450cc factory built dual sport then EXC is what you want.
    LC4 is a motor designation- 640-690cc
    LC8 is v-twin 950-990cc depending on year

    All LC4/LC8 bikes are street legal "dual sport" as delivered from KTM.

    Other models may be easily adapted to be street legal depending on where you live.

    This may help: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KTM
    #2
  3. hilslamer

    hilslamer 2XRedheadedstepchild

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    That's missing a few(lot) of others - but ultimately, it depends on the timeframe/model year range. If you go from present day back to the early 90's, EXC's have been sold in the US as 250-530 fourstrokes, as well as 200, 250, 300, 360, 380 & 440 twostrokes. And not all of them were street legal off of the showroom floor, although some were, in some state...or rather, the shops selling them licensed them locally as street legal, before sale.

    The best online way to tell what models were what, when, is to go to CycleHutt or some other online puveyor of OEM stuff and look at the parts fische selection page...most ask you to select the model year first, then adjust the model list accordingly when you have input model year.

    LC4 engine designations go back to the mid-90's as 350cc & up fourstrokes, clear back if I recall correctly. Pretty sure LC4 was an engine designation imparting a general design/layout, not a "family" as with the RFS, XC4 or similar.
    #3
  4. number13

    number13 Been here awhile

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    #4
  5. discoganya

    discoganya Engineer, Rider, Dad

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    I've seen the Wikipedia page and the KTM homepage. They are obviously helpful, but I was looking for a definitive guide to nomenclature, including legacy models.
    #5
  6. Chuckracer

    Chuckracer Jerkus Maximus

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    So, what the hell is a RFS? Racing four stroke, I believe? I thought all four strokes were racing four strokes? I agree...makes no sense at all.
    #6
  7. guns&coffee

    guns&coffee Long timer

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  8. number13

    number13 Been here awhile

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    Maybe help us out a bit. What is the purpose of the bike you want?
    Fantastic offroad singletrack but still street legal?
    Desire to ride two up?
    Great on highway and gravel/forestry roads?
    Ability to carry lots of luggage?
    etc.
    #8
  9. hilslamer

    hilslamer 2XRedheadedstepchild

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    Also, where are you located(how easy would it be to get a non-street-legal bike legal, etc.)?
    #9
  10. hilslamer

    hilslamer 2XRedheadedstepchild

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    This thread is pretty comprehensive and from what I do know about the RFS engines, it's dead-on accurate:

    http://dirtbikesaction.com/topic/2465036/1/
    #10
  11. DrKayak

    DrKayak Retro Rider

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    I beleive, the RFS was KTMs first Racing Four Stroke. Developed in the 90s when most racing dirt bikes were still 2-stroke

    I have one, IMO - One of the best 4-stoke singles ever made. Much higher reguarded engine than the LC4. If you want a plated true dirt bike the 07 450 or 525 EXC is hard to beat.
    #11
  12. EsconDeasy

    EsconDeasy Ectomorph

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    Why didn't you just tell him to google "KTM"? :huh

    Here is my layperson's take on the history of KTM nomenclature.

    LC4 would have to mean liquid cooled four stroke, LC8 is natural evolution from LC4: same target market and one more cylinder.

    "Racing four stroke" would then be KTM's effort to designate that motor as a lighter, more powerful version of the LC4, able to compete with the YZ400 (which was king of the four strokes at the time). Remember when they were recommended for racing only and you were only supposed to use the E-start for emergency restarting during a race?:D

    OK, EXC is for enduros. Lights included because historically, they were required equipment. Bikes generally came with a wide ratio gear box also for transfer sections. That distinguished them from the MXC which had a close ratio gearbox and no lights (but was equipped with a lighting coil). MXC bikes were designed for hare scrambles which had no requirement for lights and were sort of like motocross races over open terrain. Both bikes came equipped with spark arrestors, unlike the SX bikes..........but, KTM now sells these bikes with no spark arrestors and no lights:huh

    Just when you think you have it figured out, KTM throws you a curve like the MXC-wide ratio bike that was sold with lights back in the mid aughts. What made that bike different from the EXC....nobody knows.

    In the late 00's, the EXC, MXC designations went away and became the XC (MXC) and XC-W (EXC). Obviously, the W represents wide ratio.

    SX has always meant motocross

    SMC is super motard

    SXC..........who knows, but that whole bike is a mystery.

    Now, as far as Duke, SuperDuke, SuperEnduro, etc, they are marketing words that try to capture the market they are going after. Oddly, the Adventure 950/990 should be known as the SuperAdventure, but to my knowledge, it has never been called that (but if that were true, I guess the SXC would be known as the "Enduro"

    The existence of a 250 two stroke and four stroke in the same model year was a conundrum and after much head scratching and vomiting, the powers that be came up with the bizarre XC-F-W and other tongue twisting combinations. I personally think that we haven't seen the end of the model designation changes aimed at making this more understandable.

    As always with KTM, as soon as you think you have all the models figured out, they bring out a new one that makes you go 'huh?' You cant use the Honda naming conventions when looking at KTMs.
    #12
  13. Katoom119

    Katoom119 Mmmm....Orange Kool-aid

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    EXC: Enduro/Cross-Country These had a wide ratio gear box and the headlight/taillight stock

    XC: Cross Country Basically an EXC but instead it had a close ratio gear box

    XC-W: Cross Country - Wide ratio gear box Essentially an EXC but without the stock headlight/taillight.

    The XC was designed for the Eastern US and their tighter woods sections, with the XC-W being for the faster trails out West. In the XC line there were also a few differences in the suspension with the XC's being a bit stiffer than the EXC's. The XC line really came into being after Juha Salminen started racing the GNCC's for KTM here in the US.

    SX: Super Cross Super stiff suspension

    Now, take essentially ANYTHING from above, add an "F" anywhere into the mix, and that denotes a four-stroke motor. Without this everything is a two-stroke until you get into any size over 300. As a general rule of thumb, anything over 300cc's is a four stroke, anything less is a two-stroke unless it has the "F".

    MXC: This was an older model designation that basically changed into the XC line.

    SMR: These are the racing super motards that have a shortened suspension, aren't street legal, and don't have a "cush" rear hub. I think these also only have a 4 speed gear box but I can't remember off the top of my head. If you want to think of it like this: Take a standard 450/525, slap in a shortened suspension, and you've got an SMR.

    SMC: This was the old super motard that used the LC4 engine and was street legal.

    Duke: Think of this as an SMC with a different body kit.

    Super Enduro/Duke/blah blah blah: Anything with "super" in the name basically denotes it has the LC8 engine.

    LC4: This was the old single cylinder engine that has been around forever. It's in the 640 SMC/Adventure and the Duke.

    LC8: 1000cc V-twin engine found in the Adventure, Super Enduro, and Super Duke.

    Why are the engine's called this? No idea. All I know is if 8 is twice as much as 4, then it has twice the cylinders.


    Now this is a VERY rough list. There are some internal gear box changes on the older ones but unless you're pushing hard or racing, it really won't matter. There is, however, a MAJOR difference between the XC-W and the XC. Also, the XC-F and the SXF has a big difference in the power hit. Since these have ECU's, they tune the power delivery: since the XC-F is designed for woods riding, it has a softer hit so you don't break traction in the mud. I actually took both bikes and tested them side by side and you can really tell the difference.

    There are also differences in cams depending on what you want to do. Mike Lafferty, KTM USA Enduro racer, will take a 250 or a 450 cam and put it in his 450 race bike depending on the conditions: the 250 has a softer hit and in the mud it gives him better traction without having to worry so much about his throttle control.

    For your use, any bike can be a dual sport. The newer EXC's come from the factory with everything needed to make it street legal. You can make any of these street legal DEPENDING ON YOUR STATE. Some are really easy to get a street legal title, some are horribly difficult.

    If you've still got questions, shoot me a PM. I'll help however I can. If you REALLY want to know the differences between the bikes, and I mean ALL the differences down to the different bolts they used on a yearly basis, call David Farris at Sportcycle KTM in Maryville, TN. He knows absolutely everything there is to know about KTM's.
    #13
    jonboy99 and el Pete like this.
  14. crofrog

    crofrog Long timer

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    As far as I know the SMR's all have 6 speeds (mine does), I think it's just the SX and SXS has that has the 4 speed.
    #14
  15. discoganya

    discoganya Engineer, Rider, Dad

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    Thanks for some excellent info. Sure helps to know this while searching for a used bike.

    I'm starting to think about 450-600 class, four-stroke, California plated, street legal KTMs with tall seat heights. I see myself riding 50/50 with mostly gentle dirt. Based on this thread 530EXC and a 625SXC would work well and from posts in this thread, the EXC may work better for me. The 950SE, 990s would be likely out of my budget.
    #15
  16. BLUE(UK)

    BLUE(UK) Long timer

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    The main reason that it seems to make very little sense is because it's a European thing.

    LC4 is Liquid Cooled,4 valves.
    LC8 is Liquid cooled,8 valves.
    RC8 is...a different ball game altogether!!:rofl:rofl
    #16
  17. triplenickel

    triplenickel Long timer

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    Then you better not ride one!
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  18. number13

    number13 Been here awhile

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    i would not get a 530. Even though they try and pretend its a dual sport, it is really a dirtbike. It can enter any race and do well. Once it hits the street, it just sucks for anything more than city jaunts. No 2 up, no ability to carry stuff (well, very limited).
    i would rather ride a Husaberg 570 and even then, i would pass.
    Its rather interesting this dual sport phenomena. Anything KTM or Husaberg that is less than 600 cc's is not really a street happy bike.
    #18
  19. AZ-Twin

    AZ-Twin Dusty and Thirsty

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    Katoom,

    Can you confirm that all these bikes have a short maintenance interval with the exception of the LC4 and LC8 engines?
    #19
  20. Peanuts

    Peanuts Long timer

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    RFS: 450 SXS had 5 speed. it was actually a close ratio 6 speed, but pegged at 5th on the selector drum.

    All SMR 450/525/560 are similar to SX motors, but close ratio 6 speed, Ti valves on all models (SX only has Ti on the 450)

    400SX had 4 speed in 01 and 6 speed in 02

    SX models had a lighting coil until 04
    #20