Long term test bikes mean long term parts testing. Our 2024 KTM 250 EXC has been wearing AXP Racing’s Xtrem Skid Plate for nine months, here’s how it coped with dirt bike life in all riding conditions.

Fitted to our long term test KTM 250 EXC almost from new, not quite soon enough though (more on that later!), this AXP Xtrem Skid Plate has lived life with us for close to nine months.

It has toughed-out everything from extreme, sprint to time card enduro and countless hours of long lap play days at some of our favourite venues. After all that, it’s scuffed but is still in good working order and has many more hours if we need it.

In a nutshell, this is a new generation Xtrem sump guard or skid plate from the French-based manufacturer AXP. It is easy to fit, is light and protects the vulnerable underside of the engine, frame and cases, plus looks good on the bike.

It’s a piece of off-road kit your bike will thank you for later and, because it is available for more than just the ‘24 EXCs, this tested review aims to be useful for any enduro or off-road rider.

They say:

  • Made of high density polyethylene plastic, 8mm thick, the skid plate offers full protection of the frame, engine cases and water pump up to the footpeg mounts.
  • HDPE is 30 to 40% lighter than its equivalent in aluminium, it does not generate vibrations and does not deform under impacts.
  • Weight: 1.1Kg
  • Also available in orange (for other manufactures colours also)
  • This plate only fits 2024 KTM 250EXC / 300EXC / 250 XCW / 300XCW (different model available for previous gen bikes)
  • Comes with bracket and fixings

We say:

This is actually a new design for AXP’s Xtrem skid plate which we were pleased to find when we opened the package. AXP bash plates are well established on the market now and we’ve been using them on test bikes for a number of years, so know them well.

The new design however features a separate mounting bracket which sits in place on the lower frame rails, using the threaded lugs already on the KTM frame from the factory. The bracket is therefore fixed in place and, once in the right position, is permanent.


Their trademark plastic hook still sits at the tail of the plate, lopping over the rear cross frame rail snugly so to fit the plate you just hook the back of the plate onto the frame, push it up into position and tighten two bolts. It’s a simple design that makes installation a breeze and means you can drop the front down to pull any dirt of grass out mid-ride.


One thing of note: refitting the plate is easier if you put the bike on a paddock stand, so the bike’s weight pushes down on it. Without that we found it harder to marry-up the bolts with the holes in the bracket. We’ve actually used slightly longer bolts to help with this and it is also much easier if you remove the washer from the skid plate to give more leeway.

The frame rails will thank you later

We have no actual proof of this fact, it’s just a hunch, but could KTM lower frame rails not be as tough as they used to be? We dinged one side on our first ride on this bike and can’t really explain how. It wasn’t extreme riding, there were no rocks in a sandy forest enduro. But at the end of at the day, jet-washing the bike, we found this…


It’s a good example of why KTM’s decision to not fit even the cheapest of skid plates from new is questionable. It might have saved this and what does a basic plastic skid plate cost a manufacturer like KTM? 20 cents/pence? All the more reason then to fit an AXP Xtrem skid plate.

Are metal skid plates tougher? Well probably by nature of the material but has an AXP skid plate ever failed ot protect one of our bikes in years-worth of every kind of enduro riding? Never.

The HDPE-type sump guard is obviously lighter than metal ones adding just 1kg of weight to the bike when fitted. The AXP design also means front and side protection for the engine cases as well including up in front of the water pump housing.


As mentioned already, the installation is dead easy: just the bracket to fit with two bolts to the frame, attach the hook to the plate using the bolts provided and you’re nearly there.

We found it easier to marry the bolts into the bracket with the bike sitting on a paddock stand, so get some help to hold the loose plate while you drop the bike down on it.


From new, the left side seemed a little too close to the ’24 KTM frame, where it flares out to meet the footrest, and that hindered fitment slightly because you had to force it a little. So we cut approx. 3mm off the side of the plate just to let it push up better to fit the two front bolts (as shown).

The EXC model obviously doesn’t have any suspension linkage to worry about but if you have an XC, or Husqvarna or GASGAS a linkage guard is also available.


The same skid plate is available for a wide range of bikes, models, manufacturers, two and four-stroke. It currently being used by many pro race teams including Sherco and Rieju factory race teams in EnduroGP and Hard Enduro World Championships.


Price: €125 /$149

More information and nearest dealer: www.axp-racing.com