KTM 350 Freeride test: Easy to Race!

25 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on KTM 350 Freeride test: Easy to Race!
KTM 125 Race Concept

KTM 350 Freeride test: Easy to Race!

April 16, 2012 | Filed under: KTM | Posted by: Rana Abaidullah

The KTM Freeride 350 is the newest of the Austrian manufacturer of endures. An endure leisure – a new concept at KTM – we could not wait to take charge. Our patience was rewarded, not only because we were able to measure the Freeride but the icing on the cake is in Morocco that took place the presentation!

KTM 350 Freeride. First attempt

The Freeride 350, KTM unveiled at the last Milan Furniture Fair, is a motorcycle Endure oriented consumer, with the credo for accessibility, ease, simplicity … If the concept is not a revolution in itself – the Scoria T-Ride overrated already on the idea that there are a number of years – this is indeed the first time a KTM off-road is not stamped Ready to Race. Then one can legitimately ask what a motorcycle Endure KTM signed leisure may well claim. Either en route to Morocco, where the staff KTM ahead with a firm foot Freeride 350 ready to fire just for us!

Full size, this little 350!

Marrakech airport, a 4-4 awaits us. Our luggage is stowed on the gallery with a strap that does not look solid at all: Welcome to Morocco! After several kilometers of road where driving is primarily a matter of instinct, here we are (with our luggage …) to the brand new KTM, the Freeride 350; this bike does not really look like what is known among Austrians.

Very quickly, going around the bike, we realize that the Freeride is rather slender. Without even touching the bike, you think it should be quite light.

The engine from the 350 EXC-F here seems even more compact. It must be said that removing the kick has reduced a little more volume right case. Everything on this bike seems smaller, and it’s not quite true. Fork designed specifically for the Freeride is a WP of 41 mm against 48 mm on an EXC. Triple clamps and wheel hubs are also much less impressive.

And impressive detail, the air filter takes shape filter for mini vacuum cleaner! A little confusing, but we do not mean the feeling of being in front of a “false bike”.

Welcoming the Freeride…

The Freeride also has details that have nothing to envy the “real” endure. The translucent fuel tank has more than one witness in reserve; the saddle can be disassembled without tools and provides access to the tank and air filter. The Freeride 350 is equipped with an engine guard, foot pegs are the same as the EXC plus an ingenious system that allows easy forward or back position.

The hydraulic clutch is still relevant, but the system is signed Formula, as the brakes: Bemba not in sight. Only accessory missing home, the hand guards that the staff here kindly KTM had installed on our test bikes to preserve our imines cacti.

It is now time to get into the thick of things. A loop of 60 km at the foot of the High Atlas we expected, a test could not be more size! Saddle up, we find very quickly its brands. I ask very easily with both feet flat on the ground: this is already a point that will please shorter riders. The pilot position which appears visually perched high end suit me perfectly.

The bike fits perfectly between the knees, we’re pretty much sitting on the bike as upright. Only plastic parts of both sides of the saddle can catch a bit in the pants.

A judicious choice of tires … or not

We were already far from civilization and highways, but we set off again a little further towards the Berber mountains. But it must be said that Morocco holds many surprises us, because the diversity of terrain, trails etudes coatings has enabled us to collect good information. Here the ground is rather rocky, in different ways, but it’s the rock on which we will roll majority.

This will highlight a point that left me tank: the choice of tires.

Trial of the tires here are wonderful. They offer an excellent grip on the rocks and down shocks in the stones rather easily due to their flexibility. However, trying a few climbs and braking a little more supported in the earth, these tires admit their limitations.

KTM 125 Race Concept

They are on the hard top, means very soon as the soil gets a bit loose, and we do not even think to put them in the mud … Depending on your region, we must therefore consider moving to another rises.

Play again. And again … And again!

In this region of the High Atlas, the stones are legion, and trails – mostly are only used by goats – do not leave much choice of the trajectory. On the left it goes down pretty good and right, well … it goes pretty good too! You have to eat the stone and it is good because the Freeride gets rid of these difficulties with remarkable ease.

It really plays with the bike and we almost take for a top driver all seems so easy.

The chassis is strong and can be placed wherever you want with precision while the light weight of the KTM is a real asset in crossing. Round a spot picture way “Destination Moon” is a boundless playground which lies before us. And we quickly get the game to try some daring steps or at least we apprehend more with an Endure motorcycle hardheaded.

Another point in favor of playing the Freeride: comfort. The suspensions (Allied tires Trial) completely erasing all the rough edges. It’s flexible, it pulls, we liked.

However, it will be difficult to control us throughout the hike. It does not occur in this setting every day either! So, trying to up the tempo and do some freeride muscular with some jumps, we quickly see the limits of the bike.

The suspensions and tailgating in the holes fast, trust is not at the peak. But this is not the purpose of this bike. Note that, although the clutch and Bemba brakes have been rejected for the Formula – unknown brand of our services – we must recognize that the feeling of the levers is always good.

Appraisal: Built for the back country

The KTM 350 Freeride completely successful entry into excelling in his field: the Endure easy. It never feels overwhelmed by the bike, it dominates in all circumstances. This is especially true on the route we took out some passages demanded attention and application and, despite that, we had time to take eyes full of admiring the varied landscape, colorful, raw with the backdrop of the snowy mountains (yes!) of Atlas, or to enter into children’s hands at once intrigued and fascinated.

It is true that imagining the same loop with an Endure motorcycle classic, some parts were not so simple, while a pure trial bike, the day would have seemed long without the possibility of sit down. In short the Freeride 350 we definitely emerged as a weapon for the year of single track, crossing and quiet ride without headaches. Still, the price of this amazing toy, 7 € 190 €, seems a bit high. Especially since it will convince drivers that, even without the standard, always want the best of bikes…

KTM 125 Race Concept
KTM 125 Race Concept
KTM 125 Race Concept
KTM 125 Race Concept
KTM 125 Race Concept

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