KTM 450 & 525 XC ATV review Motoriding’s Blog

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KTM 450 525 XC ATV review

Posted on 26, 2008 by motoriding

KTM 450 525 XC ATV

Beauty The

Being released as 2008 KTM is hitting the ground of the competition of the ATV market running with two configurations under the XC label.  The a 447.92cc (89mm bore x …) single overhead four valve, liquid beauty appropriately called the and the second, a 510.4cc (95mm x 72mm …) single cam, four valve, cooled beast labeled the

The two models are identical in most regard except for the size of the and surprisingly enough, are expected to the exact same MSRP. are however, marketed toward two types of riders: The 450 is intended to go to head with the competition in the 450 cc class while the 525 is targeted desert riders, trail open class, and veteran We are big believers in the theory that you can’t have too many when it comes time to buy a that comes just shy of the 9 mark and think KTM is starting off on the foot by offering two unique configurations to choose from.

Talk Uniqueness

Since quads have literally developed from a clean of paper, we need not waste time telling you what’s new on It’s all new! And while two-wheeled expertise may have these mills at their core, ATV riders will be to know that these are not motorcycle engines mounted to a frame.

KTM’s engineers the unique needs of an ATV rider/ and took several steps to that these needs are met in the process. For starters the motor has been widened for two purposes: to room for a reverse gear and to the center of gravity within the ATV A deep-mounted oil sump without an oil tank has also been to centralize vehicle mass. XC models are electric start

Normally …-hard racers in right about now with the that true performance should have a kick if even only as an option.   we can assure you that KTM has been the concept of bulletproof electric on race vehicles very How can we be so sure? Because even anorexic race-motorcycles are coming electric start only and the finicky MX press is impressed!

If guys have no complaints, hard to imagine the quad-set come up with any. Not to the simple fact that we no difficulties or bugs to report our test period.

Moving the engine changes, KTM bucks current industry trend by not into the hype of fuel Rather, both XC quads come equipped with FCR-MX 39mm flat carburetors (with accelerator Taking a cue from the utility riders, KTM has developed an air box with a intake nearly as high as the gas so as to keep water and goo out of the engines of the most daring (or crazy)

In true KTM tradition, the air box is tool-less and the gas cap is a aviator style unit with quick fill-ups in No need to plan a pipe and swap-out the moment you get her home KTM’s stock equipment even the aftermarket scene in of light weight performance and build quality.

Best of all it manages to bark with in stock trim but meets strict (94 dB) sound limit means it is Green Sticker

Like the motor, the frame of the new XC was from a clean slate.  its two-wheeled cousins, KTM again strong against industry by sticking with tried and chrome-moly steel tubes the typically more-rigid aluminum Since (again like the bikes) there is no rear linkage to provide rising for the shock, the frame is designed for corner stability and to allow the arm to fully pivot properly.

  KTM did, however, decide to go aluminum for the easily accessed sub

If all this sounds unique to wait until we tell you the suspension itself.  Like the frame members, the front are built entirely of chromoly and offer an impressive vehicle of 45 inches.  If you’ll look at the lower A-arms, you might that rather than straight to the wheel, there are (sweeps) that cheat a extra ground clearance out of the without sacrificing any stability.

trick! Handling frontal duties are piggyback reservoir shocks with full compression, and rebound settings for a of 10.1 inches of race-tuned The rear of the machine boasts a bit travel (10.4 inches) and uses an Ohlins shock connects the aluminum sub frame to a steel linkless swingarm.

By the shock itself to influence rising rate (a system KTM PDS or Progressive Damping System), design adds additional by freeing up the space beneath the normally occupied by a bulky assembly. One of the most interesting unique) design features on the KTM XC quads is an adjustable rear that can be dialed in between and 48.5 inches of width.

  The behind this setting is not all tracks are of equal width and an adjustment can tweak the quad to for tighter tracks versus open areas.  We know, we Why didn’t anyone think of sooner?

Now the Good Stuff

Any true will tell you that are won and lost by man and machine, not by spec and product brochures.  In keeping in mind, we were forced to the mouth-watering specifications of the KTM XC and to take it out in the world for testing.

  Going the torture-test, we were already aware of the fact that quads had the hype, they had they had the backing of a proven and they certainly had the spec to go along with the anticipation from everyone involved. But they deliver where it most- out in the dirt? To find out we had to this test as if we were any other ATV.

  We couldn’t go in any premeditated biases or prejudices.  The KTM XC have to stand or fall on its own and performance on the trails, in the woods, and on the It is a dirty job, we know, but had to do it.

Climbing On

From the saddle, at a … standstill, it’s clear that the KTM means While not quite as squatty, and flat feeling as the Suzuki the KTM XC feels pretty thin the knees.  The gas tank is much intrusive than its 3.5 gallon would indicate.

  The reach to the is especially natural if not slightly than usual; this in an elbows-bent posture and a very … stance from in the saddle. With the touch of the mounted button, the XC fires to nearly instantaneously with an note quite reminiscent of an equipped 450 race bike. It very steadily at idle, a smooth hum that almost the pilot that there’s to be afraid of.

  Touching the throttle, even the slightest flick, sends the screaming. This kind of quickens even the pulse of the confident riders, and had us leaned the side of the quad to make we didn’t misunderstand the press claiming these things are

The clutch is smooth and one-finger throughout its entire throw. We it down into first a bit of apprehension that accompanies all on a high performance model.  the clutch out, power pouring into the wheels and continues to build until the is fully released.

The throttle nearly as light-switch sensitive as it at idle but stabbing the rubber-coated lever is a lesson in humility of what gear you’re in. The end is short and punchy and leads to a that is downright violent.  gear too long results in over-rev but to reach the limits of the spread in each gear having nerves of steel as you through the meat of the powerband mid-range).

This machine revs so quickly that it can a real challenge to keep all wheels planted in technical The quad simply wants to pop off of terrain imperfection. We took a few around our outdoor track parked the twin orange XCs for a tuning.

In case you missed it the KTM XC quads are some of the most machines we’ve ever (stock or modified)! Everything the camber and caster of the A-arms, to the of the rear axle, to the positioning of the to the nearly infinitely tunable The bottom line is that if you are not with the way the KTM feels beneath you have only yourself to

After setting the sag, we around with the suspension we took enough compression out to it small-bump sensitive. In doing so, the personality changed dramatically. The XC hug the ground more effectively giving up any of its brutal (yet bursts of power. Regardless of the it never took more a slight blip of the throttle to get the end to break loose.

This is a quad that to be steered from the rear.

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On the the KTM is a surprisingly stable flier. It does not require excessive to stay level and bringing the end down for smooth transition-landings little more than a tap of the brake. We used (and the clutch for several laps a hint of fade.

The brakes are absolutely spectacular at bringing beasts to a halt. They a bit longer to burn in than test-quads we’ve ridden but the modulation and fade-free performance was

450 VS 525

You may be wondering why this test the two machines together into a report. To that we must that physically it is nearly to tell the two apart. If it weren’t for the stickers on the sides, more one test rider would be as to which machine they mounted atop.

The 525 engine a bit more torque from the and sounds like it is revving freely on the top. To be honest, it is not a night and day difference going one model to the next as we had initially We suspect that the difference may be far apparent once top speeds involved (something our test get into). The possibility of sneaking the 525 the 450 class is definitely a legitimate

  Race facilities will to pay careful attention during


We are no stranger to performance In fact we’ve ridden LTR450s, KFX450Rs, and even a Banshee for comparison sake. is little doubt that the KTM XC can be up from the dealership and successfully before making it home. It is a competent racer in fully trim. While our time the 450 and 525 XC was limited, it appeared to favor a style of riding.

In other riders who aren’t afraid to it out hard before slamming it a corner, only to get back on the quickly, will benefit The mid range is so strong on both that there are few quads sampled that will be to drag race the KTM into the corner.

The only negative to the new KTM (if it can be considered one) is the simple that KTM has not taken beginners, or even intermediate racers consideration when they to get into the ATV game. These are performance quads, make no about it.  Even our racers commented on the brutal of the power delivery and the overwhelming possibilities.

If you doubt your on any other 450, steer of the KTM! This is a purpose-built that makes no apologies for its


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