Exclusive Editorial By: Kent Lester
World famous off-road motorcycle builder, KTM, has delivered not one, but two new 4-wheelers for ‘08. The Austrian company’s policy is to build ATVs that are “race ready” and the promise is surely kept with the 450 and 525 XC series.
Both feature chromoly and aluminum frame and suspension parts plus Douglas aluminum wheels at all four corners wearing Maxxus RAZR tires.
Other race bred technology includes a quarter-turn gas cap for quick release in the pits; trick, premium Ohlins gas shocks; Magura 4-piston front brakes and a unique curved radiator design with bigger coolant volume for more efficient cooling.
The 525 and 450 feature both electric start and reverse yet keep the dry weight down low at less than 360lbs. Power is delivered by Keihin carbureted, dry sump, single overhead cam 4-valvers driving a 5-speed “semi-close-ratio” transmission. This setup, with first gear spaced lower and second through fifth close, is perfect for either closed track competition or for trail riding.
Our experience with this engine is that it is an absolute torque-meister in either variation and will pull gears all day long. With its advanced suspension design and top quality components used throughout, this one looks like a winner and is already showing the way in competition with Tim Farr at the controls.
There’s at least a thousand more cool innovations in this chassis and we’re looking forward to getting one for a long term evaluation and a shoot-out soon.