Wed. Aug 21st, 2019

Finest 2019 450 Off-Highway Grime Bike Second Place 2019 KTM 450 XC-F

The KTM 450 XC-F shares 95 % of its elements with the Austrian producer’s flagship motocross bike—the 450 SX-F—together with the identical engine, suspension parts, and chassis. The variations lie within the bigger gasoline tank, off-road-specific suspension settings, 18-inch rear wheel, kickstand, hand guards, and Dunlop AT81 tires. One further half our testbike wore that doesn’t come inventory was the skid plate, which is offered by KTM PowerParts.

2019 KTM 450 XC-F Engine

Earlier than the shootout, we mounted a Dunlop D404 road tire on the rear wheel and ran the 2019 450 XC-F on our in-house Dynojet dynamometer, the place it produced 52.12 hp at 9,530 rpm and 33.81 pound-feet of torque at 6,970 rpm. The KTM 450 XC-F ranks fourth within the horsepower division and second in torque—basically similar to the Husqvarna FX 450 with a distinction of solely zero.22 hp and zero.13 pound-feet of torque. After the dyno pulls had been full, we fitted Dunlop AT81 tires, as we did on the entire bikes to make sure consistency in traction amongst them for everything of the take a look at.

The 2019 KTM 450 XC-F’s energy supply is clean from backside to high and hits progressively more durable the upper it will get within the rpm. It’s characterised by a considerably mellow hit off the underside, a plentiful midrange, and wonderful top-end and over-rev. The KTM’s linear energy supply makes it straightforward to experience in all circumstances—most notably tighter single-track. Nevertheless, a harder-hitting bottom-end energy would contribute to a lighter weight really feel and would make it simpler to get into the upper rpm with out extreme use of the clutch. We additionally discovered that switching to the included non-compulsory black throttle cam removed the “hen wing” feeling we had when holding the throttle huge open with the inventory white throttle cam put in.

The KTM 450 XC-F is the second-quietest bike within the take a look at—only a bit louder than the Husqvarna however nonetheless pleasantly quiet. The orange machine’s energy supply is barely extra aggressive and faster revving than the FX 450. It has a good quantity of engine-braking that’s helpful however not overpowering. The engine vibrates barely, which is felt by the handlebar and footpegs. The Brembo hydraulic clutch works completely with its straightforward pull, and it doesn’t fade below heavy use. It additionally helps the 450 XC-F’s Pankl transmission shift easily and simply.

The KTM 450 XC-F is the second-quietest bike within the take a look at—only a bit louder than the Husqvarna however nonetheless pleasantly quiet. The orange machine’s energy supply is barely extra aggressive and faster revving than the FX 450. It has a good quantity of engine-braking that’s helpful however not overpowering. The engine vibrates barely, which is felt by the handlebar and footpegs. The Brembo hydraulic clutch works completely with its straightforward pull, and it doesn’t fade below heavy use. It additionally helps the 450 XC-F’s Pankl transmission shift easily and simply.

The 450 XC-F has two maps that may be modified through a swap on the left aspect of the handlebar. It additionally has traction management, which can be utilized in both map. Map 1 (customary) has much less low-end grunt than map 2 (aggressive), which pulls higher off the bottom-end and has extra of a torque really feel. Map 2 was the popular alternative amongst take a look at riders. Traction management made every map barely much less responsive and got here in useful in tighter, extra technical terrain.

2019 KTM 450 XC-F Suspension  

The KTM’s WP AER 48 air fork and WP shock are softer feeling than the Yamaha’s and Honda’s suspension. The parts work properly on slower to medium-speed areas with braking bumps, acceleration bumps, and smaller-sized path obstacles. Nevertheless, in faster-paced sections with larger-sized rollers and larger impacts akin to G-outs and bounce landings, the suspension lacked some consolation and predictability compared to the Yamaha and Honda.

The fork rides increased within the stroke than the 2 Japanese bikes and even with its softer general really feel, it supplied good bottoming resistance. Take a look at riders had been proud of the fork’s inventory 10.1-bar air stress setting, however went in on rebound to alleviate its considerably bouncy really feel and to attempt to get it to experience deeper within the stroke. The shock felt particularly tender. Getting into on high-speed compression and slowing down rebound helped it maintain up higher and added extra management when it received too low within the stroke.

2019 KTM 450 XC-F Chassis/Dealing with

The 2019 KTM 450 XC-F weighed in at 240 kilos on our automotive scales, which ties it with the Husqvarna because the lightest bike within the take a look at. Regardless of that, neither Austrian machine feels fairly as mild as you’ll anticipate judging by its low studying on the dimensions, a few of which has to do with the engine’s mellow bottom-end and clean energy supply. Apart from the load really feel, the KTM is a neutral-handling bike with spectacular cornering skill and good straight-line stability. Nevertheless, it doesn’t nook as sharp because the Honda and isn’t as steady because the Yamaha. The chassis feels longer than the Japanese bikes as properly.

The KTM 450 XC-F has a impartial stance with 105mm of shock sag and is straightforward to maneuver round on with its slim radiator shroud space and flat, comfy seat. It’s additionally the narrowest bike from entrance to rear. The Neken handlebar has an agreeable bend and fewer rise than the ProTaper bar on the Husqvarna, so bar place isn’t as important. The KTM’s Brembo brakes are the perfect within the class as they provide probably the most stopping energy, but retain a progressive and predictable really feel on the lever. The ODI lock-on grips are a pleasant function as properly.

The 2019 450 XC-F comes inventory with hand guards; it and the FX 450 are the one two bikes to return with them in inventory trim, which take a look at riders appreciated on bush-filled trails. We want to see it come inventory with a skid plate too, particularly contemplating there are three brackets on the decrease a part of the body to accommodate one.

Why It Ought to Have Gained

It has a robust but straightforward to experience engine, a nimble-handling chassis, the strongest brakes, a hydraulic clutch, and is tied for the lightest bike within the take a look at. It’s additionally pleasantly quiet.

Why It Didn’t Win

The WP AER 48 fork falls in need of the efficiency of the inventory suspension parts on the Yamaha and Honda. Additionally, the engine lacks some bottom-end pleasure and vibrates greater than it ought to.

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