Liquid Cooled, four stroke, single Cylinder. SOHC, 4 Valve
Bore x Stroke
97 x 60.9 mm
Keihin FCR-MX 41
Ignition Keihin DC ECUl /
Wet multi-disc clutch, hydraulically operated
6 Speed / chain
Chromium-Molybdenum trellis frame, powder coated
Subframe Self-supporting plastic tank
Handlebar Aluminium, tapered, ō 28 / 22 mm
WP-USD ō 48 mm, 300mm wheel travel
WP-Monoshock with Pro-Lever linkage, 310mm wheel travel
Single 260mm disc, Brembo two-piston, floating
Single 240mm disc, 1 piston, floating caliper
(ready to race) under
150 kg (without fuel).
KTM didnít waste any time to
market a replica bike of a super-dominant 2011 edition of the Rally Dakar
machine. Having been victorious in the 2011 Dakar held in Argentina and Chile,
the new 450 Rally will be produced in limited numbers and offered to all the
riders and private teams upon request.
The KTM 450 Rally motorcycle is a
completely new development, equipped with first class components all according
to new regulations in international competitions raids. A machine that
demonstrated itís potential and dominated the 2011 Dakar edition of the worldís
toughest rally from start to finish, with Marc Coma victorious. Six of top ten
were KTM Rally bikes.
The delivery of the KTM 450 Rally
will be held only on request, which can be done at any dealer of the Austrian
The KTM 450 Rally, which is fitted
with a carburetted single-cylinder engine and which costs an eye-watering 25,000
euros (not including VAT), is probably one of the most amazing competition
motorcycles you can buy.
Developed with inputs from Dakar Rally legends like Marc Coma and Cyril Despres,
the 2012 KTM 450 Rally is built with single-minded focus Ė to win the Dakar. The
bike is fitted with a chrome-molybdenum chassis, 48mm USD fork and fully
adjustable monoshock from WP, five-speed gearbox, multi-disc hydraulically
operated wet clutch, 300mm (front) and 250mm (rear) brake discs, 12-litre fuel
tank thatís made of plastic, and 21-inch (front) and 18-inch (rear) wheels.
Without fuel, the little KTM weighs about 145kg.
t doesnít look like a bike thatís just finished the
Dakar Ė itís clean and there are only minimal signs of wear. A closer look tells
you that the built to order factory KTM 450RR has seen some action but for a
bike thatís been raced for 5600 miles across Argentina, Chile and Peru Ė itís
It belongs to Stan Watt who claimed
an impressive 34th place in the 2012 Dakar, which finished in January.
Itís a big moment for me. Anyone
that even enters the Dakar on a bike is a hero in my eyes and here I am about to
be let loose on a factory built KTM Dakar bike thatís been ridden to a top
result in the epic race.
Iím getting the rest of my riding
kit on while Stan loads the bike up with fuel. He wants to give me a genuine
experience of the bike so instead of running it light he puts in 30 litres of
fuel divided between the two nine litre front tanks and the 18 litre rear tank.
"You might find the fuelling is a
bit out for this weather in the UK (clear but cold) as we had to make a lot of
changes to get it working right in South America where it was really hot,"
Normally when you ride an enduro
bike there is nothing in front of you, no screen, no fairing, nothing. You can
see the ground and more importantly your front mud guard so you know what your
front wheel is doing.
On the Dakar bike the lack of
visibility is off putting, as is knowing that youíve got all that extra top
heavy weight of the navigational equipment and fairing located way out in front
of the handlebars.
The result is that the front feels
initially vague, but as you ride you soon realise itís still working and digging
in the same way as a regular competition enduro bike. The combination of harder
suspension to cope with the extra weight gives a plush sensation and a set up
that absorbs bumps and whoops on our lap.
But the way in which it carries the
extra weight remains particularly impressive. Iíve ridden Dakar bikes before,
but they had always been a strengthened, reconfigured 450 enduro bike, loaded
down with close to 70kg of extra fuel, spares and navigational equipment.
As a result they essentially feel
like a seriously overweight 450, but this KTM 4500RR is different. Built to
order and one of only 80 produced for the 2012 Dakar Ė this is a dedicated rally
bike from the ground up.
Yes, it shares the same 450cc single
cylinder base motor as used in KTMís enduro and motocrossers, but chassis,
swingarm, subframes, suspension, wheels, fuel tanks, fairing and wiring loom
etc. are unique.
Itís the same base bike that Cyril
Despres rode to Dakar victory and KTM wonít even take your order for one unless
you are a regular rally rider competing in events around the world.
Blipping the throttle thereís no
mistaking itís a race ready engine and the revs pick up and drop away lightening
quick. Riding a mixture of fast open tracks and rutted sandy trails the first
impression is just how high geared it is.
Normally on a 450 enduro bike youíre
throwing gears at it, but not on this one Ė first gear is seriously tall and
used to tackle anything remotely technical.
The reason is that itís still a
450cc single with only five gears, yet to race the Dakar it needs be able to sit
at over 100mph flat out for long periods of time.
By using gears more sparingly, you
soon get used to its long legged-ness and smooth engine character and it becomes
easy and forgiving to ride. If you can carry a bit of speed it feels like
nothing can get in the way.
Its extra weight may compromise the
steering response but in return itís stable and that brings an inherent ability
to help the bike keep going forward Ė a vital trait if youíve got to cover over
Even when I lost my balance in the
ruts, the extra inertia carried me through just as long as I kept a hint of
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