KTM 620 LC4 Adventure


Make Model

KTM 620 LC4 Adventure




Four stroke, single cylinder, SOHC, 4 valves


609 cc / 37.2 cu in
Bore x Stroke 101 x 76 mm
Compression Ratio 10.4:1
Cooling System Liquid cooled


Dell'Orto PHM 40 SD




Kick & electric

Max Power

40.1 kW / 55 hp @ 7000 rpm

Max Torque

60 Nm / 6.1 kgf-m / 44.3 lb-ft @ 5500 rpm


5 Speed

Final Drive


Front Suspension

50mm Telescopic forks, compression and rebound adjustable

Front Wheel Travel

280 mm / 11.0 in

Rear Suspension

Single chock, preload, compression and rebound adjustable

Rear Wheel Travel

330 mm / 13.0 in

Front Brakes

Single 320 mm disc, 4 piston caliper

Rear Brakes

Single 220 mm disc, 1 piston caliper

Front Tyre

90/90 - 21

Rear Tyre

130/80 - 18
Seat Height 945 mm / 37.2 in

Dry Weight

146 kg / 322 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

28 L / 7.4 US gal / 6.2 Imp gal

Consumption Average

6.9 L/100 km / 14.5 km/l / 34 US mph / 41 Imp mpg

Standing ¼ Mile  

13.3 sec / 153 km/h / 95 mph

Top Speed

167 km/h / 104 mph

DO YOU LIKE RIDING motorcycles? All types of motorcycles? Do you enjoy commuting to work as much as you do laying tracks literally on the road to nowhere? If so, you probably have a couple of bikes from which to choose. But what if you could have just o«e-what would it be? A likely candidate might be KTM's new Adventure, a four-stroke dirtbike transformed into a rally racer, then smoothed over with dual-purpose equipment. The dirtbike part consists of the frame and engine, which are very similar to those of KTM's dual-purpose 620 R/XC. The liquid-cooled, counterbalanced, 608cc, four-valve Single features a dry-sump lubrication system that stores oil in the frame. Power is transmitted to the rear wheel via a wide-ratio five-speed transmission, while an electric starter with cam-mounted automatic decompression system makes hunting for TDC pointless, should you ever need to use the kickstarter.

As for the rally-racer influence, the Adventure isn't the product of some cheesy costume-party makeover-real Paris-Dakar-derived hardware forms-its framework. The huge, 7.4-gallon fuel tank and matching fairing are the most noticeable additions, but keen eyes also will detect the engine's roughcast finish, with center cases identical to those of the factory rally racers. Furthermore, heavier-duty, rally-derived WP suspension graces both ends, with a massive 50mm conventional fork upstaging the standard R/XC's 40mm inverted fork. The Adventure's rear subframe also has been beefed up; ordinarily on a rally racer, it would support two 2.5-gal-lon side tanks, but on the Adventure it may have to uphold a passenger or a set of saddlebags. The front brake rotor also has been increased in diameter to cope with the expected higher speeds and additional weight; it now measures 11.8 inches, up from the standard 10.2-inch dirtbike spec.

Dual-purpose cues come in the form of a more refined cockpit sporting a large LCD tripmaster/odometer, an analog rev-counter and all the necessary switchgear for the lights, turnsignals, horn, etc. A QwikSilver 38mm flat-slide carb replaces the 40mm Dell'Orto gasser from the Euro-version to make the smog-sniffers happy, while a couple of SuperTrapp end caps for the low-mounted 2-1-2 exhaust system earn U.S. Forestry Service approval.

Throw a leg over the Adventure-and we mean throw a leg over it-and you'll find that its 37.2-inch-high seat is way up there. After all, in rally racing, Ground Clearance is all-important and you rarely need to put a foot down. But whatever you do, don't let the Katoom tip over, because with a full tank of gas it tips the scales at 404 pounds, a good 20 of which reside high in the fuel tank. Get the wheels spinning, however, and much of that weight disappears-the Adventure might be heavy for a dirtbike, but it's light for a street sled. The seating position is comfy, too, especially for a dirt scoot.

Riding the Adventure, the first thing you notice is the smooth, linear power delivery-as long as you open the throttle slowly, that is. Whack it open and the bike explodes to life with enough gusto to yank the front wheel skyward, 45 pounds of fuel notwithstanding. The Adventure pulls smoother than the standard R/XC, and revs out longer on top-credit the dual exhaust. Our testbike's jetting was crisp from sea level to 7000 feet, with one exception-steady throttle from 40-60 mph, where it hiccuped every once in a while. But the condition wasn't that common or bothersome, and it's much improved compared to earlier R/XCs.

Also improved is the transmission gear spacing. Gone is the exceedingly tall first, replaced with a cog that is usable on tight, boulder-strewn jeep roads. The spacing is just wide enough to make each gear change noticeable, but without any huge gaps, and the tall fifth yields a 104-mph top speed. All in all, very similar to the R/XC.

The ride is where the difference is. If you're a dirt guy getting your first taste of a fairing, you're in for a surprise. Not seeing the front wheel and having the windscreen wiggle from side to side while you fishtail down a dirt road is an experience that takes some getting used to. But if you're a street guy, taking the Adventure off in the dirt will leave you with praise for 12 inches of suspension travel and the dizzying speed at which you can tackle ruts, bumps, rocks and assorted washouts. The Adventure isn't a streetbike, but it ain't no dirtbike, neither. To paraphrase an old episode of "Star Trek," it's the empathic metamorphose of motorcycling-a companion that truly can be anything you desire. And it does it all fairly well.

The suspension is stiff enough to hold the bike up without the wallowy feeling that can send shivers down your spine while carving lines in the canyons. Yet it's also plush enough to take the worst washboards in stride, while not dancing all over the road. Off-road, the suspension only bottoms as a way of warning you that you're going too fast, hitting obstacles as though you were on a real dirtbike. Even two-up, the Adventure holds its composure on dirt roads, though the passenger has to endure thinner seat foam and highly placed buddy pegs.

One factor hurting the Adventure's on-road performance is vibration. It's not a multi-cylinder streetbike, nor does it have a rubber-mounted motor. What it does have is a very small counterbalancer that takes the pain out of the pulses-and that's all. You'll find a few happy rev zones out on the road, but most are above the legal speed limit. The hard seat foam does little to damp the vibes, though that may change as the foam breaks-in. But once off the pavement, you hardly notice the vibes, and there the seat is great for a long day's exploring.

The Brembo brakes do an admirable job of slowing the heavy Adventure; even the typically too-strong and touchy single-piston rear brake is just about perfect on a bike of this size. The Metzeler Sahara tires also worked well; though they're the limiting factor off-road, on the road they'll go as far asyou care to push the bike. And that tall windscreen and wide, 250-mile gas tank do a great job of blocking the wind, though 6-footers may experience helmet buffeting.

Areas of small criticism include the dual exhaust, the design of which is a bit hokey. First, the crossover pipe takes off in the wrong direction to enter the left-side muffler, and its connector pipe, which mounts where the center-stand typically would, hangs down below the lower frame rail. Thus, bottoming out means smashing the pipe. We'd hack it off, weld the hole shut, and mount a centerstand, as on the factory rally racers.

In many ways, the Adventure is a great deal. At $7495, it has 90 percent of the stuff you'd need to compete in Paris-Dakar, yet it costs far less than the $14,000 of a full-on KTM Rally racer. Plus, the Adventure has electric starting and is street-legal.

Alternatively, you could look at the Adventure as $5000 less expensive and 150 pounds more capable than a BMW Rl 100GS, the "other" rally replica currently for sale in the U.S. Maybe it's just a fresh way of looking at dual-purpose motorcycling, but the name of this bike goes a long way toward explaining its attraction. U

Source Cycle World