Dirt and Trail September 2019

RobRidefast

SA's adventure magazine

350 four stroke:

Glenn: We often wonder why other

manufacturers have not cottoned on to

the benefits of a 350. If a 250 is too small

for you – and a 450 too big, this one fills the

gap. It is much the same as the previous

model, but it does feel a lot more refined,

I only got to ride it for a short time, but it

is easy to understand why these bikes sell

so well. You don’t need to rev it like a 250

and you can ride it harder than you would

a 450 because it feels less intimidating. It

doesn’t bully you or push you around –

and is so much fun on the faster sections.

Mike: The 350F is an awesome machine

with plenty of power yet it is still light and

agile enough to overcome the obstacles. It

really bridges the gap between the 250 and

the 450, in such a controlled manner.

450 four stroke:

Glenn: One of the more technical

Thomas’s along for the launch who spends

his life on a 250 2-stroke happened to grab

this bike on the first lap and by the time

we met him halfway through, he was really

looking forward to a smaller, more nimble

bike. I grabbed it about halfway through

the day, and to be fair I was a bit skeptical

about dragging a big cc bike up and down

the mountains. So here is the truth.

The 450 is fast, so you need to take it

easy in tech terrain, open wide and you

skip the corners and things. Up the steep

hills, life was actually rather easy. First and

second gears and gentle clutch actuation

and the bike will climb anything with ease.

“The 450 is fast, so you need to take it easy

in tech terrain, open wide and you skip the

corners and things. Up the steep hills, life was

actually rather easy. First and second gears and

gentle clutch actuation and the bike will climb

anything with ease. Yup, read ease. No sweat

much to my surprise. You can feel that there is

a lot going on in the engine and it vibrates a bit

more than the others, but KTM has built the most

rideable 450 that we’ve ridden to date.”

Yup, read ease. No sweat much to my

surprise. You can feel that there is a lot

going on in the engine and it vibrates a bit

more than the others, but KTM has built

the most rideable 450 that we’ve ridden

to date. Not wild, not unrideable, just

lots of smooth power. But it’s built for the

fast, sweeping stuff and when you grab a

handful, the world passes by in a big blur.

If you are keen on a big cc thumper then

you need to go and ride one of these. They

have refined the bike even more. It’s great

fun to ride.

Mike: The 450f really feels a lot like the

SX bike. Lots of power – but a far smoother

delivery than on an SX. The bike worked us

on the steep downhills, but other than that it

is quite amazing to feel how light it actually is.

KTM boasts that their enduro bikes are

lighter than most competitors motocross

bikes… that’s quite something!

500 four stroke:

Glenn: Sadly, this was the other bike that

I missed, but two of the testers on the

day who own the previous generations

only had really nice things to say. We’ll be

getting one for a fast test soon.

Mike: the 500 got me super excited

to ride, I even decided to tackle the

enduro cross segment on it and to my

surprise, it simply cruised over all the

logs and tyres without breaking a single

sweat. I couldn’t wait to get to a flat

section to open her up and boy oh boy

does this bike deliver on top end. It flies!

54 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2019

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