In 1953 the Kronreif, Trunkenpolz, Mattighofen Motorcycle Company entered their first racing activities, the fifth running of the Gaisberg competition, and finished with first, second and third place honors. Fifty years later, KTM—as the manufacturer is now known—has emerged as a modern builder of high-quality, reliable, exceptionally well-engineered motocross, enduro and supermoto machines. They are also the motorcycle of choice by the majority of the two-wheeled field in the Paris/Dakar Rally, taking top honors the last few years in the world’s ultimate endurance race. (Click image to enlarge)
The KTM 450EXC represents the evolution of the brand and its continued competition mindset. As a dominant force in a multitude of professional off-road racing series, the KTM engineers have taken what they learned from racetracks and grueling backwater enduro courses and ensures that the experience is interwoven into the construction and very soul of their production bikes. (Click image to enlarge)
The same elements that make for a winning race machine lend themselves to controllability under the casual weekend rider. The powerful EXC’s single cylinder four-stroke engine is liquid-cooled with a six-speed transmission and the thumb lever activated electric start also has a back-up traditional kick-starter. (Click image to enlarge)
Suspension boasts an astonishing 11.81 inches of travel on the front fork and 13.19 inches travel at the rear wheel, which translates into a plush ride regardless of what nature or man might have thrown in your path.
A headlight and taillight are standard equipment and intended for deep, dark woods riding and sufficient after-hours illumination (should the ride last longer than the sun). Tie all this together with predictable handling, disc brakes front and rear coupled with KTM’s legendary bulletproof construction and you’ve got a machine that—out of the crate—will keep you happy for many a weekend outing.
KTM 450 EXC Racing
Engine: 447cc single cylinder, liquid cooled, 4-stroke
Weight: 245 lbs