KTM could have had this class by the throat except for one thing: the Husaberg. While the KTM has an advantage for faster and more open riding, in tight conditions the ‘Berg has an edge for most riders. Nevertheless, as an all-around package the KTM has more to offer, since it is not so narrowly focused, and routine maintenance – like shock spring preload adjustments are much easier. The KTM also suits tall riders more easily. Add a proven reliability record and strong resale, and it is easy to see why orange has become the color of off-road.MSRP: $8798.00
Claimed Weight (tank empty): 248 lb.
Actual Weight (tank full): 276 lb.
Seat Height: 37.8 inches
Footpeg Height: 16.9
Ground Clearance: 13.5
Street Legal (y/n): N
Fuel capacity: 2.4 gal.
Manufacturer Website: www.KTMusa.comOpinions
From the second I got on the bike I noticed that it was very light. The bike handles great in the tight and twisty trails and it is so light, it felt like I was riding my 200. The suspension was pretty stiff on the trail and on the mx track but it stayed straight (just beat you up a little). The bike turns very good and stays predictable in the corners; it goes were you want it too. This bike had plenty of power with the XC-W gearbox, great for tight trails and a very fast 6th gear for when you need it. The clutch pull is very smooth but one thing I noticed is the lever was in an awkward position and it caused my hand to get tired faster. The steering felt a little tight and a steering stabilizer would have been nice for the high speed sections. The best quality of this bike by far is its light and nimble feeling.
Kevin DeJongh: 6’0″/150 lb. /ExpertDuring all of our 450 testing the KTM was my favorite bike. Enough so that I purposely left it till the last bike of the day to avoid making the other bikes feel worse than they are. I just fit this bike and it fits me. So when the annual Soboba Trail Ride, the tightest and most technical organized ride I do each year, the XCW was the obvious choice. Because I can’t think of a stronger word, I’d say it was perfect for the day. While other struggled with fuel capacity, I never hit reserve. The suspension and engine kept my body from hitting reserve as well. Even I wouldn’t mind a lower seat height, but I just had to mount my tall seat from Enduro Engineering. That seat is all I needed to make my day. In ’08 I touted the 530, but in ’09 I say, who needs it?”
Karel Kramer: 6’1″/225 lb. /B riderI rode all of the 450s, and the KTM is my favorite. It just does everything that I want it to. It felt very agile. I even rode the KTM on the track with no problem. It has that low-end grunt that allows you to go into low-speed sections and roll it on without clutching it a lot. With this engine I didn’t really notice the wide-ratio transmission. First is not too low, and it pulls all the gaps easy. It doesn’t have a big hit, but there is always plenty of torque. On tricky sections I would have to charge harder on the other bikes.
Billy Oulette: 5’10″/155 lb. /Former national pro motocrosserI didn’t ride the Husaberg, but I thought the KTM smoked all the other bikes. I have the ’06 450 XC, and it feels heavier in general, and more front end heavy. The new bike stays straight on hits better, and it never really does anything weird. The power feels tame with no hit, but it runs as hard as or harder than my XC does, and it does that while being quieter. It feels more nimble than my bike as well. None of these 450s are light, but this one feels light. It would be my pick for a 450 off-road.
Rob Waite: 5’10″/160 lb. /Expert trail rider