KTM is keen on delivering the best of every product so, for that reason, they dig deeper in each of their bike’s possibility sack in order to find what can be improved, upgraded or simply lightened in an attempt to set each bike apart from its competitors. The 2009 KTM 250 SX-F is a very good example of what the Austrians can achieve with a quarter-liter engine and a race-derived chassis so it’s well worth checking out also because KTM claims it can even do better than two-stroke bikes in certain areas.
KTM worked their magic on the biggest 2009 SX-F model, the MX1-destined 450 and, like on all other racing bikes, it all stands in the details. The retuned engine is claimed to provide a healthier rush across the powerband while chassis and controls updates are aimed at improving handling as the rider is supposed to feel more at home on the new model than on the previous one.
KTM’s unmistakably diversified off-road competition lineup brings the 450 EXC and 530 EXC motorcycles in our attention for being both track and trail machines and for offering the possibility to be taken on the roads too. They’ll never perform like dual-sports bikes and, most likely, they’ll go in the back of trucks if there are even 15-20 miles in between riding spots, but once there it will be nothing to stop these blasts.
The Austrian manufacturer simply had to profit of the light and nimble chassis and address to more than one category of riders with it and so two different and strikingly similar models ended up being produced. Displacement is really the only difference though.
KTM’s latest 690 Enduro R model is also one that completes the Austrian motorcycle manufacturer’s “R” series and which apart from being based on the LC4 engine that makes people dream about this sport enduro motorcycle, it also gets the distinctive styling complete with the orange painted frame and everything.
KTM’s well established pecking order sees the 950 Super Enduro R positioned right next to the 990 Adventure models . That’s a good clue of what the bike is capable of but wait to hear about the bulletproof chassis and high performing engine before starting being amazed of what the Austrian’s could deliver. Although similar in performance, the Super Enduro R is a whole other blast compared to the Adventures simply because it was created for hardcore off-road riding while the headlight and mirrors ensure it is street legal too.
2009 sees the KTM 990 Adventure not only being turned into a more powerful, torquier and slightly heavier motorcycle, but standing as the base for the brand new 2009 KTM 990 Adventure R. The Austrian brand’s R series stands for even more power than on the standard models, lighter weight and distinctive look so it’s almost like sending your bike to the tuner shop and being provided with an all around upgraded package. Still, being a production bike, exclusivity doesn’t fit in this description.
Back in 2008, KTM introduced the all-new 690 SMC model, a performance bike built for the track and yet which ended up being street legal and implicit available for the large public. But what precisely did this model offered we could only now find after getting the chance to take it for a spin. Meanwhile, it carried on as a 2009 model year, sells good despite the economy going from bad to worse and deals with the stiff competition ensured also by European manufacturers.
The name KTM and model name Duke simply don’t go well together without the ‘690’ deduction from cylinder capacity so in 2009, the middleweight streetfighter carries on being present in the Austrian manufacturer’s lineup and stands for the same qualities as it did in the past – all-around maneuverability, performance and, of course, good looks. The news here is that we recently grabbed the opportunity to test ride the bike and we simply can’t get over it.
KTM’s Super Duke model range is first and foremost a good representation of what the Austrian brand understands through the word ‘Streetfighter’, but also the stripped down interpretation of the RC8 models . That’s how they end up delivering the 2009 KTM 990 Super Duke R and the simple model following the same recipe as in the case of the Superbike models and, implicit, expecting approximately the same results.
Ever since the 2008 launch of their all-new Superbike, a premiere for the Austrian brand, KTM has worked to develop the now notorious RC8 model into a more powerful, slightly lighter and sharper cornering motorcycle, improving so both the times around the track and the appreciation among street riders. So while carrying on producing the Standard RC8 as a 2009 model year, KTM also puts on sale the RC8 R model, a nightmare for all competitors out there, be them Japanese or European.