5 years ago

1603 final

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The KTM 500. We fully

The KTM 500. We fully expected the 500 to be even more brutal than the 450 –but it isn’t like that. The power is smooth and mellow, and only makes the bike rocket forward in a very controlled fashion. Riaan had told us that this is the new standard for all round single cylinder dirt-bikes manufactured by KTM, specifically for enduro. It has a very smooth and progressive motor tucked into a light and nimble handling chassis, fired up by an electric start of course. This flexible motor makes it suitable for many off-road situations. It can be a lazy mans bike, you can plod through the trees and through water, or, if you are up to it, wring the throttle and it’s a whole new ballgame. The suspension and chassis soak up anything in its’ path. When the rider puts on his race face the bike will explode, but very controllably…it never feels out of hand. The power is awesome, the suspension plush and comfortable. And if you think that you can’t race it – ask Louwrens Mahoney who won one of the enduro rounds on this very same bike last year… Best of all, this bike has the most comfortable seat of the lot. It’s no wonder it’s a favourite for rallye bike conversions – and KTM offers a roadworthy version of this bike – so get one as a commuter too – you’ll love it. Which is where we started out. Every brand needs a good dealer selling their bikes. Key is to find out what it is that the rider intends to do before making a recommendation. Did we mention the rest of our day? No? Well we rode a lot. When Lourens Mahoney turned up we saw first-hand just how fast and skilled he is, and a genuine nice guy to boot. He has nothing to prove, and just enjoyed being out with a group of others savouring the day at Rhino Park which is a really cool, relaxed riding venue. What did we learn – well – that everyone has different opinions on what bike is right for them. We suggest that – if you get the opportunity ride them all before you part with your cash… Whilst we were loading up to go home ahead of a building Highveld thunderstorm we asked Riaan for just a few words on why he thought the new 500 KTM heralded a return to the popularity of a big banger for all round off road riding, and this is what he had to say: It wheelies for days. You can street legal it for Rallye racing. It wheelies for days. It’s very nimble and balanced and doesn’t feel like a big four stroke. Louwrens Mahoney won a national enduro on it. Did I mention it wheelies for days? The fuelling is crisp and clean and delivers smooth linear power bottom to top. It passes Harleys on the Highway. Suspension is superb and soaks up rocks and roots. Ultra light, hydraulic clutch. Do almost anything dirt bike. And by the way, it wheelies for days. And we couldn’t agree more… 2 30 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2016 1603 DT multi dirtbikes.indd 30 2016/02/21 11:48 AM

2 STROKE SPECIAL only @Trax KTM Free set of mooses with every NEW 2 STROKE purchased While Stock lasts. BEDERF JOUSELF... Kom MAAK A DRAAI ONS PRAAT OOK ENGELS Willow Rock Shopping Centre Solomon Mahlangu drive Willow Acres.Pretoria East Sales: Riaan 082 446 8852 LANDLINE: 012 111 0190 KTM Group Partner 2016 M1SERIES andrew 082 775 7408 1603 DT multi dirtbikes.indd 31 2016/02/21 11:48 AM