KTM Springs Into Quad Market

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KTM showed its first foray into the ATV market when it revealed its two-model quad line to dealers assembled for the company's annual business meeting. The introduction followed more than two years of development.

Because KTM adheres to its "Ready to Race" slogan, it should come as no surprise that the two sport quads, the 450 XC and 525 XC, were designed to allow the Austrian brand entry into ATV competition — on the track and on the trail.

The engine powering both machines is a new version of the liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke supplied to Polaris Industries and should help end speculation that the KTM quads are a reincarnation of the Minnesota-based manufacturer's offerings. The 450 XC has a true displacement of 447cc and bore/stroke of 89/72mm while the 525 XC is actually a 510 with a bore/stroke of 95/72mm. Other than that, the two units share identical specs and parts.

Both bikes weigh an identical 357.1 lbs. (dry) and feature a chromoly frame with a removable aluminum subframe, öhlins shocks and springs with piggyback reservoir, Magura handlebars, Maxxis Razr tires on Douglas aluminum wheels, a performance-tuned exhaust with aluminum canister and spark arrestor, and a lightweight curved radiator with auxiliary fan. Also available: a titanium Akrapovic Evolution exhaust system; an orange Z-ring chain; a steering damper; small nerf bars with heel guards and large nerf bars without heel guards; a dual-compound grip set; and a KTM-branded Thor Core racing jersey, gloves and pants.

KTM spokesman Tom Moen says the OEM identified the need for a unit that could compete "out of the box" after hearing of all of the changes most riders make to their ATVs before going racing. "With motorcycles, you can pretty much buy them and hit the track. But with ATVs, a lot of the guys were doing a whole list of things just to make them race-worthy," he says. "So what KTM did was introduce quads where all of that extra stuff was already done for you."

Dealer reaction is mixed. "You've got to remember that our core dealer is a dirtbike dealer, and the ATVs and dirtbikes kind of go together like boats and PWC," Moen notes.