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We Are Loving These 2016 KTM Motorcycles

In the off-road racing world, there is perhaps no other bike as easily recognizable as the little orange KTM machines. Since their introduction, KTM bikes have dominated the motorsports tracks. They're some of the most fun to ride bikes out there on the market, and the 2016 line up has plenty to get us excited.

So let's get into some of our favorite KTM bikes, freshly unpacked for 2016.

KTM 350 XC-F

The original 2011 model went down a storm, and the 2013 wasn't half bad either with increased horsepower, but at the expense of bottom end quality. Has KTM addressed this for 2016?

KTM have improved almost every component on this year's release, with the focus on a lighter and more ergonomic design. The new motor (1-cylinder, 4 stroke engine) growls to a heart-pumping 14,000 rpm. A completely new frame design offers an increased torsional stiffness, which improves the handling. The overall result is a massive weight shed to just 227 pounds - making this an agile, compact little bike with the power of that of a much larger one.

What we love about this bike is that it is FAST and yet a comfort to ride. Gear changes aren't required all too often to have a successful blast around the track, and your wrists won't give way too easily even after some hardcore riding. A solid middleweight bike that's just great all-around.

450 SX-F Factory Edition

The 450SX-F is already a huge name in the Supercross championships world, with numerous wins around the world. Similar to other recent KTM releases, this bike has had most of its major components replaced to reduce weight and improve handling.

The new 1 cylinder, 4 stroke engine sheds four whole pounds, making it now the lightest 450 engine for off-road bikes. The frame has always been redesigned for increased torsional rigidity, with a lighter swingarm, fuel tank, and footpegs. Overall, the 2016 model is about 8 pounds lighter than the previous year's.

The fact that the new forks on the Factory Edition are a whopping 3.1 lbs lighter than those on its counterpart is quite amazing. Last year's model received complaints that the forks didn't absorb bumps as well as they needed to, a weak spot in an otherwise brilliant design. The 2016 model has addressed the problem effectively by improving the load its forks can handle, but it could prove to be a little uncomfortable for light-weight riders.

1290 Super Adventure

This is KTM's luxury adventure bike, one that struggled to be a worthy competitor against BMWs R1200GS when it was first released in 2015. How does 2016's model compare?

The 2016 1290 Super Adventure features a large 1300cc V-twin engine with massive 160-horsepower. It's made for tackling long distances with a huge 7.9-gallon tank and an ergonomic design for maximum comfort, including an adjustable seat height. 

It comes with a whole range of technology & safety features, including suspension control, traction control, cruise control, ABS for cornering, a selection of ride modes, and ride-by-wire throttle. There's even heated seat and grips, adjustable windshield, and slipper clutch.

At MSRP of $20,499, this is a pricey bike. But this is a "do it all" bike that does as well on the road as off, and we think it's a worthy contender against the big adventure brands. 

Duke 390

The cult classic Duke 390 has long been one of our favorite bikes, and is one of our top recommended starter bikes. This bike comes in at just over 300 pounds and puts out 44 horsepower. It may be a little thing, but it out-performs a lot of other bikes in the same class in terms of power.

One of the best features of the Duke 390 is its nimble chassis that provides gymnast agility when navigating a painfully busy street. The super lightweight trellis frame is designed for mass centralization, which gives the Duke 390 extreme agility and great maneuverability. This little bike can go anywhere: it's powerful enough to ride on the highway, handles well enough for those twisty mountain curves, and nimble enough to take off-road. 

This bike comes at an MSRP of just $4,999, making it one of the most fun bikes you can buy for five grand. 


We're happy to see KTM expand into the sportbike category and do well. Lastly, we have the RC390 - KTM's only purely sportbike. This is KTM's version of the extremely popular Japanese lightweights Ninja 300R and Yamaha R3.

The RC390 combines a small yet power engine with a small agile trellis frame and state-of-the-art racing technology. It's powered by a single cylinder, 4 stroke, 375cc engine with a peak output of 44 horsepower, making it a fast bike for a small weight that handles the road like a dream. Aesthetically, it's got a very sporty look with an aggressive riding position, but the ergonomic and aerodynamic design still allows for the comfortable ride.

For a brand that's synonymous with motocross domination, we think they've done well with this sportbike. It's a great little all-around bike with attractive European styling that'll be sure to get attention on the streets. 

It's Hard to Go Wrong with KTM
KTM is a big player when it comes to off-road bikes ? a reputation that's well established. But that doesn't mean you should rule out its marvelously engineered adventure and sport bikes.

Which of these bikes do you have your eye on? Or are you lusting after another model?

P.S. If you love window shopping as much as we do, see more of our favorite bikes round-ups: Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, BMW, and Ducati.

By Daniel Relich

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