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By: ATV Source
Video By: ATV Source
Photos By: ATV Source & Kinny Jones

2009 KTM 450 and 505 SX, Two Stellar "Ready To Race" ATVs

Continued from page 4...

Hunter Miller
Hunter Miller
With a little more time on the machine, we would likely have fiddled with the caster settings to speed up the steering a tad to match the specific needs of the track on race day (an option simply not present on most ATVs). If the need arises to dial in the front-end feel from track to track or as conditions change, it is confidence inspiring to know the KTM can deliver.

The rear end of the SX is a linkage-less design which works really well if set-up correctly.  We had absolutely no complaints with the rear suspension other than our test rider’s desire to speed up the rebound slightly to reduce the shock from packing up in the abundant breaking and acceleration bumps.

“But, once again for stock settings it performed above and beyond what I ever expected.  The first 3 or 4 laps found me casing and over shooting several of the jumps while trying to learn the track layout. The rear shock soaked up each shortcoming and the suspension only reached the limits of its travel a couple of times when I flat landed a few of the bigger jumps.”

Even in stock trim, the quad corners extremely well in the tight confines of the smaller track thanks to a punchy power band and suspension every bit as focused on the task at hand as the engine.


Climbing on board the KTM inspires a feeling somewhere just between the wide, race-ready stance of the Suzuki LTR450 and the more nimble Honda TRX450R.

“The first time I sat on the machine I felt comfortable. I had the KTM mechanics roll the handlebars back just a little just to get me farther back in the saddle. Other than that I didn’t feel like I needed to touch a thing. The stem height felt right and even the bend of the stock bars was good! I am really picky about my handlebars, really picky.”

The flat seat is easy to move around on and the pattern of the seat cover is such that even the most aggressive riders won’t feel like they’re being swept off the rear of the quad.

Hunter Miller on board the number 419 machine.
Hunter Miller on board the 419 machine.
Overall Ride Impression:

KTM has hit a home run with their new 450 and 505 SX models. These quads are truly capable of being competitive at the national level in bone stock form, a trait that many other power sports have enjoyed for some time now.

“I would imagine that these machines could simply dominate on the local level as well.  The usable torque that the KTM produces is incredible for a stock machine, and the motor doesn’t overpower its suspension platform.

You add a steering damper to the KTM, and you’ve got yourself a true race bike as in nothing else required to go compete.”

We came away extremely impressed with the KTM SX from the ample motor packages to the race-ready suspension--from its rigid (without jarring) frame design to its modern angled good looks. Truly this is the closest race-ready quad in stock trim that we have encountered to date.

The Results Page

So, with all of our well-deserved praise, how did the ATVSource test crew on board a bone stock KTM 505 SX fair in the Industry Class of the Red Bud National?  Chase Cunningham, who was busy wrapping up his GNC 25+ championship, wasn’t able to compete in the Industry Class, so our alternate rider Hunter Miller had a chance to compete against 15 riders at the gate and proceeded to duke it out. In the end, when the dust settled, the KTM carried our rider to a solid 6th place finish. Very excellent results considering this was Hunter’s first ride on the KTM.  If words aren’t enough to convince you that KTM means business, the results page surely will.

For more information on these and KTM’s other ATV efforts, head over to:

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