Like many brands from neighbouring Germany, Austrian manufacturer KTM are relatively unknown here in the UK, yet are huge on the continent. But things are set to change for 2013, with the brand set to make a real impact on the UK market, with their passion for innovation and reliability.
Having taken onboard input from their sponsored riders, including Fionn Griffiths and Alex Gehbauer, current under 23 XCO World Cup series leader, KTM are now ready to present a selection of their 2013 line up.
Wheel size has been a real focus for KTM’s research and development team, headed by Thomas Pressl. The scarp 29er is the premiere full suspension cross country race bike from KTM. Thomas admits that due to the “increased moment of gyration”, the Scarp29 will never be as agile as an equivalent 26” wheeled bike, this won’t be a problem for the cross country races who are training and riding ever single day, and are in peak condition.
As you’ll see across the range, the Scarp features directly mounted derailleurs and disc mounts, a press fit BB and a 12mm thru-axle. 100mm of rear wheel travel is delivered though KTM’s Pro Damping System, or PDS. In effect this creates a floating rear shock for reduced radial forces, to the shock, as well as allowing for a more reliable ride thanks to the linear structure of the shock.
What possibly stands out the most on the Scarp is the distinctive, patented head tube. This is a real blend of form and function, that not only gives the Scarp a stiffer front end being tapered, but also gives the bike a characteristic look. Just as with the PDS shock design, expect to see this design on a host of KTM bikes.
The Scarp will be available in four models; two fully carbon frames, the Prestige and Prime, and two models with an aluminium rear triangle, the Master and Elite.
The Lycan is now four years old, and is KTM’s most popular full suspension model. As such KTM chose the Lycan as the frame to spearhead it’s launch of a 650b equipped bike. In doing so they have produced one of the first readily available 650b bikes.
Why 650b? 650B wheels have the advantage of being lighter than a 29er, and faster than 26” wheels. Will this make it the ultimate trail bike? Time will tell. KTM haven’t just slapped on a set of bigger wheels though. This is a completely new design and system for the Lycan, and with the increased wheel size comes a slight increase in the rear wheel travel to 125mm, delivered through the brand’s DPS frame design as seen on the Scarp.
DPS isn’t the only feature shared by the Lycan, which also boasts the same oversized head tube, 12mm tru-axle and directly mounted derailleurs and brake mounts. For KTM, suspension is always the top priority when it comes to speccing the bike for production, and so the Lycan 650 range comes with a 650b specific front fork. The frame itself is aluminium, made with incredibly smooth welding and featuring integrated cabling to accentuate the clean lines.
The Lycan 650 will be available in three models, with prices ranging from €2,300 to €3,400.
The last sales year was the first time for KTM that high end carbon hardtails with 29” wheels outsold their 26” counterparts. When you see the exact figures it’s little wonder as to why they are investing so much in varying wheel sizes, and so the Myroon hardtail will be available in 26”, 650b and 29” wheel options.
KTM’s hardtails are split into two categories, the ‘Ultra’ range aimed more for those who are new to the sport, and the ‘race’ range which as the name suggests is for more experienced riders. 2013 sees a full redesign for the race range with the addition of a 12mm thru-axle, direct mounts and tapered head tube as seen on the rest of the 2013 range.
The 29” wheeled Myroon is the choice of KTM rider Alex Gehbauer, and KTM hope to see him crowned under 23 XCO World Champion on home soil in Leogang later this year.
KTM bikes are solely distributed in the UK by Fli Distribution.
For more information about KTM please visit their website.