KTM 450/505 SX SPORT ATV

KTM 450/505 SX SPORT ATV: Editor notes from the Summer of 2008 – by Jeff Henson

It has been 16 years since KTM invited the ATV press out to ride and race its all-new KTM 450 and 505 SX sport quad models at Redbud MX in Michigan. Tim Farr was a factory KTM rider then, riding with Adam McGill & Taylor Kiser. Farr had a lot of input in developing these new KTM models and put on an impressive demo as he ripped lap after lap on the national track.

My memory of the event is a little hazy on details, but I do remember Farr clearing the infamous Larocco’s Leap with a case bounce off of the peak. It’s difficult enough to get enough speed out of the corner to pull this off on a 240-pound dirt-bike, much less a 365-pound sport quad. But it was said to be the first time the massive triple step-up had ever been conquered by a sport quad.

An Industry Class race was added to the day’s roster, which had all of us in the media racing against each other, as was usual behind a keyboard, but this time on KTM’s  450 SX. It was an amazing experience! I didn’t win, but I didn’t get last either. I just remember the dirt being so much better than the sand and hardpack tracks back home in Arizona.

KTM 450/505 SX SPORT
Tim Farr on the #4 KTM at Redbud MX. Photo Credit – Kenney Jones

It was the perfect setting for testing the most race-ready ATV ever produced – right down to a tethered kill switch. Looking back at my trackside notes, pictured below, the only thing that could make these machines any better was a steering damper.

I stumbled upon these notes, scribbled in a media brochure, while going through my archives that date back to the late 90s. These notes contain some interesting entries, such as one comparing the 505 SX and 450 SX models. According to the notes, some potential buyers might have the misconception that the 505 SX is the more powerful machine with a motor that requires a lot of endurance to master, but this is not entirely true. The 505 SX was actually easier to ride as the power is plentiful, yet incredibly smooth in comparison to the 450 SX. The latter has a mean hit, making it more labor-intensive to ride, and even seemed more powerful than the 505 SX.

Another entry included in the notes is a comment from a test rider who was 6’3″ and 250 pounds. According to him, the stock KTM 450 SX is faster than his race-built 450 from another brand.

I’m sharing these notes to give you an idea of the kind of information that goes into reviewing a new ATV. I do miss the days when sport quads were all the rage and we had them coming in and out of the shop on a weekly basis with numerous builds always in the works. Unfortunately, the KTM models were released just ahead of “the great recession,” and it’s heartbreaking to think about what these machines might have evolved into today.

I hope you enjoy this brief look back at an amazing race-ready sport ATV.

KTM 450/505 SX SPORT ATV

KTM 450/505 SX SPORT

KTM 450/505 SX SPORT ATV

KTM 450/505 SX SPORT

KTM 450/505 SX SPORT ATV

KTM 450/505 SX SPORT

KTM 450/505 SX SPORT ATV

KTM 450/505 SX SPORT

KTM 450/505 SX SPORT

 

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