Auto review: Riding to excellence
An off-road course in Chiang Mai showcases KTM's latest models
published : 13 Mar 2023 at 06:11
newspaper section: Life
writer: Jedd Sreshthaputra
Responding to the growing demand for fun and safe activities, the KTM Riders Academy recently staged an advanced enduro and adventure course in Chiang Mai featuring the latest models for the Thai market.
First held in 2022, the KTM Riders Academy's goal was to increase the accessibility of off-road motorcycle riding in Asia, and for 2023 more advanced courses were offered for participants, including the Bangkok Post.
At the event, the emphasis was put on two new models -- the KTM 790 Adventure R and the KTM 350 ECX-F Six Days.
KTM is one of the world's best off-road motorcycle brands, having won almost every title in motocross, enduro, adventure rally and Dakar competitions. KTM off-road bikes are known for their outstanding power, frame technology, lightweight design and excellent suspension systems, making them ideal for hard enduro-style riding.
In addition, the KTM 350 EXC-F Six Days is now available for financing with official KTM Power Parts being available at all dealers across the country, making them more accessible to a wider range of customers.
Let's take a closer look at the highlights that make this bike "ready to race" from the factory.
KTM hard enduro & adventure racing courses
Quality off-road activities are in high demand in Asia, and with them, the local riders' riding skills are constantly improving. KTM's objective is to make a contribution to the growth of off-road motorsport by equipping more riders with the necessary off-road skills at every level, from beginner to advanced riders. The event is staged in six countries: China, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. It is open to the public and run by KTM-approved instructors.
Solely associated with Vroom, the official importer and distributor of KTM and Husqvarna bikes in Thailand, the Chiang Mai training was also open to the country's top media and influencers. Representatives from KTM dealers all over Thailand also showed up at the event.
KTM Thailand says it plans to organise more skill-development activities in the future, and the training will concentrate on developed skills to enable students to apply their knowledge in practical settings and enjoy safe riding journeys.
KTM 350 EXC-F SIX DAYS (539,800 baht)
This is an outstanding KTM model with well-documented performance and agility, paired with top-tier KTM SIX DAYS components, and a trophy room larger than most due to its high success rate in competitions.
The KTM 350 EXC-F features a 45hp engine with class-leading power delivery and lightweight design. It features a compact cylinder head, single overhead camshaft with low-friction rocker arms and timing chain, Keihin Engine Management System with electronic fuel injection and a 42mm throttle body. The compression ratio of 13.5:1 provides excellent engine performance.
FRAME & SWING ARMS
The light chromoly steel frame has race-derived geometry and the swing arm is made of one piece of aluminium made through a gravity die-casting process. This produces ideal flex behaviour and exceptional strength.
TRANSMISSION AND CLUTCH
There's a 6-speed transmission with a sensor which allows for different engine characteristics for each gear. The DDS clutch (Damped Diaphragm Steel) is extremely durable, with a wear-free steel basket and heat-resistant clutch plates. Brembo hydraulic system offers precise clutch modulation.
Side-mounted counterbalance shaft drives the water pump while expertly balancing all the oscillating forces. Even at the highest engine speeds, it successfully reduces engine vibrations.
KTM says that a pair of radiators are mounted to keep the engine cool. These employ computational fluid dynamics technology and deft coolant circuit routing with radiator fans as a standard feature.
FRONT & REAR SUSPENSION
Front: Fully adjustable WP XPLOR shock absorbers allow for lessened suspension fade and wear. Rear: Fully adjustable WP XPLOR shock absorber.
Brembo brake callipers with lightweight wave brake discs. Floating front brake disc and solid rear disc. The rear brake pedal is fastened with a safety wire.
A lightweight polyethene tank with a 1/4-turn bayonet-style filler cap provides direct fuel delivery to the injectors. A 90-degree connector offers safety protection, and riders can quickly and conveniently check the amount of fuel.
KTM 790 ADVENTURE R (569,800 baht)
The KTM 790 ADVENTURE R is a serious travel-capable off-road motorcycle equipped for the most extreme escapes, derived from KTM's race DNA. It balances the power of a twin with the lightness and agility of a single-cylinder bike to open up new riding possibilities for the hardcore adventurer. It also provides an impressive fuel range while maintaining agility, and thanks to simple rider aids and practical ergonomics, you can access more extreme and distant terrain.
The LC8c is the market's most compact performance engine. The 8-valve DOHC cylinder head has two spark plugs and twin chain-driven camshafts with a 95hp engine along with modern electronics. Dual balance shafts provide engine smoothness.
FRAME & SWING ARMS
Its tubular chromoly steel frame has been designed for light handling and comfort over long distances off-road, while the trellis subframe is compact and lightweight. There are signature die-cast swingers with a direct link to the rear shock.
There's a 6-speed gearbox and the estimated range is 450km. The slipper clutch with PASC (Power Assist Clutch) requires minimal rider input to operate with only one finger.
DISPLAY & ELECTRONICS
The 5-inch full-colour TFT display screen shows all the information. Ride modes and ABS settings can be changed on the fly. The MTC (Motorcycle Traction Control) technology measures the lean angle with high sensitivity. Cornering ABS and off-road ABS are available, and aside from the standard riding modes, there are off-road and rally modes as well.
Front and rear WP suspension of high quality -- the steering damper is a standard accessory.
The 21in front and 18in rear wheels are designed for serious off-roading, being mated to tubeless Metzeler Karoo 3 heavy-duty lightweight tyres.