When it comes to the annual Dakar Rally - now held in Saudi Arabia - no brand comes close to the dominance of KTM. Winning 18 Dakar Rallies on the trot between 2001 and 2019, the Austrian brand knows rally racing.
As is traditional at KTM, access to Rally spec machines isn’t just reserved for the KTM Factory Racing Team, but if you want it for yourself it does come with a price.
Available in limited numbers, with only 85 set to be built for the global market and priced at a firm $63,825 NZD, the 2021 KTM 450 Rally Replica is fully road legal in NZ and is as close to the factory racer as you can get. Or, if Rally racing isn’t quite your thing, the 450 Rally Replica could possibly be the ultimate KTM adventure machine. 790 Adventure R eat your twin-piston heart out!
Powered by KTM’s 450cc SOHC fuel-injection single-cylinder engine and wrapped in a competition-based chassis, the 450 Rally Replica also features a series of finer details to denote the exclusivity of the rally-bred machine.
Those specs include full WP XACT PRO closed cartridge suspension with sophisticated Cone Valve technology and purposeful aerodynamics and ergonomics crafted for exceptional handling across a wide breadth of terrain.
Being a rally machine you’ll find a lot more fuel carrying ability on the 450 Rally Replica, around 33-litres of the stuff according to KTM’s Queen of Adventure and now Australasian marketing guru, Rosie Lalonde.
Other rally additions making the bike ready to hit, well, very nearly anything includes a full navigation tower and windscreen, wrap-around handguards and an Akropovic exhaust system.
For 2021 KTM has also refined the package with a brand-new gearbox and revised shift mechanism. The result of the direct influence of PANKL Racing Systems materials inside the KTM Motorsport department, it has meant technicians were able to further hike the bike’s much-needed reliability for rally riding conditions, but also benefit the rider with a larger gear spread.
In particular, those gearing changes came from notes taken from KTM’s three factory riders, with the same gear ratios as those advocated on the machines of trio of Dakar Rally champions.
“We’re proud of the 2021 KTM 450 Rally Replica, says Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Rally Team Leader, Stefan Huber.
“With this model we have already set the bar very high in giving the customers a product so close to what we prepare and take to rallies across the world. Of course, we always make new discoveries, and this means the 2021 bike is a significant upgrade. The gearbox construction and configuration will make a difference to the riders who want to push the KTM 450 Rally Replica. It is crucial for us to be able to transfer what we learn directly into the hands of KTM riders. We’re here to win races but making a better product is very important and satisfying. I personally look forward to seeing this incredible machine in racing action at the upcoming 2021 Dakar Rally!”
KTM is even offering those riders who gain entry to the Dakar as privateers - not an easy feat in of itself - the option of a service and support package for the Rally at an additional cost.
The real trick here will be getting one of these bikes in your garage. KTM isn’t afraid to say that availability is not guaranteed for anyone.
But if you had the money and were a die-hard KTM fan, what would you do? Put in for the ultimate exclusive rally raider, or for the same money grab two 790 Adventure R’s and a friend and use the leftover funds to begin a trip around the world?
We know if we had the money we’d be very conflicted...