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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

Proving Grounds
We’ll come right out and say it! It typically doesn’t take much to get the performance-hungry crew from ATVSource excited. So you could imagine our reaction when KTM invited us to Red Bud for the tenth round of the ATVA MX Nationals to cover their 450 and 505 performance ATV launch.

We arrived at Buchanan, MI Friday, July 25, and didn’t plan to leave until Sunday evening with the chance to not only test the quads, but to actually race them right there on the National track in the Industry class.

With butterflies a fluttering in our test rider’s midsection, we gathered the scoop on these two new scoots. Let’s make one thing perfectly clear from the get-go. While the impressive 450 and 525XC models left us feeling like KTM covered their bases in the cross-country and woods racing department, the new 450 and 505SX have been designed specifically for the rigors of motocross/supercross racing. Knowing the Austrian company’s attention to detail and competition orientation, we felt like you simply couldn’t ask for better proving grounds than Red Bud.

KTM Innovates

Let’s begin by taking a look at some of the innovations the “boys in orange” have brought to the table with the two new SX models. It was quite easy to become overwhelmed by the information overload presented by the factory technicians on hand; but of the hard facts presented, we came away quite impressed with the forward thinking and innovative designs KTM embodied. The KTM Brand philosophy of race-ready OE equipment is now embodied in two unique ATV lines: the XC and SX (each with two separate engine classes). For the 2009 model year the 450 SX and 505 SX aim to be the closest production-ready ATV to date for the motocross enthusiast. KTM, no stranger to motocross, accomplishes the unique requirements of the sport through enormously powerful engines, coupled to low overall weight and a low center of gravity.

We hear claims of quads being close to race-ready off the showroom floor all the time but even we, in our skepticism, came away impressed with some of the details KTM includes to make this concept a reality. Among these: Wide axle and A-arms, and special WP suspension elements, DWT wheels with rear bead lock, Razr MX tires, tapered Magura bars, Nerf bars, and even the tether cable/ kill switch! Not bad for a bone stock machine, not bad at all!

The machines’ spec sheets are nearly identical, save for the usual bore and stroke differentials indicated by the differences in overall engine displacement:

Chase Cunningham, a Media Allstars Team Rider and 2008 GNC 25+ champion, and a GNC A class (top 5) front runner.
Chase Cunningham
The 450 SX offers up a 449cc DOHC 4-Valve liquid cooled single. Bore 97 mm, stroke 60.8 mm, compression Ratio 12.5:1 while the 505 SX cradles a 477cc DOHC 4-Valve liquid cooled single with a bore of 100 mm, identical stroke at 60.8 mm and compression ratio of 12.5:1.

Both models feature redesigned engine cases with modified engine ventilation systems to accommodate a deep oil sump, which allows better engine performance and increased oil capacity (1.8L).   Both come equipped with an industry standard close ratio 5-speed transmission (no reverse) and, like their two-wheeled cousins, are electric start only.

The cylinder head specs read like a technological wonder checklist with dual overhead camshafts and DLC-coated finger followers that drive four Titanium Valves.   Additionally, the crank was designed to maximize centrifugal mass while simultaneously ensuring optimum power output.

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