KTM might not have taken gold in this year’s Dakar Rally, but from 2019 backwards they enjoyed an eighteen year winning streak in the iconic rally. That makes them the winningest manufacturer in the Dakar (nine wins ahead of Yamaha, if stats are your thing).
That’s quite a racing pedigree, and one that KTM’s put to good use over the last few years, by regularly releasing ready to race rally bikes. This is their latest offering: the 2021 KTM 450 Rally Replica. It’s a bike that anyone can literally purchase and run in the Dakar … presuming they have the skill and fitness to keep up.
The KTM 450 Rally Replica isn’t just a dressed up enduro bike with long range tanks and a nav tower. It’s literally the closest you can get to the bike that factory riders Toby Price, Matthias Walkner and Sam Sunderland tackle the world’s toughest rally on.
There’s very little here that’s off-the-shelf. The 450 cc motor’s crammed into a race-specific chassis, that features a chromoly steel trellis frame and an aluminium swing arm. It’s a really trick setup, with the rearward 16 fuel tank doubling up as part of the subframe structure.
Suspension is, as always, from WP, with WP XACT Pro closed cartridge forks featuring Cone Valve technology up front, and a WP XACT Pro shock out back. There’s 305 mm of travel up front, and 300 mm out back. Everything is fully adjustable, and designed to do what rally bikes have to: perform well across varying, yet always brutal, terrain.
The engine package includes a new gearbox and updated shift mechanism, along with some goodies from KTM Motorsport partners, Pankl Racing Systems. What’s more, KTM worked with their Red Bull KTM Factory riders to work out the gear ratios—so the gearing is the same as you’ll find on their race bikes.
Other highlights include an Akrapovič exhaust, Excel rims and a carbon fibre nav tower. It also features all the requisite rally-specific bodywork—like long range tanks and a massive sump guard. And even the ergonomics match the race bikes, with a slim profile, and a race-specific seat that stands at a whopping 960 mm tall.
It comes in all-white with minimal graphics; presumably so that installing your own sticker kit isn’t too much of a schlep. And it weighs a paltry 139 kilos.
So what does a Dakar-winning machine like this cost? Just EUR 25,900 in Europe (a hair over R500,000), plus import duties and shipping. KTM will only be making 85 of these, and they’ll be available from September. And if you’ve still got some change left over, they’re offering a full race support package too.