“We’re going in confident but humble,” stated Dakar champion Sam Sunderland as he helped unveil KTM’s new 450 Rally bike at EICMA.

EICMA, Europe’s biggest motorcycle show in Milan, Italy, was the stage for KTM to officially show the world its new 450 Rally bike, which they hope will take them to an astonishing 17th consecutive Dakar Rally victory next January.

With press from all corners of the globe watching on, KTM pulled back the covers on a bike that has taken them two years to develop.


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Photo Credit: Andrea Belluschi/Future7Media

In October they raced it in a black livery in Morocco, but in Milan it was sporting its thoroughbred race colours.

As the nature and terrain of the Dakar Rally has developed, it’s clear KTM have engineered their latest offering to mirror that.

Most certainly a visual step forward in the evolution of rally bikes, the new 450 Rally looks sleeker, slimmer and trimmer than its predecessor.

It looks closer to an enduro bike than we’ve seen before.

Under that new bodywork features an all-new engine with higher peak performance balanced by a new engine management system with a better throttle body to improve response.


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Photo Credit: Andrea Belluschi/Future7Media

It’s got a new air box and a completely new frame to improve agility and handling.

New rear suspension is mated to a new swing arm. There’s a lot going one, more than KTM are willing to talk about this close to Dakar.

“It’s been two years of testing to get to this stage,” told Sunderland. “We spent a lot of time in 50 degree heat in Morocco doing durability testing.

“A lot of work has gone into this bike from the whole team, and with the win at our first outing in Morocco, it’s a good sign for Dakar.”


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Robert Lynn
Enduro21 Editor