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Old 09-09-2014, 12:56 PM   #1
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KTM LC4-50 Review by DaCarl Hagenblad

LC4-50 Review
By Carl Hagenblad

If you want to ride the Dakar or other World series FIM rallys, you need a 450 cc rally bike. You can order a brand new one from KTM, which is the only, and of course the most expensive option to get a new race-ready bike today. You can also choose to build your own Dakar-bike with your standard 450 enduro, but this is definitly not easy or cheap, and you still end up with an enduro bike, built to ride narrow gnarly enduros and not really suited for long races. Dakar has the world rally-elite of about 20 guys, and under them in the results you have 300 Amateurs that want's a relaiable offroad bike. These guys, and I'm one of them, would rather have a realiable less expensive bike more like a normal Offroad than a small enduro. Like the KTM LC4 690. Too bad there is not a 450 option..... Well, there is actually.

My name is Carl Hagenblad, 37 years old from Sweden. I have raced since 2003 and pretty much live on my bike. My career started with a LC4 640 2000, which I drove until i found the Supercomp. That, and another one just like it and drove for at least 100 000 km. Since then Iv'e ridden a lot of the old KTM Dakar bikes, converted enduros, light rally bikes and other offroaders. I've built my own bikes, been a Dakar mechanic, and are now about to get on the start line of Dakar 2015.

I heared from John Mitchinson (Rally raid products) that he and Marting (Torque racing) where working on a LC4 conversion kit and I immediately loved the idea. Ok, I've always wanted to build my own engine too. Rally raid producs also have a LC4 rally kit with tanks, fairing and all the other stuff you need for rally racing. Together with Cosworth they designed and made a new crank, shaft and piston making the 690 a 450. This means if you want your 690 to be a rally bike, ther's a kit for it. If you want it in the Dakar, there's a kit for that too. You can buy them, rent a bike during the race with or without service, or even order a complete LC4 with one or both options.

So, I got hold of John's prototype bike Elsie and took it for a test in the Swedish late summer. My first concern was the weight. The LC4 is a big bike and I'm 73 kilos, and I went straight into the forest, found a wet tractor track and went for it. After lifting the bike, got bogged down, flipped it and crossed lots of obstacles the result was; This will work. Same weekend I entered a Swedish 2-days roadbook rally with it. First day was 500 km, mostly single trail and enduro I rode together with fellow Dakar rider Mikael on his factory replica. 14 hours later testing was the result of the day, and day two I felt really comfortable on it. We switched bikes to compare them and see how much more bike you get for the money. The LC4-50 has about 50 bhp, and because of the short stroke it revs like a motocross bike, whilst the factory lacks in the middle, but has a couple of horse power more. Not much at the low revs but enough power to go fast when you get the hang of it. It's wider around the waist, but nothing is in the way of your legs, controls feels right, and the brakes are good. The suspention are always good on the KTMs but this also has the Traction control upgrade, and was actually better than the stiffer factory bike, which Mikael took as homework.

So, I got home and took it apart to check out the rally kit. A fairing with plenty of space in front with good brackets making it very stable. Front tanks each holds 5 litres, adding it to the stock 12. Also there is another 5 litre rear tank adding upp to 27, which is enough for at least 450 km with my driving style (6 l/100km) Actually it is closer to 0,55 (490 km). Often third party parts doesn't fit properly, but this kit does. Easy to get tanks off and on, fairing and it has room for tools everywhere.

So, this is the review of the bike I will drive up the Dakar podium 2015. Hopefully twice!

Any questions?

First test ride 40 km various offroad

Mud test: check!

Testing LC4-50 vs 450 factory replica at Dala classic 800 km

Wheelie test

Suspension test

Turn on a dime test

Sliding test

Thanks for reading.

All the best. /Carl

Extra points for the blinged out screws.

Official homepage:
Rally raid products:
Torque racing:

Photos: Robert Claesson
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Hagenblad screwed with this post 09-10-2014 at 01:55 AM
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Old 09-09-2014, 05:20 PM   #2
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Looking good.
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Old 09-09-2014, 11:58 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Hagenblad View Post

So, this is the review of the bike I will drive up the Dakar podium 2015. Hopefully twice!

Any questions?
When you bringing it down south to play on...?
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Old 09-10-2014, 10:39 AM   #4
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It's moving south slowly. First England, then France, then Argentina.

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Old 09-10-2014, 11:33 AM   #5
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. Just checking things out.
Originally Posted by Boondoggle View Post
Watching Dakar is like watching people who've built their own world, and for just a couple of weeks they get to live in it.
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:23 PM   #6
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Best of luck, will be watching and cheering for ya
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:26 PM   #7
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Dayum, Pivot turn on an LC4 in rally dress.

I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure

No bike does everything perfectly. In fact, no bike does anything until someone gets on it to ride.

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