Test KTM 620 LSE

Test KTM 620 LSE


Away from the tough sport image, towards a bike suitable for everyday use. With the latest LC4 offshoot, the 620 LSE, all it takes is a push of a button and the pleasure can begin.

Praise be for what makes you hard. True to this armed principle, the KTM men in Mattinghofen, Austria, have been building for ten years what they sell as real and, in their eyes, the only hard enduro in the world.

LC4 – the number combination for the really tough among the tunnel freaks. Of course, the extensive LC4 model range does not only include competitive machines such as the Competition and the Super Competition. They also thought of the »normal people« and offered a more relaxed version with the meaningful nickname Enduro. Unfortunately, when developing this everyday motorcycle, the engineers also oriented themselves towards the size of the guard and the driving ability of a Heinz Kinigardner.
In 1997, KTM also has a heart for less extreme people. With the LC4 620 Enduro LSE, the Austrians are finally bringing a motorcycle onto the market that is also interesting for enduro beginners. Interesting because you don’t have to fight against fear of heights when you sit up and because the start-up procedure does not consume the majority of your physical condition. LSE stands for Low Seat and E-Starter – for the little things that make life easier.
The travel of the stable upside-down fork has been shortened by a whopping 70 millimeters to still ample 230 millimeters and the stroke on the shock absorber has also been trimmed by 50 to 270 millimeters. In connection with the smaller wheels (front 19 instead of 21, rear 17 instead of 18 inches) this circumcision works wonders. No longer a problem, even for the shortest legs to establish safe contact with the ground, the LSE maneuvers itself out of the narrow parking space like a normal motorcycle.
A quick push of a button is all it takes to bring the nervous single cylinder to life. A certain sensitivity with the handling of the choke lever is also required with the LSE. Basically, the LSE drive does not differ from that of other LC4 models. From a displacement of 609 cubic centimeters, the water-cooled single presses a befitting 52 HP onto the MOTORRAD test bench, and the hard but precise five-speed gearbox also corresponds to the usual KTM standard of the well-known enduro versions.
Starting is no longer a problem even with the kickstarter still installed, which has moved to a practical level due to the changes. Without the risk of dislocating the hip joint, the test LSE can, in case of doubt, even be started by the biggest wimp at the latest on the second step.
Once in motion, the KTM engine shows its best side. Tough but cordial, it makes no secret of its sporty origins and, thanks to the minimal flywheel mass of the crankshaft, presents itself in a happy, agile form. The stew reacts without much delay to every twitch of the gas hand. At this point, we can only say so much about the vibrations emitted by the engine, which is equipped with a balancer shaft: It takes a really thick cornea to ignore it. Although the rubber footpegs do their best to suppress any kind of unpleasant vibrations. The fairy tale of the uncompromising sportiness of the KTM engines can be corrected at this point in a further half-sentence: Even a BMW F650 unit, who is convinced of the KTM driver’s eyes, leaves the LC4 with a 40 kilogram weight advantage in both acceleration and pulling power look pretty average.
But because KTM riders have never been dealt with with rational arguments, the tester’s focus is more on the fun factor. And that should not be underestimated with the low LSE. The hip flask is incredibly agile on public roads. Thanks to the low center of gravity, even turning maneuvers in the tightest of spaces are easy and effortless. If the engine dies suddenly at low speed, the electric starter means that there is no fear whatsoever, and the Pirelli MT 60 tires, which are suitable for road use, do the rest for a safe feeling of wellbeing in everyday life.
Anyone who thinks that this castrated KTM only carries effeminate warm-showerers over asphalt roads is wrong. This lowered LC4 variant also has a lot of advantages in easy to medium terrain. Whether slow trial sections over impassable rocky passages or full throttle stages on bumpy gravel roads – no problem. The fully adjustable and extremely softly tuned suspension elements put away everything that makes life worth living for the average enduro rider. And if the engine should die again as usual in a tricky uphill section due to the unsteady clutch, the same applies here – just press a button.
L.uxus has its price. The new one costs 13,080 marks. But you don’t just get an electric starter, but a superbly processed vehicle. Stable steel frame with aluminum swingarm, high-quality White Power spring elements, a finally convincing 300 disc brake in the front wheel and lots of spotless and practical detailed solutions. From changing the air filter to removing the engine, everything looks well thought out and has been tried and tested a thousand times. And finally, there is a very special bit of common sense on top. All Enduro models with an electric starter are equipped with a catalytic converter and a secondary air system as standard. This is what an everyday enduro should look like, then it will work with the Japanese too.

Conclusion – KTM 620 LC 4 LSE (T)

Well, please, it works. Without losing face, the LSE manages the difficult balancing act between sporty hard enduro and comfortable everyday equipment. The lower seat height not only convinces the short-legged in the editorial office. The difficulties in everyday enduro life can be mastered much more agile and safer, and the KTM no longer looks like a foreign body on the country road, but feels right at home. Only the drinking habits of the LSE, there is still something wrong. A 50 hp engine that pulls in a whopping 9.3 liters of fuel at 130 km / h is not allowed. Under these circumstances, even the stock Kat seems a little ridiculous.

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