Test KTM LC 4 640 Adventure R
It was because of the rear view: with the low-lying two-in-one exhaust system, the Adventure was a flop. Now it presents itself in a sporty rally look with a new rear and a larger displacement
Singles are about having the greatest. How else can it be explained that the cubic capacity – not only in Austria – is pretty exaggerated? In 600 KTM christened the first LC 4, but considering the real 553 cm³ it is a good bit removed from reality.
In the case of Adventure, R stands for rally, which is intended to underline the sporty character of the new version. There is a good reason for the revision towards desert sports: the demand for last year’s variant with the low-lying exhaust in the style of a street machine was limited. The plan to attract new customers with the street look, for example drivers for whom a BMW R 1100 GS is too heavy or a Honda Africa Twin too boring, did not work out. Those who buy LC 4 do not want to compromise. So now the tough rally look.
The overhead silencer from the Enduro has clear advantages off-road. The ground clearance is greater, a fall does not destroy the exhaust. The touring rider has to accept a small downer: in the aluminum boxes that are still available as accessories, the left case is narrower.
What does the new engine bring: More power? No, with 52 HP the test machine is just as good in the forage as last year’s 620. More torque? A touch. This is not subjectively noticeable, but the measured values show a few additional Newton meters in the middle range. Otherwise not much has changed. As before, the single cylinder revs up agile, the longer stroke has not impaired the maneuverability. In terms of liveliness, it is still far superior to Japanese soft enduros.
Unfortunately also in terms of roughness, with the Dellorto round slide carburetor load changes are still quite rough, the Adventure is miles away from the suppleness of an Africa Twin. It jerks, it rattles, and it vibrates robustly despite the balance shaft. LC 4 fans don’t mind it, many even love it. Some BMW drivers, however, would be surprised. In the case of the test machine, the extremely poorly responding WP Extreme fork also contributed to the rough character. On most roads, waves and bumps are transmitted motionless and senseless, only strong impacts set the fork in motion. Another bad habit of the test machine: the brake squeaks pathetically. Anyone who wants to avoid unpleasant surprises can voluntarily roll it out in front of the traffic lights in the city. Do not forget to disengage the clutch, because every now and then there is a slap in the exhaust when coasting.
D.The R clearly shows the direction: The Adventure is a rally offshoot with appropriate airs for road use. As the quality of the road surface decreases, the enthusiasm for the chassis and engine grows. Off-road, the KTM drives the rest of the travel enduros into the ground anyway.
Everything fresh? The LC 4 Enduro with a new outfit
»Not just a revised, a completely new motorcycle!« KTM presented the new LC 4 Enduro with pithy words on the island of Elba. The plastic dress was drawn by the designer Gerald Kiska, who devoted himself to details such as the taillight and fuel filler cap. The most interesting novelty, however, is hidden under the plastic: The familiar LC 4 engine with balancer shaft, electric starter and now 623 cm³ works there, but is now supplied by a Mikuni constant pressure carburetor with a flat slide made of plastic. It should teach the rough single better manners. He succeeds in doing this very well. The engine runs decidedly smoother, the transitions between overrun and throttle are more fluid. Strangely enough, the engine of the presentation enduro vibrates significantly less than the 640 engines of the Duke and Adventure. If these qualities can be transferred to the series, the LC 4 must be certified as being extremely suitable for everyday use. Especially since the negative effects of constant pressure carburetors, namely swallowing during jumps or strong waves, did not occur even when driving quickly off-road. The driving behavior has changed little: the Extreme fork gives the front end more rigidity and precision. The LC 4 still pushes a little over the front wheel when off-road, especially since the long tank means that there is little pressure on the fork. What else is new from Austria? The hapless LSE is shelved. The Duke 640, unfortunately with a Dellorto carburetor, should make life difficult for competitors from in-house: The 620 Super Moto, a competition that has been converted with 17-inch wheels, looks livelier, and heating on small roads is much more fun. The KTM men respond to questions about the future with an icy silence. The V-engine that Rotax is supposed to deliver seems rather a long way off. The technicians cannot elicit a single word about the new, small sports engine either. According to information from MOTORRAD, a competition model á la Yamaha 400 F is to be presented in the coming spring: Displacement between 400 and 500 cm³, lots of power, high speeds, two camshafts, the chassis of the two-stroke Crosser with direct PDS rear suspension and upside-down -Fork.
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