I had the opportunity to test out the KTM Lycan 274. This is the absolute first KTM to the Treasure Valley of what most certainly will be many. The Boise Bike Wrench is the dealer bringing these KTMs in and Dave was good enough to let me be there for the first bike unboxing, build, and initial rides.
On their dirt bike side, KTM is very good about having their bikes race ready just as they come from the factory and this mountain bike is obviously the same way. This is the base model and Dave has these for $1,700 and change. You really get a lot of bike for that price. It is a 27.5 / 650B. Bike came packaged / protected really well, better than most any I’ve seen. The frame has some of the best looking / cleanest welds I’ve ever seen on a mountain bike.
125mm rear travel via 4 bar link is designed perfectly to be totally isolated from both pedalling and braking forces. Rear Rock Shox air shock also locks out. The lower shock mount is on the front of the swing arm pivot and this design really helps isolate the rear suspension from braking forces keeping it fully active in all conditions.
120mm Rock Shox front has remote lock out as well, making this an absolute XC climbing beast.
It has a solid mix of mostly Deore and an XT rear derailleur. 3 x 10 gearing came stock and really should be dropped for a solid 1x system. They are just better and available in about every price point.
180mm rotors front and rear are solid.
The way I rode the bike was totally box stock, all but the pedals. We threw on some really good platforms.
The bike rode awesome, climbed much better than me. It’s really an all mountain / XC bike as delivered and the ride I gave it was about 24 miles of mostly downhill with a few climbs. We rode from Bogus down to Hidden Springs via Eastside trail, Sweet Connie trail, and Chuckar Butte trail. This gave plenty of miles and conditions to get a solid feel for the bike and see any weeknesses it might have.
The Lycan was very predictable and confidence inspiring through the sketchy rocky sections, especially for having a little steeper XC geometry than what I normally ride. The rear suspension package delivered exactly as it should. It just did not bob when pedalling hard and it stayed active under heavy braking conditions too. It gave a really solid feel side to side. I did “land” a jump into a steep sandy rocky spot just wrong and crash (sorry about the scratches on the bike Dave) but that was totally operator error and not the bike.
My over all impressions were extremely positive. I’d highly recomend this bike as is, especially for XC riders who love to climb. It’s just a good solid performer that will take a rider to the podium and bring a smile to their face.
The biggest things I’d change are more for personal prefference than anything else. I am more of a DH type rider than XC too, and so my changes would be to set up the bike more for that than the XC set up it comes with. I’d go with a shorter stem and riser bars, a more DH oriented front tire, and probably a 150 or so mm travel front fork just to rake the front out a little more than the 68 degree head it currently sits at.
Dave did some more work on the KTM and made a really great bike even better.
The biggest change he made was going to the DVO fork. This was a serious game changer. More plush, more stable, just plain better in every way imaginable. This is absolutely a huge upgrade. This really is no surprise though because DVO comes from the good people who originally brought us the Marzocchi Bombers. The motorcycle technology just plain works and they really out did them selves on this line. The new Vredestein tires hooked up well and really added to the controll as well. A great set up for sure. Very confidence inspiring.
From there Dave went to the USB powered remote controlled Vyron dropper seat post. Very cool upgrade. Top shelf part for sure. Dave can get you these for pretty much any bike you have.
From there Dave tightened up the cock pit with a shorty stem making for a more controlled set up through the rough stuff.