KTM 660 LC4 smc 2006 model

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The latest competition moto from KTM is very similar to the 05 model which currently has it's own one model KTM cup series sponsered by Bracken.  Updates include extra engine oil capacity, up from around a litre to 2 litres as the other litre is stored in the frame. The 660 now has twin exhaust silencers as does the rest of the new LC4 range and looks similar to the KTM's currently winning the world supermoto championship. This new model should be allowed to compete in the 2007 KTM 660 cup along side the old model.

Power is claimed around 50hp and gives a top speed of 110mph in standard trim, race cans improve bottom end power but wether or not max bhp is increased is debatable. Top speed remains the same, but the sound is attention grabbing to say the least. The engine is one of the most usuable I've experienced, the singles pulses give feel to the rear tyre that sports bikes can only dream of.  On a wet Cadwell circuit I had the track to myself as water layed on it's surface I could pick and choose exactly how much I wanted the rear to move around through each corner, and thats on standard tyres!

The bike is more difficult than smaller supermoto's to hussle around supermoto tracks which are much tighter, but the torquey engine means less gear changes and good drive out of the corners.  The big KTM has more presence at these tracks than the smaller moto's so your less likley to be barged off the track (as much) and other riders are keener to move out of the way when you commit to a pass.  I havn't tried a dirt section yet but will let you know how it goes.

Wheelies are brutal in 1st gear and make finding second difficult as you fight to keep control.  However a second gear off the throttle launch is much more satisfying and easier to control and snicking into third is easy. You do need a decent space to launch second as 30 to 40mph is best speed to hoik it up.  This is the only bike I've succesfully managed a standup wheelie, it's just so easy!!

Handling is taken care of by adjustable WP suspension front and rear although curiously there are no front preload adjusters. The factory preload seems fine for road, racetrack and light offroad use.  Dropping the yokes about 15mm helps stop the front tyre from pushing wide and speeds turn in, it also seems to help high speed stability as well.  The forks seem to work best on the road and dirt tracks with the damping set at minimum although more can be applied for race track use.  The rear seems to work well when softened quite a bit from stock settings which also reduces ride height making the bike generally more manageable.

The brembo brakes offer excellent feel in all conditions although it's best to stick to the rear on the dirt. They can lack a little in outright power during an emergency, but the bikes ultra light weight (131KG!) soon allows you to stop quickly.  Rolling stoppies are also a doddle, just put your weight forward on the pegs and feel the back into the air on the lever.

The standard tyres are Pirelli Scorpion Sync's and are billed as a sport touring tyre for supermoto's.  On the road there can be issues with front grip, but at Cadwell's race track where they must have had chance to get warmer they performed floorlessly, I really couldn't get either one to move without a clumsy downchange.

In the terrential conditions on the same track the front still wouldn't move, nomatter how brave I was on the brakes although it did aquaplane a few times over 90mph (there was at least 3 inches of water in places) but caused no bother.  The rear would break free in corners, but there was never any real drama although gorrilla use of the throttle would definatly have you off. To be fair I was nearly as happy on these tyres as I am on full wets on my race bike so pirelli and KTM have got it spot on.  On the supermoto track they were almost as good although I did have a few moments when the rear stepped out big time, you have to bear in mind that the whole track only used first and second gear!  They felt good backing into the two first gear corners and still worked ok when it rained lightly while everyone else dashed for their wets.

The tyres performance isn't as glowing offroad although careful feathering of the clutch can tame what is a brutal engine on dirt and the package is fine for ambling along droves and tracks.

Fuel economy is generally about 50mpg on the road if you cruise around 65mph which is it's sweet point. With no balancer shaft your hands and feet will soon tingle at higher speeds. Economy is a lot less offroad or on a race track, you'll need to refule every session as the tank only holds 7 litres.

Overall this bike is a spot on all rounder, it commutes, does the twisties, pulls wheelies, goes offroad, and kicks many an arse on trackdays. It looks and sounds the biz and you can enter the KTM cup.  Oh forgot to metion the kickstart only makes you look double hard as you have to learn the secret starting method, which is good because being a true competition motard it doesn't have novelty items such as keys etc.

Remember also that when you do get it running, if you stall on a hot day to get it started again quickly or the fuel will evaporate in the carb and you'll have to wait about 20mins for the engine to cool down.  Although if your good you can keep the decompressor on for a few kicks to pump fuel through first, it's a bit of an art which I'm still learning, but I am getting better all the time.   Despite the minor irritations this bike grabs more attention from yoofs than any hot poop superbikes and birds love it when you go by on the rear hoop.  It's like owning a pumped up DT125 and makes riding as fun as when you were 17 on L-plates but without the blow-ups, bumble bee motor and general lack of respect.  It also gets respect at the supermoto tracks as most riders favour 450's and consider the larger moto's too much of a handfull, but in the right hands it is quite capable of holding it's own.


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