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ADV BikesHere’s What It’s Like Riding REV’IT!’s Ultra-Custom AWD KTM 950

Here’s What It’s Like Riding REV’IT!’s Ultra-Custom AWD KTM 950

 “This thing is rad!” - Everyone who sits on it.

Published on 04.05.2018


 
Most people don’t brag when they finally get a chance to ride the town bicycle. It’s usually quite the opposite. Back in 2015, when REV’IT! finally finished building the #95 bike as their show pony, it truly was viewed as quite the exhibition-level custom motorcycle. Then they just tossed the keys to anyone with a media outlet and a pulse, that could take a photo of it.

Fate would throw me a turn and REV’IT! approached me about riding the bike. It might be the town bicycle but I wasn’t missing my chance to ride it. After about 9 months of excuse after excuse of being broke, pieces bent, it’s not running right now, it looked as if my chance was fading, but then “The #95 bike was finally ready for me to fire up the Flat Slide FCR carbs and go to hammer town at the KTM Adventure Rally in Crested Butte, CO.

REV’IT! #95 KTM Adventure Motorcycle Build

The Internet is littered with articles about the painful birthing process of the AWD REV’IT! #95 Bike, yet when people find out you rode it they always ask: “what’s it like to ride?”. Oh I will get to that, but this bike looks horrible to ride with its massive 12 gallon full tank, skinny seat, fat rear tire and low rise handlebars. It lacks a rear fender and the front fender is useless so it just throws crap on both sides of you as you ride it. It just throws crap EVERYWHERE! Yet I am amazed that the bike still gets about 7 out of 10 people saying “I like it” when they see it. And when it comes to the people that have actually ridden it, it’s 10 out of 10 with an enthusiastic “I Love it.” The only way to describe it would be it’s exactly like mainlining testosterone and riding a fire breathing mythical creature at the same damn time.

I am still not sure what REV’IT! was expecting me to do with this opportunity, but I didn’t just go to Crested Butte to ride the #95 bike around the parking lot. No, I was there to ride the KTM Adventure Rally with it. I know what you are thinking, “but isn’t the #95 bike a show piece?”. Apparently, I was far off on what they expected of me to do with the show pony. My “handler” from REV’IT! signed me up for the “very difficult” loop. I thought to myself “Okay, no big deal. Who’s leading the ride?” Turns out it’s Mike “The biggest guy in the room” Lafferty. If you don’t know who Mike Lafferty is, I get it and I don’t blame you, but to bring you up to speed he’s an 8-time National Enduro Champion who’s currently racing his KTM 1090R in enduro races on the east coast… and winning. He’s such a meatball.

REV’IT! #95 KTM Adventure Motorcycle Build

REV’IT! #95 KTM Adventure Motorcycle Build

I smiled at my “handler” as I assured him I’d be gentle. He smiled even bigger and gave me the old, “No go ahead and try to break it,” line. That’s the last thing the REV’IT! “talent agent” told me as I headed out to Schofield Pass. A trail littered with 8- to 16-inch broken, sharp boulders and a 125 foot drop off on the right hand side with a waterfall crashing at the bottom. Now breaking this custom one of a kind bike in front of 30 or so people (2 riding groups) would not be good for me or for REV’IT!, but fortunately for us both it just doesn’t happen.

Apocalyptic Mad Max

The AWD KTM Super Enduro doesn’t break. It doesn’t hate being off-road either. That massive 12 gallon tank is better than the stock options on most bikes as long as you don’t fill it all the way to the top. The design wasn’t for pleasure, it was for function, as it holds its weight very low on the sides of the bike, much like a rally bike does. The 19″/17″ wheel set up makes the center of gravity even lower. Plunging into our first water crossing the AWD system pulls the #95 bike through as if it had a tow strap on the front hooked to a D9 dozer! This thing is way more capable than even I hoped for.

REV’IT! #95 KTM Adventure Motorcycle Build

Arm Pump City, Population: Me bro. The combination of a small front wheel and low narrow bars coupled with the fear of destroying a one-off motorcycle causes one to grip the grips a little too firmly. At this point though, the thought of me riding off a cliff and needing a helicopter ride to the nearest medical facility is far down the list of concerns. Why? Maybe it’s me fighting the testosterone coursing through my veins urging me to twist it to the throttle stops, maybe its the sh*t-eating grin I’m sporting as I blast this apocalyptic Mad Max riot machine all over Crested Butte. At one point the Crested Butte PD was made aware of how much fun we were having and we were asked to tone it down a bit. They had to be the coolest cops ever, because they only issued a warning. (Thank you for the leniency guys [side note don’t be an idiot in Crested Butte]). Though I still am blaming the testosterone, I am glad I didn’t mention it to them.

REV’IT! #95 KTM Adventure Motorcycle Build

Chinks in the Armor

REV’IT!’s beautiful monstrosity is not without its flaws. It’s unnecessarily vocal. How loud? Like when you pass someone on the tarmac wide open they’ll have to pull over to put their socks back on LOUD. In the twisties the lack of wind protection and gauges force your imagination into what it might feel like to “turf” an A10 warthog in a canyon hunting for enemy tanks to bust as you carve corners with no speedo. In a straight line and at less than 9k feet in elevation the #95 bike is too close to call when dragging our KTM 1090R loaner bike around. At 9k feet or more above sea level I’d gladly trade the FCR carburetors for fuel injection but that’s to be expected.

REV’IT! #95 KTM Adventure Motorcycle Build

The lack of steering lock-to-lock makes for a turning radius that’s about on par with the RMS Titanic, but that’s in place to preserve the inner workings of the AWD system in the steering head. Another off-road short fall is that the suspension is a bit on the stiff side which may be due to the fact that the 950 Super Enduro originally comes with a 21″/18″ wheel set that’s been swapped for the above mentioned 19″/17″ set up. This leaves many of us hardcore off-road adventure riders cringing but aesthetics aside, I understand why.

REV’IT! #95 KTM Adventure Motorcycle Build

Looking back at my 2 days on the REV’IT! #95 bike, I can honestly say I’d have to agree with that 10 outta 10 rating. I loved riding that bike, while I hope other industry folk get to ride it, I also secretly want to be the last person who’s ridden the town bicycle before it’s wrapped in a rug and thrown off a bridge. Word on the street is it’s back in NY but in need of minor repairs. It’s not often a high profile project bike like this gets ridden so hard by so many people and I feel that’s a true testament to REV’IT!’s attention to detail and build quality that’s evident in all their custom bike builds and apparel.

Support brands that ride. That includes rad companies like KTM, who have been one of the most present and supportive in our community. Ya dig?

Steve Kamrad Author ProfileAbout the Author: Steve Kamrad has been labeled as a “Hired Gun” by one of the largest special interest publishing groups in America. His main focus now is video content creation as a “Shreditor” (thats shooter, producer, editor all in one nice, neat, run and gun package). If he’s not out competing in a NASA Rally Race you can find him on the East Coast leading around a rowdy group of ADV riders. Some say Steve_Kamrad has the best job in the world but he’s not in it for the money. He’s a gun for hire that can’t be bought and that’s the way we like him.
Photos by Matt Burbach and Rob Dabney

Author: Steve Kamrad

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