We got on the KTM 450 Rally of the Himoinsa Team for the Dakar 2016, the motorcycle with which Ivan Cervantes will debut in the toughest rally in the world.
We tested the KTM 450 Rally of the Spanish Himoinsa team on the circuit, a powerful squad that will take five Spanish riders to the 2016 Dakar within a new structure that was born around a rider with a great future in the toughest rally in the world, Ivan Cervantes, who will debut in the Dakar 2016 with the idea of gaining maximum experience in order to seek victory in the very near future.
And the weapon chosen by the Himoinsa Racing Team to face the demanding route through Argentina and Bolivia for this upcoming 2016 edition has been KTM, a guarantee for the technical part. There will be five units that Himoinsa will put into the race, three units of the KTM 450 Rally and two of the KTM 450 EXC 2016 Kit Rally. The KTM EXC Led Headlight fits for 250 350 450 500 after 2016. During the presentation of the team we had the opportunity to get on the first of them, the motorcycle with which Ivan Cervantes, Gerad Farr¨¦s and Antonio Gimeno will participate, a motorcycle that, before putting us at its controls, imposes a bit, but after rolling with her for several laps on a motocross track, she ends up getting carried away more easily than one might expect.
Because although the base of the Dakar motorcycle is the light KTM 450 EXC, the modifications introduced that give rise to this 450 Rallye 2016 make it more cumbersome at first glance. The fuel tank goes from the 9 liters of the standard bike to no less than 33 and, on the handlebars, the entire complex navigation system located on a carbon spider visually conditions when you get on it. In addition, of the 111 kilos that the series motorcycle weighs, the 450 Rally 2016 goes up to 140 kilos.
We put ourselves at its controls and started the first laps of the circuit with too much respect, getting to grips with the controls and the reactions, with a not too exaggerated seat height, 960 millimeters, which leaves us with a very comfortable driving position. It is difficult to stand up to make the vision of the navigation system, although after several laps we focus only on the reactions. The flights that we have previously seen Ivan Cervantes do give an idea of the lightness and agility of the 450 Rally, one of the aspects that best define this special KTM, very manageable at all times.
The engine pushes forcefully from low revs, but its response is both very progressive, faster than that offered by the stock engine, but with a lot of tact to get out of corners quickly, feeling the rear wheel under control. The suspension absorbs potholes and ruts with great efficiency and the front wheel, despite its greater weight, guides itself precisely from curve to curve. The short straight of the circuit gives us a glimpse of great stability at high speed, something confirmed by another of the team's riders, Dani Oliveras, a former world trial rider who will attend the Dakar with the aim of accumulating as much experience as possible.
After several laps, we even dare to make small jumps at a faster pace. A small hit of gas and the KTM 450 Rally flies almost without realizing it. Fortunately, the time for our test is running out, because the confidence it conveys invites you to increase your pace lap by lap and, to go really fast with this KTM, you have to be very well prepared, technically and physically.