Ever since the boom came, one brand and one make remains unchallenged in the underbone category. That bike has been the Manny Pacquiao of the motorcycle arena: the mighty XRM. Many have attempted to dethrone the champ and many have fallen. Now the KTR has taken off the gloves and is challenging for a bare-knuckle match. While achieving victory seems like a tall order, the bike does possess some qualities that might just win itself a belt.
The KTR looks like it did its share of body toning and conditioning. At a quick glance, it looks muscled and menacing. The headlight assembly, like a breed of Philippine fighting cock, exudes a confidence that is ready to strike at its opponent. The front fender is ready to deflect anything that is hurled against it. A plus-factor in the defense, it comes with closed-knuckle bash guards to protect against tall grass and other hazards it might come across in the wild. Retaining the basic feel of a moped, with a semi side-steppable chassis, the KTR intends to appeal to the general riding public.
The plastic parts of the KTR, especially the front fender, which is usually the thing that goes first in a mishap, are designed to be flexible and virtually indestructible. Though designed as such, the color, decals and shininess of the bike is still appreciated. The luminosity of the headlight low beam is just ok, but the high beam is superbly bright. The rear and brake lights are decent enough for night visibility. Signal lights are basically ok. The loudness of the horns is typical of small displacement bikes and is not annoying.
All in all, the KTR sports a dashing new look, and that is a plus factor in a bout against the reigning, defending champ.
Stamina and Power
Kymco KTR has exactly 123.66 cubic centimeter displaced at its single-cylinder engine. The KTR’s maximum power of 8 horsepower has more than enough jabbing power for a city commute. The maximum torque of 6.27 lb-ft is greatly appreciated in taking varying uphill challenges of even up to 40-degree inclines. Top speed on a lonely highway is about 100 km/h, which is expected of this displacement.
On the road, the KTR’s handling is as slick as Muhammad Ali’s footwork: fast, fancy and dazzling. The bike’s lightness at 102 kg, combined with a prudent but effective 125cc displacement, makes it ultra-maneuverable and capable of squeezing in and out of tight places. Attacking a corner is easy with the upright position and wide handle bar.
Off the road, the KTR is an able bike. Though much can be desired for such a longer suspension travel, the stock shock’s absorption of uneven road impact is commendable. The semi-knobby tires have a good grip on sandy, gravelly, and to some extent, even muddy roads. The much thicker spokes of the wheels allows for a stronger support while still having the benefit of additional suspension. Aside from the suspension travel, higher ground clearance and higher placement of the exhaust pipe will do wonders for trail purposes. Nothing a few modifications cannot achieve.
The bike’s fuel consumption is comparable to Tim Bradley’s punches: not too many and very calculated. A liter of unleaded gasoline yields anywhere from 45 to 50 km/l depending on your normal driving habits. Going the distance has never felt so good to achieve with as little a budget as possible.
The front wheel is equipped with a disc brake and has more than enough power to stop the bike, while the rear has the traditional drum brake.
Let’s Get Ready to Rumble
Will the KTR be able to surpass the insurmountable challenge, or will it be another Oscar dela Hoya; throw in the towel, and retire. It is relatively new to the fight club and the outcome remains to be seen. It definitely possesses some traits that legitimize it as a contender against the champion and the champion better be on its toes. The KTR might be the looming Juan Manuel Marquez armed with one lucky punch.
Engine: 4-stroke, OHC, single cylinder, air-cooled
Max Power: 8.04 bhp @ 7500 rpm
Torque: 6.27 lb-ft @ 5500 rpm
Fuel Capacity: 5 liters
Seat Height: 800mm
Dry Weight: 102 Kg.
Top Speed: 100 Km/h
Price: PhP 53,000.00
+ Fatter spokes, bash guard, new design
– Low ground clearance, too short suspension travel for off-roading
W2W Editor’s rating: 8.5 / 10