Test: KTM is a company with many talents. A huge passion for motorsports paired with the German Wunderkind Ken Roczen have won the firm many big titles in the last few years. But KTM’s portfolio in the bicycle market should not be forgotten. The latest addition to their products and a new contestant in the Enduro-market is the KTM Lycan LT 271, which we took a closer look at.
The Lycan LT 271’s unique design is particularly striking. The shape of the linkage plates and head tube let the slim aluminium frame appear rather futuristic. Yet, the Lycan is by no means lacking curves. We particularly like the brake mount, which is integrated well into the overall look of this special bike. The fixtures want to be challenged on Enduro trails. The Fox frame allows for 150mm spring travel in the front and 155mm in the back, whereby the high-end model fork featuring a kashima coating was overlooked in favour of the Fox 34 Talas FIT CTD. Fox also supplies the rear shock with its very own Float CTD BV. The provision of an effective drive is entrusted to a mix of Shimano’s XT and XTR, whose 3×10 system offers great choice so no uphill will be an obstacle.
The steering centre features various Ritchey components from the high-quality WCS-series including a 740mm wide handlebar on a 90mm long stem. Kind Shock’s LEV-DX ensures a perfect seating position and can be controlled using a remote lever attached to the handlebar. To effectively slow and stop the 13.8kg-bike and its rider, KTM chose to fit the classic Shimano XT-brake.
From the first push onwards, it is clear that the Lycan is a very comfortable bike. Our test model is a size 19” and its top tube is of an average length with 607mm, which should fit any rider who would usually pick a size M. Thanks to the quick-release axle at the back, the frame proves to be pleasantly solid. The bike can be pedalled uphill with the needed confidence, whereby the back remains stable even when riding out of the saddle. Additionally, with three well-functioning platforms, the Fox rear shock exhibits an appropriate tightness when riding in the Climb mode.
Sadly, Kind Shock’s vario-post caused problems on the first trial. The seatpost is partially hydraulic, partially mechanic. It is set into motion by a lever at the handlebar, which pulls a cable triggering the hydraulic system on the side of the post. This crucial interface is managed by a small hook, which in our case slid out of its holder and kept the seat in the upmost position. Luckily, a pinch of dexterity quickly fixed the issue and we did not experience any further problems or defects thereafter. Nevertheless, the system did not inspire confidence.
The bike’s balance is amazing and its smooth running properties were particularly convincing during downhills. This may be partially due to the comfortable, long main frame, but the 438mm long chainstays most certainly make their advantages known. Fast downhills are just what the Lycan was built for. The frame is highly sensitive and gives good feedback. The proven and tested Nobby Nic tyres contribute their excellent grip. Even harder impacts are no problem for the bike. The cushioning of the spring elements works flawlessly. One disappointing feature has to be mentioned, however. The long stem contributes negatively to the bike’s overall performance, as it pushes the centre of gravity away from the bottom bracket. Therefore, maintaining the optimal position is made much more difficult, especially during steep downhills.
As one of the most relied upon features on any Enduro bike, the XT brakes satisfy both visually and functionally. They offer outstanding braking power whilst ensuring highly responsive controllability. Still, during slower speeds, the bike becomes less agile. This is because the chainstays, which were entirely convincing during fast downhills, lose their edge. Despite the relatively steep steering angle of 65.5 degrees, the Lycan forfeits manoeuvrability.
The KTM Lycan LT 271 is a versatile and slim Enduro bike. Touring-focussed fixtures do not necessarily allow for racing, yet the Lycan thoroughly satisfies with its balance during fast downhills. The frame works faultlessly and easily manages harder impacts. With only a few adaptations, the Lycan could quickly be converted into a lighter, faster racing bike.
- Incredibly smooth
- Good brakes
- Long stem
- The Kind Shock vario-seatpost was slightly unreliable
Price and Web
- 3.999,00 Euro