Review: Last season, KTM entered the hard-fought sector of enduro-racing with their Lycan line. For 2015, the Austrians introduce some minor tweaks here and there. We took the KTM Lycan LT 273, the entry-level version of the bike, for a ride and put it to a tough test.
The Facts – KTM Lycan LT 273
Weight (checked, Size S): 13,9kg
Wheel size: 27,5″
Travel front/rear: 150/160mm
|Top tube horizontal||570mm||588mm||605mm|
|Fork||RockShox Revelation 2 Position|
|Shock||RockShox Monarch RT|
|Wheelset||DT Swiss M1900 Spline|
|Tire front||Schwalbe Hans Dampf TrailStar|
|Tire rear||Schwalbe Rock Razor PaceStar|
|Brake||Shimano Deore M615|
|Brake discs||Shimano RT66 180/180|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano XT M786 Shadow Plus|
|Front derailleur||Shimano Deore M616-D 2-speed|
|Shifter||Shimano Deore M610|
|Crankset||Shimano Deore 615 38-24|
|Cassette||Shimano HG50-10 11-36|
|Stem||Ritchey OE Trail 0°|
|Handlebars||Ritchey OE Trail Rizer 760mm|
|Seatpost||KS Lev-DX 100mm|
|Saddle||Selle Italia SL|
The heart and soul of the nicely designed frame is its KTM PDS II rear suspension system with the shock in a floating position. With 150mm of travel at the front and 160 at the back, the Lycan LT should be a capable allrounder ready to be taken even on the gnarlierst trails out there. We couldn’t wait to put it to the test. Like pretty much all the other enduro or all mountain bikes out there, the Lycan comes with 650b wheelsize. A nice tweak is the internal cable routing of the frame. Some might argue that it’s unhandy when it comes to service but you can’t beat the clean look of it. KTM decided to go for different tires in the front and in the back. While that’s certainly nothing special for the more experienced riders out there, you don’t see it often on complete bikes. With almost 14kg in size S, the Lycan is a bit on the heavy side.
Something that we noticed immediately after only a couple of rides on the KTM: It runs pretty smoothly. No matter if you’re tackling roots or rocky paths, the bike handles it very well. The suspension works perfectly, even if you push it really hard. We liked the linear suspension of the frame – however, it’s still progressive enough to prevent the shock from bottoming out. The only time when we really got the Lycan into trouble was when we pushed it around the corners of a fast curvy trail – it’s still incredibly smooth, but this feeling comes at the expense of agility.
When it comes to climbs, the KTM Lycan LT 273 takes them with the ease of a mountain goat. The suspensions performs just perfect and we took even the steepest climbs without any issues – when it comes to technical uphill, we also liked the performance of the slightly bigger wheels compared to their 26″ siblings. The drivetrain was just a pleasure to ride – bandwith, performance, look and feel. There’s not really a lot that can beat Shimano in this area at the moment. Something we rarely used are the lockouts for fork and shock, but it’s still good to know that you got that last resort on steep climbs.
The specification of the Lycan is well thought through: The KS-Lev DX adjustable seatpost is a real treat on the trail and the cockpit with its short stem and wide handlebars is the perfect choice for a bike like the Lycan. The brakes were a bit squeeky at times but given their power and modulation, we couldn’t care less about a bit of noise.
Some words on the tires: The Hans Dampf / Rock Razor mix works brilliantly. With the lighter tire at the back, the Lycan accelerates well without losing too much grip. When the conditions are wet and muddy however, the Rock Razor wouldn’t be our tire of choice. You could maybe go for another Hans Dampf at the rear then, maybe the smaller version in 2.25. But when it comes to tires, pretty much every rider has their own preferences.
We’ve put the KTM Lycan LT 273 to a tough test and it didn’t let us down. If you’re someone who’s always looking for the next trail on your tours, this might be your bike. The Lycan is just a very good allrounder – climbs, descents, corners, there’s really not a lot that will get the Austrian trailmachine into trouble. However, if you’re looking for a bike to through into corner after corner, the Lycan might feel a bit bulky at times.
- Perfect specs for touring
- Remote adjustable seatpost
- Very well performing suspension