A Street-Legal KTM X-Bow is in Development

KTM X-Bow

The road-going KTM X-Bow will pack the same engine as the Audi RS3, and should deliver insane performance.

When I wrote about the latest version of the KTM X-Bow back in 2020, I called it a “top contender for the coolest car rocking Audi power.” And for what it’s worth? I stand by that. It’s a wicked-looking track weapon designed to deliver quick lap times and destroy the competition, and it’s been successful in race series around the world. There’s nothing “race car for the road” about this machine either, as it’s not street legal even — even on its home turf of Austria. But that’s about to change, as KTM is developing a road-going version. Have mercy.

Like the track-only version, the new KTM supercar will sport the same mill as Audi’s RS3, which Ingolstadt ships with 401 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Now, once the mad scientists at KTM got their hands on it, the little five-pot was stoked to deliver a whopping 600 horsepower and 531 lb-ft of torque in the track machines. Given all the emissions restrictions that street-legal cars are required to conform to, it’s unclear whether those sky-high numbers will be sustainable. But we do know that gear changes will be handled by KTM’s seven-speed direct-shift transmission, and that, unlike the Audi, the X-Bow will be rear-wheel drive.

KTM X-Bow

Of course, even if KTM doesn’t manage to get more poke out of Audi’s mill, performance will be spine-tingling. Because by any measure, the X-Bow is a featherweight, as it’s constructed from a Dallara-sourced, 176-pound carbon monocoque. Race versions tip the scales at around 2,300 pounds, so it’ll be interesting to see how close the company can get to that number after it adds all the necessary safety equipment required to register it. As you might expect, there’s little hope that X-Bow will be legal to drive on our shores…

Well, except that something similar has been available here before. Back in 2014, English company Radical unleased the RXC and RXC Turbo on well-heeled Americans. And while the power levels were more modest in comparison to the KTM’s, so was the weight — as the Brits delivered a street-legal version that weighed less than 2,000 pounds. And as insane as that sounds? I can assure you that the performance will blow your mind. Because I was once a passenger in a Radical powered by a Suzuki Hayabusa engine, and even though that was over a decade ago, nothing since has compared in the slightest. Hopefully, we’ll get some video of this baby in action soon!

Photos: KTM

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New Adjustable Machineart ADVance Guard Handguards

Some of the best ideas tend to be simple ones. And for versatility and avoiding the need to unbolt guards, these new adjustable Machineart ADVance Guard Handguards could well make the cut. With the frame fitted, you can choose to slip an insert in for additional warmth and protection, and also slide a shield up and down for more coverage. So you don’t have to take them on or off, and then discover the bolts went missing in the garage in the Summer. Or they’ve seized up on your bike.

New Adjustable Machineart ADVance Guard Handguards Open

The Machineart ADVance Guard Handguards consist of a wide aluminium Safety Frame which allows the air to pass through it. But still means your hands, brake and clutch levers are protected from knocks, scrapes and falls. Which is useful. And it fits to the handlebars and bar ends with lightweight forced aluminium mounts shaped to avoid messing with any cables. And they look alright for everyday riding, too.

But what happens if the weather gets cooler?

New Adjustable Machineart ADVance Guard Handguards Closed

Then you just snap in the Machineart ADVance Guard Handguards Insert, obviously. So that will provide some extra wind and weather protection for your hands. And also more defense against stones and other debris hitting your paws. So if you’re riding off-road behind someone, it’ll mean less chance of getting a pebble propelled by a rear tyre into your digits. If you’ve had it happen, you know how much it hurts.

But what if it gets even colder? Or the bike in front is sending up a rooster tail of gravel and debris?

New Adjustable Machineart ADVance Guard Handguards Extended

For the coldest conditions, there’s the Machineart ADVance Guard Handguards Adjustable Shield. Like the insert, it’s made from a resilient plastic polymer, and it’s quick to attach or remove. And once fitted, you can raise it up to 142mm to stop anything hitting your hands, and keep more of the chill away.

At the moment, the new adjustable Machineart ADVance Guard Handguards are available for:

  • BMW R 1200 GS/A LC
  • BMW F 800
  • BMW F 700
  • BMW F 650 GS
  • BMW R 1200 R LC
  • BMW R 1200 GS/A (2005-2012)
  • BMW R 1200 GSA (2013)
  • BMW R 1150 GS
  • BMW S 1000 XR
  • KTM 990 Adventure
  • KTM 1090 Adventure
  • KTM 1190 Adventure
  • KTM 1290 Adventure
  • Honda Africa Twin

More bikes are being added to the list in 2018, and the Machineart ADVance Guard Handguards cost £189, which included a model-specific fitting kit and instructions.

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