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2019 KTM X-Bow R Review: Just Speedin’ Away

2019 KTM X-Bow R Review: Just Speedin’ Away

For lightweight, open-cockpit thrills, this KTM knows how to hustle

“She said, ‘Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side. …'”

—Lou Reed, 1972

What does Ol’ Lou singing tales of gender-bending ’70s Manhattan have to do with me telling you about a genre-bending racetrack performance car?

To get straight to the point: Compared to the KTM X-Bow (say “crossbow”), your prized supercar languishing in the garage is morbidly obese. That’s right. Porsche GT Whatever, Ferrari Speciale Blah Blah, McLaren Anything, you name it. Fatsos. Porkers. The KTM is the 1,400-pound not-elephant in the room. No offense—KTM most definitely has entered automobilia’s wild side.

Sure, your porcine supercar has 500, 600, even 700 horsepower. And that’s just thrilling when you’re rocketing straight ahead; the power can overcome that extra load, for the most part. But when you turn or stop? There’s just no denying Sir Isaac’s Second Law of Motion. The greater the mass, the greater the force needed to move it. Or as the glass-half-full kind of guy that I am: The less the mass, the less the force required to move it.


In the high-performance automotive world, adding lightness just makes everything better, especially when it comes to changing directions. Corners. Twisties. My reasons for living. And if you’re reading this, you’re attracted to such things, too. You want to turn that wheel and feel those g-forces tug at you.

Your favorite supercars weigh well over 3,000 pounds. Now consider the relative freedom from the surly bonds of earth every time you charge into your favorite bend. But let’s go one step further: Let’s remove the cockpit. No windshield, no top. The wind/speed factor. Like my beloved motorcycles, the sensuality cranks up another notch but without the looming risk of road rash pain and injury. Just keeps getting better, you gotta agree. You’re walking on the wild side now, kiddo.

Writer: Randy Pobst
Published: March 30, 2019
Source: motortrend

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