SnoWest Snow Bike Project: KTM 500 Turbo

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2013 KTM 500 XC-W Turbo Snow Bike

You may have seen or heard about our Yamaha WR450F Turbo Snow Bike (here: if you were at the Utah Snowmobile Show to witness its birth or hear the buzz about the this exciting new arrival to the SnoWest fleet. The potential of a snow bike is huge. These machines can provide the agility and freedom of a dirt bike because of their size, weight, and slender profile. Combine that freedom with the endless playground of snow-covered mountains, and you've got something special. 

We thought it would be interesting to pair a couple of these bikes up and ride them side by side in the deep this season. Having two bikes would allow us to see where these things will really go as we head out of the field and into the trees, where it can get too tight for a sled. 

We decided to build our second snow bike on a platform that we've come to know, respect, and love: a 2013 KTM 500 EX-C. We've had some good times with this bike. Thanks to great engineering and design, this bike keeps you coming back for more. It's surprisingly nimble and light, thanks to it's advanced frame design and seemingly bottomless WP suspension. The 4 stroke 510cc motor on this bike is a torque monster. It's a challenge to get to the bottom of it's giant barrel of power without running out of trail. One of the best parts about this bike is the way the rider is connected to the power. It has a DDS clutch in an oil bath that is hydraulically operated, linked to a wide ratio 6 speed gearbox, which always gives you a choice of a few gears you could use in any situation.

Our KTM was reincarnated as a snow bike at the Idaho Snow Show on November 15th. Allan Mangum, owner of Timbersled, began the transformation by installing the Timbersled Mountain Horse ST kit with a 120" long and 12.5" wide track with 2" paddles and a 10" wide ski. This is an identical kit to the one we installed on the Yamaha WR450F. The rear suspension comes off and the sled track bolts on. The kit includes a brake line to run from the right hand lever to the disc brake on the track. The front wheel is removed and the huge 10" ski and riser bracket are bolted to the end of the fork suspension.

Next, Bryce Kendrick and Josh Kennedy from Turbo Performance in West Haven, Utah stepped in and installed their turbo kit. Turbo Performance claims 100+ hp on most 450 four stroke bikes as baseline or more, depending on the model and setup. Carbon fiber and aluminum exhaust look sharp and help keep weight down. This turbo kit mounts to the track frame, which provides a solid mount and will allow the turbo to remain installed on the track during summer storage. Turbo Performance also installed a set of heated grips and a set of Acerbis black plastics.

Finally, we installed a Toyskinz graphic wrap to set add contrast with the snow and provide a look that's unique to this bike. 

We'll also be carrying extra race fuel in a Mountain Addiction Track Rack System that will hold a 3.3 gallon can. We will be running this bike without a Rekluse clutch for now to compare the riding experience with the Rekluse on the Yamaha. 

Keep an eye out for these bikes. We're excited to see where they go. 

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