2025 KTM 450 Rally Replica Unleashed to Trump All Competition in Next Year's Dakar

2025 KTM 450 Rally Replica 10 photos
Photo: KTM
2025 KTM 450 Rally Replica2025 KTM 450 Rally Replica2025 KTM 450 Rally Replica2025 KTM 450 Rally Replica2025 KTM 450 Rally Replica2025 KTM 450 Rally Replica2025 KTM 450 Rally Replica2025 KTM 450 Rally Replica2025 KTM 450 Rally Replica
The Dakar Rally is not only one of the oldest competitions of its kind but also one of the most grueling. Dating back to 1979, the race pits against each other some of the world's most daring drivers and riders, in control of some of the most spectacular two- and four-wheeled vehicles ever made.
What all of the above means is that when someone claims they're at the top of their game in Dakar, the world should pay attention. And this week that someone is Austrian bike maker KTM, which just released the full details on the 2025 KTM 450 Rally Replica.

Despite being called a replica, the bike is, in fact, the real deal. You see, over the years KTM won no less than 235 Dakar stages, which landed the company a total of 19 titles. Of those 19 titles, 10 (which means more than half) are owed to some extent to the 450 Rally Replica.

It's no wonder, then, that KTM calls the bike, with no trace of modesty, "the most successful model in the competition's history." And the refreshed version that was just announced is poised to take all that makes it so impressive to even higher standards, thanks to changes made to the powertrain, frame, and bodywork.

The Austrians are calling the new version of the bike the most extreme refresh to date and the most comprehensive since 2020. And the numbers and specs, as you'll read about below, do point to that being indeed so.

I'll start with the frame because it is, after all, the main thing that holds the bike together. For the 2025 model year KTM went for laser-cut, hydro-formed sections that were welded by hand. The entire assembly is now topped off by a new, hollow, die-cast aluminum swingarm.

2025 KTM 450 Rally Replica
Photo: KTM
Although this is a new approach, we're told the bike retains rider feedback, energy absorption, and straight-line stability.

The frame holds in its middle an engine you may be familiar with, as it's extensively used in KTM's motocross and enduro families of bikes. It's not the standard engine, though, as it's been tweaked to be suitable for the demands of the Dakar Rally and should allow the Replica to score even more wins next year.

The fuel-injected engine is 450cc in displacement and unlike its previous versions it features a new SOHC cylinder head design. A reinforced clutch and strengthened gearbox make the engine easier to control. On top of it all, KTM also doubled the number of radiators tasked with the engine's cooling, as there are now two of them in place.

The engine draws fuel from not one, not two, but three fuel tanks. Two of them, with a capacity of nine and 9.5 liters (2.3 and 2.5 gallons, respectively) are located at the front of the bike. A third, much larger one (16 liters/4.2 gallons) is fitted in the back and doubles as a sub-frame.

The three fuel tanks are driven by two separate pumps that give the rider a choice when it comes to which one to use. The total fuel capacity of the 2025 KTM 450 Rally Replica is 34.5 liters (over nine gallons), which should be more than enough to keep the wheels rolling from start to finish even in the longest of rally legs.

The suspension system of the motorcycle is of the same WP Pro variety we're used from this bike maker, comprising a closed cartridge fork up front and a fully customizable shock at the rear. It's a setup we've already seen on the bikes ridden by Kevin Benavides and Matthias Walkner in previous Dakar races.

2025 KTM 450 Rally Replica
Photo: KTM
As for the bodywork, changes compared to the previous versions are to be seen here as well. The bike now features a carbon fiber navigation tower installed behind a reworked fairing. The front mask was gifted with a new LED headlight setup that should give the rider a 33 percent increase in available light.

The Rally Replica comes with a narrower dashboard than before, which continues to include warning lights but also a set of mountings meant to hold the digital roadbook system. To top everything off KTM also made the bodywork in such a way that the engine cover comes with space to house the tools one might need while racing in the desert.

Because this is a highly specialized machine (or, as KTM puts it, "the closest version of a production Factory Racing machine there has ever been"), not that many of them will be made. The Austrians plan a production run of just 100 units, which will be made available to "ambitious rally racers around the globe."

We're not told anything about the thing's price, but the order books opened today, April 24, and a call to the nearest dealer might clear that up as well.

The 2025 Dakar Rally kicks off on January 4 and it will take place in Suadi Arabia.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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