I bought a KTM 495 in March 2000. It looked in good shape and did go - but
it had a few problems... So I decided to find out a bit more about the 495 and
get some parts for it. Finding parts has been OK but finding info has proved
a problem - the 495 pre-dates the Internet by a few years and there's not much
to be had.
So why the site? Like I said info on the 495 is scarce so I thought I'd publish what I know and hopefully anyone else looking for 495 info will find the site and be willing to contribute...
Ricky says...(He's a journo. Not me.)
My KTM 500MX is a brute, evil, hard, heavy beast without pardon. I bought it cheap in pretty bad condition. When investigating the whole thing I found out that mechanically It was rather ok actually. New clutch plates, some wires and bearings for the chassi looked to be what it needed. The plastic was a sad story but I have managed to buy those at reasonable prices. I have ridden it several times and the most significant thing is the way it breaks down your forearms. Another rather scary thing is the brute power. I havn't had a chance to make a head to head comparison with the 495 but I think both has more than enough. The water cooled 500 doesn't have the vintage value of a 495 but it sure has attitude and personality. I love it!
Q: What's the fastest dirt bike ever made?
A: The fastest real dirt bike ever was the KTM 495. When I was editor of Dirt Bike, we geared one to the moon and had Rod Bush do 123.75 miles per hour on El Mirage Dry Lake with that particular bike. I believe the year was 1981. I have not heard of any other true stock dirt bike go faster under verifiable conditions.
The March 2002 issue of Dirtbike magazine had a new speed test with a hopped up
KTM 520, Kawasaki KX500 Husaberg 650 and a Honda XR 650R. They had serious problems reaching
110mph with all bikes and needed to shave some plastic off the bikes. In that article they
say. "the 1981 numbers where revieled to be doubtful" meaning the KTM 495 results.
I wasn't there in 1981 and have never tried this myselfe but there are a few factors that
I believe they overlooked. First of all, The Katoom 495 has the power to beat all of these
bikes to the turn, perhaps not the KX. The KX problem where the lack of higher gearing.
The KTM 495 doesn't have radiators and therefore no radiator shrouds. The cylinder and pipe is extremely
slim. It had drum brakes which is far smaller than the disks on these newer machines.
And if one believes that newer bikes is faster in top speed check out this test between Maicos.
1983 VS 2000 500cc Maicos. (a bit down on the page)