Friday, April 3, 2009

2009 KTM X-Bow Winter Drift

KTM Motorcycles came out with their first sports car at the Geneva Motor Show in 2007 with the KTM X-Bow. There was a limited edition of the X-Bow as well...The X-Bow Dallara (there are only going to be 100 made.) This is in honor of Dallara, the Italian specialist in racing and sport cars. This Italian company is also involved with developing and tuning of the chassis. The chassis itself is a double wishbone and has push rod suspension in the front. An extra option is a racing chassis that has an altered suspension and settings and has a pre-loaded adjuster so you can adjust the ground clearance.

The X-Bow is a lightweight mid-engine vehicle that has a carbon fiber monocoque (Greek and French word meaning single shell.) This is a construction technique that supports the structural load by using the object's external skin instead of using an internal frame or truss that then is covered with a non-load-bearing skin. Another term for this technique is called Uni-body construction.

This is a highly developed technique for Formula 1 racing, racing cars and those expensive and exotic sports cars. This particular shell is manufactured by specialists in Wethje, South Germany. It has a crash box located in the front and a "solid sandwich structured floor pan." Because of the carbon fiber shell, the vehicle is only 2,370 pounds. Because it has such a low weight, it can outperform many of the other super cars that are more powerful.

This sports car was designed for wintertime fun, so it is equipped with four-wheeled drive. It is also equipped with two liter Audi TFSI Inline-four. The engine weighs 1742 pounds. Torque is 229 pounds per foot. Horsepower is 240 or 7.3 pounds per horsepower. Top speed is 0-62 in 3.9 seconds.

This vehicle, with its radical and advanced technological solutions, is designed for the ultimate true open-air car driving experience. So this means that there isn't a roof or windshield. At least, not in the conception phase, when it was first introduced in 2007 at the Geneva Motor Show. That was so the focus was to be on the deliverance of the driving experience that only can be found riding a motorcycle. There have been very small alterations from the prototype and the production model that was on exhibit in 2008.

There it was seen that that, for the most part, the biggest change was to enlarge the central air intake located between the headrests. This is to allow for greater engine cooling during demanding activities.

Another obvious change is the new instrument arrangement. Originally, all of the indicator and controls along with a display on the steering wheel, which was proven not too be such a good place for them. So now the display, which is shower-proof, is now located on the center console top. And the control buttons are still on the steering wheel.

Another big change was the addition of small polycarbonate side windows and a smaller windshield. Also new is the seating upholstery. The seat shells have to be rigid and are made from carbon so that the seats can be fixed right to the monocoque, so the cushioning is necessary and comes in different sizes to fit the drivers. Also available is a pedal box that is mechanically adjustable so the driver can set up a driving position that is comfortable. And if you like the "sporty sound" the KTM X-Bow has a silencer with twin exhaust pipes for fine-tuning. Many of the options that are also extra in the Dallara edition you can order for the standard KTM X-Bow except for the Dallara plaque and the special graphics.

Currently, it is certified for being road legal in most of the European countries. The "European Small Series Homologation Regulations" that is set for the first part of 2009 will make it road legal in all of Europe.

Speaking of Europe, even though authorities do not require that the driver of the X-Bow to wear a helmet, KTM stresses that they recommend that you do. At the Geneva Show, they had two available (both had the X-Bow branding). The models were the Arai Closed Racing Helmet and one from Schuberth, a German company. The Arai meets requirements from motor sports authorities by providing comprehensive protection whereas the German one has better peripheral vision.

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