As a frequent visitor to the Dakar Rally podium with its big twin motorcycles, and having unleashed the X-Bow on the automotive world, it’s tempting to just lump the KTM in with the likes of BMW, Mercedes or Land Rover as a cynical way to ﬂog yet more vehicles that rely on the internal combustion engine.
Well you’d be seriously wrong. You could actually say that KTM is a fully paid up member of the ‘society of actual real bicycle manufacturers’, catering to the Austrian market since the 60s, and having been spun out as a standalone entity in the late 80s when the larger company was broken up.
A desire to expand into new markets explains its arrival on these shores, and the Revelator Master will certainly help the brand make its mark. It combines impeccable manners and a well designed frame with a top-notch Mavic wheelset.
Ride & handling: At its best when climbing or going very, very fast (7/10)
Out on the (dry) open road you can ride with sheer abandon thanks to an extra generous amount of trail (the distance the fork blades bend forwards relative to the perpendicular line of the fork steerer) – nearly 7cm, when 6cm is around the average.
The front end is super-light, offsetting the rail-like characteristics a bit while also ceding a bit of ground to the power of gusty crosswinds and turbulence. Out of saddle efforts are met with fast and furious acceleration, but require an extra bit of muscle to get the bike to swing while counteracting pedal strokes.
The search for pedalling efﬁciency and speed, while yielding a rigid but surprisingly light frame, has left little room for comfort. Chief culprits are the integrated seat tube measuring nearly 35mm in diameter and capped by an externally clamping Ritchey Stubby seatpost.
Nevertheless, this animal is blindingly fast and wicked. If you can handle as much punishment as you can dish out, the Revelator is a revelation.
Chassis: Thin-walled carbon fuselage produces a rigid and efﬁcient ride (9/10)
With in-house design, assembly and ﬁnishing, KTM choose to source their frame from a reputable Far Eastern manufacturer. Of monocoque construction and featuring full carbon dropouts with aluminium caps, the Revelator Master’s fuselage is designed to transform as much power as possible into forward motion.
Comprising subtle sequences of carefully designed curves, cylinders and rounded edges, the only references to the angular are found in the rakish fork, the striking orange ﬁnish and KTM graphics. Featuring a differentially sized steerer, the 360g fork acts not only as a visual counterbalance but keeps things strong and rigid up front when the tough get going, despite its light weight.
Equipment: Flawless performance from Shimano Ultegra SL and Ritchey WCS kit (9/10)
KTM play the safe hand with mainly Shimano Ultegra SL for the core functions of transmission, shifting and braking. With a smoky blue-grey anodised ﬁnish, the high gloss adds an element of understated bling, complemented by the glossy black ﬁnish on the superb Ritchey bars and stem.
Ritchey can do no wrong in the world of component design, and continues their ﬂawless run here with perfectly calculated wall thickness, clamp designs and ergonomics that inspire conﬁdence while going fast. Because that’s what you’ll be doing with the Revelator Master: going fast, very fast.
You can specify your gearing when ordering, and speed merchants who can cope with the hills might prefer a rear cassette with a closer ratio than the one supplied, which has an overly wide range featuring big gaps that are either too tall or too small. Cable routing is ﬂawless, with great effort taken to protect the frame and make any repairs easy.
Wheels: Mavic Ksyriums offer ultra high performance that's beautiful to look at
Top honours must go to the Mavic Ksyrium SL wheels, a set of hoops with few rivals. Forged aluminium bladed spokes provide unquestionable strength and aerodynamic beneﬁts, while the hubs have been redesigned with brawnier but lighter shells, big bearings and stout spoke anchor points.
They accelerate quickly and are easy to keep rolling, yet when subjected to rocky towpath workouts they never waver.
Less thrilling is the slick and slippery tread of the colour-matched orange Schwalbe Ultremo R tyres, inspiring conﬁdence in dry conditions but pretty scary whenever water, mud and diesel are added into the mix. Their tall cross section adds a bit of comfort though.
To inquire about KTM Cycles, call 01788 860716.