KTM Revelator Master review



omfort loses out in the KTM’s search for speed and efficiency

BikeRadar verdict

80.0 out of 5 stars

"Greased lightning with just one setting: fast forward"

Monday, March 23, 2009 8.00am By

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.

KTM revelator master: ktm revelator master

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.

Typical ktm colourscheme: typical ktm colourscheme

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.

 ritchey wcs fi nishing kit was flawless throughout the test period: ritchey wcs fi nishing kit was flawless throughout the test period

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.

Flawless performance from shimano ultegra sl kit: flawless performance from shimano ultegra sl kit

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.

Mavic puts up a great fi ght in the attention stakes: mavic puts up a great fi ght in the attention stakes

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Revelator Master (09)
KTM Bikes

Available Colours:
Available Sizes:
Bottom Bracket:
Ultegra external alloy cups, sealed cartridge
Shimano Ultegra SL dual pivot
Shimano Ultegra 12-25 10-speed
Shimano Ultegra SL, 2-piece alloy, 172.5mm hollow arms, 53/39 alloy rings, 130mm bcd
Full carbon 1 1/8 to 1 1/4in
Fork Weight:
Frame Material:
Full carbon monocoque frame with capped carbon dropouts, alloy replaceable hanger, alu BB/headset inserts
Frame Weight:
Front Derailleur:
Shimano Ultegra SL
Front Hub:
forged alloy/carbon with sealed cartridges
Front Tyre:
Front Tyre Size:
Front Wheel Weight:
Ritchey WCS alloy anatomic, 42cm c-c, anatomic 31.8 clamp zone
Head Angle:
Headset Type:
FSA sealed integrated cartridges, 1 1/8-1 1/4in differential sized
Rear Derailleur:
Ultegra SL short cage,
Rear Hub:
forged alloy/carbon with sealed cartridges
Rear Tyre:
Rear Tyre Size:
Rear Wheel Weight:
Mavic Ksyrium SL machined alloy
Selle Italia SLR Gel Flow, vanox rails
Seat Angle:
Ritchey Stubby forged alloy, 34.9mm, external clamping, single bolt seat clamp
Shimano Ultegra SL STI
Ritchey WCS 4 axis, forged alloy, 2-bolt steerer clamp, 4-bolt 31.8mm bar clamp
Weight (kg):
Weight (lb):
Bottom Bracket Height (cm):
Chainstays (cm):
Seat Tube (cm):
Standover Height (cm):
Top Tube (cm):
Wheelbase (cm):

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