ktm2017onepiecebarmountThe one-piece top bar mount.

Dear MXA,
I read in a recent test where you guys said that KTM’s one-piece top bar clamp wasn’t going to stop the bars from twisting. I don’t agree. It goes against everything I know about bar mounts. It is obvious that a one-piece clamp is stronger than two individual clamps. Do you have Engineering degrees?

RUBBERMOUNTEDFEThe earlier KTM one-piece bottom bar mount.

No, but we do have a Masters in crashing motorcycles with a minor in straightening bar mounts. In 2016, KTM had a one-piece bar mount below the handlebars with separate bar mounts on top. Then, in 2017, KTM changed to a one-piece bar mount on top with separate bar mounts underneath the bars—this is still their current bar mount design. It is our considerable experience that putting the one-piece bar mount on top did nothing to make the KTM handlebars less likely to twist. We have twisted lots of 2017-18 bar mounts in crashes and, in the process, bent the one-piece top bar mount into a pretzel.

twistedtopclampWhat the one-piece top bar mount looks like after crash. Note that it is tweaked up on one side.

We don’t think that KTM’s (or Husqvarna’s) one-piece top mount is strong enough to stop the bar mounts from twisting. Our best solution for 2017-18 models is to run the previous one-piece bottom mounts in combinations with the one-piece top mounts. Riders with earlier model KTMs, the ones with the one-piece bottom mount, can double up by running the one-piece top mount from the 2017-18 model. And, of course, there are always aftermarket bar mounts.

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