WHAT IS IT? Not every manufacturer does things the
same way. Take KTM, for example; instead of using an
axle that resembles a bolt with a nut on one end, KTM
threads the right-side axle block onto the end of the axle
and has it do double duty as both an axle block and an
axle nut. Killing two birds with one stone is a good idea,
isn’t it? Maybe, maybe not. The Ride Engineering KTM
axle block kit adds more stones to the equation.
WHAT’S IT COST? $54.95 (black or gold anodized),
$44.95 (Honda CRF450 axle and nut).
CONTACT? (800) 805-1516 or
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that
stand out with the Ride Engineering KTM axle block kit.
(1) Concept. During testing, the KTM factory race
team decided that it wasn’t a good idea to bond the axle
block to the rear axle. They surmised that the solidly
linked axle/axle block combo did not allow the axle to
torque under a load, and it locked the axle, swingarm
and rear wheel together into an overly rigid single unit.
( 2) Flex. Since the swingarm of a motocross bike
flexes both torsionally and vertically, integrating the rear
axle and the swingarm via a solidly attached axle block
would either limit flex or transfer loads to the suspension. Additionally, a rear axle doesn’t just sit there and
do nothing. It is subject to tremendous torque loads. It
endures asymmetrical chain torque and side loads from
the rear hub. To test their theory, the KTM factory team
mounted a conventional rear axle to a floating axle block
and sent Dungey, Musquin and Roczen out to test it.
According to KTM, the riders could feel the difference
between the stock axle block and the free-floating axle
block instantly. Thus, the factory team no longer runs
KTM’s bonded axle-block rear-axle design.
( 3) Trickle down. Ride Engineering now makes a
KTM axle kit that eliminates the one-piece axle/axle
block on the KTM. Instead, it uses a Honda CRF450 rear
axle combined with special CNC-machined axle blocks
that slip into the KTM swingarm. You need the special
axle blocks to properly space the borrowed Honda axle.
The Ride Engineering axle blocks retail for $54.95, and
they offer Honda rear axles for $44.95.
( 4) Performance. Though the KTM factory riders are
sold on the concept, it requires a very sensitive test rider
to notice the difference. The faster the MXA test rider,
the more he liked the lack of deflection and the freer feel
of the rear suspension. A lot of this was track-related, as
bigger, faster and rougher tracks highlighted the advantages more than flat, smooth or jumpy tracks. But, let’s
not get too misty about the idea. Most Novice and Vet
test riders could not feel a significant difference.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? No complaints. The
Ride Engineering axle blocks are high quality and
For Ryan Dungey, this was a five-star product.
Any aspiring National Pro would make this
mod to keep up with the factory team. For
the rest of us, it’s a cool idea that we might or
might not appreciate.
RIDE ENGINEERING KTM AXLE BLOCKS
MXA TEAM TESTED