If there’s one company that is passionately backing the E-Mountainbike-hype, it is KTM. It’s evident from both their product range and their website, that electric bikes are the top priority in their agenda. Let’s see if the MACINA Kapoho LT 723 can also make it to the top of this test.

KTM MACINA Kapoho
KTM MACINA Kapoho LT 273 | BOSCH | 23.12 kg | € 4,599

The MACINA Kapoho LT 273 bags an award straight away: the one for the most cryptic name. To be accurate, the full name also includes an “11S Deore XT” suffix, which obviously refers to the bike’s group-set. Shifting our attention to components we realise that KTM really nailed it on this one. There is a Bosch Performance CX motor taking care of the power and a 160 mm RockShox-suspension combo with a Yari RC fork up-front and a Monarch Plus shock taking care of the rear end. It’s not all good news however, often the small details make a huge difference, and it is fair to say that KTM came up with some major howlers this time. The 90 mm stem is far too long, the front-end is far too high and the 180 mm discs for the SLX brake are too small for long and tortuous descents.

“We actually feel like we’re riding our grandmas bike rather than a sporty E-Mountainbike.”
KTM MACINA Kapoho KTM MACINA Kapoho

KTM delivers their KTM MACINA Kapoho with a fancy, wide Selle Italia Nepal saddle. It only takes a few minutes of riding to understand why; the compact sitting position combined with a high front-end and a steep seat-angle (74,5°) diverts a huge amount of pressure straight into the sit bones. We actually feel like we’re riding our grandmas bike rather than a sporty E-Mountainbike. Pushing uphill with strength and determination, the Bosch Performance CX motor clears normal climbs without batting an eyelash. On more technical sections the sitting position feels awkward and the front wheel wants to lift off the ground. On descents the body feels firmly anchored between the wide 27.5+ wheels, while the 160 mm of travel provide a good amount of comfort, keeping the bike glued to the trail. However, the steering feels a tad sloppy and indirect. The bike never feels completely unsettled, but doesn’t inspire huge amounts of confidence either.

KTM MACINA Kapoho
Helmet Troy Lee A1 | Jersey iXS VIBE 6.1 | Backpack USWE AIRBORNE 15 | Shorts Alpinestars Pathfinder

The KTM MACINA Kapoho LT 273 in detail

Fork RockShox Yari RC 160 mm
Rear shock RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 160 mm
Motor / Battery Bosch Performance CX / 500 Wh
Brakes Shimano SLX
Drivetrain Shimano XT/SLX
Seatpost KindShock LEV DX
Stem KTM Team 90 mm
Handlebar KTM Team HB-RB12L 740 mm
Tires Schwalbe Nobby Nic Trailstar 2,8″
Rims / Hubs DT Swiss E512 / Shimano Deore XT

KTM MACINA Kapoho
Looks like a …
The motor and shock housing resemble the concept adopted by another big E-Mountainbike-manufacturer. KTM assure that the advantages of this system are clear as daylight, as “some designs offer more flexibility and therefore more alternatives for an optimal component-design, as is the case with the current Bosch-engine-mount.”
KTM MACINA Kapoho
Granny ring
In theory a big 46-tooth cassette sprocket could clear even the steepest climbs.
KTM MACINA Kapoho
Stretching to the moon…
The 90 mm stem on the KTM is just too long. This causes indirect and undefined handling, we recommend a 60 mm stem for a more controlled cockpit.
KTM MACINA Kapoho
Undersized
Long alpine downhills require strong, reliable brakes. That’s why we would like to see at least a 200-mm-disc on the front wheel of the KTM, to guarantee consistent and reliable braking.

Geometry
KTM MACINA Kapoho LT 27

Conclusion

The KTM MACINA Kapoho seems to be suffering from an identity crisis. At first glance the component choice seems to promise tons of downhill-fun and climbing performance. In the real world an undefined chassis, crammed geometry and the long stem stop it from delivering on those promises. We recommend this bike as an option for comfortable fire-road rides, suited to a less aggressive riding style.

Strengths

– Comfortable chassis
– Top spec components

Weaknesses

– Undefined handling
– Small brake rotors

For more Information head to: ktm-bikes.at

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: 11 E-MTBs under € 5,000 in Comparison

All bikes in test: Bergamont E-Trailster 8.0CENTURION No Pogo E2000 27+FOCUS JAM² 29 | Giant Full-E+0 Pro | Haibike SDURO AllMtn 7.0 | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 800 | NOX Bike EDT 5.1 HybridSCOTT E-Genius 720 Plus | Specialized Turbo Levo FSR 6FATTIE | Trek Powerfly 8 FS

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Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer