In our huge 2023 eMTB group test, KTM enter the race with their eMTB for the rough stuff, the Macina Prowler Exonic. The limited-edition model we tested comes equipped with a new Bosch Performance Line CX Race motor and 180 mm travel at the front, which means not only is it the most potent eMTB in KTM’s portfolio, but also their most expensive model, retailing at € 11,999.

KTM Macina Prowler Exonic | Bosch Performance Line CX-R/750 Wh | 180/170 mm (f/r)
25.2 kg in size L | € 11,999 | Manufacturer’s website

KTM’s engineers went full whack when developing the Macina Prowler Exonic. Combining 180/170 mm of travel front and rear, the Austrian trail beast is one of the most potent bikes in the entire test field – at least on paper – only the Focus SAM² comes close. With its square-edged carbon frame and alloy swingarm, the Macina Prowler Exonic doesn’t even try to hide its electric nature. At the heart of the limited special edition we tested lies a very powerful 85 Nm Bosch Performance Line CX Race motor. Alongside the Mondraker Crafty and Orbea WILD, the KTM Macina Prowler Exonic is one of three bikes in this test to feature a motor that was specially tuned for racing, and it has already proven what it’s capable of between the tapes at the EWS-E. Now KTM are trying to market the Macina outside the tapes, advertising it as their “ace up your jersey sleeve for demanding trails and enduro riding”. To find out whether the KTM is indeed an ace or just a two of spades, we put it through the wringer on the challenging trails of Santa Coloma de Farners, in Cataluña.

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best eMTB of 2023 – 30 models in review

All that glitters – How does the KTM Macina Prowler Exonic compare to the competition?

With its powerful Bosch Perfomance Line CX Race motor and standard Bosch Connect module with tracking function, the KTM wants to unite the opposites, combining raw motor power with everyday suitability. As a result, not only is the Macina Prowler Exonic one of only two bikes in this test with a tracking device alongside the Forestal Siryon, but also the only Bosch contestant in this test to use the feature as theft protection, which is actually available for all Bosch Smart System bikes – awesome! However, the function must be activated in the E-Bike Flow app for an additional cost of € 40 per year. In our opinion, that’s money well spent given the eye-watering price tag of nearly 12 grand!

A tight squeeze
Even when stationary, the tire almost touches the swingarm. On the trail, the tire deforms and rubs against the frame.
Ready for the scavenger hunt
The Bosch Performance Line CX-Race motor comes as standard with the Connect location module, which draws its power directly from the bike’s main battery.
Fuel cap
The charging port is positioned at the transition between the head tube and down tube. The robust plastic cover closes it tightly and is easy and intuitive to use.
Why do it the easy way when you can do it the hard way?
In all honesty, we can’t get our heads around the different Torx bolts used on the frame bearings. On the trail, a normal multitool is useless.

The 750 Wh battery is protected against theft too and has to be unlocked with a key before it can be removed from the top of the frame. However, the keyhole with plastic cover is positioned right above the motor, where you would expect to find the charging port, which can be a bit confusing at first. Moreover, removing the battery from the top of the downtube is a bit tricky, because the shock is in the way – and there’s even less room for manoeuvre if you use a bottle cage. Talking of tight spaces, the wide 2.8″ rear tire, which is the widest in the entire test field, only just fits into the swingarm of the KTM. While in theory this is supposed to ensure the highest possible level of power transfer and traction, traction against the chainstay protector wasn’t quite what we had in mind – the tire rubs the frame even when riding on level ground. The narrow swingarm remains just as much of a mystery to us as the bearing covers, which all require different-sized Torx keys – and you won’t find a single multitool with all of them on the entire planet.

Tight, tighter, KTM
There’s very little room in the main frame to remove the battery from the top of the downtube, especially if you use a bottle cage.
Bigger than a bouncer
The 2.8″ wide Eddy Current rear tire was designed specifically for eMTBs. While uphill it provides tons of grip, downhill it contributes to the spongy rear end of the KTM
Not only does the electronic SRAM AXS Eagle XX1 drivetrain look great smart, but also ensures crisp and precise shifting.

While the spec of the Macina Prowler Exonic consists exclusively of expensive, top-tier components, KTM didn’t manage to put together a sensible overall package that suits the bike’s intended use. For starters, the beefy FOX 38 Factory FLOAT fork features the inferior FIT4 damper, which is rather unsuitable for challenging trails and tough enduro riding, severely restricting the bike’s trail performance and adjustability. Downhill, the 150 mm RockShox Reverb AXS electronic dropper is far too short, restricting freedom of movement on the bike. The powerful MAGURA MT7 brakes, which include the HC3 lever upgrade for improved modulation, are paired with a small 180 rotor at the rear, which overheats far too quickly, resulting in poor performance on long descents.

KTM Macina Prowler Exonic

€ 11,999


Motor Bosch Performance Line CX-R 85 Nm
Battery Bosch PowerTube 750 Wh
Display Kiox 300
Fork FOX 38 Factory FLOAT FIT4 Kashima 180 mm
Rear Shock FOX DHX2 Factory 170 mm
Seatpost RockShox Reverb AXS 150 mm
Brakes MAGURA MT7 HC3 200/180 mm
Drivetrain SRAM AXS Eagle XX1 1x12
Stem KTM Team Trail 35 50 mm
Handlebar KTM Prime Trail Carbon 800 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss HXC 1501 29"/27.5"
Tires Schalbe Eddy Current, Super Trail, ADDIX Soft/Schalbe Eddy Current, Super Gravity, ADDIX Soft 2.6/2.8

Technical Data

Size M L XL
Weight 25.2 kg
Perm. total weight 126 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 100 kg
Trailer approval yes
Kickstand mount yes

Specific Features

Bosch Connect Module with GPS

Tuning tips: Upgrade to a 200 mm brake rotor at the rear | Subscribe to Bosch’s tracking service

Bike-path monstertruck – How does the KTM Macina Prowler Exonic compare to the competition?

Contrary to KTM’s marketing claims, the Macina Prowler Exonic favours touring and flowing trails over challenging trails and tough enduro sessions. On level ground, the pedalling position is fairly upright and compact. In combination with the sensitive rear suspension, which swallows up potholes and bumps, this ensures a high level of touring comfort. The Macina also cuts a fine figure in everyday life, where it convinces with practical features such as the locked battery, kickstand mount and trailer compatibility. On steep climbs, the Bosch Performance Line CX-Race motor packs a punch, pushing you over ledges and steps with its long overrun and allowing you to freewheel over obstacles without smashing the cranks into rocks and roots. The super-wide rear tire generates tons of traction on loose ground, but on steeper ramps, you’ll have to actively weight the front wheel to prevent it from lifting. In combination with the powerful, direct motor, this makes it hard not to fall off the back of the bike. The other two competitors with Bosch’s CX-Race motor, the Mondraker Crafty and Orbea WILD, make it much easier to keep the front wheel on the ground.

Backflip made easy
Riding uphill, you’ll have to actively weight the front wheel to compensate for the unbalanced handling, otherwise the powerful motor will send you flying off the back of the bike.
Take it easy!
While the KTM still convinces on flowing trails with its agile handling and poppy suspension, it quickly becomes nervous at high speeds.

Riding downhill, the KTM Macina Exonic Prowler is surprisingly nimble. The rear suspension provides good final progression and a decent amount of pop, allowing you to easily pull off ledges while at the same time swallowing up harder hits. When carving through corners, you’ll have to actively weight the front wheel to keep it tracking. In flat bends and berms with big g-outs, you can feel and hear the rear tire rubbing against the frame – not a nice feeling! On technical trails, the integrated riding position inspires huge amounts of confidence, whether you’re a beginner or seasoned trail veteran. The rear suspension responds sensitively and offers enough support even with harder impacts. When the going gets fast however, the agile handling turns nervous, making it hard to keep the bike on the trail. Moreover, the swingarm flexes noticeably, making for a rather spongy rear end together with the ultra-wide tire. In steep trail sections and on steps, the short-travel dropper post restricts freedom of movement, resulting in the saddle poking your privates – very annoying!

Expensive bling all-over: although the spec of the KTM Macina Prowler Exonic consists exclusively of top-tier components, some of them don’t suit the intended use.

Size M L XL
Top tube 593 mm 613 mm 633 mm
Seat tube 430 mm 450 mm 480 mm
Head tube 100 mm 110 mm 125 mm
Head angle 64.0° 64.0° 64.0°
Seat angle 75.0° 75.0° 75.0°
Chainstays 442 mm 442 mm 442 mm
BB Drop 3 mm 3 mm 3 mm
Wheelbase 1,226 mm 1,248 mm 1,271 mm
Reach 432 mm 450 mm 467 mm
Stack 612 mm 622 mm 636 mm
Helmet MET Roam MIPS | Glasses POC Devour | Backpack Deuter Plamort
Jersey Riding Culture Logo Longsleeve | Pants SQLab ONE10 S | Shoes Five Ten Kestrel Pro Boa
Gloves POC Savant Gloves

Who should take a closer look at the KTM Macina Prowler and who should look elsewhere?

The KTM Macina Prowler Exonic is a comfortable touring companion that doesn’t shy away from climbs and unpaved terrain. On long gravel downhills, however, the small rear rotor overheats quickly, resulting in a vague bite point. Otherwise, the Macina Prowler is a fantastic cluster of bling for all those riders who aren’t too fussed about trail performance.

Despite its monster-truck looks, the KTM Macina Prowler Exonic is a comfortable tourer.

Riding Characteristics


  1. unbalanced
  2. coherent


  1. cumbersome
  2. clever


  1. flop
  2. top


  1. low
  2. high


  1. demanding
  2. intuitive


  1. boring
  2. lively

Intended Use

Gravel roads

Technical climbs

Flowtrail descents

Technical descents

Conclusions about the KTM Macina Prowler Exonic

With the Macina Exonic Prowler, KTM’s “ace up your jersey sleeve” remains nothing more than just a bold marketing claim. The nervous, spongy handling and inconsistent spec seriously limit the bike’s downhill performance while on technical climbs, the unbalanced handling fritters away the great potential of the powerful motor and wide rear tire. On the other hand, the KTM convinces as a comfortable tourer for epic backcountry adventures and even cuts a fine figure in everyday use.


  • Comfortable tourer
  • Comes standard with a tracking feature
  • Suspension provides good pop and decent final progression


  • Inconsistent spec limits trail capabilities
  • Battery is rather difficult to remove
  • Rear wheel rubs against the frame in corners

You can find out more about at

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best eMTB of 2023 – 30 models in review

All bikes in test: Berria Mako Hybrid GT LTD (Click for review) | Bulls SONIC EVO SL EN-1 (Click for review) | Cannondale Moterra Neo Carbon LT1 (Click for review) | Flyer Uproc X 9.50 (Click for review) | Focus SAM² 6.9 (Click for review) | Focus JAM² 6.9 (Click for review) | Focus Jam² SL 9.9 (Click for review) | Forestal Siryon Diōde (Click for review) | Giant Trance X Advanced E+ Ltd (Click for review) | Haibike Lyke CF SE (Click for review) | Ibis OSO (Click for review) | KTM Macina Prowler Exonic | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 975 (Click for review) | Mondraker Crafty Carbon XR LTD (Click for review) | Moustache Samedi 29 Game 11 (Click for review) | Orbea Rise M-Team (Click for review) | Orbea WILD M-LTD (Click for review) | Pivot Shuttle SL Pro X01 (Click for review) | Pivot Shuttle LT Team XTR (Click for review) | Radon Deft 10.0 (Click for review) | Rotwild R.X735 Ultra (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Heckler MX XO1 AXS RSV (Click for review) | SCOTT Lumen eRide 900 SL (Click for review) | Simplon Rapcon Pmax TQ (Click for review) | Specialized Turbo Levo Expert (Click for review) | Transition Repeater AXS Carbon (Click for review) | Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate (Click for review) | Trek Fuel EXe 9.9 XX1 AXS (Click for review) | UNNO Mith Race (Click for review) | Yeti 160E T1 (Click for review)

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Words: Felix Rauch Photos: Mike Hunger