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BRP RDS Bar Mount System Review – KTM 450xcf
Quieting the KTM Vibration
One of the very first things we talked about on the 2014 KTM 450xc-f was vibration. It is also the thing we have spent the most time working on. Originally I tried some bar ends and a special Silicone like goo to fill the inside of the bars. The conclusion was that neither product offered a significant improvement on the handlebar vibration.
Oddly enough, we made one accidental improvement. KTM softened up the forks for us and that made a radical difference in overall handling and feel. Probably half of the bar vibration disappeared, as well as the slight head shake that would pop up occasionally. Overall ride comfort was drastically improved.
But the vibration is still there to a certain degree. So next up came the new rubber mount system from BRP. As you can see in the photos, it is a simple system that replaces the stock bar mounts and isolates the bars via rubber inserts. There are softer and firmer choices in the inserts. The mounts came with the harder red ones installed.
The RDS system as they call it still allows the rider to utilize the four bar mount positions like the stock set up. As always, I am running them in the forward position. We also have the stabilizer top clamp installed, but are not currently using the feature. Installation takes only a few minutes. At first glance it looks like a lot of parts, but they only weigh a few ounces. Once installed they are well clear of any cables or stabilizer parts.
Overall the design seems intended to offer similar performance as the KTM PHDS system. We get lots of inquiries about the KTM part and were fortunate enough to test the two back to back.
Initially I set the system up with the installed red inserts. I felt that they were a little stiff and after a few laps on the track swapped to the softer blue inserts. It was easy to see the difference in the two and the blue would be my choice to use. After a day at the track, I could notice that the fatigue on my hands and wrists was less than normal when riding a stock bike.
Next I met up with Robert Rosenberg from Vey’s Powersports for a day of Tecate trails. Robert has a similar 450xc-f and I have used him as a sounding block for some of the mods we have done. He has added the six speed transmission, a larger stator and has all kinds of other mods to his bike. His 450 has Rental bars with the KTM PHDS mounts ($199). We swapped bikes a number of times and compared notes at the end of the day. Ultimately we agreed that the feel was nearly identical between the two set ups.
The bar movement on both mounts is very slight. Considering that if you give the end of the bar a solid push, it will have some natural movement, that amount is more or less doubled with the rubber mounts. It is almost imperceptible while riding.
For $150, the BRP system is a good choice for the rider who is looking to knock down some of the vibration and jolts that come through the bars. A similar system is also available for a sub mount stabilizer application.