See article here
- Very sano and clean kit, well thought out and simplistic. Everything it need to be and nothing more.
- Pretty significant power gains for a very fair price.
- Opens up the potential for the big KTM's and makes the power more useable.
- When did making your bike more efficient and easier to ride mandate a competition use only requirement?
- The intake noise is love it or hate it. We kinda liked it!
- Some riders are scared of this level of bolt-on.
Writer: Jimmy Lewis
Photographer: Jimmy Lewis
What it is
A high-performance replacement air-filter kit for KTM Twins.
Rottweiler has been specializing in KTM twin cylinder performance parts in the recent past and has developed an intake system that eliminates the restrictive stock airbox and air filter element and replaces it with a large open-foam filter that covers the carbs or throttle bodies. The kits claim some very significant horsepower gains (8-12 HP on the KTM 950) as well as increased fuel mileage. Even more significant is the increased service intervals, easier access and with the proper kit setup the elimination of the jerky throttle response typical of the stock bikes. A reduction in weight of up to six pounds (with evaporative system removal) is also touted.
The Rottweiler filter fastens down to an adapter plate the sits atop the carbs or throttle bodies. Air is pulled from all directions and on some models a heat deflector plate is utilized. For off-road competition use you can also alter the jetting or ECU settings to get even more performance.
"The kits claim some very significant horsepower gains (8-12 HP on the KTM 950) as well as increased fuel mileage. "
How it works
- Good instructions for the instal. Video instruction for some applications.
- The power increase claims are valid, but the real gain is in the smoothness of the power.
- Additional intake noise. Some like it, others don't.
I have used and installed this system on both a KTM 950 and KTM 1190 Adventure. Plain and simply, it is the best engine performance modification you could do to the large KTM twin and the starting point if you would ever want to realize any additional performance gains. The standard air box on these bikes is engineered to keep the bike quiet, not flow air, so the logic is sound—more air will allow more power. Rottweiler also goes out of the way to build a very clean and professional kit that easily has the quality to justify the price.
Installation takes a little bit of time on either bike, mostly in getting to the stock air box and removing it. There are some little tricks, as with any part swap but the instructions walk you through each step and clearly explain how to do it. Budget a couple of hours and you'll be fine. Some additional time for removing the SAS emissions parts and installing the block-off kit and you can really clean up the hose monster living in and around your air filter and make filter cleaning time that much easier.
In use the first thing you will notice is a little more intake noise. Or maybe the boost in power will pleasantly surprise you. They both come on together but unlike additional exhaust noise that often produces fake power, this increase is real and you feel it everywhere. The thing that most riders may not notice is that you are getting a lot more power at smaller throttle openings. The engine’s torque seems to come on a lot sooner and hold stronger through the spread. For the most part, in the RPM range where you ride the 950/990 or 1190, especially off-road, there is a smoother and more deliberate tug from the engine. If you rev it out I'm sure there is more power, we believe the numbers, but the tire has a hard time dealing with even the stock horsepower. It is rare that you'll be using this much horsepower save for overtaking on the pavement or those first few full-power pulls you have to do to see if your purchase is living up to its claims. Trust me it does, but I feel the bottom end increase is the most improved area.
Some interesting notes after a lot of miles on my KTM 950. After bumping up the jet sizes to get it tuned correctly the fuel consumption went from 32 MPG average to 40 MPG. The intake noise sounds great to most and I enjoy it too but right where the bike gets cammy at about 5500 it can get annoying if you are riding and wanting to stay relaxed. Not to worry, rev a little further or upshift and let the Rs drop and the noise really tones down. Overall the sound helps you in hearing the power if you have difficulty in feeling it. And servicing the filter is downright simple even though you hardly have to do it. There is so much surface area, even in dusty rides the filter never really got exceedingly dirty except for a few spots that consistently and quickly dirty up. The addition of the pre-filter ($29.00) extended the service even further.
On the 1190 the biggest gain was in the smoothness the bike now has. There is just more torque, right from idle and it builds quicker without becoming overwhelming at any point. The power gain is a little deceiving since the FI does so much to work around the restrictive stock air box and the bike is already very powerful. Where you can feel it (or where it gets confusing) is that the bike doesn't go into a suction mode where it gives a delayed surge and a continued struggle for air and hence power. Stock the 1190 has a quick burst, a slight delay, then it gets with the program and pulls hard. Imagine sucking air through a straw. Initially the air sitting in your mouth is used then you use a restricted amount determined by the straw. This is what causes the surge, lull, surge with the stock airbox in comparison. With the Rottweiler there is plenty of air and a very noticeable 1 to 1 throttle to rear wheel connectivity that isn't being challenging to the ECU and the throttle body’s fly-by-wire butterfly valves. The bike is making more power at smaller throttle openings and response is quicker and more robust. The noise increase on the 1190 is a bit less than on the 950/990 and never gets to an annoying point, even at its loudest. We did not see a change in the fuel economy on the 1190 which stayed right at 38-40 MPG. Cleaning the filter does require you remove the tank, but once off you do not have to tackle the tricky stock airboxes fastening nor seating issues of the standard element. Additionally due to the size of the filter the service intervals will be increased as well.
We rode in rain, mud, extreme silt and even splashed through water holes and river crossings. There isn’t the splash protection of the stock box and water can get in or near the filter but it is very difficult for significant amounts to make it into the velocity stacks, provide you don’t submerge them. The thickness of the filter was as good as any off-road foam filter and we used it with the recommended No-Toil oil with successful results, though the rigid design of the filter likes to have the oil applied with the aerosol can as opposed to the pour-in variety.
Bang for the buck there isn't a better way to extract performance and power from your KTM Twin. It is good useable power, smooth where you mostly ride the bike. That part of the powerband that is often overlooked, the low to mid-range zone is where this intake system is fabulous. That is where this kit makes a big difference even if your fascination is on the other end of the dyno chart.