It’ll make you grin insanely

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 7

KTM Macina Lycan 27.5 X1 11 CX5+


  • The first time you swing a leg over, push on the pedals and feel the bike take off. Priceless.
  • Realising that technical inclines, with the extra oomph, need as much forward planning as technical descents.
  • Letting people take it for a spin in the car park and seeing the smiles on their faces.


  • The weight! My osteopath is laughing all the way to the bank.
  • The on/off screen when you just want it to stay on.
  • Other riders’ negative reactions out on the trail, especially when they think you’re ‘cheating’. Who I’m cheating, I’m not sure.


KTM Macina Lycan 27.5 X1 11 CX5+ (2016) ebike review


Price as reviewed:


Need to know

  • 650b e-bike designed specifically for trail riding
  • New 250w Bosch CX system offers power assist
  • Fox rear shock delivers 125mm travel
  • Weighs 20.8kg (45.9lb)

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Despite the hefty weight and price, it’s time to find out if the KTM has won over our long term tester Jason…


The tester

  • Name: Jason Hardy
  • Position: Picture editor
  • Mostly rides: Surrey Hills
  • Height: 6ft 2in
  • Weight: 101kg

What attracted you to the KTM?

Having never ridden one before I wanted to see how viable an e-bike was as an only bike, and besides, who would turn down a free lift to the top?

Did you change anything straightaway?

I seem to always get my longtermers at the start of winter, so some Maxxis Shortys gave an instant confidence boost, but apart from that it’s remained stock.

Fox Float shock has a heavyweight job on its hands

Fox Float shock has a heavyweight job on its hands

Was the bike easy to set up?

Pretty simple really, set the suspension up, plug it in for a few hours to get a full charge and away you go. You never forget that first turn of the pedals as the power kicks in and you shoot off with a whirr, chuckling to yourself at the ridiculousness of it all.

Having to remember to charge the bike before a ride does reduce the spontaneity of a ‘quick blast before work’, though.

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Swapping between modes helps keep the juice flowing

Swapping between modes helps keep the juice flowing

How did it ride?

Considering its humongous weight (20kg!), not that bad. You definitely need to give the bike some extra upper body muscle when threading it down trails, but that extra mass also gave it a more planted feeling. You have to learn to resist setting the power mode to Turbo all the time, which adversely affects the range.

With a hill ahead, Jason gets ready for chuckle time

With a hill ahead, Jason gets ready for chuckle time

When descending trails, you needed to knock the power right back to prevent any sudden surges when you least need it; a half-crank to get your feet set up for a descent can induce a surge at the wrong moment. Toggling modes also helps with the range, allaying the constant fear of running out of juice.

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Did anything break or wear out?

I never resolved the problem of the intermittent screen fault. It seemed to have a mind of its own, turning on and off at random times.

An erratic display proved to be a minor bugbear

An erratic display proved to be a minor bugbear

To be fair I never tried resolving this problem with the distributor as I didn’t want to be without the bike, and I’m sure it’s something that would be covered under warranty.

But the heart of the beast — the motor and battery — never skipped a beat.

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The magic Bosch box that makes hills a doddle

The magic Bosch box that makes hills a doddle

If you could change one thing about your longtermer what would it be?

The weight… and the price. Am I allowed two things? I never failed to be shocked by the weight when lifting the bike in and out of my car, and it showed just as much out on the trail.

I constantly found myself thinking about which great conventional bikes I could buy for £3,700 (Answer: loads). But like any technology, I’m sure it will come down in weight, and price, over time.

Any e-bike is a unique proposition though, and I would definitely recommend putting aside any prejudices and trying one out. It’ll make you grin insanely and could be the perfect fit for your type of riding.



If I had the moolah for a dream bike garage then I’d definitely have one in the collection. For a lot of people, the tough grind of mountain biking is what keeps them fit, and I’m not sure that making that aspect of riding easier is necessarily a good thing. But if you’re coming back from injury, or in your twilight years, they’re a great solution to being able to just get out and ride. And in my mind, any bike that keeps people riding is a good bike


Frame:Hydroformed aluminium, 125mm travel
Shock:Fox Performance Series Float CTD BV
Fork:Fox 34 Float, 130mm travel
Wheels:DT Swiss 350 hubs, DT Swiss M422 rims, Schwalbe Rocket Ron 27.5x2.25in tyres
Drivetrain:Bosch CX Pedelecsystem 250 Watt electric motor, 36v 500Wh lithium-ion battery, KTM Team Delta ISIS cranks, SRAM X1 mech and shifter
Brakes:Shimano Deore XT, 180mm
Components:Bosch Nyon LCD Center Display, Selle Italia SL saddle, KTM Team bar, stem, grips and seatpost
Sizes:15, 17, 19, 21in
Weight:20.8kg (45.9lb)
Size tested:19in
Head angle:69.7°
Seat angle:72.8°
BB height:340mm
Front centre:680mm
Down tube:670mm
Top tube:585mm