Heavy monsoons across India, this year, caused waterlogging in many parts of the country. Most of the cities had to deal with submerged roads that brought traffic to a halt. While many were stranded due to hydro-locking of their vehicle’s engines on such roads, a video from Kerala shows a KTM RC 200 moving effortlessly while being almost completely submerged.
How is it happening?
The KTM RC200 comes with an underbelly exhaust, which is similar to the one we see on the 200 Duke, Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS and previous generation KTM 390 twins. The KTM RC 200 shown in the video is almost completely submerged in the water with the headlamp base barely keeping out of the water level.
The bike is already on and the rider can be seen operating the two-wheeler on the waterlogged section of the road without much of a problem. He even reverses the bike in the water and rides it again. While the underbelly exhaust of the bike received a lot of criticism when it initially came out, KTM and Bajaj, who jointly developed the bikes uploaded a video that shows the water-wading capability of the bikes.
The underbelly exhaust has been designed in a way that water cannot enter the exhaust manifold. Even if the water enters the exhaust muffler, the manifold stays dry, without any problem due to waterlogging. This prevents the engine from getting flooded while riding through deep water levels. The design of the exhaust prevents the water from entering the engine compartment, which makes it safer and much more capable than most bikes available in the market.
The video uploaded by Bajaj and KTM shows the bikes going through 16.5 inches of water level, which is 419 mm of water-wading depth at a speed of 15 km/h. It is higher than most SUVs available in the Indian market. The clever engineering prevents the bikes from stopping while crossing deep water levels. The video also shows the bike parked in the deep water for 30 mins and restarting it without any problem. However, the video uploaded on the social media shows that the water is much higher than the videos of Bajaj-KTM.
What can go wrong?
While the exhaust system has been designed in a fool-proof way, it is the intake system that can make the things go wrong. The water can enter through the air intake and make a mess of the air filter. It can also enter the engine compartment and cause severe damage to the engine. While the bikes are capable of crossing waterlogged roads, it is not a good idea to do so.
Also, the KTM bikes get a lot of electrical components including an ECU that controls a lot of things on the bike. If the ECU is affected by water, it can blow up and make the bike useless. Also, components like wires and battery can go kaput in deep water. It is important to understand that such stunts can kill your bike and are avoidable.