A few years ago, KTM and Bajaj introduced underbelly exhaust systems on mass market bikes, with the likes of the Duke, RC and the Pulsar 200 NS getting them. Of course, the underbelly exhaust looks very cool but there are people who doubt the water wading capabilities of the motorcycle. Well, here is a video of KTM RC 390 being ridden around in a water canal without any problem. What! How is it even possible? We explain!
How can this happen?
Most Indian cities and suburban areas get affected by waterlogging during the monsoon season. KTM and Bajaj engineers knew that when they were designing the products and the result can be seen in the video below.
KTM and Bajaj have uploaded the water wading test on the KTM 200 Duke and the Bajaj 200 NS. In both the videos, the motorcycles are tested in four different situations in 16.5-inches of water. The bikes in the video have shown riding the bike through the water at 15 km/h, going through the water to come to a complete stop before resume riding again, stopping the engine in water and then restarting it again and last one is keeping the motorcycle turned off in the water for 30 mins before starting it.
All the four tests done by KTM and Bajaj show how both the motorcycles do not face any problem while negotiating knee-depth water.
How is that possible?
Well, the secret lies in the design of the exhaust system and the position of the air-intake. The exhaust system is designed in a way that the water can only enter the muffler but not the manifold. This prevents water from flooding the engine. When the motorcycle is restarted, the water is pushed out due to the exhaust gases and the motorcycle performs just fine.
The position of the air-intake in both the models and the RC Series is below the seat of the rider. It prevents water from entering the engine chamber through the air intake, which can otherwise cause the engine to seize. Clever designing from KTM and Bajaj engineers have enabled the motorcycles to ride through deep water. However, there is no official figure on the water wading depth of the motorcycles for now.
Is it a safe practice?
Turning your motorcycle into a jet ski may sound like fun but it is not a very bright idea. Riding in deep water always has a potential to damage your vehicle. The ECU will be among the first components to get fried. No ECU means a brain-dead bike that won’t even start.
Also, deep water hides the potholes and bad road surfaces, which can be extremely dangerous while riding. The water on the roads is dirty and can corrode the metal parts of the motorcycle quicker. Yes, it does look like fun but it should be avoided as much as possible. Simply put, don’t try such stunts. It’ll kill your bike, and even kill you.