As the YouTube channel’s name suggests, the guys at The Fast Lane Truck usually specialize in all things two-tons and four-wheel drive. The crew puts the latest models in the pick-up and full-size SUV segments through their paces, from off-roading to hauling and everything in between. In its most recent videos, however, they did things a little differently.
When came the time for the crew to head for the mountains with the Jeep Gladiator—the pick-up-ized version of the popular Wrangler—they decided that the best opponent for the double mountain pass crossing challenge wouldn’t be another truck. They opted instead for a two-wheel competitor to determine which one of the two and four-wheel vehicles performed better off-road.
For the challenge, they opted for the very mountain pass-ready KTM 690 Enduro, the ideal trail warrior to tackle the Webster and Boreas mountain passes in the Colorado Rockies. It doesn't take long for the KTM to take the lead as almost as soon as the two hosts head for the trails in their respective vehicles, casual off-roaders are already getting in the way of the Gladiator. The rider has no qualms leaving his buddy behind and knitting the 690 easily around the vehicles blocking the way.
As the host in the saddle puts it, dirt bikes are so much more flexible than trucks. They’re lighter and smaller which means they can go virtually anywhere and are easy to maneuver even in tight spots—unlike the Gladiator that has to crawl its way down tight passes.
Bikes also offer a more involved and physical experience, which is both a good thing and not so good a thing if you’re ill-prepared for how demanding it can be. The host compares off-roading in a truck versus a motorcycle as watching basketball versus playing. Sure enough, the guy in the Gladiator is enjoying a much smoother drive than the one on the KTM. It’s like the off-road equivalent of glamping.
Where the Gladiator gets the advantage is when it comes to river crossings—the driver in the Jeep doesn’t have a concern in the world. The Gladiator and its snorkel are ready for almost anything and the truck won’t topple if it hits a big rock, unlike the bike.
So, which one performed the best? Both guys understandably disagree with the outcome of the challenge, with the Jeep driver preferring his glamor trip up and down the mountains to the rider’s rugged and dirty ride. That being said, we think the KTM is the clear winner. It was faster, more versatile than the Jeep, and didn’t require any additional help to navigate out of tight spots. We might also be slightly partial.