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Successful Roll-Out for the KTM RC16 MotoGP Bike

The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team has completed the roll-out of the KTM RC16 at Austria’s Red Bull Ring exactly 15 months after announcing its proposed entry into MotoGP in the 2017 season.

Test rider Alex Hoffmann carried out three days of comprehensive testing with the MotoGP racing bike at the venue that will see the return of the Motorcycle World Championship in 2016. The performance tests with the bike that has been completely developed in-house by KTM were conducted in good conditions and went exactly according to plan.




Pit Beirer (Motorsport Director): “Thursday was a very emotional moment, not only for me but also for the company, and I believe for many KTM fans in Austria and all over the world. This, and the start of the project on the racing circuit are just as important as any lap time. A very big thanks to Alex (Hofmann) and the entire team for the excellent performance. The feedback and the fact that we were already able to put in very many laps without any problems gives us a lot of motivation for the next steps in this long journey towards our entry into MotoGP in 2017.”

Sebastian Risse (Technical Director Onroad): “There was of course a great deal of tension and pressure on the team and the roll-out took place earlier and on a larger scale than originally planned. The fact that it all went as smoothly as it did, and the data that we have been able to gather makes us very optimistic about the further development of the KTM RC16. Although we are still far removed from the detailed work, these three days were a very positive and instructive test for us.”

Alex Hofmann (Test Rider MotoGP): “What shall I say? Just take a look at my boots and the bike. They both look like new. I have already experienced very different premieres. A big respect for what KTM has already achieved in this extremely short time. I think you can not only see it in my face, but also among all those who have worked here with such enthusiasm and professionalism.”

Another test with Alex Hofmann and the second test rider Mika Kallio is planned for this year. Parallel to this, there will be intensive further development on the KTM RC16 at KTM factory in Austria’s Mattighofen and Munderfing.

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Schuberth Partners with KTM to Add C3 Pro to 2016 PowerWear Product Line

Schuberth has partnered with KTM North America as the motorcycle manufacturer adds the Schuberth C3 Pro helmet to their 2016 KTM North American PowerWear product line.

“We are honored to work with KTM and supply our flagship helmet for their PowerWear line,” said Schuberth North America Vice President, Randy Northrup. “Riders choose KTM because they want to ride the best, and in turn they deserve to wear the best protective equipment. The C3 Pro perfectly complements KTM’s diverse product line, and we’re confident that the KTM graphic will be a hit here in North America.”
 

The result of decades of research and innovation, Schuberth’s C3 Pro is the world’s lightest and quietest flip-up helmet. Engineered in Schuberth’s proprietary wind tunnel, the C3 Pro features optimized aerodynamics and aeroacoustics, ensuring that the rider experiences a smooth and quiet ride, even at high speeds. In addition to the advanced construction, each helmet is equipped with a built-in internal antenna that works seamlessly with Schuberth’s Bluetooth® communication system. Click here to learn more about the Schuberth C3 Pro.

“KTM has experienced great success with this innovative helmet in the European PowerWear collection,” said KTM PowerWear Product Line Manager, Christy Brosius. “With the growing adventure segment in North America, there was a big sense of urgency for us to add this first-class touring helmet to the 2016 product line.”

The KTM-branded Schuberth C3 Pro is now available in North America. For more information visitwww.ktmusa.com or visit a KTM dealer. Learn more about Schuberth’s full line of helmets atwww.SchuberthNorthAmerica.com.

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Anna Grechishkina riding her KTM 1190 ADVENTURE around the planet

Anna Grechishkina is riding her KTM 1190 ADVENTURE around the planet on a one-woman expedition called “I HAVE A DREAM … ”.
Her plan is to reach over 50 countries spanning five continents, solo. With over 70,000 kilometers under her belt, the KTM BLOG caught up with Anna as she arrived in Colombia almost two years into her entirely epic expedition to find out what drives this Ukrainian lady (other than her motorcycle) to tackle the long road alone.
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No matter the journey or destination, every time you swing a leg over a motorcycle it is an adventure. But some people like to go a little further. What begins as an idea becomes a dream and then an obsession.
Of course we all have dreams; those far flung schemes that we hope to achieve ‘some day’, but 35-year old Anna Grechishkina has an unwavering ambition that has seen her dreams turned into reality despite taking a very difficult road – in every respect – to get there.
From her home in the Ukraine, Anna has so far ridden solo for over 70,000 kilometers on her KTM with a route that has already taken her through Belarus, Russia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, USA, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and now she has just arrived in Colombia.
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Her plan is to reach over 50 countries spanning five continents. It will take longer than the original two years she planned, but this is more than just a selfish endeavour to ride from place to place for her own pleasure; Anna’s mission is to also motivate other people to chase their dreams and never be scared to make the first step towards reaching them.
In every country she visits, Anna conducts talks to disadvantaged children, youths, visits orphanages and elderly people homes and encourages local communities to continue charity work.
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The KTM BLOG caught up with Anna in Panama as she arrived in Colombia, nervously awaiting her1190 ADVENTURE to clear through customs and head to Medellin so that her incredible journey could continue.
Hi Anna, how’s it going?“Perfect! Enjoying the warmth of my fourth continent on my journey – South America.”
What are your plans in Colombia?“I have very high expectations of Colombia. I heard from many travellers that this is an amazing country with the nicest people. Actually people are always something that arouses my interest first of all. Therefore, I really look forward to meeting local people; seeing how they live, talking to them, sharing stories.
Of course, I want to visit main cities like Cartagena, Medellin, Bogota, Cali, to enjoy landscapes, national parks, and twisty roads. I am very excited about meeting KTM teams and sharing with them the story of my adventure. I always feel proud to belong to international KTM family and everywhere I go I try to drop in to local dealerships to say ‘hello’ at least!”
What kind of person were you before you decided to ride around the world and what made you do this?“Before this world trip I had been riding bikes for a few years and I’d always been quite adventurous. I liked long distance rides as much as I could afford it and with the time limits of full-time job. Of course, every time I had to come back, I felt very upset; several weeks or even a month or so were definitely not enough for me to feel the taste of real adventure. That’s how one day this idea to go and travel around the world without any limits came into my mind. It made me scared at first; I realized that it’s not that easy. And I had to make a hard decision – either to accept a very good job offer with promising perspectives or decline it and go somewhere (actually everywhere) without any financial support only with enthusiasm. I chose the latter and I never regretted it.”
Your long distance riding credentials are already confirmed as the first lady in the Ukraine who made “SaddleSore 1000“ standard – 1900km covered on motorcycle in 24 hours. How was that experience?“Yes, I tried it once, in 2009. I think I wanted to test myself if I am able to do it! It was a bit tough. I had to ride 24 hours, and my longest stop was for 20 minutes only. By the time I got back, I was absolutely exhausted. Besides, the roads in Ukraine are not easily to manage for such standards. Well, I was happy that I managed this standard and I was happy to receive all the credentials. But I don’t think I will ever repeat any of such standards again!”
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So you take it slower now?“The whole meaning of this trip for me is very different. My goal is not to cover as much and as fast as I can. My goal is to experience the atmosphere of a place I am visiting. And for this I need time. Sometimes I like to ride with the speed of 60km per hour and just to look around, to enjoy the smells, the views. You will never have this if you rush and see only the road in front of you and traffic that you have to overtake. That’s why I prefer to ride alone, without necessity to catch up, to be on time or to prove anything. Sometimes covering just 100km per day brings you much more impressions and experience than 1000.”
How much preparation did you have to make for this journey and what was the most difficult obstacle before you even turned a wheel?“One year and three months – to be precise – passed between the idea first coming into my mind and actual start of the trip. The first step was to choose a proper bike. At that time I was riding for seven years on a Kawasaki Vulcan 900 and I was happy with it, but I realized that this was not the proper bike for the world trip. I started to search for another bike and I hoped to get sponsorship from a motorcycle manufacturer because I could not afford to buy a new bike outright. Everybody seemed to be interested but nobody wanted to contribute.
Honestly, at that time I didn’t think about KTM because I didn’t know much about the company and its bikes – I sure know a lot now! The Ukrainian office for KTM approached me with suggestion to think about the ADVENTURE and I agreed; that’s how we started to talk with the factory in Austria about the possibility of giving me the bike.
Fortunately, there was a good feeling from KTM and when I made an arrangement to get an 1190 ADVENTURE I was the happiest. That was obviously the most important part of the puzzle, but still other components were missing – like financial ones!
I tried hard to get sponsorship for the trip and I managed to find some help, but unfortunately it was enough only to cover the preparation stage. So when the day to start the trip came (July 27, 2013) I had 1000 US dollars in my pocket. Almost nobody knew about this fact, I felt sort of ashamed to talk about it. I told to myself that if this trip is meant to be, something would work out. I had to start the trip no matter what – I was committed not just for me, but for those who had supported in whatever capacity they could. This was my biggest challenge and obstacle, I realized that to start this trip is crazy but it was a dream, I had to give it a try at least.”
You call your ride ‘I have a dream …’ What is your dream?“My dream is to make the world a better place. I know it may sound a bit pathetic, but my dream is not only about travelling around the world on the bike; it’s the dream in a narrow sense.
But besides getting my own pleasure of this trip I want and try to do something useful for others. I cannot help financially but I can share my experience and my story. With this aim I try to visit schools, orphanages, colleges, hospitals to meet kids, any groups of people who might need encouragement and motivation to keep following their dreams. I find it very fulfilling to live not only for yourself, but also for making some difference around you. When I get messages from people around the world that listening to me or following my trip they start to believe that their dreams are also possible to accomplish and actually they already do something towards it, I feel that my trip is not in vain and it has some meaning for the world.”
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Has ‘The Dream’ ever been a nightmare?“Well, there were definitely tough moments in the trip – with a lack of money, with being extremely tired, with situations of uncertainty, being scared, lonely, discouraged, etc. But I never regretted of starting this trip and I was never seriously thinking about finishing the trip and going back. Even at those moments I realized that this is the best part of my life and I’m very lucky to have this lifetime experience.
But it’s true that long-distance travels like this are not always just fun and enjoyment. Sometimes it’s a hard work and challenge and you have to deal with many situations and issues that you will never experience in a stable life – not all of them are easy to handle. This trip becomes your life, and life has its ups and downs, this is normal and natural. And in order to really appreciate the ups, you need to go through some downs once in a while.”
The KTM 1190 ADVENTURE is very different to what you have ridden before this journey, how do you rate it and what’s the best attribute of the bike?“KTM ADVENTURE is my first bike of a Travel Enduro type. Before I rode cruisers and – honestly, when I first saw my KTM in the Ukrainian office – I was scared and told to myself ‘oh my, what have I done?’ But the decision was already made that I would go for the world trip on this bike and I had to make friends with ‘him’.
Little by little I got more and more comfortable with the bike; it never failed me even though I was making mistakes once in a while. It proved to be very user-friendly. Now when people ask me about my feedback of the bike, I always say that if I can manage to ride it and feel comfortable, then they can do it even better.
But I can honestly say that I cannot be happier with the bike. And though sometimes it feels a bit heavy with all the luggage, I get more and more comfortable with it. It proved its reliability. I treat it actually more than just a bike; it’s my companion, it’s the only stable thing in my life at the moment. When I don’t see it for a few days when it’s being shipped between the continents, I feel that I start to miss it a lot.”
Has the quality of the 1190’s ride changed much from when you got it compared to the 70,000+ kilometers it is now showing on the clock?“No, and this makes me happy! The bike’s performance is the same as it used to be when I just started to ride – perfect. I hope it will be the same at least till the end of the trip. Sometimes I even think that the bike gets better and better with every mile. But my attitude towards the bike changed. Now I feel more and more comfortable and confident with it.”
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Although you set out on the journey alone, do you agree that most travellers – particularly motorcyclists – are never really alone on the road?“Well, it’s not easy to answer this question. Yes, I totally agree that once you are on the road, you are not alone actually. You meet many people on the road, in places you visit, etc. But I would differentiate being alone and being lonely. Sometimes you feel lonely while not being alone.
You meet many people, but you cannot develop really close bond with them because you’re always moving and have to say good-bye even to people that you really like. You can keep in touch through the internet or mobile phones but sometimes you just need somebody around who would hug you, and not just as a welcome or farewell hug, but a real friendly hug. And most of the time travelling alone you start to miss it immensely.
On the other hand, you come to realize that true happiness does not and should not depend either on circumstances, or other people in your life but on yourself only. You should enjoy the company of yourself and be happy and satisfied even with nobody and nothing around you.”
What single piece of advice would you give any rider – man or woman – before they contemplated a long distance adventure on a bike?“I would advise them to start with thinking about their reasons and motivation to go for such a trip. There are no rights or wrongs, and reasons can change while being on the road, but I think it’s important to understand why you want to do it and where you want to get – both in a physical, and spiritual sense. Because it’s not only fun and pleasure, it’s also a challenge, sometimes really tough challenge. On the other hand, this is something you will never regret, something you will always be proud of.”
What single piece of equipment or item can’t you live without on this journey?“After my bike, my camera is my number one equipment. I enjoy taking photos and when my camera was broken or didn’t function well, I felt that I missed something really vitally important.”
Do you think you will ever be able to stop moving from place to place after two years of constantly doing this?“No, that’s why my trip will last not two years, but three at least! But after almost two years on the road I miss sometimes the sense of stability. I miss the sense of being at home. Of sleeping in my own comfortable bed. Of meeting old friends whom I know since many years, etc.
When I meet people along my way and they share with me their homes and lives for a while, I feel sort of jealous. Sometimes I don’t want to leave because of the bond with them. But at the same time I know that most of them are jealous of my life; my freedom and disconnectedness. I’m absolutely sure that once you have tasted ‘The Road’, you would never be able to settle down for a long time.
Quite soon after completion of my trip, I will start thinking about next adventure, which may be not so long-term. But I already have a list of places where I would like to come back and explore more. Moreover, during this trip I will not visit all the interesting spots in the countries I’ve been to. I think the whole life is not enough for that. So I know how to entertain myself once this trip is finished.”
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We’re not in Anna’s company for long, but the time spent with her is inspirational and the lesson taught without us realizing is to make sure that on the list of dreams we all have is to start putting ‘ticks’ next to them. It appears that all that is stopping ourselves achieving our dreams it seems is us! If you want something bad enough, you can make it happen.
After completion of the world trip, Anna will write a book about her world adventure with inspiring stories about ordinary people all over the world achieving their dreams despite all the obstacles and difficulties.
She hopes this will be a source of inspiration for all people, not just motorcyclists or travelers that any dream can become a reality if only you give it a try and don’t give up.
Follow Anna´s journey at www.ihaveadreamrtw.com or at FacebookTwitter and Instagram.
Photos: Anna Grechishkina

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Noooooooo - Marc Coma retires!

Noooooooo..... Marc Coma is retiring! He's an incredibly likable guy and consistently dominant competitor with a track record to prove it.

5 x Dakar and 6 x FIM Cross Country Rallies World Champion for 13 years with KTM.

Translated from him Facebook page - here's his message:



I retire because I believe that it is the right time. After 12 dakares, 5 victories and 6 World Championships, I have to be honest with myself and with all the people, like you, that you have been supporting during all these years. Special mention to ktm, where I have felt always at home, and to all my sponsors. To all of them, thank you very much. As the new director of Sports Dakar Rally, I have got a chance to be able to repay it somehow everything that this rally has given me. Thank you very much to all. Always ‪#‎Gasalaburra‬!!

 

I retreat because I think it's the right time. After 12 Dakars, 5 WINS and 6 World Championships, I have to be honest with myself and with all the people, like you, I have been giving support during all these years. Special mention to KTM, where I've always felt at home, and all my sponsors. To all of them, thank you very much. As the new sporting director of the Dakar, I've got an opportunity to return somehow everything that this rally has given me. MANY thanks to all. Always ‪#‎GasAlaBurra‬!!

I quit. I believe that it’s the right time to do it. After 12 Dakar’s, 5 wins and 6 world championships, I have to be honest with myself and with all the people who have been supported me along those years. To my sponsors and specially KTM, where I’ve always felt at home, thank you. As a new sportive director of Dakar I will have the chance to give back all the energy that somehow the rally has given me. THANK YOU all for your support. Always ‪#‎ThrottleToTheDonkey‬!!

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Coma seizes early initiative in Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

Red Bull KTM’s multi Dakar Rally winner Marc Coma seized the initiative in the first stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge to lead the field at the end of the opening day. Coma was fastest over the 262.3 km timed special stage, one minute 21 ahead of KTM factory teammate Sam Sunderland. The rally is the first round of the 2015 FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship.

Other members of the KTM factory team were also well in contention after the first day in the desert with Ruben Faria in fourth and the team’s latest signing, Matthias Walkner of Austria in sixth. Moh Al Balooshi of KTM UAE was a solid seventh, Pablo Quintanilla of Chile eighth, Armand Monleon of Poland ninth and Juan Salvatierra of Bolivia tenth to give KTM eight of the top ten after Day One.

Following a largely ceremonial Super Special on Saturday, riders got down to business on Sunday with their first foray into the Liwa Desert. Coma completed the stage of 404 km of which 262 km was timed special in three hours 12 minutes and 54 seconds to finish with a narrow 1minute 21 margin to Sunderland, the team’s British rider who is based in the UAE and very familiar with the local terrain.

Marc Coma: “Today everything went well. We managed to set a good pace and we won ahead of Sam Sunderland, who we know is fast. I didn’t want to risk anything in the first part but then I was able to attack more, especially in the second part of the special.”

Speaking before the rally Coma said Abu Dhabi is a race where any advantage is good. “It is a rally with little navigation and where every small detail can be decisive. We have to be very attentive and apply the maximum concentration. The conditions in Abu Dhabi are always very hard and the temperatures are very high,” he added.

Sunderland, who has narrowly missed victory the two last years is looking to take the maximum advantage out of riding in the familiar terrain while Austria’s Matthias Walkner, who was impressive in his first Dakar Rally said before the start that he was hoping for a top 10 finish and wanted to keep working on his navigation. The Red Bull KTM Factory riders are competing on the KTM 450 RALLY.

Coma has won this event seven times, the highest number of KTM victories for a single rider. KTM riders have won every year except three since 1995 when motorcycles were first including on the program. Some 108 riders are contesting the motorcycle category this year, which is also the 25th edition of the Desert Challenge.
Monday’s Stage Two is 511 km of which 279 km is timed special.
Please Note: KTM Results Service after each stage; Race Report after final round.

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Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship Round 1
Results First Stage – 404 km, of which 262.3 km Timed Special

1, Marc Coma, ESP, KTM 3 hours 12.54
2, Sam Sunderland, GBR, KTM at 1.21

3, Paolo Goncalves, POR, Honda at 5.33
4, Ruben Faria, POR, KTM, at 11.07
5, Ricky Brabec, USA, Honda at 11.54
6, Matthias Walkner, AUT, KTM at 13.59
7, Mohammed Al Balooshi, UAE, KTM at 14.10
8, Pablo Quintanila, CHO, KTM at 16.50
9, Armand Monleon, POL, KTM at 22:06
10, Juan Salvatierra, BOL, KTM at 289:28
More at www.abudhabidesertchallenge.com

The 2015 FIM World Cross Country Rallies Championship Calendar:

Round One – Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge UAE – 27.3 to 2.4.2015
Round Two – Sealine Rally Qatar 19-24.4.2015
Round Three – Pharaoh’s Rally Egypt 10-17.5.2015
Round Four – Sardegna Rally, Italy, 6-11.6.2015
Round Five – Atacama Rally, Chile, 30.8-5.9.2015
Round Six - OiLibya Rally, Morocco 3-9.10. 2015

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UNBOUND ‘Heroes’ Feature

Capturing the spirit of Adventure is a new lifestyle magazine from KTM – UNBOUND. The 66-page publication is filled with exclusive stories, technical features and interviews that get right under the skin of the current KTM ADVENTURE Travel Enduro range. Out now at the KTM Dealers in Europe.



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Get more Adventure at KTM "Adventure" microsite

For 2015, KTM unleashed an ADVENTURE range stronger than ever and launched a devoted KTM ADVENTURE Microsite to these four machines with further details on the line-up and a wide range of PowerWear and PowerParts.

That way you work out easily which ADVENTURE is for you!

 

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Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing: Ready For Dakar

The Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing Team is making its final preparations for the 2015 Dakar Rally and can reveal this year’s team livery for multi-time Dakar winner and this year’s Cross Country Rallies World champion Marc Coma, 2014 Dakar runner-up Jordi Viladoms, along with Ruben Faria and Sam Sunderland.

The team’s recent test held a few weeks ago was deemed a success, as adjustments were made ready for the prestigious race, which begins on January 4th 2015. With a new KTM 450 RALLY factory machine launched just ahead of this year’s event, in which Marc Coma and Jordi Viladoms went on to take the top two positions, the team has twelve months more experience with its race bike and only minor refinements have been made in preparation for the most important race of the year for the rally squad.




Coma has had a superb season, as he took victory in the Cross-Country Rallies World Championship with consistently strong performances to add to his extensive accolade, which includes four Dakar wins. The Spanish-ace is once again meticulously preparing everything for the 2015 edition of the race with one intention, to continue KTM’s 13 consecutive Dakar wins for another year. He is joined again by fellow countryman Viladoms, who had nearly no preparation on the KTM machine last year and has been able to build on his runner-up success while having a real preparation for the 2015 rally with the entire KTM team.

Unfortunately for Ruben Faria, who was ruled out of last year’s event in the early stages, his preparations have been more difficult, as a shoulder injury has thwarted his progress in recent weeks. The Portuguese rider expects to be at full fitness ahead of the Dakar race. Finally, the team apprentice and British star Sam Sunderland has had a strong preparation for this year’s rally with good results during the year, despite some injury niggles, and he will be looking to extend his results as he learns from his colleagues after taking a stage win in the 2014 Dakar.

Additional KTM factory supported riders
There are also other notable contenders aboard KTM machinery with Polish rider Jakub Przygonski (Orlen Team) continuing to work with the factory team, and Dakar-beginners Austrian Matthias Walkner (Betsafe KTM Rally Factory Racing Team), and Australian Toby Price (KTM Rally Factory Racing Team) looking to embark on their first South American rally journey.

Alex Doringer (KTM Rally Team Manager): “We have a strong team again, and now a year on working with the bike, which we know is already proven, we have a lot of confidence again for this rally. For sure it’s one of the most difficult races in the world and anything can happen, but we are ready. We have of course a lot of experience in the team, and now with Sam on board we can look at the future. It’s always a busy time as we make these final preparations, but we are happy with the progress and looking forward to getting to the start line in January.”

Dakar 2015
The rally begins in Argentina in Buenos Aires and navigates over 9000km of a variety of terrain and altitudes through Chile, Bolivia and back into Argentina. It’s a massive test of endurance for both man and machine, with the calculations, speed, navigation comprised with the physical and mental test that riders take on each day. Anything can happen during the race, which takes place over 14 days including one rest day, and the Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing Team is looking to fend off the competition once again for victory.

www.dakar.com

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KTM's big adventure line getting crowded

If we're to believe news from VisorDown and Asphalt and Rubber the big adeventure line up at KTM is just about to get even more crowded. The 1190 was just intruduced in Canada and now there's news of the 1290 and now a 1050! It's possibly a Europe only model if the rumor is to be believed.

KTM’s Owners Manual website, offered a peak at it with a heading for a “1050 Adventure EU (2015)” Word is that it'd be a rebored version of the KTM's 999cc motor from the discontinued 990 Adventure models.

It'd be offered as a more budget machine entry point to get into the big adventure bike market. That's not too bad an idea. Will it get produced and come to Canada... that's the question.



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2014 KTM Ride Orange Street Demo Tour - Canada

Get ready to ride a bike that's ready to race - KTM may be coming to your town. Don't miss out on a chance take part in the 2014 KTM Ride Orange Street Demo Tour.

Details below:



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16/11 2013 KTM mourns the loss of Kurt Caselli

KTM reports with great sadness that American KTM factory rider Kurt Casellidied as the result of injuries sustained in a crash while competing in the SCORE/Baja 1000 this weekend.

Kurt, part of the Factory FMF/Bonanza Plumbing/KTM team competing in this desert race, was in a leading position when he suffered a crash that resulted in severe head trauma. He died of his injuries in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. 

The team, who have now recovered Kurt's bike discovered traces on the machine that indicate he had collided with some animal, which apparently caused the crash.

Kurt, 30, was an accomplished American offroad and desert rider but he had also made a successful transition to international rallies for the KTM Factory Team. He was admired and respected in racing circles for his skill, natural talent and exemplary sportsmanship far beyond the borders of his home country. While Kurt was one of the most popular figures on the KTM team, he was also an unmatched role model for young riders and fans.

Passionate about his sport, he had multiple consecutive championships in WORCS and National Hare and Hound racing and had been the lead rider for the USA International Six Days Enduro team for the past ten years. In January 2013, Kurt was drafted into the official KTM Rally team to ride in the Dakar Rally, replacing his friend and factory teammate Marc Coma, who was injured. Kurt’s debut ride in the 2013 Dakar Rally was impressive. He was subsequently given a permanent spot on the KTM Rally team and was preparing to contest the Dakar 2014 and the FIM World Cross Country Rallies Championship in the coming season.

Pit Beirer, Head of KTM Motorsports:
 “Today we lost a KTM hero in the worst possible circumstances. We are shocked and saddened by this tragic news and our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to Kurt’s family. Kurt was much more than a very talented rider; he was also an exceptional team player. He represented and lived by the values and a passion for racing that lies at the very core of KTM. Our sport has lost more than a great rider; we have also lost an excellent ambassador for offroad racing.” 

Jon-Erik Burleson, President of KTM North America: ”We at KTM can't put into context the loss everyone in the motorcycling community is experiencing. Beyond his racing successes and talent as a rider, Kurt was above all else a core member of our greater off-road family that simply can't be replaced. Kurt inspired the KTM family to keep pushing the limits of racing. He was the driving force behind our renewed efforts in Baja, Hare & Hound and the International Six Days Enduro. His work ethic, attitude and graciousness will never be matched.”

Antti Kallonen, Factory FMF/KTM Team Manager: “The loss of Kurt is immense to the sport, our team and to our family. Kurt has been on KTM his entire professional career. Even in the early years he brought something special to the off-road environment by bringing a leadership role like no other. He had the uncanny ability to bring a team together for efforts big and small. Professional motorcycle racing is always considered an individual sport, but Kurt made it a team sport. Whenever there was an opportunity to lead, help, inspire, advise or coach Kurt went into it like he went into a race—completely prepared, completely confident and knowing he could win. Kurt was the most galvanizing force I’ve ever seen. Those who knew him were lucky. Those of us who got to work with him were blessed”.  

Kurt Caselli will be deeply missed by the entire KTM family, his teammates, his fellow competitors and by his fans all over the world. At this time of acute sadness, the KTM management and the entire KTM international family extend their heartfelt condolences to the Caselli family.

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KTM Demo rides schedule for Canada




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High Voltage: KTM Shows Scooter Study "E-SPEED" in Tokyo

With the FREERIDE E, KTM put a well-engineered “Zero Emission Offroad Sportmotorcycle” concept on wheels. Now, the company based in Mattighofen, Austria shows with the “E-SPEED” at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show a new sport-oriented future concept for “urban mobility”.
With the FREERIDE E, KTM already has a offroad motorcycle that can be used freely in the outdoors and that has opened up a completely new outlook on motorcycle sports in open nature as it produces no exhaust emissions and is nearly silent. With the “E-SPEED”, the sports bike manufacturer now introduces a concept vehicle based on the same battery and powertrain concept to offer a comparable solution for urban areas.

Stefan Pierer (KTM CEO): “We at KTM are completely convinced of electric mobility as a perfect complement to conventional powertrains. In the long term, the electric drive will come out on top for short distances – particularly in areas which are highly sensitive from an environmental perspective, like open nature and densely populated metropolitan areas! Vehicles like the ‘E-SPEED’ and FREERIDE E can help powered two-wheelers win back more acceptance in society. Not just because of their environmental credits, but because they are easy to use, quick, and simply great fun.”

True to his motto that each and every component of a KTM must have both an aesthetic and a structural function, the chassis and bodywork of the “E-SPEED” have turned out uncluttered and iconic with a true premium look!

Technically the “E-SPEED” takes advantage of the extensive know-how gathered in the development department in Mattighofen. The prototype which is 11kW and 36Nm strong and reaches a speed up to 85km/h, among other things, trusts in a state of the art hybrid steel trellis light metal frame and WP suspension elements.

The “E-SPEED” is powered by a liquid-cooled, permanent-magnet synchronous motor with 36Nm of maximum torque and a permanent power of 11kW to drive the rear wheel via a belt drive. Electricity is stored in a package of cutting-edge lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of 4.36kWh that is fully charged within two hours on a regular 220V socket.

The KTM “E-SPEED” does indeed have sporting ambitions, as witnessed by the concept’s chassis and styling – thanks to completely unique technical solutions and the inimitable lines drawn by KTM’s very own designer, Gerald Kiska.


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2013 Halifax International Motorcycle wraps up

The 2013 Halifax International Motorcycle Show wrapped up this Sunday and turnout was affected by the snowstorm that hit the east coast on Saturday and Sunday but the die-hard enthusiasts still made it out and enjoyed easy access to motorcycles from every brand.

Check out our big picture gallery from the show. The Honda FB6 was definitely a stand-out motorcycle for me. It's impressive looking and feels all day comfortable.

One lucky attendee took home a Honda CBR250R as a door prize. His odds were a little better because of all the snow!





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Triumph for Despres and KTM at Dakar 2013

Red Bull KTM factory rider Cyril Despres of France on Saturday picked up his fifth Dakar trophy when he crossed the line of the 2013 edition of the world’s most famous rally as the winner after more than 8000 km. It was KTM’s twelfth consecutive title and KTM riders took all five top overall paces.


Despres’ long time ‘water carrier’ or factory support rider Ruben Faria of Portugal won the final stage and finished second overall, ten minutes 43 behind the leader. Chilean Chaleco Lopez (KTM) was third overall while Slovak KTM rider Ivan Jakes was fourth and KTM factory rider Joan Pedrero of Spain was fifth.

The French rider, a veteran of this amazing race said it all after securing his fifth title: “I went for it, with all the surprises a Dakar can throw at you,” he said. “Little navigational mistakes, perhaps fewer than the others, taking care of my motorcycle and being in a good team. In the end, I've got a good reason to be very happy. The day when winning the Dakar becomes easy, it won't be interesting any more. And this day is still far! It's too long, it's too tough, it's too hot. It's too cold. You've got to get up early in the morning. You've got to find your way out of the maze of dunes in Peru and Chile. You've got to tackle the stones and cactuses on the courses near Córdoba. It's just too tricky for it to be easy to win. And it's even better when you win a difficult race. I'm always focused on what I have to do. We're up against a grueling element, the desert. Then there are the stones, the Andes... and we experience them. It's as real as it gets.” Despres won Stage three and led the overall standings from Stage 10.

Faria too was thrilled to finish second. “Yesterday I lost second place and I thought that just being on the podium would be great for me; to be Cyril Despres' lieutenant. I didn’t believe it could happen that I could finish second. It's inconceivable.”

Alex Doringer KTM’s Factory Team Manager praised Despres’ riding, his tactics and strategy and said after the race that he was very proud of his entire team. “The result is amazing. The whole team did an exceptional job and we have to thank them all. We believed in our bikes and we believed in our riders. All seven of our factory riders finished and to have five KTM riders on the top of the list was a fantastic result.”

The Dakar 2013 had more than its share of dramatic moments for the KTM Factory team, including the last minute withdrawal just before the race by Despres’ long time teammate and rival Marc Coma. Coma’s injured shoulder, banged up in a crash in the Morocco Rally late last year was still giving him problems and doctors declared he was not fit enough to compete.

Despres also suffered a major setback in the marathon Stages 7-8 during which riders were unable to call upon outside mechanical help from their team. He was put back on track after being offered the engine from KTM supported rider Marek Dabrowski of the Orlen Team and by the collective effort of his fellow KTM riders who banded together to work at night and change out the engine themselves in the riders’ bivouac.

Jakub Przygonski of Poland and Riaan Van Niekerk of South Africa of KTM’s Factory B team finished eleventh and thirteenth. Kurt Caselli, KTM’s American rider drafted in to ride for injured Coma and Darryl Curtis of South Africa both recovered well from crashes and technical setbacks to put adversity behind them and finished a creditable 31st and 32nd.

Another outstanding performance came from KTM Australia’s Ben Grabham who entered this test of man and machine after a massive crash one year ago while competing in the Australian outback when he hit a kangaroo at high speed and broke his back in several places. KTM had five riders in the top ten and 10 in the top 20 finishers in the 2013 edition.

Results Stage Fourteen – final stage
La Serena to Santiago: total distance 630 km, timed special 128 km
1, Ruben Faria, Portugal KTM 1 hour 43.06
2, Joan Barreda, Spain, Husqvarna at 0.08
3, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Honda at 0.24
4, Mario Patrao, Portugal, Suzuki at 1.21
5, Olivier Pain, France, Yamaha at 2.14
Other KTM
9, Ivan Jakes, Slovakia, KTM at 3.07
12, Jakub Przygonski, Poland, KTM at 3.43
14, Cyril Despres, France, KTM at 3.58
16, Ben Grabham, Australia, KTM at 4.50
22, Riaan Van Niekerk, South Africa, KTM at 8.36
51, Kurt Caselli, USA, KTM at 16.45
56, Darryl Curtis South Africa at 18.24

Final results after 14 stages and over 8,000 km from Lima, Peru to Santiago, Chile
1, Despres KTM – wins fifth Dakar title; twelfth consecutive title for KTM
2, Faria KTM at 10.43
3, Chaleco Lopez, Chile, KTM at 18.48
4, Jakes, KTM at 23.54
5, Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM at 55.29

Other KTM

11, Jakub Przygonski, Poland, KTM at 1:33.59
13, Riaan Van Niekerk, South Africa KTM at 2:02.54
15, Ben Grabham, Australia, KTM at 2:45.14
16, Plan Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, KTM at 3:00.56
19, Henk Knuiman, Netherlands, KTM at 3:15.20
31, Caselli, KTM at 6:03.40
32, Curtis, KTM at 6:05.38

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2013 KTM Adventure 1190 and 1190 R

Here's a peek at the 2013 KTM 1190 Adventure. The bike features a 148 hp, 75 degree, V engine with 1195 cc of displacement. It's powered by a de-tuned version of the KTM 1190 RC8 R superbike engine, with 15,000 KM service intervals (according to KTM).

A few additional features:


- 230 kg with a full tank of gas (212 kg without). 
- Drive-by-wire ensures perfect application of the readily available and plentiful torque
- MTC (Motorcycle Traction Control) guarantees sporty yet completely controllable propulsion on every surface and in all situations.
- Anti-hopping clutch that opens when the engine back-torque becomes too high, it also closes when you open up the throttle. The former prevents annoying rear wheel chatter when braking sharply or decelerating; the latter reduces the hand force required for changing gear, hence allowing the clutch to be controlled with the little finger - which saves energy when riding.




And for those looking for an even more off-road worthy version. Here's a little video on the R version:





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Canadian - Patrick Beaule heading to Dakar 2013 sponsored by KTM

Patrick Beaule (who hails from Montreal, Canada) will be heading to the 2013 Dakar and he's got a lofty goal... To become the first Canadian to finish the Dakar on both two wheels AND four wheels. 

Don't count him out - he has already accomplished half of the goal having successfully completed the Dakar on four wheels as a navigator/co-pilot last year. For 2013 he's riding a KTM Rally 450.

He's got an impressive two-wheel resume to say the least so he's got a real shot at succeeding. Course- it is the Dakar and ANYTHING can happen.

You can follow him on his Facebook page HERE. NOTE - you may win an OGIO bag if you do! 
*photo courtesy (Indiegogo)

KTM has just announced that they're going to be sponsoring Patrick in fact! Full details below:

Patrick Beaulé today announces official support from KTM Canada for his Dakar 2013 effort. KTM as a motorcycle manufacturer is known for its race-ready motorcycles, and is synonymous with dominance in the Dakar Rally.

“As a racing company, KTM Canada is proud to have someone so driven like Patrick Beaule working for us and we fully support his dream to race Dakar,” says KTM Canada’s General Manager, Florian Burguet. “Patrick is quite active at the grassroots and national racing level in Canada; his energy and passion for endurance racing is second to none and his accomplishments speak for themselves. He’s an excellent role model for any racer! Considering his commitment, mental strength and experience, we are positive Patrick will earn a great result at his very first Dakar on two wheels.”

Beaulé underscores the importance of the KTM Canada deal. “KTM Canada’s sponsorhip for the 2013 Dakar really boosts our effort and prospects in the Dakar. Attracting KTM Canada reflects the hard work that our campaign has put in to develop a credible package that will bring value to all of our partners. Of course, everyone knows that I bleed Orange, and so having KTM Canada on board is also a natural fit for the whole team!”

To celebrate the announcement, KTM Canada is giving away an amazing, practical and stylish KTM branded OGIO gear bag to be drawn on October 15th from among all of Patrick’s Facebook page followers. Fans can get in on the draw simply by “liking” Patrick’s Dakar Facebook page - HERE. Anyone following the page by noon on October 15th will be entered into the draw. Fans can also follow Patrick through twitter on @PatBeaule.

Patrick Beaule is one of Canada’s most accomplished off-road motorcycle endurance racing champions. He holds an impressive list of titles: three Canadian Motorcycle Association (CMA) National Enduro Pro-class titles; one Canadian Enduro Championship (CEC) E1 Pro title; three Off-Road Ontario Provincial Enduro Pro-class titles; and, two prestigious International Six-Day Enduro (ISDE ) silver medals (Chile and New Zealand). In addition to these titles, Beaule has also won the infamous Corduroy Enduro in the Pro-class four times, was 3 times team Pro-class 12-hour endurance event winner in Quebec, and twice Pro-class 24-hour endurance ice-race team winner in Alberta. He is a finisher of the grueling DAKAR rally in 2012, and the 1st ever finishing automotive-class navigator in Canadian history




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Rent a KTM and race the 2012 ISDE

ISDE 2012 – Ready to ride Orange in Germany?

It’s time to start planning for the 2012 edition of the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE), the oldest 'off road' motorcycle event on the FIM calendar.

This hugely popular event is this year going to Central and West Saxony, where there is a rich tradition of Enduro racing. It will be the first time in 23 years that Germany has hosted the ISDE and some 500 riders are expected to attend. Once again the event, being held from September 24-29 2012, will attract not only the finest professional riders but also a wealth of amateurs anxious to pit their skills against the sport’s best. But this event goes beyond being a unique opportunity to test personal riding skills against the elements and nature; it is also six days of unparalleled camaraderie with like-minded people.

The perfect machine for the ISDE

KTM is once again a partner of this classic event that was first held in 1913 and it goes without saying that all KTM Six Days participants have the opportunity to either buy or hire the ideal, made-to-measure machine. Based on the new 2013 EXC model series, the special Six Days edition is equipped with a whole range of special features for this incomparable event.

Rental Bikes, Spare Parts and Special Race Service

Racing is in the blood and is the shared passion of all those with a relationship to the Orange cult-brand, Austrian made machines. That’s why in 2012, KTM offers again full support to riders who want to share this unique experience. KTM, together with KTM Germany is offering exclusive rental service of the KTM EXC Six Days motorcycle. All KTM riders will also be able to take advantage of the KTM spare parts service. And again this year KTM is also offering customers a race service packages to ensure participants can get down to the serious business of riding, competing and having fun in a great atmosphere.

Race Service

KTM offers an updated version of the professional Race Service for 2012 with all relevant information included in the attached Race Service and FAQ PDF File.

KTM Paddock

There will be a strong orange presence in the ISDE paddock in Germany, the natural habitat for the official KTM Service Team, KTM’s professional factory team and the team from Germany. Here KTM writes “Service” with a capital “S” to ensure all orange riders have the maximum pleasure and satisfaction out of their IDSE experience.

ISDE Online

The countdown to this great classic event will be constantly documented in the KTM Racing section of www.ktm.com - Racing - Enduro sub-section. Enthusiasts will be able to follow all the news in the run-up to the ISDE, including special information on the team presentation, behind the scenes news and views and all the specs for the latest version of the KTM Six Days motorcycle.

It’s all happening in Germany and on KTM.Com!

You will be able to follow all the ISDE action in photo-illustrated, daily updates on www.ktm.com with pictures chronicling the event available on www.ktmimages.com.

Be part of the Orange Family

KTM understands that the motorcycles and products they manufacture transcend mere retail items. Being part of the Orange Family also means sharing the spirit and the passion of events like the traditional ISDE, which is a true reflection of the KTM philosophy of always being “Ready to Race”. Be part of the action. Experience the unforgettable at the 2012 edition of the ISDE in Saxony, Germany

Please contact your KTM dealer/importer about the ISDE 2012 KTM Services. We wish you a lot of fun and great success at the ISDE 2012!

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KTM Ride Orange Moto Tour 2012 (Demo Rides in Canada)

Dates and locations are now available for KTM's RIDE ORANGE Moto Tour 2012. Sadly there's no east coast love but folks in BC, AB, ON and QC are in luck.

KTM’s RIDE ORANGE Moto Tour is back for 2012, with 10 events across 4 provinces. The first demo ride takes place on April 15 in British Columbia and the tour wraps on May 19 in Quebec. 
NEW! Riders now have option of test riding motocross AND off-road bikes!

What you can expect at every Moto Tour stop:

- A total of 12 to 15 new motocross & off-road models
- Supported with Factory Racing KTM 18-wheeler
- Professional mechanic support
- KTM and dealer staff on hand for any assistance needed
- Special guest appearances by Factory KTM racers (select events)

If you’re interested in attending a Moto Tour, please register with your nearest KTM Dealer.

MOTO TOUR SCHEDULE

Date - Location
April 15 - Agassiz (BC)
April 18 - Bear Creek (BC)
April 21 - Castrol Raceway (AB)
April 24 - Wild Rose MX Park (AB)
April 28 - Southern Alberta (TBA)
May  5 - Gopher Dunes (ON)
May 9 - RJ Motorsport Park (ON)
May 11 - Sand Del Lee (ON)
May 16 - X Town (QC)
May 19 - Deschambault (QC)

Get a preview of KTM's Ride Orange Moto Tour with this video from last year's visit to Gopher Dunes.


KTM Ride Orange Demo Tour from Greg Oldham on Vimeo.




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KTM Dakar Update - Despres takes fourth Dakar title; Eleventh win for KTM

Red Bull KTM factory rider Cyril Despres on Sunday rode into Lima in triumph to seal his fourth career Dakar title and to present KTM with its eleventh consecutive win in this, the toughest event on the annual motorsports calendar.

His KTM teammate Marc Coma finished second overall in what was one of the most epic two-way battles in the rally’s history.

KTM has now won the motorcycle division of the Dakar rally every year since 2001, with the exception of 2008 when it was canceled because of security threats. In the 2012 edition, eight of the top 10 finishers and 15 of the top 20 rode KTM machines underlining the dominance of the Austrian brand’s sports bikes.

The race was a personal triumph for French-born Despres who first won in 2005 and repeated the victory in 2007, 2010 and again in 2012. His KTM factory teammate Marc Coma, who won the rally in 2006, 2009 and 2011 finished second after one of the Dakar’s most historic and closely fought battles. Both riders set the scene for a two-way competition right from the first stage and remained minutes apart until the penultimate stage on Saturday. Coma won five stages in the 2012 edition and Despres four but it was the turn of the Frenchman to ride in triumph into Lima.

Cyril Despres: Today we won and it's simply fantastic. This is without a shadow of a doubt the toughest Dakar I've ever raced in. It was difficult physically, but even more psychologically. Challenging yourself every morning and fighting on the course takes its toll on your mind. It's not like a 42-kilometer marathon; here, you have to earn your place every morning. All victories are beautiful, but this one is special because it came down to the wire and was decided at the last minute. This was an unimaginable scenario, with the leaders separated by mere seconds. I've done 90 or 85 rallies throughout my life, and this one was the one where I had to fight the hardest. Today will leave its mark on me.”

The final stage from Pisco to Lima was largely ceremonial with a 254 km liaison section along the Pacific coastline of southern Peru and a brief 29 km timed special, a final encounter with the coastal dunes in the middle of the liaison section. Riders started in reverse order for the final stage that completed this marathon, almost 9,000 km ride from Mar del Plata in Argentina to Lima. Along the way they encountered vastly different terrain ranging from the Argentinean pampas to the high Andes, the daunting Atacama Desert of Chile and finally the southern coastal plains and rios of Peru. It was the first time that the rally had included Peru and the first time it represented a dash from the Atlantic coastline to the Pacific

The last timed special went to Pal Anders Ullevalseter of Norway (KTM) who finished ahead of Coma in second place. Despres, who said after the penultimate stage that the effort to stay ahead of Coma had cost a huge amount of physical and mental energy coasted home in tenth place.

Only minutes had separated the two KTM leaders going into the penultimate stage and the competition was fierce. Since the beginning of the rally both riders had never let up in speed and determination. But in the heat of the battle on Friday, Coma made a huge jump on the bike and when he landed he knew he had gearbox problems. He nursed the bike back to the bivouac but also made a navigational error in the process and this was enough to give his rival the lead he needed.

A new Dakar rule in 2012 penalizes riders 15 minutes for the first change of engines and 45 minutes for the second. As the factory team had decided to change out both engines in the lead riders bikes one stage into the second half of the rally this meant that when Coma’s engine was changed a second time he was given another 45 minutes penalty, effectively handing the title to his teammate.

Alex Doringer, Team Manager for KTM’s factory team said he was delighted that his top two riders had taken first and second place. “The battle between them was amazing,” he said from the finish in Lima, adding the team was also very happy that Johnny Aubert from the KTM Enduro Factory Team finished in overall fourteenth place in his rookie Dakar ride. Johnny rode a standard series model KTM 450 Rally Replica and went into the rally with a mission to learn and enjoy.

KTM’s motorsports expert Heinz Kinigadner, himself a former Dakar rider said it was a great day for the company. “This battle between Cyril Despres and Marc Coma was one of the tightest and one of the most interesting in the history of the rally. They were virtually wheel on wheel in almost every stage. They both gave everything both physically and mentally and they both deserve to go into the Dakar record books for this great effort. It is naturally unfortunate that Marc had some gearbox problems in the penultimate stage and picked up a 45-minute penalty for the engine change. Otherwise their times at the finish line would have been only minutes apart.”

Results Stage 14

1, Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, KTM 22 minutes 26
2, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM 23:34
3, Stefan Svitko, Slovakia, KTM 24:09
4, Gerard Farres Guell, Spain, KTM 24:27
5, Alessandro Botturi, Italy, KTM 24:37

Other KTMs

7, Jordi Viladoms, Spain, KTM 26:01
10, Cyril Despres, France, KTM 26:17
12, Jacek Czachor, Poland, KTM 27:34
13, Felipe Zanol, Brazil, KTM 27:36
16, Paolo Ceci, Italy, KTM 28:35
18, Henk Knuiman, Netherlands, KTM 29:02
20, Johnny Aubert, France, KTM, 29:22

Overall Results after final Stage 14  **Victory by Despres gives KTM its eleventh consecutive Dakar title

1, Cyril Despres, France, KTM, 43 hours 28 minutes and 11 seconds
*Fourth Dakar Title for Despres
2, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM at 53:20
3, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha at 1:11:17
4, Jordi Viladoms, Spain, KTM at 1:40:56
5, Stefan Svitko, Slovakia, KTM 1:47:28

Other KTM

6, Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, KTM at 2:11:56
7, Gerard Farres Guell, Spain, KTM at 2:14:22
8, Alessandro Botturi, Italy, KTM at 2:59:04
10, Felipe Zanol, Brazil, KTM at 3:25:56
12, Rubin Faria, Portugal, KTM at 4:13:10
13, Jacek Czachor, Poland, KTM at 4:39:09
14, Johnny Aubert, France, KTM at 4:39:39

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KTM - Dakar Stage 9 Race Report

Business as usual for Despres and Coma in Stage 9 Dakar 2012

It was business as usual for the two lead KTM factory riders, Cyril Despres and Marc Coma on Tuesday when riders set out for Stage 9 of the Dakar 2012 on a large arc from Antofagasta to Iquique in Chile. Despres, who had a dramatic day on Monday landing in a mud hole, went out like a man possessed, led throughout to claim the stage and reclaim the overall lead.

It was the French rider’s third stage victory in this edition. Coma has won four stages and with Stage Six scrapped, KTM has claimed seven of eight stages so far. Both riders are chasing their fourth Dakar Rally title and if either of them succeed it will represent KTM’s eleventh successive victory. The Austrian sports motorcycle specialist has shut out all the competition in every Dakar Rally since 2001 (the 2008 edition was cancelled).

Despres ended yesterday with a deficit of around 12 minutes after sacrificing the overall lead to Coma. The mud hole turned out to be a natural hazard that occurred after the final official inspection had been done by organizers and was not marked on the road book. Cyril and six other riders got stuck in the mud and race officials decided a detour was in order rather than deal with the obvious chaos. They later reinstated lost time to the riders disadvantaged and when they left on Tuesday Cyril trailed Marc by just over a minute.

It was with this in mind that he put down the hammer on his KTM 450 Rally bike and rode with a passion to lead throughout the special. His reward for such a doggedly determined ride was his third stage victory in Dakar 2012 to level with Coma’s three stages and a narrow lead in the overall standings.

Despres however went back to the bivouac knowing that the job is far from done. At the fourth Way Point Coma was 3 minutes 55 behind and at the finish, after riders had engaged in the steep descent down to Iquique, he trailed by 3 minutes 54 seconds. With third placed Helder Rodrigues of Portugal behind Despres at 59 minutes 19 seconds, the 33rd Dakar Rally continues to be a two-rider race.

Despres said he was feeling good after the stage. “I had to get back to my winning ways after a difficult day yesterday when you start to doubt. It wasn't easy to psyche myself up for it, but I'm very happy with my day's work. We came into this looking at a battle for seconds or minutes. It's very competitive. Like any sportsman, if you don't like confrontation or squeezing the last ounces of strength out of yourself, then you're not ready for a fight. But, as for me, I'm up for it.”

Meanwhile Coma is very aware that the race is still wide open and he remains cool, strong and ready to apply the necessary tactics. “We knew that this would be difficult today. It was a long special and there was plenty of navigation to deal with. We’re not coming to the crunch part of the rally. Cyril is a major rival and we do battle over every single kilometer. But I think it’s interesting, its sport.”

Joan Pedrero (Spain) and Rubin Faria (Portugal), the two support riders for the Coma and Despres finished twelfth and thirteenth respectively. Faria made a recovering after having to stop briefly just 1.7 km after the start.

The first part of the timed special was relatively fast with patches of fesh-fesh, very fine dust like flour. The second special tested the navigational skills and the stage finished with a steep descent down to the coast at Iqique, a slope that already was a feature of the 2010 Dakar.

Stage 10 takes the Dakar Caravan from Iquique to Arica right on the border of Peru. It will be the riders’ last encounter with Chile’s notorious Atacama Desert with another dose of the power soft and quite treacherous fesh-fesh dust. Arica was the most northern point in last year’s rally. But it will not be the end of the sands. This year they continue into the coastal desert of Peru into the region of the famous Nazcar Lines, the ancient geoglyphs that are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Results Stage 9

1, Cyril Despres, France, KTM 5 hours 4 minutes 33 seconds
2, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM at 3 minutes 54 seconds
3, Joan Barreda Bort, Spain, Husqvarna at 8:44
4, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha at 11:44
5, Paolo Goncalves, Portugal, Husqvarna at 15:12

Other KTM

6, Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, KTM at 15:43
7, Stefan Svitko, Slovakia, KTM at 16:19
8, Jordi Viladoms, Spain, KTM at 17:53
10, Gerard Farres Guell, Spain, KTM at 18:56
11, Felipe Zanol, Brazil, KTM at 22:25
12, Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM at 27:08
13, Rubin Faria, Portugal, KTM at 31:46
14, Alessandro Botturi, Italy, KTM at 31:46
18, Daniel Schroeder, Germany, KTM at 39:04
19, Jacek Czachor, Poland, KTM at 30:03
24, Johnny Aubert, France KTM at 43:11

Overall Results after Stage Nine

1, Cyril Despres, France, KTM, 28 hours 30 minutes 17 seconds
2, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM at 2 minutes 28
3, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha at 59:19
4, Paolo Goncalves, Portugal, Husqvarna at 1:25:57
5, Jordi Viladoms, Spain, KTM at 1:28:43

Other KTM

6, Gerard Farres Guell, Spain, KTM at 1:33:05
7, Stefan Svitko, Slovakia, KTM at 1:33:33
8, Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway at 1:49:27 (40 minutes penalty)
9, Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM 1:52:13 (15 minutes penalty)
10, Alessandro Botturi, Italy, KTM at 2:12:18
12, Rubin Faria, Portugal, KTM, 2:28:36 (40 minutes penalty)
14, Felipe Zanol, Brazil, KTM at 2:58:09 (55 minutes penalty)
15, Jacek Czachor, Poland, KTM at 3:23:29
17, Johnny Aubert, France, KTM at 3:35:56

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Dakar - Organizers adjust Stage 8 times

Dakar organizers adjust Stage 8 times; Coma still has overall lead

Dakar 2012 race officials have adjusted times for riders trapped in mud on Stage 8, one of which was KTM factory rider Cyril Despres. According to the adjusted times, KTM’s Marc Coma still wins the stage and leads the rally but he is now just one minute 26 seconds ahead of Despres in the overall standings.

The two KTM riders have so far dominated the 2012 edition of the rally but the stage saw Despres and other riders bogged down in mud that had not been marked on the road book that guides riders. Cyril Despres, overall leader at the half way mark of the rally had to sacrifice around 12 minutes in his efforts to extract himself from the hazard, while teammate Marc Coma was not as badly affected. It was Coma’s twentieth Dakar Stage victory in his career and the fourth in the 2012 edition. Both he and Despres are vying for their fourth Dakar title.

Speaking from the bivouac after the stage, Alex Doringer, Team Manager for the KTM Factory Team said that while KTM welcomed the race officials’ decision to compensate the riders and reinstate times, the company felt that Coma should have also had some time credited because he was also affected, if to a lesser degree than his teammate. “We welcome the fact that Cyril’s times have been reinstated, but we feel that if this decision was based on sporting fairness, then Marc’s time should also have been adjusted,” Doringer said.

The mud had occurred in between the time that the official inspection of the stage had taken place and the actual start of the stage and this was the reason it was not marked on the road book.

The eighth stage, the first after the one rest day at Copiapo in Chile included the longest timed special in the 2012 edition, taking riders 477 km. It was set between two liaison stretches that took them to 3,000 meters above sea level. Riders were on their bikes for a massive 722 km by the time they got to the finish at Antofagasta on the Chilean coast.

In the day’s standings KTM factory rider Rubin Faria was second to Coma and after the time adjustment, Portugal’s Helder Rodrigues moved into third place. Cyril Despres ranked ninth but he and Coma still dominate the overall standings. Rodrigues is third overall but he trails the two KTM riders by some 49 minutes.

Coma said at the end of the ride that he had been lucky to avoid the mud that reversed the fortunes of his teammate. “It was a very long special,” he said. “I was lucky not to lose too much time in the mud and then I saw I could open a gap, so I attacked really hard. This is my 20th special victory. That’s a nice figure but it’s not winning the special that count, it’s winning the race. And I know there is still a long week of racing ahead.” Coma had put himself in the lead at the day’s first Way Point and gradually built on it throughout the day

**Stage Eight results and standings amended after race officials adjust times

1, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM 5 hours 03:52
2, Rubin Faria, Portugal, KTM at 7:00 minutes
3, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha at 7:10
4, Joan Barreda Bort, Spain, Husqvarna at 8:44
5, Stefan Svitko, Slovakia, KTM at 9:09

Other KTM

6, Cyril Despres, France, KTM at 9:14
7, Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM at 10:31
8, Jordi Viladoms, Spain, KTM at 12:35
9, Johnny Aubert, France KTM at 13:50
10, Alessandro Botturi, Italy at 15:36

Adjusted Overall Results after Stage Eight

1, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM 23 hours 24 minutes 18 seconds
2, Cyril Despres, France, KTM at 1 minute 26
3, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha at 49:01
4, David Casteu, France, Yamaha at 1:09:52
5, Paolo Goncalves, Portugal, Husqvarna at 1:12:11
6, Jordi Viladoms, Spain, KTM at 1:12:27

Other KTM

7, Gerard Farres Guell, Spain, KTM at 1:15:35
8, Stefan Svitko, Slovakia, KTM at 1:18:40
9, Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM 1:26:31 (15 minutes penalty)
11, Alessandro Botturi, Italy, KTM at 1:41:58
12, Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway at 1:48:53 (40 minutes penalty)
13, Rubin Faria, Portugal, KTM, 1:59:31 (40 minutes penalty)
15, Felipe Zanol, Brazil, KTM at 2:22:10 (40 minutes penalty)
17, Johnny Aubert, France, KTM at 2:54.11

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KTM Racing News: Cancellation of Dakar Stage 6

Dakar 2012: Bad weather causes cancellation of Stage Six

Organizers have been forced to cancel Friday’s Stage Six of the Dakar 2012 because of bad weather conditions that made it unsafe for competitors to cross the Andes Cordillera at the highest point of this year’s edition.

Chilean authorities closed the Paso de San Francisco, situated at 4700 m above sea level overnight because of snow and rain.

This, together with the fact that the course has been generally hit by rain and snow mean that it is not possible to guarantee the safety of competitors and support personnel has resulted in the cancelation. Organizers instead will organize a convoy for all vehicles, which after the border crossing will follow the main road to Copiapo, Chile for the one rest day on Saturday.

The results at the end of Stage Five (see below) now represent the standings at the half way mark of the 33rd edition.

Stage Five Results (Stage Six canceled because of bad weather)

1, Cyril Despres, France, KTM 2 hours 28 minutes 33 seconds
2, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM at 1 minute 41
3, Joan Barreda Bort, Spain, Husqvarna at 
12:42
4, Stefan Svitko, Slovakia, KTM at 13:55
5, Jordi Viladoms, Spain, KTM at 14:17

Other KTM

6, Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, KTM at 14:41
7, Rubin Faria, Portugal, KTM at 14:51
8, Gerrard Farres Guel, Spain, KTM at 18:49
13, Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM at 20:45
15, Felipe Zanol, Brazil, KTM at 21:10
16, Alessandro Botturi, Italy, KTM at 25:01
18, Jacek Czachor, Poland, KTM at 27:56
22, Daryl Curtis, South Africa, KTM at 32:54
23, Johnny Aubert, France, KTM at 33:30

Overall Results after Stage Five (Stage Six canceled because of bad weather)

1, Cyril Despres, France, KTM 14 hours 19 minutes 
2, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM at 9 minutes 51 seconds
3, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha at 247:56
4, Chaleco Lopez, Chile, Aprilia, at 49:00
5, Paolo Goncalves, Portugal, Husqvarna, 54:47 (6 minutes penalty)

Other KTM

6, Jordi Viladoms, Spain, KTM at 58:17
8, Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM 59:04
9, Gerard Farres Guel, Spain, KTM at 1:03:13
10, Stefan Svitko, Slovakia, KTM at 1:07:26
12, Alessandro Botturi, Italy, KTM at 1:20:08
14, Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway at 1:34:59 (40 minutes penalty)
17, Felipe Zanol, Brazil, KTM at 1:47:38 (40 minutes penalty)
19, Rubin Faria, Portugal, KTM, 1:53:54 (40 minutes penalty)
20, Jacek Czachor, Poland, KTM, 1:55.32
21, Johnny Aubert, France, KTM, 2:09:03


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KTM Racing News Stage 5 Dakar 2012

Dakar 2012: Stage Five victory to Despres to consolidate overall lead

KTM’s two lead riders Cyril Despres and Marc Coma continued on their quest to dominate the Dakar 2012 on Thursday in a close-knit battle that saw Despres take the stage victory and consolidate his overall lead one day before the rally enters Chile.

With five stages completed, four have gone to KTM, two to Despres and two to Coma who are both bidding for their fourth Dakar title. It was also Cyril’s 28th Dakar stage victory in his career.

The fearsome Fiambalá dunes

It was ‘welcome to the white sand dunes of Fiambalá’ for the riders after the liaison stretch of 151 km that started the day. The Fiambalá dunes have a fierce reputation for ruining chances of advancement in the world’s toughest rally and demand absolute concentration on the road book to ensure no costly navigational errors.

Rivals and teammates: Coma opened the road as Stage Four winner but it was Despres who had the edge at the day’s first Way Point where he had already moved ahead by 58 seconds. Astonishingly the gap between the two KTM factory riders was identical as they passed Way Point Two and they had already begun to distance themselves from the rest of the field. Both riders, the world’s best contemporary rally raid exponents gave no ground as they attacked the stage. At the end of the 265 km timed special they were still only separated by one minute 41 seconds and Despres was almost 13 minutes ahead of the third rider to cross the finish line.

Despres and Coma consolidating lead

As the race continues to shape up as a battle between these two KTM factory riders, they have already managed to distance themselves from the rest of the field in the overall standings. Despres is now 47 minutes ahead of third placed Helder Rodrigues of Portugal. Overall, it was a good stage for the Austrian brand with seven KTM riders in the top 10 finishers.

Cyril Despres: “After the first day, you could have said that lots of other riders were going to be involved in the fight, but in the end, there aren't too many! The gaps aren't very big at the moment and we're playing with gaps of two minutes. Today was easier for me, because I set off behind Coma. Perhaps tomorrow, it will be the opposite. I've got a lead over him and it's a fairly comfortable cushion. Mind you, it can disappear quickly, so I need to keep the same state of mind and the same amount of concentration.”

Marc Coma: “It was another hard and complicated stage: the mythical Fiambala stage. The special was a bit shorter than planned. In physical terms, that's good, but for me, the more distance there is, the more difficulties there are, the more likely something may happen and the more opportunities might come my way. I made a small mistake and I'm paying for it. But I'm still here and still aiming to win. With the Atacama, it's a new race that begins. We'll see what happens.”

Thursday’s stage was also a strong one for Despres’ support rider Rubin Faria of Portugal who finished seventh while Coma’s support rider Joan Pedrero of Spain was 13th across the line today. Pedrero is now overall eighth but Faria has incurred a 40-minute penalty and is further back in the field. It was also a strong day for KTM Enduro factory rider Johnny Aubert, experiencing his first Dakar Rally. Johnny is riding a series model KTM 450 rally bike, not a factory bike and his mission is to ride, learn, gather experience and have fun.

Anything can still happen

But while Despres and Coma have a comfortable cushion at this point in the rally, both the three-times Dakar winners are acutely aware that it is not over until it is over. In past Dakar rallies both of these riders have had the soul-destroying experience of almost having victory in their grasp only to see it slip through their fingers in the final stages. So it will be with this in mind that tomorrow they will face abundant physical and mental challenges.

What's in store for Stage 6

Crossing the Andes by the El Paso de San Francisco pass will be a breath robbing experience as riders climb to an altitude of 4700 meters above sea level. With this behind them they will they will plunge down into the notorious Atacama Desert, the driest place on the planet and a virtual sea of sand. It will be a day when they will not only need superb riding skills, physical fitness and absolute mental concentration; they will also play the tactical game. The reward for surviving Stage 6 is the one rest day, the only brief respite on this tortuous 9000-km ride from the Atlantic coast at Mar Del Plata, Argentina to Lima, Peru on the Pacific coast. It is of course a rest day only in name. In reality the teams will have a full program to prepare riders and machines for the second half of the rally.

Stage Five Results

1, Cyril Despres, France, KTM 2 hours 28 minutes 33 seconds
2, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM at 1 minute 41
3, Joan Barreda Bort, Spain, Husqvarna at 12:42
4, Stefan Svitko, Slovakia, KTM at 13:55
5, Jordi Viladoms, Spain, KTM at 14:17

Other KTM

6, Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, KTM at 14:41
7, Rubin Faria, Portugal, KTM at 14:51
8, Gerrard Farres Guel, Spain, KTM at 18:49
13, Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM at 20:45
15, Felipe Zanol, Brazil, KTM at 21:10
16, Alessandro Botturi, Italy, KTM at 25:01
18, Jacek Czachor, Poland, KTM at 27:56
22, Daryl Curtis, South Africa, KTM at 32:54
23, Johnny Aubert, France, KTM at 33:30

Overall Results after Stage Five

1, Cyril Despres, France, KTM 14 hours 19 minutes
2, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM at 9 minutes 51 seconds
3, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha at 47:56
4, Chaleco Lopez, Chile, Aprilia, at 49:00
5, Paolo Goncalves, Portugal, Husqvarna, 54:47 (6 minutes penalty)

Other KTM

6, Jordi Viladoms, Spain, KTM at 58:17
8, Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM 59:04
9, Gerard Farres Guel, Spain, KTM at 1:03:13
10, Stefan Svitko, Slovakia, KTM at 1:07:26
12, Alessandro Botturi, Italy, KTM at 1:20:08
14, Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway at 1:34:59 (40 minutes penalty)
17, Felipe Zanol, Brazil, KTM at 1:47:38 (40 minutes penalty)
19, Rubin Faria, Portugal, KTM, 1:53:54 (40 minutes penalty)
20, Jacek Czachor, Poland, KTM, 1:55.32
21, Johnny Aubert, France, KTM, 2:09:03

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Dakar 2012: Second stage win for Coma; Despres overall leader

Following a navigation error yesterday, KTM factory rider Marc Coma rode with a passion in Stage Four to take his second stage victory in Dakar 2012 and claw back two minutes on overall leader and teammate Cyril Despres. Both riders are going for their fourth Dakar title.

Coma of Spain went off at sixth from San Juan but early registered his intention to be the one to beat by being fastest at the first Way Point of the day. Despres, first off in the morning to open the road after yesterday’s stage win was in third place just 15 seconds behind. Then came the day’s biggest climb when the two riders turned their KTM 450 Rally bikes and charged up the mountain that took them to their highest point so far in this, the 33rd edition of the world’s most famous rally. It was still Coma with the advantage at the end of the climb that took them up to 3200 m. Despres who later admitted he had taken particular caution to avoid any costly mistakes had slipped to sixth and was two minutes 49 behind. 

Despres then went on the chase and had moved into second by Way Point three having halved the time deficit between him and the leader.  The two KTM riders raced together for the rest of the day but it was Coma who crossed the line first to claim his second stage win in this edition. Despres finished just over two minutes later. The French rider is still ahead by 8 minutes 10 in the overall standings but Coma managed to make up a useful slice of the time he lost when he was forced to ride another 12 km following his navigational error in Stage Three. The stage is now set for a great battle now that the two KTM factory riders progressively distance themselves from the rest of the field. 

Marc Coma: “It was a very tough special, in particular at the beginning with the fast start. Then we had to focus on the navigation and tackle a lot of water in the rivers. I tried to ride at a very fast pace from the beginning, but it was difficult. I was able to overtake a few riders and make up some time on Cyril. Fiambala and many other stages still lie ahead. That is the way things are right now. And I keep on fighting every day."

Cyril Despres: “It was difficult because the rainfall in the region these last few days furrowed the tracks and exposed big rocks. It is also very physically demanding in this heat and difficult to maintain a fast pace. So I am quite happy with my performance today. At the beginning I saw Marc surge ahead and I knew he would claw some time back, but I focused on the navigation to avoid making any mistakes.” Despres said he had paid particular close attention to the road book, which had almost 400 notes for Stage Four. 

After another hard day’s liaison of 424 km and 326 km of tough riding in the timed special, Despres and Coma are separated by eight minutes in the aggregate times. Third overall is currently French rider David Helder Rodrigues of Portugal who now trails Despres by 26 minutes 48.

On their journey to Chilecito through the province of La Rioja riders encountered the classic deep canyons of the region, which are tricky to navigate. Tomorrow, in Stage Five, it will be a very different story as they battle it out between Chilecito and Fiambalá where they encounter the notorious sticky sand dunes. Riders will do well to remember Despres’ comment:  “ It’s impossible to win a Dakar on a single day but it’s very easy to lose one.”

Coma and Despres have won three of the four stages so far but there are many potential pitfalls waiting for them on the rest of the journey to Lima, Peru when the rally finishes on January 15 after almost 9,000 km. 

Other action on Wednesday saw Coma’s support rider Joan Pedrero of Spain move up the order with a good ride to finish sixth in the stage results, 11.2 minutes behind the leader. He is currently eighth overall. Rubin Faria, the support rider for Cyril Despres has picked up a 40-minute penalty and finished Wednesday in nineteenth place. Johnny Aubert, KTM’s Enduro Factory rider and Dakar rookie was 27th today. He is riding a standard series KTM 450 rally bike and is on a mission to learn as much as possible about the world’s greatest rally.  

Stage Four Results

1, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM, 4:16.43
2, Cyril Despres, France, KTM at 2.02
3, Frans Verhoeven, Netherlands, Sherco, at 8.26
4, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha, 9.01
5, Paolo Goncalves, Portugal, Husqvarna at 11.18

Other KTM

6, Joan Pedrero, Spain KTM at 11.20
8, Stefan Svitko, Slovakia, KTM at 25.15
11, Gerrard Farres Guel, Spain, KTM at 15.26
13, Felipe Zanol, Brazil, KTM at 15.50
14, Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, KTM at 16,02
15, Jordi Villadoms, Spain, KTM at 17.36
17, Alessandro Botturi, Italy, KTM at 22.11
19, Rubin Faria, Portugal, KTM at 26.15
37, Johnny Aubert, France, KTM at 50.19

Overall Results after Stage Four
1, Cyril Despres, France, KTM 11 hours 50.27
2, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM at 8 minutes 10 seconds 
3, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha at 26.48
4, Chaleco Lopez, Chile, Aprilia, 29.50
5, David Casteu, France, Yamaha at 30.37

Other KTM
8, Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM 38.19
9, Jordi Villadoms, Spain, KTM at 44.00
10, Gerard Farres Guel, Spain, KTM at 44.24
12, Stefan Svitko, Slovakia, KTM at 53.31
14, Alessandro Botturi, Italy, KTM at 55.07
19, Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway at 1:20.18 (40 minutes penalty)
20, Felipe Zanol, Brazil, KTM at 1:27.28 (40 minutes penalty)
27, Johnny Aubert, France, KTM, 1:35.33
28, Rubin Faria, Portugal, KTM at 1:39.03 (40 minutes penalty)

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Dakar 2012: Stage Two a good day at the office for KTM’s Coma and Despres

KTM’s two triple Dakar Rally winners Marc Coma and Cyril Despres got down to serious business in Stage Two of the 33rd edition of the world’s most challenging rally with Coma notching his first stage victory for 2012 ahead of factory teammate Despres to take the lead in the overall standings.

It was a day that tested both concentration and endurance, starting with a long and fast liaison over hard terrain as riders turned their machines towards the Sierra Nevadas. It then plunged them into the notoriously tricky dunes at El Nihuil and their challenging soft grey volcanic sand at the end of the day to complete the grueling 295 km of timed special. At the end of the day, KTM’s two top riders were separated by just one minute 18 seconds. Coma’s hard ride to take the stage also vaulted him ahead of Stage One winner Chaleco Lopez of Chile and he now has a 2 minute 30 advantage in the overall standings going into Stage Three.

Coma manages to overtake Lopez

Coma said the first part of the timed special had been very fast as he rode together with Lopez, a prelude to the difficult ride in the soft sand. Coma: “It was a lot more technical and with some navigation to do as well. I took the lead and kept riding at a good pace. I'm happy because I didn't get lost. So, it's been a good day for me!”

Cyril Despres makes his mark in Stage Two

Despres finished thirteenth in the short 57 km timed special on the opening day, which he used as a warm up for what will be a testing 15-day journey to Lima. But on Stage Two he turned up the heat and advanced to the front of the field. Finishing second to Coma on Day Two was a confidence builder, Despres said, even if he had to eat a bit of dust while overtaking other riders in the opening part of the ride. He managed the difficult soft sand at the end of the special, which he said had not been easy but, like Coma, said it had been “a good day”. The Dakar 2012 is expected to be another face-off between these two riders who have each three Dakar titles to their names and have won on alternate years for the past six editions to create one of the great rivalries in today’s motorsports.

Solid day for the KTM “Water Carriers”

KTM’s two other factory riders, Joan Pedrero of Spain whose task it is to be the support rider for Marc Coma and Rubin Faria of Portugal who performs the same role for Cyril Despres finished the second stage in tenth and 15th place respectively and are ninth and thirteenth in the overall standings. Pedrero is 11:45 behind Coma in the overall standings and Faria trails the leader by 14:40. Also well placed are KTM riders Jakub Przgonski of Poland and evergreen Pal Anders Ullevalseter of Norway who occupy fourth and eighth place in the overalls.

KTM’s newcomers

KTM’s Dakar rookies, Johnny Aubert of the KTM Enduro Factory Team is in 20th overall after Stage two and Chris Birch of New Zealand who rides in extreme Enduro events for KTM is 31st.

Tomorrow demands a head for heights

Stage Three takes riders from San Rafael to San Juan and the ascent into the high altitude Andes, as they now ride due north parallel to the great mountain range. Concentration will be an issue with another testing day’s ride as they climb higher into the mountain region. Organizers have promised that this year’s route will be one of surprise challenges where difficult parts will come at unexpected times and endurance will be demanded throughout the rally

Stage Two Results

1, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM, 3:07.21
2, Cyril Despres, France, KTM at 1:18
3, Joan Barreda Bort, Spain, Husqvarna at 2:33
4, Chaleco Lopez, Chile, Aprilia at 2:44
5, Jakub Przgonski, Poland, KTM at 4:17

Other KTM

7, Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, KTM at 9:11
10, Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM at 9:35
11. Jordi Villadoms, Spain, KTM, 9:59
14, Gerrard Farres Guel, Spain, KTM at 12:35
15, Rubin Faria, Portugal, KTM at 13:36
16, Felipe Zanol, Brazil, KTM at 14:21
17. Jacek Czachor, Poland, KTM at 14:33
18, Alessandro Botturi, Italy, KTM at 15:32
20, Stefan Svitko, Slovakia, KTM at 16:30
22, Johnny Aubert, France, KTM at 17:56
30, Chris Birch, New Zealand, KTM at 24:24

Overall Results after Stage Two

1, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM, 3 hours 40 minutes 12 seconds
2, Chaleco Lopez, Chile, Aprilia at 2:30
3, Cyril Despres, France, KTM at 2:52
4, Jakub Przgonski, Poland, KTM at 4:32
5, Joan Barreda Bort, Spain, Husqvarna at 8:16

Other KTM

8, Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, KTM, at 10:35
9, Joan Pedrero Spain, KTM at 11:45
10, Jordi Villadoms, Spain, KTM at 12:10
13, Rubin Faria, Portugal, KTM at 14:14
14, Gerrard Farres Guel, Spain, KTM at 15:33
15, Felipe Zanol, Brazil, KTM at 17:22
16, Alessandro Botturi, Italy, KTM at 18:21
18, Stefan Svetko, Slovakia, KTM at 19:28
20, Johnny Aubert, France, KTM 20:11
31, Chris Birch, New Zealand, KTM 30:01

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Dakar Stage One - KTM Results

New Year’s Day 2012 and KTM’s Dakar riders opened their bid for the eleventh consecutive Dakar Rally victory for the Austrian sports motorcycle specialists.

Starting their engines under picture book summer skies on Argentina’s eastern coast riders absolved a 57 km special just after the start followed by another 763 km hard ride liaison to Santa Rosa de la Pampa.

While the timed stage, supported by thousands of Argentinean fans was more festive than challenging, riders were very much aware that this was a mere crumb in the torturous journey that takes them for the first time from the coast of the Atlantic to the coast of the Pacific to finish in the Peruvian capital Lima after nearly 9000 km.

Dakar title-holder and KTM factory rider Marc Coma was in the best of form, finishing the special in second place just 14 seconds behind Chaleco Lopez of Chile. Cyril Despres, mainstay of the KTM Factory Team and like Coma, a three-times Dakar winner, took it easy in the warm-up and was 1:48 behind the leader in 13th place ahead of the long liaison into the interior of the country.

Coma and Despres in good spirits

Clearly in a confident spirit, Coma said after the brief dash of the timed special: “The first special was breathtaking: next to the seaside and with beautiful little dunes. It really was a fantastic warm-up. But we still have a long day ahead of us, with a lengthy liaison.” Despres was also happy to be back on the bike and communing with his road book. “I took this special quite cautiously because there were a lot of potholes, fesh-fesh, dust... and spectators, so I kept it cool at the beginning!”

The ‘Water Carriers’

The so-called ‘water carriers’, the riders whose job it is to support the two key factory riders also had a solid start. KTM’s Rubin Faria of Portugal, the support rider for Cyril Despres had a good opening session finishing 1:18 behind the leader in eighth place while Joan Pedrero, Marc Coma’s support rider was 2:24 behind in 18th place.

The KTM newcomers

KTM Enduro factory rider Johnny Aubert of France is making his first Dakar appearance riding the KTM 450 Rally bike and supported by the KTM Customer Service. With a mission to ‘learn and enjoy the Dakar experience’, Johnny finished 20th just 2:29 behind the leader. Felipe Zanol of Brazil, who finished a close second to Cyril Despres in this year’s Dos Sertoes Rally in Brazil was 26th and trails the leader by 3:15 minutes. New Zealander Chris Birch, who races in Extreme events for KTM, such as the Red Bull Romaniacs and the notorious Red Bull Hare Scramble at Erzberg, Austria is also tackling his first Dakar and was 5:51 behind the leader in 39th place. Moh Balooshi, KTM’s UAE rider and the first Arab to contest the bike category, ended the day trailing by 16 minutes 20 seconds and must now settle down to some steady riding to make up the deficit.

Serious racing begins tomorrow

With less than three minutes separating the first 20 riders it is clear that they get down to serious business in Stage Two. They leave Santa Rosa to tackle 300 km of timed special that starts on firm terrain and ends in dangerously tricky soft sand. As they get closer to their destination at San Rafael they will encounter the grey volcanic sand that slows down their bikes and requires absolute concentration and physical effort from the riders.

Stage One Results: Mar Del Plata to Santa Rosa de la Pampa: 57 km Special; 763 Liaison

1, Chaleco Lopez, Chile, Aprilia, 32 minutes 37 seconds
2, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM at 14 seconds
3, Javier Pizzolito, Argentina, Honda, at 27 seconds
4, Quinn Cody, USA, Honda, at 30 seconds
5, Jakub Przygonski, Poland, KTM, at 49 seconds

Other KTM

8, Rubin Faria, Portugal, KTM, at 1:18
11, Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, KTM, 1:41
13, Cyril Despres, France, KTM 1:48
18, Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM 2:24
19, Jordi Villadoms, Spain, KTM 2:25
20, Johnny Aubert, France, KTM 2:29
21, Alessandro Botturi, Italy, KTM 3:03
26, Felipe Zanol, Brazil, KTM 3:15
39, Chris Birch, New Zealand, KTM 5:51
130, Moh Balooshi, UAE, KTM 16:20

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Strong KTM lineup for 2012 Dakar

KTM is getting prepared to attempt domination of yet another Dakar in 2012 and they've got the team and the bikes to do it.

When the KTM Factory rally team went off to Fontjouncouse in the south of France recently it was all about carrying out final tests on the KTM 450 rally bike ahead of the challenge of Dakar 2012, to enjoy the camaraderie of the Orange Rally Family and to have some fun. Now the countdown is in full swing for the world’s most important rally and the KTM factory riders are all “Ready to Race”.

The official KTM Factory Rally Team, under the leadership of manager Alex Doringer and technical manager Stefan Huber was announced last week at EICMA, the world’s biggest motorcycle fair. Cyril Despres renewed his contract with KTM at EICMA and Marc Coma renewed his commitment to the Austrian manufacturer in September, once again securing the world’s two leading rally riders for the company’s attempt at its eleventh consecutive Dakar victory. Coma of Spain and French-born Despres have each won the Dakar Rally three times and together represent one of the most exciting rivalries in modern motorsports. In 2011 their two support riders or ‘water carriers’ will continue to be Juan Pedrero of Spain for Coma and Ruben Faria of Portugal for Despres.  While all four riders belong to the KTM Factory Rally Team, they will ride in the respective liveries of their individual sponsors: Coma and Pedrero for MRW KTM and Despres and Faria for Red Bull KTM.


All four will compete on the latest KTM 450 Rally bike, which has undergone overall updates and improvements to the 2011 model on which Coma and Despres successfully absolved the bike’s maiden Dakar ride, finishing 1-2 after 17 days grueling competition.

Also at the final tests in the south of France was KTM Enduro Factory Team rider Johnny Aubert, who is to also get his first taste of the thrill of the Dakar in 2012. Johnny, who will continue to contest the E2 World Championships in 2012, will be riding a standard KTM Rally bike and will be taken care of by the KTM Customer Service, which supports the many KTM privateers who contest the rally. Around 50% of competitors put their trust in KTM for this, the toughest of all rallies.

Alex Doringer: “What we want to do is to give Johnny a taste of what its like in the Dakar. His object is not be to get a top result on his first time out, but to finish the rally and to learn as much as possible in the process.”

The KTM Factory Team’s vast amount of equipment for the Dakar Rally is scheduled to leave for Argentina from the French port of Le Havre on Monday November 21.

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Despres renews contract for another two years

All around amazing rider and Dakar ace, Cyril Despres has renewed his contract with KTM for another two years.

The EICMA and KTM team presentation were an occasion for French-born rider Cyril Despres to renew his contract with KTM, sealing the deal on the EICMA stage together with Pit Beirer, head of KTM Motorsports.

Cyril scored his first outright victory in the Dakar in January 2005 on a factory KTM, a day, he says “…that will remain engraved in my memory forever”. He took his second Dakar victory in 2007 and won again in 2010. He also has an impressive history in other world class rallies associated with the World Rally Championship and won the notorious Red Bull Hare Scramble at the Erzberg Rodeo in 2002 and 2003. Marc Coma also renewed his contract with KTM in the late summer and Despres’s signature again secures the world’s two best riders for KTM.

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Coma and Despres: KTM’s dynamic duo take 1-2 in Sardegna Rally

Dakar Veterans Take on the Sardegna Rally
Spaniard Marc Coma and Frenchman Cyril Despres, both double winners of the mighty Dakar Rally, continued their domination of rally sport this week finishing the 5-day Sardegna Rally in 1-2 and far ahead of the opposition.

While Coma registered another triumph on his Dakar-winning KTM 450 Rally bike, Despres tackled the Enduro-style rally with a specially prepared KTM 530 EXC machine. And just like the 2011 Dakar, the two riders finished the five-day event just a few minutes apart. Coma emerged as the dominant force taking victory four minutes 16 seconds ahead of his eternal French rival. The domination of the two KTM riders was underlined by the fact that the third placed Helder Rodriguez of Portugal finished almost 24 minutes behind the winner.

Other KTM riders to excel were Jacub Przygonski of Poland who finished in sixth place and Ruben Faria of Portugal, who was Despres’ water carrier in the 2011 Dakar who finished eighth. Faria also took line honors in the final special stage. Just 29 riders from 60 starters completed the rally,

The 2011 Sardegna Rally in brief

Day One: Porto Cervo to Porto Conte, 330 km including two specials of 76 km and 65 km respectively featuring a lot of forest navigation. Coma opened the track over 115 km of liaison before attacking the timed sections. The Spaniard won both specials while Despres, who started at 15 in the Open Class, finished just 2 minutes 25 behind him at the end of the day. Faria finished fifth.

Day Two: Porte Conte to Sa Itria on the north coast of Sardinia including two specials of 76 and 65 km with constant changes of direction demanding maximum concentration. Coma won the first special to retain the overall lead: Despres took the second special to trail by just 1’49.84. Coma said it had been hard to open the rally on two consecutive days in a rally that was “more like a big Enduro than rally-raid”.

Day Three: Sa Itria to Arbatax, 260 km including a special of 160 km. Today it was up to Cyril, as the winner of the second special to open the track and he managed to cut Marc Coma’s overall lead to 1’49.84 saying: “I was feeling good on the bike, the track was nice and I started to see Marc (Coma’s) dust ahead of me. So I attacked a bit more and managed to pull back some useful time.” The track took riders along 8 km of high mountain road with a huge sheer drop off to the left. The second part of the marathon stage meant that competitors could not change tires before the 100 km mark.

Day Four: Arbatx and Oresei (390 km), with two special stages of 45 km and 60 kms.

In this special Coma was able to extend his lead to 5’03’02 after overtaking his KTM rival. Despres: “I maybe lacked a little bit of aggression over some rocky ground (no dust) and Marc was able to get past me. That meant 40 km of eating his dust until right at end of the special where I had a momentary loss of concentration and lost a little more time with the navigation.”

Day Five: Victory in the first special for Cyril Despres and in the second to teammate Ruben Faria but Cyril’s strong performance was not enough to completely close the gap on his eternal rival. While admitting he always starts to win KTM’s French rider said: Once again, it was very close between Marc and me with difference amounting to less than a minute a day. Plus it is difficult to be disappointed when you race such excellent tracks in such a beautiful place. “

Overall Results
1, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM 450 Rally
2, Cyril Despres, France, KTM 530 EXC at 4 minutes 15.81
3, Helder Rodriguez, Portugal, Yamaha, at 23:54.38
4, Stephanie Peterhansel, France, Yamaha
5, Paolo Ceci, Italy, BetaOther KTM
6, Jacub Przygonski, Poland, KTM
8, Ruben Faria, Portugal, KTM

Special Stage Results for KTM’s leading riders
SS1: 1, Coma; 2, Despres
SS2: 1, Coma; 6, Despres
SS3: 1, Coma; 2, Despres
SS4: 1, Despres; 2, Coma
SS5: 1, Coma; 2, Despres
SS6: 1, Coma; 2, Despres
SS7: 1, Coma; 4, Despres
SS8: 1, Despres; 8, Coma
SS9: 3, Despres; 6, Coma


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Marc Coma takes third Stage victory in Stage 8

Marc Coma takes third Stage victory in Stage 8; Despres a close 2nd
KTM factory rider Marc Coma of Spain on Monday succeeded in taking his third stage victory in the 33rd edition of the Dakar Rally and the 14th of his career. The day's ride, a punishing 508 km special was again a cat and mouse game between the Spanish rider and fellow KTM factory rider Cyril Despres with the two arriving at the finish separated by just 1 minute 55 seconds
Coma has now accrued a 9 minute 19 advantage on Despres, the current title holder, as the two best exponents of rally sport battle it out for personal glory and what will be - if either ride in Buenos Aires in triumph on January 16 after more than 9000 km of hard riding - the tenth consecutive Dakar title for KTM, the Austrian sports motorcycle specialist. Coma and Despres have now won five of the eight stages between them and continue to be only minutes apart as the rally moves into its second half. The difference between them amounts to roughly the equivalent of the 10 minute penalty Despres incurred in the early stages for failing to pass a mandatory flag during one dawn start. All evidence points to a battle between these great riders right through to the finish.

A hard stage, Coma says
Marc Coma said it had been a hard stage that turned out fine at the end of the day. He rode together with Despres and "Chaleco" Lopez. "We took turns to open the way and at a very fast pace. It was a good stage after a complicated one yesterday. But in the end, everything turned out fine. I'm glad, because it was a 500-km special. That's a hell of a lot". 

Ongoing tough battle between Coma and Despres
 Despres did manage to briefly break away after the first 40 km on Monday but Coma quickly came back to hit the front and remained there for the rest of the day. While Coma and Despres incrementally edge their way in front of the rest of the pack and are looking more likely to be the ones who will be in front in Buenos Aires, their biggest rival remains Francisco (Chaleco) Lopes, the Chilean rider who is very much at home in the Atacama Desert. He now trails Coma by 22.48 minutes overall while fourth overall after Stage Eight is Portugal's Helder Rodrigues who is now almost 42 minutes behind Coma. Despres said Chaleco led the way on all the quick parts while he did the dunes. "The problem with navigation is the same as in cycling," he said. "In cycling some riders stick to your back wheel like leeches and it's the same in rally raids - but that's just part of the game". 

Best finish this edition for Norway's Ullevalseter
KTM rider Pal Anders Ullevalseter of Norway, who was second behind Despres in the 2010 edition of the rally, had his best finish in this edition, finishing fifth in Stage Eight. He was followed home today by Despres' team co-rider, Ruben Faria who finished sixth and is currently fifth overall. Juan Pedrero, Coma's Spanish co-rider was eighth today and is seventh overall. After Stage eight five of the top seven riders are on KTMs and 10 of the top 14 are riding the Austrian brand.

Second last day in the sands of the Atacama
Organizers presented the riders with another tough in the sands of the Chilean coastal desert in what is the penultimate day in Chile before the bikes cross back across the Andes and head for the Argentinean capital. They had to tackle a complicated alternating mix of sand dunes, off-road, rios and even more dunes then finished with a challenging offroad section coming into Copiapo. The stage also saw the exit of Paolo Goncalves of Portugal who crashed and suffered a broken collarbone in the morning to take one of the top riders out of contention.

Tricky loop tomorrow and a mass start
Tomorrow riders face a tricky loop through the desert from Copiapo to Copiapo with a 35 km link and 235 km of timed special that organizers promise can trick even the most experience of riders. There is also a group start with the front runners going off in rows of 10 riders and the later rows of 20 riders so there will be no traditional, dust free advantage for the front rider.

Stage Eight Results
1, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM 6:05:02
2, Cyril Despres, Andorra, KTM, at 1:55
3, Francisco (Chaleco) Lopez, Chile, Aprilia, 4:21
4, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha, at 8:38
5, Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, KTM, 25:03
6, Ruben Faria, Portugal, KTM, 29:06
8, Juan Pedrero, Spain, KTM, 42:28

Standings after Stage Eight
1, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM
2, Cyril Despres, Andorra, KTM, at 9:19
3, Francisco (Chaleco) Lopez, Chile, Aprilia, 22:48
4, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha, at 41:42
5, Ruben Faria, Portugal, KTM at 1:09:59
6, Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, KTM at 02:02:26
7, Juan Pedrero, Spain, KTM at 02:03:01

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Dakar News from KTM - Stage 4


Second Stage win for Marc Coma as two-way KTM battle ensues Marc Coma of Spain took line honors in Stage Four of the Dakar Rally on Thursday to even up the reckoning with arch rival and fellow KTM factory rider, French-born Cyril Despres. Coma also takes control of the overall standings by a mere two seconds in what is shaping up to be a battle royal between the two giants of the sport. Marc Coma of Spain took line honors in Stage Four of the Dakar Rally on Thursday to even up the reckoning with arch rival and fellow KTM factory rider, French-born Cyril Despres. Coma also takes control of the overall standings by a mere two seconds in what is shaping up to be a battle royal between the two giants of the sport.

Important day, Coma says Coma said it had been "a very important day" for him, even if a relatively short special. "It was difficult to open the way. I'm happy and I felt great. I hope it stays like that right until the end. The general standings don't matter for the moment. The most important thing will be the last day. It's essential to have a good pace and avoid making mistakes. Now we'll have to deal with two very difficult stages".

Coma finished 16 seconds in front in Stage 4
Coma registered the best provisional time of the day by just 16 seconds over Despres, who had stuck closely to his rival throughout the day's special. Despres was never more than 32 seconds behind and constantly shaved a second here and there as the day progressed as the stage took the riders from San Salvador de Jujuy in Argentina over the Andes and down into Calama on the Chilean side of the border. Riders absolved 554 km on the road and a special of 207 km and were rewarded at the end of the day with their first look at the famed Atacama Desert, the driest region on the planet.

Tough competition between KTM's two leading riders
 The rivalry between the two KTM factory riders is legendary and this Dakar is no exception. Despres won the first two stages and Coma the second two but in reality there is nothing between them as they tackle the tricky desert dunes of Chile. The KTM riders were closely shadowed on Wednesday by Francisco (Chaleco) Lopez who would have wanted to enter his home country in the lead, had riding at the top of the field not been so fierce.  He was two minutes behind but now has a deficit of more than 20 minutes in the general standings as the two leaders begin to put serious distance between themselves and the rest of the field. If either wins the event this year it will be the 10th victory for KTM, the Austrian sports motorcycle brand. Despres already owns three Dakar trophies; Coma has two to his credit and neither will concede an inch until after they get back to Buenos Aires on January 16.

Different mind set, Despres says
"For this type of terrain that's so different you need to change the way your brain's wired. There's no more hard ground, just desert, off-track riding and surfaces that break up. It was a good start to the desert stages. Today, Marc Coma rode a great stage. It's a superb battle with Marc. Today again we opened up a little more of a gap on the others. This evening, I'm in second, 2 seconds behind. For a number 2, that's a neat trick, isn't it?"
 
Mixed fortunes for co-riders
It was a mixed day for the co-riders of the two leaders. Juan Pedrero of Spain, Coma's partner in the 33rd edition had his best stage so far to finish sixth, just over seven minutes behind the leaders and now moves up to sixth in the overalls. Ruben Faria, Cyril's co-rider was not so lucky and experienced difficulties between waypoint two and four and dropped from third to 26th at the end of the day, Ruben crossed the line in 22nd place and dropped down the order in the generals to seventh place. The two KTM teams can be satisfied that all of their four factory riders are in the top seven after getting into the tougher stages, while Coma and Despres are now pulling ahead of the rest of the field.

Dakar goes to Chile
Today was the day that the Dakar "caravan" crossed the Andes at an altitude of 4800 m via the Paso de Jama pass so competitors had to content with the thin air as well as tough riding conditions, even if the special was only half the distance of yesterday's Stage Three.  Organizers had made provision for possible negative affects of the altitude on the competitors and some 30 vehicles were positioned along the course to assist anyone with altitude-related difficulties. Stage Four was also the first stage where bikes, cars and trucks in the rally all followed the same route.

High altitude crossing
Having safely managed the stage, the altitude, the crossover into Chilean territory, the teams now have to muster their physical and mental strength to apply themselves to attacking the soft and shifting sands of the Chilean desert, the mighty Atacama. Riders still have two very testing days on the bikes before the one and only rest day on Saturday in this marathon event. Stage Five, another very challenging ride allows them a mere 36 km on the road and 423 grueling kilometers of mixed terrain, including rocky track and dunes. The stage finishes at Iquique on the Pacific coast when they make a heart-stopping descent at an average gradient of 32%. On Friday they continue north through the sand and dunes to a point near the border with Peru, which is also new territory for the rally this year.

Stage 4 Results
1, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM, 2:04:00
2, Cyril Despres, Andorra, at 00:16
3, Francisco Chaleco Lopez, Chile, Aprilia, at 2:05
4, Olivier Pain, France, Yamaha, at 6:20
5, Helder Rodriguez, Portugal, Yamaha, at 6:55
6. Juan Pedrero, Spain, KTM at 7:15
22. Ruben Faria, Portugal, KTM at 17:43

General Standings after Stage 4
1, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM 11:43:12
2, Cyril Despres, Andorra, at 00:02
3, Francisco (Chaleco) Lopez, Chile, Aprilia, at 20:12
4. Paolo Goncalves, Portugal, BMW, 25:40
5, Helder Rodriguez, Portugal, Yamaha, at 26:02
6. Juan Pedrero, Spain, KTM at 26:23
7, Ruben Faria, Portugal, KTM at 27:07


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KTM 125 YouTube Video teaser

KTM is showing off a video on YouTube in advance of the European launch of their 125 Naked bike.  It's the first of a new range of 125 to 350 cc entry level street bikes planned by KTM. They've also launched a dedicated Facebook page.

Looks great in the video but I'm holding out for the 350. I'd love to see a 350 from KTM hit Canadian streets!

The bikes engine is said to have been 100% developed in Mattighofen. It pumps out 15 hp which is not likely powerful enough for highway speeds - or at least sustained highway speeds. A KTM sporting a 350 CC engine would seem like a good fit for the Canadian market.

Become a fan and see more at www.facebook.com/ktm125


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Two of my favorite things - Dakar + motorcycles

Two of what are perhaps my favorite things - Dakar and motorcycle  - combined in a way that has never been done before to produce something pretty spectacular! Those crazy folks at Red Bull have been at it again.

Here's what you get when you combine Russian FMX rider Alexey Kolesnikov and Dakar 2010 winner, pilot of KAMAZ-master team Vladimir Chagin, 500 tons of dirt and some really big ramps.

You've got to see this one for yourself - the embed option doesn't seem to work for me so here's the LINK.

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Don Hatton competes in the 2010 Sardinia Rally

Fabulous food, lovely people, warm Mediterranean weather and gorgeous scenery: this is Rally Raid racing in Sardinia.

The off set to this are long days in the saddle over tough terrain. There is a little bit of everything for the competitive rider: rocks, sand, lots of mountains to climb and descend, and water crossings up to 4 feet deep!

The Sardegna Rally Race is the third round of the FIM Rally Raid World Championship and this is what Duncan’s Don Hatton of Rally Raid Canada is participating in from May 27 till June 1.

Don is riding with world champion Cyril Despres’s, Team KTM along with six other riders from around the globe. It is a chance to ride with and learn from the three time Dakar champion Despres. “I really learned a lot yesterday” Don notes. “To be honest I always thought navigation was my strong point but yesterday brought it all together”

The first stage of the rally from San Teodoro to Arbrorea will be 406 kilometers long with 187 kilometers of it being the timed special. Due to the remoteness of the stage all the riders have to carry extra fuel on their KTM motorcycles.

The event is being organized by the Italian Motorcycle Federation and you can follow along on their web site at http://www.bikevillage.it/

For more information and photos check out www.rallyraidcanada.com

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Don Hatton to race for Patsy Quick and Cyril Dupres!


Don Hatton, one of Canada’s premier motorcycle competitors has confirmed he has entered the next two FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship events. 

Don will be competing in Tunisia in the Rallye International de Tunisie May 1 to May 7. He will be riding for Team Desert Rose, the same team that supported Don in the 2010 Dakar Race in Argentina, and owned by famous British motorcycle racer and the first British female Dakar finisher Patsy Quick. He will be riding his KTM 690 Rally bike, the same bike he rode in the Dakar race. 

Don is also entered in the Sardegna Rally Race in Italy May 27 to June 1, 2010. In this rally he will be riding for the race team owned by World Champion Cyril Dupres aboard one of Cyril’s race prepared KTM 450 bikes. “I am really excited to be racing with Cyril.” Don says.

“Organizers are claiming that there is about 65% sand riding” Don comments on the Tunisia rally. “It should be tough but I am looking forward to getting back racing aboard the KTM”.


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Marc Coma takes fourth victory in Desert Challenge

For those Dakar fans wondering what KTM factory rider Marc Coma does when he's not racing in the Dakar.... Well, he's dominating races in other places all over the world! That's what.

He just took his fourth victory in the competition for Rally World Champion when he won the Desert Challenge in Abu Dhabi.

Full details below:



Coma dominated the open class, 2-wheel category on his KTM 690 rally bike throughout the five stage event on the shifting sands. But he was closely shadowed especially in the final two days and had to fight hard to convert his 10-minute lead into overall victory in the open class.

Britain's James West, also a KTM rider, rode to a valiant second overall after a fast and furious final stage. David Casteu (Sherco) was third overall. Sean Gaugain of South Africa (Honda) had looked set for a minor place but crashed and broke his leg in the final stage.

After securing a tactical starting position after the opening Super Special Coma edged ahead on day one and took the stage victory by five minutes. Riders had to cope with hot and humid weather on day two which saw Coma finish the stage in fifth but with still enough advantage to maintain his overall lead albeit trimmed to just 3 minutes.

By the end of Stage 3, Coma had extended his overall lead to 12 minutes as riders battled their way through sand storms and high winds. Coma went on to conquer the tough weather conditions and the dunes in the last two stages to claim the victory and top the podium for the fourth time.

Coma and fellow KTM factory rider Cyril Despres are the dominant international riders in international rally and are both multiple winners of this event. But Despres decided not to compete this year after having already won the event five times. Coma has also won here in Abu Dhabi in 2009, 2007 and 2006.

Riders onboard the Austrian sports motorcycle manufacturer's bike have dominated the Desert Challenge going back to Austrian Heinz Kinigadner's victory in 1998 and have won every year except in 2000.

This year the competition covered more than 2,000 km through spectacular desert terrain to once again underline that this really is the Desert Challenge.

Overall Results
1. Marc Coma, Spain, KTM
2. James West, Britain, KTM
3. David Casteu, France, Sherco

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KTM Freeride Prototypes To Be Unveiled In Tokyo

KTM has announced that they'll be unveiling two zero emissions electric motorcycles at the 2010 Tokyo Motorcycle Show. There's going to be an off-road version and a super-moto version.

From KTM:


The KTM FREERIDE at the Tokia Motorcycle Show 2010. Starting on March 26th, exclusively on www.ktm.com!

Under the title “Freeride” KTM will present two near-series prototypes at the 2010 Tokyo Motorcycle Show, which in one year’s time will transfer the “Ready to Race” sporting spirit of the brand into a series model fit for the 21st century.

With its first zero emission motorcycle, the world’s leading producer of offroad motorcycles has developed an electrically driven sports motorcycle that proves that riding fun and environmental sustainability need not be in conflict with one another.

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Atlantic Motorcycle and ATV Show - A few pictures

We went to the big Atlantic Motorcycle and ATV show this past weekend (Feb 12-14) and although there seemed to be a few exhibitors that didn't come around this year; I'd say the show was still a success.

Many of the major manufacturers were there and they had their 2010's on hand. We took lots of pictures and here's just a small sample of them for you. We'll be updating the site soon with a more thorough listing of pictures.



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Canadian - Don Hatton - starts 5th in the 2009 Morocco Rally

Don Hatton will be starting fifth in the Enduro class out of approximately fifty plus motorcycle competitors on the second day of competition in the 2009 NPO Shamrock Rally de Maroc (Shamrock Rally of Morocco).

“Rocks, rocks and more rocks. And we are not talking pebbles here” Don says. Due to the rough terrain Don has re-injured his hand and twisted his knee. He has been cleared by officials to continue racing tomorrow.

Don is being challenged by both the terrain, and some teething problems on his KTM 690 Enduro race bike. His bike has had some recurring electrical gremlins associated with the installation of the navigation equipment and with the suspension set up during day one. But the team mechanics are working hard to correct the problems.

As Don is competing in the Enduro class his bike must remain as close to factory stock condition as allowed under the NPO rules. That poses some limitations on components such as the suspension and engine as compared to a Don’s race prepared Dakar KTM

“This is the right bike for this race” Don says of the KTM."

UPDATE - According to the Rally Raid report on DestinationDakar Don's not so happy with his basically stock KTM 690 for this race now that he's had some time on it. He feels that it's not the right bike for the race. They made some suspension adjustments though and he's hoping it'll be better for the upcoming stages.

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KTM Brennraum newsletter edition #3 hits the Internet

Now available in four languages (German, English or now Italian and French) the third edition of KTM's online Brennraum magazine has hit the Internet.

This edition is packed with interesting information that will surely lure you over to the orange way of thinking.

Some of the many interesting topics covered include;

- Technology & Maintenance | Enduro
- KTM Company History
- Travel | India,
- 990 SMR road test
- Racing
- X-Bow
- And MORE!

To see issue #3 of KTM's Brennraum click HERE.

For more KTM news click HERE.

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Transport Canada - latest motorcycle recalls

Chironex - Recalls (Chironex toll-free number 877-420-0162)
Recall Date: 2009/05/29

Model(s): LEGEND 300
Years affected: 2008
Transport Canada Recall # 2009159
Units Affected: 88

Recall Details:
On certain scooters, the front shocks may fail. This could cause a loss of vehicle control and a crash resulting in property damage, personal injury or death. Correction: Dealers will replace the front shocks with updated versions.

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Model(s): LEGEND 150, LEGEND 300
Years affected: 2008
Transport Canada Recall # 2009158
Units Affected: 114

Recall Details:
On certain scooters, the upper and lower steering head bearings may suffer premature wear resulting in severe looseness in the steering. This could cause a loss of vehicle control and a crash resulting in property damage, personal injury or death. Correction: Dealers will replace the upper and lower steering head bearings with update versions.

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Model(s): LEGEND 300
Years affected: 2008
Transport Canada Recall # 2009157
Units Affected: 88

Recall Details:
On certain scooters, the coupling that connects the carburetor with the intake manifold may become loose and separate. This could cause the engine to stall, thereby resulting in a loss of propulsion which, in conjunction with traffic and road conditions, and the rider's reactions, could increase the risk of a crash causing personal injury or death. Correction: Dealers will replace the coupling with an updated version.

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Model(s): LEGEND 150, LEGEND 300
Years affected: 2008
Transport Canada Recall # 2009156
Units Affected: 114

Recall Details:
On certain scooters, the handlebar mounting bracket (which joins the handlebar to the steering post) may become loose. Should the bracket completely separate from the steering post it would cause a loss of steering control, which could result in a vehicle crash causing property damage, personal injury or death. Correction: Dealers will replace the handlebar mounting bracket with an update version.

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Ducati - Model(s): 1098R, 1198S, Streetfighter

Transport Canada Recall # 2009162
Recall Date: 2009/05/29
Units Affected: 577

Recall Details:
On certain motorcycles, the front axle mount on the right fork may be cracked or deformed. Any damage to the fork may lead to loss of functionality of the steering and suspension systems, which could result in a crash causing property damage, personal injury or death. Correction: Dealers will inspect and, if necessary, replace the right fork.

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Kawasaki - Model(s): Versys (KLE650)

Transport Canada Recall # 2009142
Model Year(s) Affected: 2008, 2009
Units Affected: 447
Recall Date: 2009/05/19

Recall Details:
Certain motorcycles equipped with Kawasaki genuine accessory saddlebags may not comply with CMVSS 108 - Lighting System and Retroreflective Devices. When the saddlebags are installed, the rear reflectors become obscured. This could render the vehicle less visible to other motorists during hours of darkness, possibly resulting in a vehicle crash causing personal injury or death. Correction: Dealers will install reflectors to the side of each accessory saddlebag.
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KTM - 300 XC-W, 690 DUKE, 690 SMC (Contact # 450-414-4451)

Transport Canada Recall # 2009161
Model Year(s) Affected: 2009
Units Affected: 90
Recall Date: 2009/05/29

Recall Details:
On certain motorcycles, the front fork inner tubes may develop cracks. This could allow the fork tubes to separate from the fork axle clamps. Should separation occur, it could lead to a vehicle crash causing property damage, personal injury or death. Correction: Dealers will inspect and, if necessary, replace both front fork tube assemblies.

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Harley Davidson - Models: CVO SOFTAIL SPRINGER - FXSTSSE, SOFTAIL CROSS BONES - FLSTSB
Transport Canada Recall # 2009171
Model Year(s) Affected: 2008, 2009
Recall Date: 2009/06/05
Units Affected: 851

Recall Details:
On certain motorcycles, the acorn stud at the brake reaction link may fall out during vehicle use. If this occurs, the front brake and fender assembly would no longer be adequately retained. The fender may rotate forward to the ground and cause an interference problem between the front tire and the ground surface. This could lead to a vehicle crash causing property damage, personal injury or death. Correction: Dealers will replace the existing acorn stud with a the new acorn stud and retaining clip.


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Newest KTM Brennraum posted - Erzberg special

The 2009 Erzberg Rodeo is the main topic of the latest edition of KTM's online magazine "Brennraum."

The Erzberg Rodeo is billed as "the ultimate Offroad Festival", was a KTM love-fest. KTM took home top honors. KTM’s own extreme Enduro factory rider, Taddy Blazusiak scored a hat trick of victories in this most challenging one-day test of endurance winning the event for the third straight year.

KTM gave their factory rider a call four days after the event and reached him at his home in Poland. An interesting account of the race ensues.

- Check out Brennraum for full details.
- See all our latest KTM news here.


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KTM boosts European sales

Despite some challenging times with a significant drop in vehicle sales to 32,034 sold in the first six months of 2008-09 (down 14,498 from the previous year, KTM's plan for expansion in Europe and partnership with Bajaj Auto Ltd seems to be paying off.

KTM have increased their share in the total European market to 5.2% since the beginning of the fiscal year.

To ensure future sustainability KTM is investing in R&D and planning some new projects. Among the key projects are the development of an electric powered Enduro and the development of a new small-engined street motorcycle with Bajaj Auto Ltd.

The first model of the 125 cc street motorcycle destined for the European market will be presented at the EICMA international motorcycle exhibition in Milan in November.

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Rent a KTM for ISDE - Portugal - in October

The International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) is the oldest 'off road' motorcycle event on the FIM Calendar and for 2009 it's being held October 12-17, 2009. Canada has sent a contingent of riders in the past. In 2008 the event was held in Serres, Greece.

First held in 1913 at Carlisle, England, the ISDE has occurred annually, except from a couple of interruptions due to World War I and World War II.

Well, if you've been thinking you'd like to go but don't want to have to worry about getting your bike to Portugal, KTM has the answer - rent a bike from them!

From KTM:

KTM Motorsports is proud to announce the continuation of its rental program for the 84th running of the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) to be held in Portugal October 12-17, 2009.

All ISDE participants will be given the opportunity to rent a 2010 KTM EXC model series motorcycle with special Six Days features. The following models are available for rent:

2-stroke: 125 EXC, 250 EXC and the 300 EXC
4-stroke: 250 EXC-F, 450 EXC and the 530 EXC

All rental bikes are homologated EXC motorcycles based on the 2010 models equipped with:

· KTM EXC Six-Days graphics “2009 ISDE Portugal”
· Six Days seat with pocket
· PowerParts Chain and Sprocket
· Plastic engine guard with quick release fastener on all 4-strokes
· Aluminum engine guard for all 2-strokes
· Milled triple clamps without variable setting
· Race Parts Kit (MX handguards, fork venting system, frame guard, front axle puller, handlebar pad and brake pad retainer).

KTM will offer this rental program in cooperation with KTM Spain. The price for motorcycle rental is $2,400 USD for 2-stroke models and $2,800 USD for 4-stroke models. This price includes the rental of the bike through the duration of the event, transport costs to Portugal and registration and insurance of the motorcycle for the event.

To rent a KTM motorcycle for the ISDE, please download the appropriate order form by clicking on the following link

All order forms must be returned to Antti Kallonen at akallonen@ktmnorthamerica.com or fax: (951) 677-2307. The deadline to order bikes is June 26, 2009. All orders will be handled on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No delivery guarantee can be given for orders received after the order deadline.

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KTM quits the Dakar!

Some shocking news from KTM in response to rule changes by the ASO on the displacement size of motorcycles allowed in the Dakar.

Full release...

"Rally Dakar” – KTM withdraws!

The limiting of motorcycles with a displacement of 450 cc forces the long term dominator of the Dakar Rally to withdraw.

Following the announcement at a press conference on June 4, 2009 of the French “ASO” - the organisers of the “South American Dakar“ that from 2010, only motorcycles with a maximum displacement of 450 cc will be permitted to compete, KTM, after eight consecutive victories, has decided to immediately accept the consequences and announces its withdrawal from the “Dakar”.

The company will no longer be represented at the rally in South America either with an official factory team or a KTM-supported team. At the same time, KTM underlines that the company remains committed to rally sport and will now concentrate its efforts on the world championship and other important rallies.

The organiser’s short term change to the rules, designed to end the dominance of KTM, and which comes without any advance warning, hits the KTM factory hard. Today, just six months before the start – and at a time when not only the factory team but also dozens of private teams are deep in preparations for this extremely complex rally, the immediate withdrawal of the worldwide market leader of offroad sports motorcycle is the only possible consequence.

“Every sport regulation needs changes and adjustments to new developments to retain an interest in it, but this also require the appropriate lead times. We have the entire material for the 690 Rally motorcycles for our factory team as well as that for 50 customers’ motorcycles in our storage facility ready to be constructed in June. Riders’ contracts have been finalised and all the team members have been engaged. The financial consequences that results from this decision are enormous. Quite apart from this, we are shocked by the organiser’s lack of loyalty, above all because of the huge efforts we made following the cancellation of the Dakar in 2008 by contributing to the new edition - even during a period of extreme economic crisis,” said KTM Motor Sport Advisor and “Rally Legend” Heinz Kinigadner in a first statement.

Following the decision for the deployment of 450cc motorcycles, which are unthinkably unsuitable for use in long distance rallies, KTM can no longer economically justify a commitment to be engaged in the Dakar in the future. KTM Motor Sport Director Winfried Kerschhaggl: “Rally sport serves to prove the efficiency and stability of our large volume series single cylinder. There is no question that we will remain active in rally sport! Having said that, for KTM, the rally in South America is now history. We will now fully concentrate on the Rally World Championship and we will seek out alternatives. Maybe we will soon again see full KTM Rally engagement on African soil – back to the roots!”

With its commitment to rally sports, KTM naturally takes the obligations to its long term worldwide customers seriously because it is they who have decided to put their trust in the products and in the unique service of the Austrian company for rally sport by choosing KTM motorcycles.

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KTM and Bajaj to introduce 125cc motorcycle 2011

KTM has announced that a result of a collaboration with Bajaj will make its way to Europe in 2011. It'll be a 125cc street going motorcycle. It's slated to enter production in 2010 for the 2011 model year.

Further collaboration is expected - they want to produce a 250cc as well, but this first model is destined for the European market and will be presented at the EICMA international motorcycle exhibition in Milan in November. The Indian spec bike 125cc model will be unveiled at the Delhi motor show in January 2010.

It's reported that the two small-capacity bikes will be liquid-cooled single-cylinder 4-strokes. I don't know if these KTM's will be "Ready to Race" but they'll definitely give KTM access to a huge new market.

Bajaj had announced their intention to collaborate with KTM on a motorcycle back in December. In February, Bajaj Auto International Holding B.V. raised its stake in KTM Power Sports AG from 26.22 percent to 31.72 percent. Bajaj has progressively increased its stake in KTM since acquiring its initial 15.23 percent share in Nov. 2007.

Note - this picture is not necessarily what the KTM-Bajaj 125cc will look like. It's a Bajaj model though!

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2009 KTM manufacturer suggested retail price list

KTM has released their 2009 suggested retail price list for their range of motorcycles.

You've got sportminicycles, motorcross 2 strokes, motorcross 4 strokes, cross country 2 strokes, cross country 4 strokes, Enduro (street legal), LC4 Duke, LC8 Adventure, LC4 Super Moto, RC8, ATV motorcross, and ATV Cross country.

Prices range from $3,398 for the 50 SX mini to the range topping 1190 RC8 at $20,898.

They posted the information in a graphic that's a little small. We zoomed it in a little but it's still a little tough to read.

Prices were posted April 14/09 and we're reminded that they're subject to change at any time.

* Click the picture to enlarge



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KTM first time buyer - Canadian promotion

KTM Canada is offering a special deal on select models right now, which they're referring to as a Welcome Allocation* which gets you $900 off some models - and - they've got a financing promotion to spur sales too. It's a no interest, no payments** deal. You can ride free all summer!

It seems to include quite a few models and the offers can be combined. So the time is right to pick up a KTM in Canada!

And now the fine print from the offers. This fine print actually offers some of the juicy details of the offer though, so it's actually pretty interesting, unlike most fine print:

*Special offer targeted to customers who have never owned a KTM before (Source: KTM registrations) $900 welcome allocation on all new, non current (2008 and prior model year) 250 SX-F, 450 SX-F, 250 XC-F, 250 XC-F-W, 300 XC, 300 XC-W, 450 EXC, 530 EXC, 450 XC ATV and 525 XC ATV.

$450 welcome allocation on all new, 2009 KTM 250 SX-F, 450 SX-F, 250 XC-F, 250 XC-F-W, 300 XC, 300 XC-W, 450 EXC, 530 EXC, 450 XC ATV and 525 XC ATV. Offer valid for a limited time only, up to May 31st, 2009, or while supplies last.

** Retail finance program on all new 2009 KTM models and prior years, Off-Road motorcycle, Street motorcycle and ATV. Retail finance offer available starting April 6th 2009 and valid for a limited time only, up to May 31st 2009, these 2 offers can be combined. Subject to credit approval, see your participating KTM dealer for more details or log on to ktmcanada.com.

Images courtesy KTM Canada

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KTM Brennraum newsletter edition #2 hits the Internet

KTM is wishing everybody a Happy Easter by releasing the latest installment of Brennraum, their newletter for orange lovers. It's flash heavy which makes it best for high speed connections. It does produce a fine looking end product though.

Here's the details from KTM:

Happy Easter with a brand new issue of the ‘Brennraum’

The snow in Mattighofen has thawed and once again orange bikes colour the landscape around the KTM Headquarters. Also race paddocks around the motorsport globe are filling with hungry ‘motorheads’.

Just in time for the start of the new season we switch the lights to green and let in some fresh mixture for the second issue of the Brennraum online magazine. Pure KTM lifestyle featuring the unbelievable duel between Sebastien Loeb and Stefan Everts on traditional Belgian cobblestones. Interesting press voices sample the hot RC8 R from Portimao. The lonesome ride through Patagonia and the sensational career of the motocross legend Heinz Kinigadner, plus much-much more!

Everything’s onboard. Check it out here.

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KTM Canada and Travelers Acceptance partner to provide new finance options

KTM Canada has teamed up with Travelers Acceptance to provide KTM dealers with enhanced consumer finance options. KTM dealers will be able to submit applications online, 7 days a week, via Travelers Acceptance. They'll also from time to time develop KTM specific lending products to stimulate sales of particular models.

Full details in follow in the press release:

BURNABY, BC and SAINT-BRUNO, QC, April 8 /CNW/ -

KTM Canada, Inc. a worldwide leading manufacturer of off road and street motorcycles and ATVs and Travelers Acceptance Corporation, an independent, national consumer finance company are proud to announce a new strategic partnership to introduce the Power Product Financing program that will provide KTM dealers with enhanced consumer finance options. This new program will ensure that an authorized KTM dealer is in a position to provide financing to the broadest spectrum of consumers and furthermore to the greatest selection of new and used KTM branded products. Proprietary KTM Programs will be designed in concert with KTM Canada, Inc. for specific KTM branded products from time to time to stimulate sales of specific KTM products.

KTM dealers will have access to Crelogix, Travelers proprietary web based loan origination system. Crelogix delivers payment choices to attract and close more business 7 days a week. With Crelogix both the KTM dealers and their customers have a confidential, bilingual service that calculates an affordable payment and the perfect loan term instantly at point of sale.

Travelers will provide training to al KTM Canada, Inc. dealer representatives on the KTM sales finance programs.

"KTM welcomes the provision of consumer financing through the Travelers program. This program is al about offering efficient, market leading solutions to assist our clients. At KTM high quality customer service is at least as important to us as the high quality of our products", said Tom Etherington, National Sales Manager, KTM Canada, Inc.

"We are proud to partner with KTM in Canada to meet the needs of their dealers and customers. KTM and we at Travelers share the goal to provide customer satisfaction and service excellence." said Pierre Genest, Director, Business Development for Travelers Acceptance Corporation.

About KTM Canada: The KTM brand has a deeply rooted motor sport tradition. KTM Canada, Inc. today is 42 different models of motorcycles and ATVs, 64 Canadian National and Provincial Championships since 2003 in minis MX2, MX Ladies, Ice Race, CMA National Enduro, FMSQ and ATVs classes and 68 authorized dealerships from coast to coast. "Ready to Race" - in accordance with the company philosophy, the insights gained from our motor sport experience are passed directly into series production and so become available to our customers as well. For more information contact: ktmcanadacommunications@ktmnorthamerica.com.

About Travelers: Travelers Acceptance Corporation has since 1974 been engaged by businesses to arrange, structure and fund unique indirect consumer financing solutions across a wide range of industries including tuition, automotive aftermarket, vacation ownership, healthcare, membership, consumer durables, power products and home improvements. Travelers consults with its client partners to create term financing programs that attract and retain more clients, close more sales, and increase overall profitability. For more information about Travelers Consumer Finance visit the website here.

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Half of KTM employees go part-time for summer

Back in january we told you about KTM feeling the economic pinch and made the decision to lay off 300 workers. KTM chief Stefan Pierer also warned at the time that some of the remaining full-time employees might be switched to part-time as part of the cost shedding plan. Another piece of the plan was to reduce production by 25%.

Well - the plan was finally implemented and 733 of 1,482 full-time KTM employees will transition to part-time work between May and August this year. The move trims production by the equivalent of two months, but keeps the trained workforce at the ready in hopes of an economic rebound next year.

The changes affect all levels of KTM employees, including factory works, management and executives. Cross Holdings, KTM's majority owner, and Bajaj Auto, which holds 31.72 percent, plan to inject €30 million in capital

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KTM's naked superbike on hold

KTM revealed a prototype of its naked 1150cc "Venom" superbike back in 2004. The Venom was originally intended to hit the streets a year after the RC8. So it should have showed up as a new model for the 2009 season. Looks like that's not the case though.

It appears that plans to release the Venom have been put on hold for now while KTM builds some success racing with the RC8. No doubt it's also a financially wise move to delay the costs of a new model until the economy bounces back a little. Better still to use that money to ensure the support for the RC8 superbike is present.

KTM are reported still interested in the idea but are putting the emphasis on the RC8 for now.

Disappointing for some no doubt, but you may still see it in the future hopefully.

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KTM team wins numb bum

Press Release - KTM Canada
Photo courtesy KTM Canada

KTM CANADA – CYCLE WORKS TEAM 35 WINS NUMB BUM 24 HOUR ICE RACE!

Numb Bum 24 Hour Ice race: Sandy Beach, AB. February 14th & 15th, 2009

During the Valentine day weekend was the famous Numb Bum 24 hour Ice Race sanctioned by the Alberta Endurance Ice Racing Association (AEIRA). The Numb Bum took place in Sandy Beach, Alberta. In total, 42 teams entered the competition that started at noon on Saturday and ended at the same time Sunday.

KTM Canada – Cycle Works Team 35 riders, Patrick Beaulé, Todd Lindahl and Joe Pruden were pumped and Ready to Race. The 14 km track was rough during the first couple hours due to the frozen slush cause by the previous week cool temperature but as it got colder the track got perfect.

KTM Canada – Cycle Works Team 35, rode very well, fast and they were extremely consistent during the whole 24 hours. They were able to take the lead by the 8th hour mark and they kept it until the end. They had some great battles with other teams up to the 14th hour. After that time, they started to gain some time on the second team. KTM Canada – Cycle Works Team 35 crossed the finish line in first place with about a 7 lap lead on the second position. The team was really happy and excited about that race and it was worth a couple of frozen fingers.

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KTM Spring collection has arrived

The Spring collection has arrived from KTM - just in time for winter if you're on the East coast! It's chilly out! All joking aside, Spring is on the way so if you're looking for some new orange-wear, best check this out.

It's definitely not all loungewear - though there's plenty of that too. There's some technical garments for riding, and protective gear too. The number of items is too big to list - there's a bit of everything in there.

According to the Press Release from KTM here's some of what you can expect to see:

The Spring Collection 2009 – just the right outfit from head to toe

True to the motto “New season, new style”, KTM again supplies the right item for every occasion. Offering everything from a great casual t-shirt with motocross print right up to the really hot new KTM Shoes, the Spring Collection offers a whole range of clothing with extremely high “style” factor.

Style and safety both belong in the Spring Collection

And those who are on the lookout for new offroad equipment will find just the right items in the Spring Collection to ensure they enjoy a safe 2009 season. The renowned Tech 8 Boots are available in a sporty white in this Spring Collection. Exclusively developed for KTM by manufacturers Alpinestars, they offer optimal protection for all areas of the foot, calf and shin. And even though there is a high safety factor, nothing lacks when it comes to comfort. Specially adapted “Flex Zones” at the instep and heel lift the level of comfort and control when taking a wild offroad ride.


The KTM website says to look at www.ktmcanada.com for more details but after digging around on their site for a little bit I managed to track down their "PowerWear - 2009 Catalog" here. It's an 11MB PDF available for download.

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KTM e-bike displayed at FIM

Some new pictures have surfaced of KTM's new all electric motorcycle and are on display on the FIM website.

Not sure you'd like an electric bike? Well, how do these numbers sound?

The prototype weighs approximately 198 pounds, develops about 35 hp, and had 29.5lb/ft of torque. That's about 15 lbs less than KTM's 125cc enduro with the torque of a 250cc two-stroke that will be accessible immediately, in a bike that's lighter than a 125.

With current battery technology it will run for 40 minutes at race pace before recharging. Production won't be for another year so you might see even better torque and battery life numbers come production time.

It offers very quiet operation reportedly and will use a lithium ion battery. Not bad. But what about price? No reports on that just yet, but we'll let you know when we find out.

The profile looks very slender, with the electric motor and battery pack neatly tucked where the engine on gasoline motorcycle would be. The engine group and battery are said to weigh 17kg. The original photographer of the pictures also indicates the presence of what looks to be a regenerative braking system.

The bike seems to be running two 21" tires as opposed to the 21" front and 18" rear set up that's most common on internal combustion/gas enduros.

Check out the left side handgrip too - no clutch lever to be found.

* Images courtesty FIM website.

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First issue of KTM newsletter rolls off the presses

KTM has a new quarterly online magazine that just launched. It's called "Brennraum" - which must be German. It's said to stand for "Combustion Chamber."

The first issue looks great and features stories about the 2008 Roof of Africa Rally, Indoor Enduro Racing, news about the Dakar, and details on various KTM models of course.

Best to look at it when you've got some time as it takes a little effort to navigate around. You be the judge of whether it's worth it or not. Looks pretty good to me, but then again, I am partial to orange!

Me, I just hope they bring that 990 Supermoto T to Canada. This preview makes me want to see one in the flesh even more!

Here's the link to the first issue. You can subscribe to have the issues delivered directly to your Inbox.

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KTM feels the pinch of economic slowdown

KTM is the latest manufacturer to make some adjustments because of the weakened economy. Despite a year full of successes and bold business moves they are still faced with slower demand. The slow demand forces some tough decisions.

To give you a bit of the good before the bad, an example of the successes - how about being the motorcycle of choice for eight of the top ten finishers of the 2009 Dakar. Bold business moves - A 30 million Euro infux of capital through their owner Cross Indistries, and an expansion into a huge market through their new Indian partner, Bajaj. All this, and plans to mass produce electric powered, all terrain endurance bikes within two years.

Remember too that, while layoffs and production cuts may feel bad - and they are, particularly for those who are out of a job - it would be irresponsible of KTM to not try to position themselves for future success when the market rebounds.

They've announced they'll be laying off 300 employees, 150 of which will come from their leasing division and another 150 from the core operations.

KTM chief Stefan Pierer also warned that some of the remaining full-time employees might be switched to part-time as part of the cost shedding plan. Another piece of the plan is to reduce production by 25%.

Despite the current measures, Pierer is still optimistic and expects business will slightly improve next year. He indicates that the motorcycle industry is better able to weather recessions than automobile manufacturers because people opt for motorcycles during such times.

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Spaniard takes home top moto prize in 2009 Dakar

The Dakar Rally, held in South America for the first time in its history, is over. It was an exciting route for spectators and thousands of South Americans showed up on a daily basis to cheer on competitors. It was clear they enjoyed themselves.

All of ASO's work in planning the South American Dakar appears to have been warranted. The route seems to have been a success and proved tough on competitors and equipment. 217 motorcyclists started the Dakar but only 113 made it to the finish line.

Spaniard Marc Coma, riding his factory KTM, took home the top honor in the moto division beating his nearest rival (and team mate) Cyril Depres by nearly an hour and a half. This is the second win for 32 year old Marc Coma, who also won in 2006. A perhaps surprising third place finisher was French rider, David Fretigne. Fretigne was riding a Yamaha WR450 that was certainly outmatched in the pure horsepower department by the larger KTM's of the two top finishers.

KTM has a history of success in the Dakar with this year being no exception. The Austrian motorcycle company produced "the" motorcycle if you wanted to be successful in the Dakar this year. KTM riders took a whopping eight of the top ten spots. The Yamaha of Fretigne and Portugese rider, Paulo Goncalves, on his Honda were the only riders of non-KTM's to make it into the top ten.

In the moto division, the Volkswagon Toureg was the vehicle of choice for the top two finishers. South-African Giniel De Villiers and German co-driver Dirk Von Zitzewitz took the top spot. US driver Mark Miller and co-driver Ralph Pitchford (South Africa) took the second spot. Third place finisher was the US Hummer team, Robby Gordon and co-driver Andy Grider.

Robby Gordon is perhaps more famous for his Nascar exploits was the only top three finisher in a two-wheel drive in the car division. No doubt the third sport will be bitter-sweet for Gordon. He desperately wants to be the first North American to win the event - I'm sure the same can be said of Mark Miller though!

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KTM to enter German Superbike in 2009

After gaining some experience in the 2008 FIM Superstock 1000 World Cup, KTM is now going to participate in the high-class German Superbike Championship with their 1190 RC8 R. 2009 will mark the entry of KTM into the international Superbike race series in cooperation with KTM Germany.

The Austrian two-cylinder bikes will be piloted by Stefan Nebel and Didier Van Keymeulen.

The newly formed Superbike team will be headed up by the experienced technician and team manager, Konrad Hefele. Hefele brings over 20 years of professional road and GP racing sport and has successfully also guided the KTM 125 cc youth team to several IDM championship honours.

So it looks like KTM will be ready to race for 2009.

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Bajaj buying up KTM shares for Christmas

The Indian motorycle manufacturer Bajaj Auto (the second largest motorcycle manufacturer in India) is buying up some more shares in KTM motorcycles. They're planning to up their stake in the Austrian motorcycle manufacturer from 25% to 30% over the next few months said Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj.

Bajaj and KTM are collaborating on a few different projects, one of them reportedly being a highly efficient motorcycle that will be produced in India. The KTM/Bajaj creation should break cover some time in 2010.

KTM is planning to sell other KTM motorcycles in India under the Bajaj label as well, the cooperation with Bajaj brings wide distribution for the brand in India.

From an excerpt of a press release statement, Rajiv Bajaj added, “This partnership is also another step in our globalization strategy. KTM’s sharp brand positioning, differentiated designs, and hyper performance have inspired us to increase our stake in this participation. We are delighted with this opportunity to co-develop a range of products for both KTM and Bajaj brands and also excited by the prospects of introducing KTM products in India and South East Asia, as also to access the European market via KTM.”

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Toronto Motorcycle Show preview

The Toronto Motorcycle show is this coming weekend.

We can't possibly tell you everything that's going on at the show, with upwards of 150 exhibitors you can bet there will be something that should interest just about every motorcycle enthusiast. But as a bit of a sneak peak, here's what the big names are scheduled to display:

BMW Motorrad Canada will be bringing the new K1300S, R and GT along with the F800GS that has finally started to show up at dealers (much to the delight of those who've already put deposits on them and anticipated a September arrival). Riders that like the dirt might be interested in seeing the G450X Enduro. Those of you who are more World Superbike than off-road adventure will surely enjoy BMW's, still under development, S1000RR, BMW's World Superbike entry that won't hit the racetrack in 2009.

Ducati will have the new 1198S Superbike, the Monster M1100S, and may also bring along a Desmosedici Moto GP replica streetbike with a retail price in the 80 thousand
range.

Honda should have the 2009 DN01, a $17,499, 680cc tourer with an automatic transmission. Not to disappoint, the CBR600 and CBR1000 sportbikes should be there as well showing off the new optional anti-lock brakes.

Kawasaki will show off the Vulcan 1700 series and the new ZX-6R 600 sportbike that is said to be an almost unbelievable 10 kg lighter than last year's model. Canadian Superbike and Pro 600 Champion Jordan Szoke and teammate Alex Welsh will be there too doing some autograph sessions.

KTM has said said they'll be showing off the 1190 RC8 Superbike and their single-cylinder 690 Enduro; the most powerful single cylinder on the market.

Deeley Harley-Davidson will have the 2009 touring models and Tri-Glide trike and the previously Euro-spec only XR1200 Sportster. You'll get a look at the Police Edition of the Buell Ulysses too.

Suzuki will be bringing the all new GSX-R1000, new Boulevard M90, and the SFV650 (or Gladius)- a naked styled bike using the famed SV650 v-twin engine. Suzuki will also show off some Canadian only models such as a 650 and 1000 V-Strom that come with locking hard bags and topbox as standard equipment.

Yamaha will have the new V Max, the 200-horsepower rocket!

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KTM 2WD Hybrid in the works?

KTM has reportedly filed patents suggesting they're working on a hybrid motorcycle that will be powered by both wheels (2 wheel drive!). While they're not the first to use 2wd on a motorcycle. It is pretty unique that it's an electric system.

This news comes very shortly after news of KTM working on a zero emissions motorcycle that may get to production in as little as 24 months.

According to the patents it looks like the system will make use of a small electric motor on each wheel to supply additional torque when it's needed. The bike will still use an internal combustion engine that powers the rear wheel through a conventional transmission.

The bike pictured in the patents looks to be the shape of a desert race bike. No big surprise, given that it is KTM we're talking about here. They've been a dominant force in off-road racing and rallying for many years. A 2wd system would offer some traction advantages but the overall advantage would also be very dependent on how much the system would weigh. An electric system may offer some advantages over a mechanical system.

Don't bother looking for this one in Canadian dealerships any time soon. It is an interesting development that could very well shape the future of motorcycle design though!

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KTM Adventure R and SMT

KTM has upped the ante with the announcement of the addition of an "R" variant of the popular 990 Adventure. What does the R get you that the standard Adventure not have?

Well, it's a little lighter and makes a little more power too.

The "R" makes 115 hp, which gives it a nine horsepower advantage over the 106 hp of the standard Adventure 990. The torque numbers are the same across both models. Suspension upgrades to allow more travel are also likely additions.

Another beauty was shown to the public at the Milan Motor show too. A 990 SMT which is a Super Moto "Travel". This KTM super moto has a bit of an upper fairing that aims to turn this hooligan into a long distance touring machine.

Looks pretty convincing. It's going to weigh in at a reported 196kg dry, features some soft tweaks to the ergonomics, better wind protection, and hooks to hang your stuff off of, and can be fitted with panniers and/or soft luggage. A 115 hp v-twin engine should make for smooth and easy touring, even two up should you choose.

No word on availability in Canada yet. Keep your fingers crossed!

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KTM builds electric ready to race bike.

Austrian motorcycle company KTM plans to produce an electric off-road motorcycle within the next two years. KTM already makes some of the most successful off-road bikes on the market - one needs only look to the Dakar Rally for evidence of their ability to deliver competent machines.

KTM says it already has a prototype that weighs 200 pounds, develops approximately 35 hp, and can run for 40 minutes at race pace before recharging. It offers very quiet operation reportedly and will use a lithium ion battery and the engine group and battery will weigh only 17kg. Considering you won't have a traditional engine and all the parts that go with it (like gasoline which is very heavy) this bike should be a lightweight.

KTM says the most important aspects of the project are that the machine have high power output, low weight and as long a range as possible using today’s technology. Now, after extensive testing, the project has moved from concept to series development.

Restrictive rules on noise and pollution emissions make all-terrain activity illegal in many parts of Europe, including KTM’s home country of Austria. By producing a no-emissions two-wheeler it would allow the company to sell bikes to a larger group of riders.

“As an innovative and market leading company, KTM must continuously look into new ways with which to power our sport motorcycles,” says KTM director Harald Plöckinger. “The zero-emissions concept mates our known competencies with a new highly interesting motor technology. We see emissions-free vehicles as offering the greatest chance to expand enduro sport to a wider and new audience in the mid- and long-term, and to perhaps even start a brand-new trend sport.”

KTM’s in-house research and development team worked on the project with Austrian firm Arsenal Research.

“Use of the latest in battery technology, a highly efficient electric motor, and the best components available integrated into the drive system make up the cornerstones for realization of this motorcycle concept,” says Franz Pirker of Arsenal Research. “Use of a virtual simulator to design and test the concept made it possible to work out all of the bugs without first building the components into a test mule. This so-called ‘hardware-in-the-loop-simulation’ makes it possible to develop such a vehicle quickly and in the most cost-effective way possible.”

How much? Well no, word yet of course but it's been suggested that the price will be slighter higher than a current KTM enduro.

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World's biggest motorcycle exhibition - November 4th

World's biggest motorcycle exhibition will open its doors on November 4th at Milan, Italy to an ever increasing public.

This year at Milan's EICMA exhibition, we should see several new motorcycles and scooters - probably not as many as last year when it seemed everybody had something new.

But like at Intermot show in Germany, there will no doubt be a lot of Asian manufactured electric motorcycles and scooters showcased.

The main conference day is Tuesday, with 2 conferences called on Monday and one on Wednesday.

Several companies have announced that they're be doing a press conference at the show. Which would generally indicate that they have something interesting they want to make public - but time will tell. Here's the list of companies:

Yamaha - Yamaha have organized a conference the day before the show opens (Monday), and it's held off-site.

Ducati - They're having their press conference the day before the show opens. Fighter model perhaps?

Honda - Honda starts off the press conference heavy Tuesday

New Max - New Max have several brands of clothing and helmets. Haven't heard of these folks.

BMW - Having already announced three new K series models at Intermot it's hard to say what they'll have to say.

Husqvarna - These guys immediately follow BMW (they're a subsidiary of BMW) and both are scheduled for 30 minutes a piece.

Leo Vince - Might be a good guess that the Italian Leo Vince will probably be presenting new exhausts.

KTM - KTM have two conference, one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday (together with Zadi - an Italian parts manufacturer). Rumors are that they may show an electric motorcycle.

Aprilia - The Piaggio group's Aprilia have 15 minutes so not too much time for big announcements here.

Moto Guzzi - Piaggio group's Guzzi have 10 minutes

Gilera - Piaggio group's Gilera have 15 minutes

Vespa - Piaggio group's Vespa have 15 minutes

Piaggio - Piaggio themselves took 15 minutes

Scarabeo - Piaggio group's Scarabeo have 10 minutes

Derbi - Piaggio group's Derbi have 10 minutes

Kymco - Scooter manufacturer Kymko rarely call for conferences so there will likely be something new out of this Taiwanese company.

Nipponia - Never heard of these guys.

Suzuki - Suzuki have 30 minutes but announced new bikes at Intermot so we're not sure what to expect here.

Metzeler - Tire manufacturer Metzeler are closing the day with a press conference

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KTM announces 990 SuperMoto R

Word on the street is that KTM has announced a new production 990 Supermoto R, which should arrive at dealers in the Spring of 2009. Whether Canadian dealers will get the go-fast machine isn't clear at the moment. So we'll just focus on the what we know for now. If we hear more we'll let you know.

The 990 Supermoto R, is claimed to be the fastest ever of its breed. it will incorporate the big twin LC8 motor and new Brembo Monoblock brakes. Sounds like this machine will really live up to KTM's moto: "Ready to Race!"

The Supermoto R has a smaller tank so you won't get far, has a narrow upright seat... Sounds much like a Ducati Hypermotard S fighter. The R will apparently weigh in at 190 kg about 418 lbs for you non-metric folks. That's heavier than the Ducati Hypermotard S but the 990 LC8 engine pumps out a claimed 85 kilowatts at 9,000 RPM in the regular SuperMoto. 85 kilowatts converts to just shy of 114 horsepower by Google's calculations. Advantage - KTM.

It's a sharp looking machine too. It's got a black coated swinger arm, orange-coloured lacquer, and powder coated tubular steel frame.

The KTM 990 Supermoto R will be officially presented to the public for the first time at the innovations trade fair EICMA in Milan. Start of production is planned for February 2009.

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Site News: We're back!

Well after a busy couple weeks I'm back behind the computer so the updates will get started soon. We've got a Ducati review in the pipeline, more book reviews, and lots more news!

During my travels I was in Honduras for a day. Now, for the most part all I saw in the way of motorcycles in the Western Caribbean were scooters and small bikes. Plenty of Honda Cubs, and Yamaha BW 50's were everywhere. I was told that in Belize that a gallon of gas costs $6 USD. Yes, $6! Public transportation is the main way that people get around.

While at a animal refuge in Honduras I spotted the nicest bike I'd seen though. In the middle of the woods practically. It was none other than a KTM 690 Supermoto! Imagine my surprise! Despite my camera being loaded down with pictures of monkeys, lizards, parrots and other assorted wildlife I had to get a couple pictures of the KTM!

The animal refuge was in a spot way up in the hills so that supermoto must be a real treat to ride in the hills. The roads are small and narrow though and you certainly don't want to come into a corner too hot or that might be the last corner you take. Most of the sides of the road were cliffs! We rode up the hill (and down) in a old school bus from Rhode Island! The engine worked really hard to propel us up the hills.

Most riders don't seem to wear much in the way of protective gear in Honduras. It is quite hot and humid; most choosing to wear very little in fact. It's not uncommon to see people in shorts and sandals. I was happy to see that the KTM rider donned a helmet when he set out. I was hoping to get a chance to talk to him but I had to get back on the bus to leave. Notice there are no mirrors on that KTM. I guess with this thing you'll likely be the fastest thing on the road anyway!

Stay tuned! There's plenty more motorcycle content on the way!

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More Internet rumor - Volkswagon eyes KTM purchase


A few weeks ago we told you that Volkswagen was looking to purchase a small motorcycle company after VW boss Ferdinand Piech had announced that he "…would still like a small, valuable motorcycle manufacturer."

At that time talk was that the Vdub brand was looking towards to Italy and thinking about Ducati. Well, now it sounds like they may be looking at an Austrian company - KTM.

The two companies had previsouly collaborated on the ultra cool KTM X-bow.

It's difficult to say if it's accurate information. Even tougher to say is what it would mean for KTM, the Austrian manufacturer famous for building Dakar-ready bikes and doing things their own way.

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KTM RC8 Ready to Race Video Released

KTM has a new wheel popping, power sliding, roasting the back tire video featuring the RC8 1190. The RC8 superbike weighs in at 414 lbs and is powered by a 155 horsepower, 1148cc 75 degree V-Twin.

The video is relatively short - runs approximately 2 min.

Check it out here.



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