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    • De Dementor
      The Ultimate Winner: Scott Myers Interview
      After five days ripping up the Moroccan desert against 11 other KTM 790 ADVENTURE R-mounted racers, Scott Myers talks us through the seven crucial moments that led to him becoming the inaugural KTM ULTIMATE RACE champion.
      From never having ridden a ‘big’ Adventure bike offroad to winning a five-stage long race in the sands of Africa, Scott Myers’ story is one to be heard. A seasoned motocross, supercross and Baja (21 of them, in fact!) competitor, the 50-year-old American accepted a random invitation to join the KTM ULTIMATE RACE qualifiers by KTM ambassador Quinn Cody and the rest is history.
      Scott Myers (USA) KTM 790 ADVENTURE R KTM ULTIMATE RACE 2019 © Marcin Kin
      With Scott providing an in-depth interview to Upshift online magazine, with their permission we’ve extracted the seven major steps in the American’s unique journey to KTM ULTIMATE RACE supremacy.
      1) A racing background
      “My father raced professionally back in the ‘60s and ‘70s. I got into riding when I was three-years old and started racing when I was five or six. I had a career in racing motocross and supercross, but I was no Ricky Carmichael. I got to ride in the best days; the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s. I was lucky to race in the days when you could make a pretty decent living out of it. I had a great career and then I got into racing Baja. I’ve been racing Baja for over 20 years now and I have multiple championships racing down there. That’s how I really got to know Quinn Cody.”
      Scott Myers (USA) KTM 790 ADVENTURE R KTM ULTIMATE RACE 2019 © Marcin Kin
      2) An adventure bike newbie
      “Quinn is the reason I got the idea of going to the KTM ULTIMATE RACE qualifiers in Park City. I had never been on an adventure bike in my life before. I have a KTM 950 SUPER ENDURO, but did not take that motorcycle on the dirt until recently. Quinn asked me to join the qualifiers at the KTM ADVENTURE RALLY and I just showed up. I had not ridden that motorcycle in the dirt until I pulled up to the line for the special test in Park City. I showed up with an eight-gallon tank and full saddlebags. People were laughing at me like you could have left your bags back at the hotel at least. So, I raced the special with full bags and I won it. That was my jump into adventure bike riding really.”
      Scott Myers (USA) & Quinn Cody (USA) KTM 790 ADVENTURE R KTM ULTIMATE RACE 2019 © Marcin Kin
      3) It’s all getting real …
      “Before heading to Morocco, I tried my best to eat a bit better and lose a few pounds. I just got on my motorcycle a lot and rode with my son every weekend. With my family, a full-time job and everything in between, that’s all I had time for. What made me a little bit worried at first was the GPS navigation. The idea of rally racing is you’re following this roadbook, you come to a certain turn, and you need to look over and make sure that your ODO matches the road book. So, you know that you’re on course, and boom, off you go again.”
      Scott Myers (USA) KTM 790 ADVENTURE R KTM ULTIMATE RACE 2019 © Marcin Kin
      4) Pre-race woes
      “I’d never navigated in my life, so I had no idea what I was doing. In Morocco there were a few competitors that had never seen a road book and others who were more experienced. I found it to be not as difficult as I thought. I love the idea of navigation anyway. Racing offroad is not so much that type of navigation but it does require to know your bearings. I’ve always felt that was pretty naturally for me. I found that the navigation itself in this race was hard. It took me a couple of days to get used to it, but I got better and better at it. It was great having Quinn to help and Marc Coma was there every day. The greatest rally navigator on earth, sitting there at a table with me, helping me figure stuff out.”
      Scott Myers (USA) & Marc Coma (ESP) KTM ULTIMATE RACE 2019 © Marcin Kin
      5) In the heart of the Moroccan desert
      “I thought Morocco was amazing. I’ve never seen so many sand dunes in my entire life. Rocky roads, the technical stuff, the high-speed stuff all suits my style perfectly. But, I’d never even ridden a big bike in the dunes before. I also loved the camaraderie between competitors. There was no competitive nature whatsoever at the end of each day. I would say my buddy Kevin, the farmer from New Zealand, he was probably the most competitive guy there. But it was great. There’s no way it could’ve been a better group. Smiles every day.”
      Competitors & KTM 790 ADVENTURE R KTM ULTIMATE RACE 2019 © Marcin Kin
      6) The KTM 790 ADVENTURE R machine
      “The KTM 790 ADVENTURE R was amazing. It handled so good for an Adventure bike. I was totally blown away. But at the same time, yeah, I struggled. The sand over there is so soft at points that your bike would instantly be buried. There was no gassing out of it, there was no momentum that you could get. You were going to be there for a few minutes to get it out. KTM has found a niche with a modern-day Adventure bike, with all the bells and whistles, the ABS, the traction control, just the modernization of an Adventure bike, but really dirt-friendly. Great dirt suspension, obviously lighter than one of the bigger bikes, has a good feel to it and a high fender like a dirt bike. For that guy that’s wanting to get into this, the KTM 790 ADVENTURE R is the only and best bike to buy.”
      Scott Myers (USA) KTM 790 ADVENTURE R KTM ULTIMATE RACE 2019 © Marcin Kin
      7) Almost throwing it all away
      “During the race, I’d find myself holding my breath sometimes, racing in this amazing country. But I also had to deal with mental and physical stress and I almost screwed up the entire thing. I had a perfect week of no problems and entered the last stage with a 33-minute lead, but ended up crashing four or five kilometers before the finish. I came up over this dune and I didn’t make it up. As I was coming up over again I hit a piece of camel grass and went over the bars. It took me a few minutes but finally got the bike back up. From there I cruised it all the way to the finish and that was it. The feeling of everything that was going through my mind was like nothing you can even imagine. Quinn was there yelling at me for almost throwing it all away. But I’ve made it. I’m just so thankful to KTM for everything. I’ll be going to some KTM ULTIMATE RACE qualifiers and I’m so excited to kind of be a part of it.”
      [embedded content]
      The full interview was published in issue 33 of Upshift.
      Photos: Marcin Kin
      Video: KTM
    • De Dementor
      KTM EXC 2020: For the Journey to Extreme – The All-New KTM Enduro Range
      Posted in Bikes, Riding KTM launched its latest KTM EXC range this week in Bassella, Spain, and we at the KTM BLOG would like to share some images of the most extreme KTM Enduro models yet in action.
      Developed on the toughest climbs, gnarliest terrain and deepest mud with our Red Bull KTM Factory Racing stars, the benchmark-setting KTM enduros have just raised the bar. A new KTM 150 EXC TPI joins its bigger brothers in the 2-stroke range, the KTM 250 EXC TPI and the KTM 300 EXC TPI – all featuring the latest TPI (Transfer Port Injection) technology. In the 4-stroke range it is the 250, 350, 450 and 500 KTM EXC-Fs that are ready for the hottest battles and most technical terrain.
      KTM 150 EXC TPI MY2020 © KISKA
      The KTM SIX DAYS models offer a premium parts package and are widely regarded as the best competition bikes on the market, while the KTM 300 EXC TPI ERZBERGRODEO is a new model to celebrate the iconic ErzbergRodeo hard enduro event in Austria, which is in its 25th year, with a special and exclusive design for this strictly limited model.
      KTM 300 EXC TPI ERZBERGRODEO MY2020 © KISKA
      For model year 2020 a newly developed chassis that has evolved from the previous edition, along with new, more efficient yet high-performing engines, joins the improved WP XPLOR suspension and much more. It means the latest KTM EXCs, which are already the class leaders, offer the best equipment for the most difficult journeys to extreme, whatever the level of rider.
      Photos: KISKA

    • De Dementor
      Jorge Prado: Making the best better?
      Posted in People, Racing MX2 World Champion Jorge Prado seems to have it all at 18 years of age. So, we asked those close to him: How can #61 possibly improve?
      OK, firstly the essential data: Jorge Prado recently turned old enough to buy a drink but became an FIM Motocross World Champion in only his second full season of Grand Prix in 2018. He claimed a podium finish in his very first MX2 appearance as a wildcard in 2016 and won on his sixth outing as a Red Bull KTM rookie in 2017. He’s the first world champion from Spain. He owns the most holeshots from any rider in all classes from both 2016 and 2017.
      Possessor of superlative technique and phenomenal starting prowess he rarely makes mistakes, is still blossoming with his physical condition and is a protégé of teammate Tony Cairoli and the De Carli camp inside Red Bull KTM. KTM Motorsports Director Pit Beirer recently claimed that Jorge could be placed in the same mold as other teenage sensations like Ken Roczen and Jeffrey Herlings.
      Jorge Prado (ESP, #61) KTM 250 SX-F Pietramurata (ITA) 2019 © Ray Archer
      So far in 2019 Prado is undefeated on the track. A haematoma on his left shoulder after a crash while training caused him to miss the British Grand Prix but every other moto and round has fallen to the reigning champion. Prado said that he decided to keep the #61 for 2019 (rather than simply remove the ‘6’) because he feels he has not done enough to earn the #1 plate in his career so far. It is an odd and humble self-assessment, and recognition that Prado is not the finished article. However, to the fans, the rest of the paddock, his rivals and even those tight with the Galician inside KTM there is not much more to add to his arsenal of talent and capacities.
      “Riding-wise and technically I don’t see a big window for improvement anymore,” straight-faces KTM Motocross Manager Joel Smets. “His timing is almost spot-on perfect. He will look at a jump and from the first attempt he will clear it perfectly. His position on the bike [also good] and even his starts! You cannot imagine him to be much better with those.”
      Team Manager Claudio de Carli’s son, David, has been working, training and tutoring Prado since he veered into the Italian’s circumference in the off-season of 2017. David may claim that “the second time is always harder” when it comes to claiming a championship, but Prado has looked simply superior in 2019 MX2. “When we started last year, we found some areas where we could improve the training but for 2019 I think he was on another level and, at the moment, this is really, really high,” David adds. “When he is training with Tony – which they do together a lot – it is almost like a race. They push each other to the limit, they are lucky, and it is good for both of them. Jorge is another year older and with another year of experience; it’s normal that he is better.”
      De Carli’s role cannot be understated in Prado’s evolution. The family’s Roman home became a new base of operations as opposed to Belgium. From an inconsistent rookie term – where four wins were celebrated but the then-sixteen-year-old also pulled out of two Grands Prix due to exhaustion – the acceleration of his potential has hit the highest gears. “The more of a unit you are then the stronger you are … but of course it is not easy,” he says. “You need to know the rider’s character and how to take him. You need to talk direct to him – not confuse any issue – and then you’ll be on a good line.”
      As well as being a training partner and focusing on his own efforts in the MXGP class, Cairoli has also been implicit. “Jorge is going really well and I think he has improved a lot compared to last year,” #222 claims. “He’s much faster and stronger physically. I think it will be an even better year for him in 2019 and he’ll be really good. He’s really down to earth and this is nice.”
      “He has developed well,” says MX2 Team Manager and Red Bull KTM Technical Director Dirk Gruebel. “In the beginning there was a lack of strength but that was related to age and it seemed that he grew out of it in 2018. He is also just human and this season he made a mistake while training and crashed. Sometimes you don’t know what an injury will do to you but riding-wise, speed-wise it is tough to see how he can be better.”
      Jorge Prado (ESP) KTM 250 SX-F Pietramurata (ITA) 2019 © Ray Archer
      From 44 grand prix appearances at the time of writing Prado has 27 podiums: 20 of those being wins. It’s an impressive ratio in such a small space of time and he is already the most successful Spaniard in the history of the FIM World Championship by far.
      But there must be some weakness. Surely?
      “At the moment there is nothing to say,” smiles De Carli. “I think we have already improved a lot from 2018 and I think the training crash this year is the only thing we could have avoided.”
      “Probably there is still room for improvement physically,” Smets demurs “but technically he is already so good and can beat everybody now.”
      “A thing he could improve on is some race craft occasionally,” the Belgian says after some thought. “He can get a bit over-confident and then mistakes come. He reminds me a bit of Ben Townley [Red Bull KTM’s first MX2 World Champion in 2004] – he had the same thing: He could show so much confidence that it got scary! It’s about staying within your limits and your focus. Maybe Jorge has a bit too much nonchalance and it’s the same for some other guys. You see it with the scrubs and the way they move the bike because they feel great and are having a lot of fun. To judge everything about a race comes down to experience. I think this is quite normal for Jorge at his age [to miss that]. Once he gets his focus and confidence dialed-in I cannot see anybody that can beat the kid.”
      Gruebel sees a slightly different side of being an elite athlete. “You need to be able to take the pressure,” the German says. “Everybody thinks it is so easy for him but they should also think back to what they were like when they were seventeen or eighteen! Probably they can’t imagine what it would be like to be the best MX2 motocrosser in the world. Of course, this is the dream of every kid trying to get in this sport but to actually get there and live through it with all the pressure from the media, all the other racers and sometimes even the family: It is not easy. He did well. He’s one of the youngest champions ever. He’s a handful!”
      Jorge Prado (ESP) KTM 250 SX-F Pietramurata (ITA) 2019 © Ray Archer
      The analysis leads on to where he will go and what Prado will do next. If he wins MX2 again in 2019 then he is obliged to leave the class. Red Bull KTM could contemplate a fantastical MXGP line-up of Prado, Herlings and Cairoli on KTM 450 SX-Fs. The path might change the dynamic in the De Carli faction of the team and would be the route for Prado to finally eye a righteous claim for that number 1 plate. It would also mean another challenge: Mastering the bigger motorcycle and far more experienced competitors. The difficulty of the task was highlighted by Jeffrey Herlings´ misjudgment in the early throes of 2017 and led the Dutchman to the kind of commitment and sacrifice that formed the basis of his ruthless 2018 title campaign.
      “It will be interesting when he moves up a class because of his body size: Next to someone like Jeffrey he looks tiny but he’s growing and he is someone that rides more with talent and technique than strength,” says Gruebel. “I’ve seen him riding a 450 and it is pretty impressive … but that’s play-riding.”
      “We are not thinking about it too much at the moment … but I think he will be a really good 450 rider because of his style,” offers De Carli while also warning: “Riding the 450 will mean another step.”
      “The day he moves up to MXGP he will need a bit more muscle-power and all-around conditioning … but that will come because his body is still developing at the age of eighteen,” advocates Smets. “By twenty-to-twenty-one he will be even stronger and together with his skills you can imagine how it will be. I wouldn’t like to be one of his opponents at that moment.”
      Then there is the USA. At the end of 2015 and into 2016 Prado spent a significant amount of time in California riding the supercross tracks and absorbing what it would be like to move across the Atlantic. “It was a lifelong dream, so I don’t know if it is dead yet,” says Gruebel. Jorge’s public talk of transitioning to SX has not been prevalent in the last eighteen months, maybe because of the effective blend with the De Carli setup. “Of course, I’m happy if he stays in Europe but it is a decision he needs to make by himself and we don’t want to turn him away from a dream,” says David.
      Jorge Prado (ESP) KTM 250 SX-F Pietramurata (ITA) 2019 © Ray Archer
      Prado is as bright a talent as they come, but he is also a product of the KTM program: The same kind of expertise that has already helped new rookie (another eighteen-year-old) Tom Vialle make a career breakthrough in 2019.
      “He has been with us for so long and was picked out as a ten-year-old on a 50/65cc and since then he’s had support and done many training sessions with the team,” Gruebel reveals of the Spaniard. “He kinda grew into it and that helps with handling the spotlight and seeing how the other guys, the older guys, go about their racing. You can learn your lessons quickly as opposed to going through it alone. From our side we try to give him the best material possible like we do with all our guys. It seems we are in a good direction with that because we have produced many world champions so far.”
      Red Bull KTM have helped Townley, Tyla Rattray, Marvin Musquin (twice), Roczen, Herlings (three times), Jordi Tixier, Pauls Jonass and Prado become MX2 title holders in the last fifteen years. There is a wealth of knowledge and excellence under that orange awning which means the praise that Prado receives from the crew – and considering what they have witnessed over the years with the KTM 250 SX-F – is something to treasure.
      “It is almost magical,” Smets says of his ability. “I have seen him doing things where I think ‘wow, to do that from the first moment is special’. OK, he’s been riding some supercross but not much in the US and no championship races, so it is all just natural judgement. To see him handling the bike like that almost gives me goose bumps. I’m not talking about normal doubles or triples but obstacles that nobody else would think to hit. He sees new options, he will try them and they’ll work from the first attempt. That is natural skill, intuition and feeling. You can do things with your heart in this sport and there are people without fear but that either works or it doesn’t; with Jorge it’s different. He makes anything work.”
      Lastly, what about the teenager himself? What else is there to do?
      “When I see myself riding I think ‘I can get a bit faster there’ or ‘I can enter the corner quicker here, open the gas earlier or let the bike roll more’: Motocross is a sport where you never know the limit. A half second a lap can be a lot at the end of the moto. It is a tough sport and I’m lucky I have Tony next to me training and that means I have the best reference. Sometimes we’ll be at the track and he’ll pull a very good lap and I cannot get close to him! So I know there is still some room for improvement! I feel there is a lot of work to do to get to that standard. It is difficult now at this level to get better … but with Tony as a reference I’m able to push every day.”
      Jorge Prado (ESP) KTM 250 SX-F Mantova (ITA) 2019 © Ray Archer
      Photos: Ray Archer
    • De Dementor
      VIDEO: THE KTM 790 ADVENTURE R RIDDEN & RATED BY RIEMANN
      Globally recognized motorcycle adventurer, Adam Riemann, puts the KTM 790 ADVENTURE R through its paces at the 2019 Naxos Adventure Rally.
      Adam Riemann (AUS) KTM 790 ADVENTURE R © Motology Films
      Adam Riemann is the man behind some of YouTube’s most epic (and most viewed) motorcycle adventure films. In his latest release the Australian returns to the trails of Greece to try out KTM’s all-new 790 ADVENTURE R at the third edition of the Naxos Adventure Rally.
      Extending a successful career as a motorcycle journalist into film making several years ago, Adam is the mastermind behind the renown MOTONOMAD film trilogy. From the Great Pyramid in Egypt to the Himalayan mountain trails, Riemann has ridden a motorcycle through some of the world’s most remote areas.
      Spending a few days testing the new model in mainland Greece, Adam then headed to the largest of the Cyclades island group to participate at the three-day Naxos Adventure Rally. Completing several hundreds of miles in diverse terrain, mountain roads and stony trails, he wrapped up his experiences aboard this exciting new KTM machine in the short film review below …
      [embedded content]
      Photo: KTM
      Video: Motology Films

    • De Dementor
      Parallel Powers
      Posted in Bikes, Riding One engine with two different applications. We take a longer look at the LC8c engine that propels the new KTM 790 ADVENTURE/R and discover what makes it different to that of the KTM 790 DUKE.
      The heart of every KTM 790 ADVENTURE and KTM 790 ADVENTURE R starts beating in a small Austrian town called Munderfing.
      KTM 790 ADVENTURE MY2019 © Marco Campelli
      The Motorenwerk (engine plant) is in eyeshot of the main assembly plant in neighboring Mattighofen and flanked by the gigantic WP facility, KTM Factory Racing, the KTM E-Cross Center, the offices of KTM Austria and the new KTM House of Brands. The plant runs 24/7 and over 200 people work here to produce 300 to 400 engines every day; 2-stroke and 4-stroke, single and twin cylinders – including the new parallel twin LC8c.
      Until the arrival of the KTM 790 DUKE in 2018, single cylinders and V-twins were the only engine layouts on offer from KTM. But this typically dynamic, aggressive and sporty machine came powered by the all-new LC8c parallel twin – KTM’s first production inline twin cylinder (if we don’t count the 2-stroke engine in the 250cc Grand Prix bike …). So, why this change in configuration? We asked KTM Product Manager, Adriaan Sinke, that very same question at the KTM 790 DUKE media launch last year.
      “There are many reasons for this,” Sinke replies. “But mainly to satisfy a need in KTM’s existing street line-up to bridge the gap between 690 LC4 single and 1290 LC8 twin; completing a DUKE capacity ladder and now giving all riders a KTM option in the highly competitive naked middleweight segment. For this capacity, a parallel twin offered the best packaging solution, in terms of its compact and narrow size. We call it LC8c – which means ‘Liquid cooled 8-valve compact’. This is an all-new engine that brings together experience from all KTM engine types – even from offroad. Calling it a 790 when it’s actually a 799cc just fits in with the brand naming logic.”
      The extremely compact design of the LC8c has provided new packaging advantages for KTM. With its size and using the engine as a stressed member, the absence of a ‘rear’ cylinder and air box mounted above the cylinder heads gives more flexibility in terms of help create ergonomics to fit riders of all sizes no matter what the final application and type of bike.
      History has shown us that KTM builds an engine for the intention of multiple uses. For example, the LC8 V-twin has powered superbikes, super nakeds, super adventures, super enduros and supermotos! That sounds like an easy way of making bikes, right? But KTM aren’t the kind of company who take the easy route, otherwise they’d have just used the KTM 790 DUKE’s engine in the new KTM 790 ADVENTURE and KTM 790 ADVENTURE R.
      Physically from the outside, the two engines are identical. On paper, the ADVENTURE model ‘loses’ 10hp at peak power but has fractionally more torque. So, we asked Andreas Guehlsdorf, Project Leader for the KTM 790 ADVENTURE/R, to talk the torque and tell us what is the difference and why?
      “Both the KTM 790 DUKE and KTM 790 ADVENTURE/R projects began at the same time, but the latter needed a longer development program. So, it wasn’t a case of changing the DUKE engine for the ADVENTURE – they were worked on in parallel, if you excuse the joke,” Andreas explains.
      “The approach was that we wanted to have better torque; to get it quite low in the rev range. But of course, we tried the ‘DUKE’ engine in the ADVENTURE and it just didn’t suit this bike. It was almost too nervous because it just wanted to be let loose rather than cruising through a town. Adventure is all day riding – not a sprint!”
      So that’s the riding positioning and reasons why, but what are the component differences?
      “It is down to cam timing, a longer intake tract and of course different ECU mapping,” Andreas continues. “We started with the longest air intake snorkels possible in our package and adapted the inlet and outlet cam to reach the 95hp. It was the intention to keep at least 95hp and gain the maximum torque performance out of these measurements taken. In addition, with the new mapping, we got a really nice ridable torque line with smooth running in low revs and below 100g/km CO2.”
      So, and like a lot of the development work the KTM 790 ADVENTURE and KTM 790 ADVENTURE R, KTM doesn’t favor the easy route and chooses to create a unique path. And that means that the Munderfing Motorenwerk will not be slowing down too.
      To give you an idea of how life starts for an LC8c engine – and all KTM engines – each one is tested on the dyno. For the 4-strokes, this procedure consists of two parts. After it has been mounted on the dyno, each engine is turned without ignition by an electric motor (which is integrated in the test rig) via the output shaft. This serves to check if oil pressure is generated sufficiently and that water circulation works ok. If this is the case, the engine is started on its own for the very first time. This run lasts about two minutes and incorporates a predetermined testing procedure at different engine speeds. At the same time, a check for any leaks or unusual noises is done also the transmission is tested for smooth operation.
      After the dyno test run each engine is back on the palette and transported again to the final assembly area. In this zone each 4-stroke engine is lifted and fixed on a working bench, where mechanics first drain the engine oil. After a new oil filter is installed the engine receives a fill of fresh oil. In addition, valve clearance is checked again and – if necessary – reset with appropriate shims. And once the engine is built into the bike, the engine is run up again on a dyno before the bike is packaged up and sent to the dealer – ready for a new owner to take it on heart-racing adventures!
      Photos: Marco Campelli | Sebas Romero | KISKA
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