Mergi la conţinut

KTM Blog

Autentifica-te  
  • postări
    117
  • comentarii
    0
  • vizualizări
    3.082

More tour and more roar: 2019 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT

Autentifica-te  
Dementor

46 vizualizări

251996_LFA1147-miwi-A-flat.jpg

More tour and more roar: 2019 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT

Posted in Bikes, Riding

The covers are off KTM’s heavily updated sports touring titan and we spoke with Project Leader, Tobias Eisele, to find out what’s new.

Tobias-Eisele-800x600.jpg

Tobias Eisele (AUT) KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT MY2019 © KTM

Following the launch of the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R in 2014 it was quickly discovered that ‘The Beast’ also had a softer side; the amount of torque available made the engine flexible for a variety of riding situations and the ergonomics – despite the exposed bars – was actually quite comfortable for longer runs. Rumor has it that this got the KTM engineers thinking what a bit would some weather protection and a larger tank could do for this machine …

Fact or fable and whatever the decision-making process it was a good one because when KTM entered the sports tourer market in 2016 with the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT it was in the typical READY TO RACE style – big on performance. This new model in the range saw a SUPER DUKE less track extreme and more grand tourer with the results as predicted; a true long distance machine with the ability to play in the curviest of corners.

But history has shown us that KTM never closes the throttle of development and no sooner had the first-generation GT hit the showrooms the R&D engineers were busy working on a sequel. Fast forward three years and KTM BLOG was at INTERMOT in Germany to see the covers come off this new GT. At first glance, the changes seem only minor; new headlight, eye-catching graphics. But Project Leader for the bike, Tobias Eisele, was in Cologne for the international motorcycle fair and spent some time with KTM BLOG to assures us the changes are both significant and a major improvement.

245717_1290 SuperDuke GT MY19 Black 90-Right 245725_1290 SuperDuke GT MY19 Orange 90-Left

KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT MY2019 © KTM

Tobias, what’s new with the GT?
“There are many things! Aside from the chassis and wheels, quite a lot has changed in this big update. We have a new engine – same as from the 2018 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R – with revised resonator chambers, titanium inlet valves and a new mapping to give 175 hp and 141 Nm of torque. There’s now the Quickshifter+, so clutchless up and down shifting. We have a 6.5 inch TFT dash with a unique display for the GT, new windshield and adjuster mechanism, LED headlight, the latest generation setting WP semi-active suspension, storage compartments within bodywork that includes one with a USB charger.”

Is that all?
“No! We also moved the cruise control to the left handlebar, added heated grips and handguards as standard, keyless ignition with KTM RACE ON, we are navigation ready with KTM MY RIDE and of course two new colors and graphics. There’s also a new optional ‘Track’ mode – including launch control, nine-level traction slip control, anti-wheelie. You can say we’ve been busy.”

What were the main goals for the new bike?
“The main goal was to put all the latest premium features that are already available on other products in the KTM range and add them to the GT. We also had to improve on any weaknesses, such as wind protection and the windshield adjustment as the latter didn’t feel as sophisticated as it should have been. So, trying to improve lots of little bits to make the GT a more complete and sophisticated bike. Not a small task.”

How much did you listen to customer feedback?
“When we started on this new version the original bike was only just out, so not much feedback from the outset. We knew our goals for this machine and then feedback soon filtered through. A criticism of the original Street suspension setup was the inclusion of anti-dive. The new suspension settings for Comfort, Street and Sport are massively changed, but with anti-dive now exclusive to Comfort. Other small things included the wish for the cruise control to be on the left bar, a longer pin on the side stand to make it easier to reach with the foot, a quickshifter for up and down and – of course – a TFT display.”

244705_RSC1887-wotr-B-flat-800x533.jpg

KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT MY2019 © KISKA/R. Schedl

What were the biggest challenges?
“Just putting the bridge to all those new features we talked about. The dash, for example, required a new software development; it was a big challenge. You have the supplier for the display, the designers, the engineers for the functions and you have to bring it all together. In another life I worked in aerodynamics for F1, so this area of the GT was something I was very interested in. But rather than performance, we worked hard in this department for comfort – such as weather protection and noise from the screen at speed. But as well as the rider comfort, we had to make sure it was a good design. As we didn’t want to make a compromise, there was a lot of back and forth between the engineers and designers but I’m happy with the result.”

So how is the GT aerodynamically better?
“Well, we have handguards to help keep cold wind and rain away from hands, but the way in which the new headlight and screen are working sees the bike feel just as comfortable to ride as the previous bike even when you are doing 20 km/h more.”

What part of the bike are you the most proud of?
“Besides aerodynamics and the semi-active suspension where we have made a really big improvement – especially between the modes – without changing the hardware, I would say that it was convincing my bosses to add the two storage compartments on the inside of the fairings. We’ve done this without having to add any big boxes and the way they work is really neat. When we completed our first prototype, I asked my manager to find where we had hidden a phone and he couldn’t manage it. Mission accomplished!”

Backed up by a bigger array of official KTM PowerParts to further personalize this potent sports tourer, the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT hits showrooms at the end of this year.

251996_LFA1147-miwi-A-flat-800x534.jpg

KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT MY2019 © KISKA/F. Lackner

Photos: KTM | KISKA


Autentifica-te  


0 comentarii


Recommended Comments

Nu există comentarii.

Creează un cont sau autentifică-te pentru a comenta

Trebuie să fii membru pentru a putea lăsa comentarii

Creează un cont

Înregistrează-te în comunitate. Este uşor!

Înregistrare

Autentifică-te

Ești deja membru? Autentifică-te aici.

Autentificare

  • Conținut Similar

    • De Dementor
      Interview of the Month: Toby Price – Bouncing back from injury and his journey to the 2018 Rally World Championship
      2016 Dakar Rally winner Toby Price is no stranger to hardship. Before his rally career had even begun the Australian suffered three broken vertebrae during a Hare and Hounds crash in America. Then, when defending his Dakar title in 2017, another fall resulted in a badly broken leg that resulted in his immediate retirement from the event. But through a positive mental, dogged determination and a never give up attitude, Price fought back to claim a hard-fought Dakar podium finish in early 2018. Price then went on to win the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship making him a firm favorite for Dakar 2019. However, once again the KTM ace is experiencing the rollercoaster ride of the sport, as he faces a race back to fitness to make it to the start of the Dakar in January, after sustaining a wrist injury this week.
      Toby Price (AUS) 2018 © Sebas Romero
      Toby’s Dakar journey started back in 2015. Riding for KTM as a support rider to the notably more experienced duo of Marc Coma and Jordi Viladoms, the Australian finished on the podium to surprise not only many of the Dakar regulars but also himself.
      “I was shocked to be honest, I certainly didn’t expect to finish on the podium. Going into the event, I knew it was going to be tough – my goal was to finish top 20, but I was definitely hoping to go a little better and maybe even crack the top 10. As the rally went on, my results improved, even taking a win on the penultimate stage. I just kept my head down and kept charging. Finishing third was amazing and I was hooked from then on.”
      Toby Price (AUS) KTM 450 RALLY Dakar Rally 2015 © Marcin Kin
      One year later, Price was standing on the top step of the Dakar podium. In what was only his sixth ever rally, the multiple Australian Offroad Champion won five of the 13 stages and his winning margin at the end of the 9,237 km race was close to 40 minutes.
      “It’s hard to put into words how tough the Dakar is, if you haven’t experienced it for yourself it’s not easy to understand. Just finishing the event is a triumph – winning it feels truly amazing.”
      Toby Price (AUS) KTM 450 RALLY Dakar Rally 2016 © Marcin Kin
      Not surprisingly, following his Dakar success his focus was 100% on cross-country rallying. Claiming third place in his first full season in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, Price went into Dakar 2017 full of confidence.
      A strong start was followed by a win on stage two as it started to look like Price could claim a second consecutive victory at the event. A navigational error cost him a lot of time on stage three and the Aussie went in to the fourth stage looking to claw back valuable minutes. Disastrously, a crash when pushing hard just a few kilometers from the stage finish resulted in a broken femur and the end to his Dakar Rally for that year.
      To say 2017 was ‘a challenge’ for Price is a huge understatement. Needing time to recover properly and rebuild his strength and fitness, a planned return to competition at the OiLibya Rally of Morocco ended up with Price needing to go under the surgeon’s knife with Dakar 2018 just around the corner. A serious question mark hung over Price’s participation in the following January’s 2018 Dakar.
      “I was worried. I had to have my injury cleaned up and because of the extra surgery it meant I had very little time to prepare for what is one of the toughest races in the world. I’d been off the bike for close to nine months and to come back from that and be on the pace was going to be a huge ask. The team were great though, they did an incredible job on the bike and in supporting me and I went into that first stage in Peru feeling as good as I possibly could have considering the year I’d had.”
      Toby Price (AUS) KTM 450 RALLY Dakar Rally 2017 © Marcin Kin
      After a solid start to the rally, Price went from strength to strength, finding pace when other riders were beginning to tire. With two consecutive stage wins and a second place on the 14th and final stage, the 2016 Dakar winner successfully completed the rally in an impressive third place.
      “I was so happy to get to the finish line in Argentina – that was always my main goal right from the start. To finish the Dakar Rally is an achievement in itself, to come away at the end of the race with a podium was unbelievable, especially after such a difficult year. The whole team came together and worked so hard, our results simply wouldn’t be possible without all the great people around us.”
      Toby Price (AUS) KTM 450 RALLY Dakar Rally 2018 © PhotosDakar.com
      The start of the 2018 world championship season wasn’t so successful for Price. At the first race in Abu Dhabi things started off well with a win on stage one, with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders claiming the top three positions on the day. Going into stage two, and despite another strong start, a sizeable crash caused damage to a fuel line on his KTM 450 RALLY, which ultimately cost close to 30 minutes. Price crossed the line in 11th position. The Australian was able to fight his way back to seventh overall, but with his main championship rival Pablo Quintanilla taking the win, it would be a huge challenge to make up enough points over the remaining rounds to claim the overall championship title.
      “Seventh at the end of the rally was not where I had planned to finish. Having said that, after the crash I had I was glad to complete the rally in one piece. I didn’t give up and pushed right to the end, although it was always going to be tough to try and make up for so much lost time.”
      Toby Price (AUS) Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2018 © Marcin Kin
      With the major teams deciding not to contest round two in Doha, it wasn’t until the Atacama Rally in Chile and round three that Price could regroup and fight once more for the title. Riding consistently and never finishing outside of the top five, the 31-year-old claimed the runner-up position on the podium and went a little way to putting his world championship campaign back on track.
      “I set out at the beginning of the Atacama to ride consistently and get back up to speed with the bike and navigation after the break over the summer. To take second after such a tricky race was really encouraging and helped to build my confidence for the last two rounds.”
      Toby Price (AUS) KTM 450 RALLY Atacama Rally 2018 © Rally Zone
      Another strong ride in Argentina at the Desafio Ruta 40 took Price to another second place, a mere six seconds from the win after 17 hours of riding. Most importantly however, Quintanilla was again one place behind giving Price an extra few points in the championship battle with just one round left to race – the Rally du Maroc.
      The rankings were close heading into the final round with Price trailing the leading Quintanilla by just eight points. Any one of the top six riders in the standings had a chance to take the championship title however, and it would all be played out in the sand of Morocco.
      Despite the pressure of the championship chase there was only one option for Price and that was to come out swinging, and that is exactly what he did. A win on the opening prologue stage threw down the gauntlet to his competitors. He backed it up with a win on stage one.
      Despite opening the route on stage two, Price led most the timed special and was only narrowly beaten on time by teammate Matthias Walkner. Holding the overall rally lead heading into stage three – the first of the rally’s marathon stage – Toby rode a safe 280 kilometers, conserving himself and his machine, to arrive sixth at the bivouac.
      With just the final two stages left to complete, Price gave it his all – posting the fastest time on the long stage four, finishing one place ahead of Quintanilla to secure his overall lead at the event with just the one day remaining.
      The fifth and final stage of the rally, and indeed the 2018 world championship, could not have gone much better. A close fight with Honda’s Kevin Benavides took Price to second place, just 12 seconds behind. The result was enough for the KTM rider to claim overall victory at the rally and in turn, the 2018 FIM Cross-Country Rallies crown.
      “It was such an amazing season – I still can’t believe it. It was seriously tough and after a slow start in Abu Dhabi I never dreamed I would be champion at the end of it all. Despite injuries and setbacks during my career, I have never given up, I have always looked ahead and tried to take some kind of positivity from it all. I was really nervous going into that last day in Morocco, despite my lead you can never take anything for granted in rallying. This is my first ever world championship and after such a positive Dakar at the beginning of the year, 2018 has been incredible. It’s all credit to my team and everyone at Red Bull KTM, without them behind me I wouldn’t be in the position to do the things I do. To stand on top of the world is the best feeling ever.”
      Toby Price (AUS) KTM 450 RALLY Rally du Maroc 2018 © Rally Zone
      Toby now looks to Peru and the 2019 Dakar Rally. The Australian has another injury-battle to overcome, having fractured his right scaphoid in training for the event, which is a definite reminder of the elation and challenges involved in racing offroad. Toby is a determined man though, and he fully expects to be racing in the new year – with his comback history, who knows what he might be able to achieve in the 10-day event. What is clear is that his goal will remain the same as every year; a good safe ride and a strong finish. We wish you a fast recovery Toby and look forward to seeing you at the Dakar!
      Toby Price (AUS) KTM 450 RALLY 2018 © Sebas Romero
      Photos: Sebas Romero | Marcin Kin | PhotosDakar.com | Rally Zone
    • De Dementor
      Under the skin of the rally team: Sam Sunderland and Toby Price talking about their ink
      Their wins are the result of their riding skills and inner strength. Their scars are a sign that their motivation to win outweighs their fears. Their tattoos are reminders of their teenage rebellions and deepest passions. Their body art is the ultimate proof that pain is nothing to endure when you decide to bleed for love. Translated into words, their ink says Life is fragile, we are not.
      Warriors have always used them, long before they became mainstream, to identify themselves, to commemorate loss and mark triumphs. Sam Sunderland and Toby Price have fulfilled the two former things of the tattoo list, while the latter, the ink that would represent their wins, is still on hold. On January 7 they will again put on their armor, and go chasing glory. The number of Dakar trophies to document on their skin is still far from final.
      Sam’s story
      Sam Sunderland (GBR) 2018 © Sebas Romero
      A stupid one to start
      Not every tattoo has a story, yet there is a story behind everything. Like many significant things in the life of Sam Sunderland, his love affair with ink began at the edge of Rub’ al Khali desert as well. “I got a stupid one when I was 17,” recalls Sam when asked about his first tattoo. “It seemed like a cool idea at the time, to have my name written on the back of my arm. I went on holiday to Dubai to see my cousins, we were best friends and pretty much the same age, and we got our names translated to Arabic. At the time, people in England would have their names written in Chinese, so to be different we chose Arabic. Actually, it wasn’t that cool because now this thing will be on my arm for the rest of my life. I can’t see it, which is good, and I can say to people that it means something like `Seize the moment` or `Never give up`, which is funny.”
      Love, death and sugar skulls
      After a couple of years, when the pain was already well forgotten, Sam had another – much more brilliant – idea, and got his second and third tattoo on the backs of his calves. “I’ve always loved sugar skulls. I don’t know why, just have. They are linked to Mexican culture, to the Día de los Muertos celebrations, as a way to honor the deceased. Mine are here for the same reason, to remember my friends who died. One skull is female, one is male, with a mustache, though it doesn’t mean that one is for a girl and one for a boy. If you look closer, there is some interesting stuff inside: bicycles across both the eyes, guns, a sprocket, a spider web, a compass and of course, the flowers,” explains Sam, and adds: “Looking at them now it really seems a bit strange to have two skulls on the back of my calves.”
      Sam Sunderland (GBR) 2018 © Sebas Romero
      Sharing scars with a koi carp
      “For me free-diving is the only time when I can really zone out. My life is pretty chaotic, but under the surface I somehow manage to control my thoughts. I go free diving because I spearfish,” says Sam. The big koi carp tattoo, masterly done in Thailand by a local tattoo artist, tells a story of a big passion. “To be honest, this one is also a bit strange. The reason I wanted it so big is that I wanted it to seem like it’s flowing around my knee. As result of a broken femur the fish now has two big scars,” says the winner of the Dakar 2017, and adds: “The ones on my calf muscles took three hours each, while I had to lie down for six hours for the fish. I don’t know which is harder: a really long day at the Dakar or a painful adventure like this.”
      Sam Sunderland (GBR) 2018 © Sebas Romero
      Time to roar
      Thinking of his next one, the idea is to get something super delicate, detailed, with fine lines and stuff. In other words: on a warrior’s skin there is always some place for a lion’s head. “I like what the lion represents and I think it just looks bad ass with his mane.”
      Toby’s story
      Toby Price (AUS) 2018 © Sebas Romero
      A chubby kid, riding for national titles with number 287
      “My first tattoo goes back to when I was 17, about to turn 18. I was racing motocross at that stage and never thought I would change my number. As all motorcycle riders do – they put their motorcycle number somewhere, I decided to do the same, and put number 287 on my lower back. Even now when I don’t run that number any more it still holds significance for what I did in the past,” Toby opens up about his first inked adventure. “87 is the year I was born and basically my riding number, but as a junior, every time I took part in Australian nationals we had to add the first number of our postcode. When you saw number 2 on the plate you knew the kid was representing New South Wales. Well, a little short chubby fat kid running for nationals with number 287 was me,” laughs the current World Champion in Cross-Country Rallies, the winner of the Dakar 2016 and proud guardian of two smaller tuaregs.
      Painting the Price
      Another thing motocross riders do is put their last name on themselves. So, Toby got PRICE written down his spine, the exact place where the riders can pay the highest price. “I got the outline done and then basically left it as that for a year or so. When I decided it wouldn’t be that bad I went back to the chair and had it colored in. Well, not entirely. After the P, it started to feel really uncomfortable so I skipped R and went straight to I, because it didn’t take as much coloring in. After an hour I got fed up again and left. The plan was to come back again in a couple of days, as at that point I still had three letters to do. Unfortunately, it took me another year to finish it. My mates made fun of me whenever they saw it. It’s all under my shirt, no one knows of it, unless I run a racetrack and take my shirt off. I always like to keep them covered, I want people to approach me without being put off, even if now I am sitting here with a dodgy mullet. What does that say about me?”, he smiles.
      Toby Price (AUS) 2018 © Sebas Romero
      For a girl he would still carry in his arms if he could
      “And then I also got one tattoo on my chest, a cross and two birds holding a ribbon,” he goes on. “This one is for my older sister Amanda that passed away in 2011. She had a big impact on my life and now I carry her on my heart. I know she is keeping me safe while doing all this wild, crazy and wonderful stuff. She was disabled from birth and also blind, so already as a kid I was looking out for her. I was her legs and her eyes, I really enjoyed being around her. I always thought to myself that could have been me. She taught me about how precious life is. Because of her and for her I live my life to the fullest. You never know when your numbers are up and you’ll get cold. Therefore, when the moment arrives, I will be sure that I did everything I could, pushed hard and gave 100 percent. I never say no to anything, I grab every moment with both hands and run with it. This is why this tattoo means so much to me. I knew what I wanted to do, and strangely enough, although the two tattoos on my back were extremely painful, the one on my chest, I knew it was for a reason and I don’t even remember it happening.”
      Toby Price (AUS) 2018 © Sebas Romero
      Time to race
      Speaking of expanding his tattoo collection, Toby says he’ll wait and see how many Dakar trophies he is able to get, and then he will act. Also, his next tattoo will be meaningful to him. It will talk about something he’s achieved and done. “What I know for sure is that I don’t want to get anything random, and I also have to accept the fact that there is no more space on my back,” laughs the wild Aussie.
      The road to a new tattoo will obviously be dusty, fast and utterly adventurous.
      Photos: Sebas Romero
    • De Dementor
      #inthisyear1998: Technology and Design Offensive
      Full-speed ahead in every respect – that’s what KTM is all about. This also means keeping on top of what’s going on in the world of motorcycling, be it touring bikers or owners of powerful single-cylinder beasts. The KTM 790 ADVENTURE in particular, presented in two versions at the EICMA, and the return of the completely overhauled KTM 690 SMC R caught the attention of KTM’s army of enthusiasts. Two decades ago, as the global market leader in the offroad sector, KTM also successfully gained a foothold in the sporty street and touring bike segment with a successful technology and design offensive. Even from first glance, KTM bikes have boasted an unmistakable KTM design pedigree for years – we don’t need our logo to stand out!
      KTM has been READY TO RACE for more than six decades. In the mid-1950s, Erwin Lechner went from victory to victory on the “Apfelbeck-KTM”, and in the late 1960s, the start of series production of offroad bikes marked the beginning of KTM’s journey into becoming the global market leader in offroad models for years to come. As early as 1974, KTM bagged its first international title win. Gennady Moiseev from the then Soviet Union won the first motocross world championship for the Mattighofen-based manufacturer, and Imerio Testori from Italy became European Enduro champion in the 500cc class – the Enduro world championship having not yet been launched. These were two titles that would be followed by countless others over the years.
      In 1992, KTM was under new management following the insolvency of the former KTM Motorfahrzeugbau AG, meaning that the R&D department was devising new concepts for the future. Just two years later, the range of offroad bikes was expanded to include the KTM 620 DUKE – a street version with a powerful LC4 single-cylinder Enduro engine. KTM has manufactured both offroad and onroad machines ever since. However, the KTM 620 DUKE, which was designed as a “fun bike”, was not produced in high volumes in order to close the gap with major industry players. As long-distance touring was the fashion of the time, it made perfect sense that Wolfgang Felber, who was head of R&D at the time, entitled the next project “All Terrain Enduro” – a twin-cylinder machine for long-distance touring bikers that could be used both offroad and onroad. In fact, there had already been some talk of getting ready for the future some years previously. A V2 engine with two 553cc LC4 cylinders was produced in collaboration with Jens Polte from Darmstadt, who is known for his racing achievements at the “Battle of the Twins”. This monster promised power in abundance. Those responsible for the “All Terrain Enduro” project also opted for a slim twin-cylinder V-engine, which offered considerably more possibilities than the tried-and-tested LC4 single-cylinder motor. The 60 mm short-stroke design provided for a low construction h, while the cylinder angle of 75° ensured compact dimensions. Called the LC8, the V2 engine delivered a good 100 hp from 950cc by the time the KTM 950 ADVENTURE concept bike was presented in 2000 at Intermot in Munich. At the 2002 Dakar Rally, Fabrizio Meoni was the first to cross the Lac Rosé finish line in the Senegalese capital on the rally version of the KTM 950 ADVENTURE. This was the second KTM victory at what is probably the most popular motorbike rally in the world – a distinction unmatched by any other manufacturer to date. The introduction of the KTM 950 ADVENTURE onto the market followed in 2003, the year of KTM’s 50th anniversary. By the time KTM introduced the KTM 990 DUKE concept bike at the EICMA in autumn, it was clear that KTM did not wish to surrender the large-volume street bike segment to its competitors.
      KTM 950 ADVENTURE © KTM
      However, the developments did not represent a departure from the offroad sector – quite the opposite in fact. With the LC4 Super Competition having previously raised the bar for 4-stroke engines in Enduro and motocross races, a second range of 4-stroke racing engines (starting from 400cc and 520cc) then went into series production. Alongside the move to the new factory building in autumn 1999, production of the EXC-Racing and SX-Racing models – which were intended exclusively for competition use – began.
      The LC4 motor was also further engineered – with an increased displacement and now called the 640 LC4, it was most powerful single-cylinder series engine in the world. It was used in various Enduro and Supermoto models and also in the KTM 640 DUKE 2, which is still hailed as a “design masterpiece” by some journalists today.
      KTM 640 DUKE 2 © KTM
      For KTM, the days of only being able to identify a motorbike by the brand logo on the fuel tank were long gone. The legendary Mint & Pepper models from the early 1990s are still remembered by many owing to their extravagant colors, but somehow they did not succeed. Great success only came several years later when KTM turned orange. At the time, Gerald Kiska, a young designer to whom the KTM design contract was awarded, and who has been responsible for the distinctive KTM design ever since, was in agreement with KTM CEO Stefan Pierer that all future models should be recognizable at first glance.
      The original orange color was refined further, and in the world of motorcycles, “KTM Orange” soon became the equivalent of “Ferrari Red” for cars. This not only applied to the paintwork on the motorbikes, but also to the entire brand image – from letter paper and trade show stands through to dealer showrooms.
      In the late 1990s, Kiska perfected the topic of “Edge Design” for KTM, which had become popular in the automotive sector. To this day, all KTM motorcycles bear the hallmark of Kiska’s unique handwriting style.
      And long before anyone ever thought of LED signatures, the KTM DUKE 2 was immediately recognizable as a unique KTM model even from the rearview mirror. The reason for this was the two ellipsoid headlights one above the other; a unique styling element in the motorcycle sector. Over the years, KTM did not produce any more bikes with two adjacent headlights, let alone one above the other. Even today, a DUKE or ADVENTURE is still recognizable at just glance thanks to its typical “face”.
      Twenty years later and things have come full circle at the EICMA – two decades after the first multi-cylinder concepts, the KTM 790 ADVENTURE (in two versions) with the compact LC8c motor complements the mid-range class in the Travel segment. And just like the one-time “All Terrain Enduro” project, the bike is well suited to adventure tours and offroad voyages of discovery on tough terrain.
      KTM 790 ADVENTURE R MY2019 © KISKA/F. Lackner
      Photos: KTM | KISKA/F. Lackner
    • De Dementor
      The KTM Factory Racing Team is prepared for Dakar
      Posted in Bikes, Racing The Dakar Rally is not a race where you can be complacent. Despite 17 consecutive wins for the KTM Factory Racing Team, each member of staff involved in the rally program is meticulous in the preparation for one of the toughest and most famous races in the world.
      Toby Price (AUS, #3), Luciano Benavides (ARG, #77), Matthias Walkner (AUT, #1), Sam Sunderland (GBR, #14) & KTM 450 RALLY © Sebas Romero
      The countdown has begun for the 2019 edition, which will be solely hosted in Peru, and with a vast majority of the 10 challenging stages being held on sandy terrain. It will not be easy.
      The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team includes three Dakar champions; Toby Price (2016), who recently won the Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, Sam Sunderland (2017), Matthias Walkner (2018). They will be joined by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing young-gun Luciano Benavides, and KTM Factory Racing’s Laia Sanz – the fastest female rally racer in the world – as well as Mario Patrao. It’s a strong line-up that will definitely be a force to be reckoned with in January, as they begin the journey for one of the most difficult races on the planet aboard their KTM 450 RALLY factory machines. With 5,000 brutal kilometers, sleepless nights, difficult navigation, marathon stages and the test of endurance for both rider and machine, anything really can happen.
      With the team’s final test ahead of Dakar complete, we wanted to share with you a cool video of the KTM factory racers in action just before their race machines were loaded onto the boat at Le Havre last week. With the bike and support vehicles’ journey overseas started, the final preparations are being made and in a month’s time we look forward to the start of Dakar 2019.
      [embedded content]
      Photo: Sebas Romero
      Video: Luca Piffaretti

    • De Dementor
      A Kid’s game? Talking Junior SX bikes and the ground-breaking arrival of the KTM SX-E 5
      It’s not all 4-strokes, 450s and flying horses: KTM have also kept a sharp eye on their Junior bikes and the progress of the KTM SX-E 5 electric bike means a special step forward for the kids and the SX range. We asked how, why and when …
      Among all the hype and homage to flagship motocrossers like the KTM 450 SX-F, the 2019 launch of the SX range had some surprises when it came to the Junior models. The recent EICMA show in Milan also upped the stakes with arguably one of the most important bikes in the offroad range being unveiled for the first time.
      In a way the small SX´s – 50, 65 and 85 – are some of KTM’s purest expressions of riding and especially racing. The factory has equipped the machines with similar or the same components as their ‘bigger brothers’ with WP suspension, chromium molybdenum steel frames and a list of other features while the racing pedigree is obvious through the attention to competitiveness. If in doubt then simply look at the amount of KTMs in the top ten of the 2018 EMX 65 and 85 European Championships in the Czech Republic (6 in both classes respectively) last July.
      A potent line-up of offerings for kids is basic marketing and sales sense. The machines may be mini but they should not be undervalued or underestimated. After all they could well be carrying KTM riders and customers of the future. “The kids are important to us and to get them on KTMs you need to get them early; you can see that even with our factory riders,” opines KTM Product Manager Offroad Joachim Sauer. “We have a very ambitious team for the minicycles.”
      KTM 85 SX MY2019 © KTM/R. Schedl
      The essential toy & tool
      KTM looked at ease of use for the 50 with an adjustable multidisc automatic clutch, lightweight WP AER air fork, PDS shock and a priority for easy handling. The 65 went a little more toward ‘race mode’ with the frame and high-performance cylinder equipped with pressure controlled exhaust valve (providing lots of torque for the competitive 65 class). To accommodate the step-up in experience and the needs of kids to continue learning meant a demand for the SX´s to keep setting standards on the track.
      This was especially relevant with the KTM 85 SX. “The 85 was taken very seriously because it is a completely new bike and we adopted the same strategy of development as the big bikes but perhaps with a little less intensity,” says Head of Motocross Platform R&D Manfred Edlinger. “A strategy usually means moving step-by-step and area-by-area to make improvements. We looked at this very closely on the 85 and we took one of our best – and smallest! – test riders to do the concept work because with kids it is always really difficult to get good feedback. We did the main comparison tests with him and for the next stage of feedback we checked with a Junior racer at a high level and in this case it was [2018 EMX 125 race winner] Rene Hofer. That collaboration in 2016 fitted really well with our schedule of development because it was the last year for him on the 85 and he used the prototype in almost all the races and won the championship with that bike. It was great, and we did the whole process together. We looked at new topics, implemented them on the test rider’s bike and then Rene was immediately riding and racing with that.”
      KTM 85 SX MY2019 © KTM/R. Schedl
      The 50 and 65s were not left behind. “We are always working to improve these models,” Edlinger adds. “The ergonomic development is a lot simpler because we use the same principals and surfaces but on a smaller scale. There are some small details that we improve frequently, such as smaller grips.”
      If there is one regular observation when it comes to the Junior SX´s then it involves the bikes’ sheer strength and power. They really are READY TO RACE. Perhaps they are slightly overwhelming for the total beginner who has missed the 50 or 65 stages. “We have a restriction kit for the KTM 50 SX MINI and this works pretty well but the bikes are race-orientated and even the KTM 50 SX is quite powerful but it is difficult to find that balance between racing and slower riding with such a small engine,” Edlinger admits.
      It is at this stage where KTM’s next project for the little SX´s comes to the fore. “The kit works well … but to be honest with the KTM SX-E 5 we’ll solve that problem and we can make different engine settings quite easily,” Edlinger says.
      Flick the Switch
      KTM have dabbled with e-mobility before. The Freeride concept for Enduro and Street have been explored and represented a benchmark of more than a decade of R&D and heavy investment. CEO of the KTM AG, Stefan Pierer, also underlined how important e-bikes will be to next generations of the company in a press presentation for the latest KTM FREERIDE E-XC model at the end of 2017. It was in October of the same year that KTM first talked about the KTM SX-E 5 and with a tentative date of 2020 for the technology to sit alongside the KTM 50 SX. The EICMA show pushed that date much closer to the present with the fetching 5kW low voltage battery powered already in finished form.
      The motivation with the KTM SX-E 5 is not only to explore alternative power. It is a significant first rung on the ladder for motorcycle riders and KTM customers generally. “[This] is a great way to get more kids on two-wheels,” says Sauer. “This bike will be super-user friendly. Our 50s currently are almost race bikes and for beginners they are too strong. With electric you can make any type of power or power-delivery that is much more controllable. This will open the field and for the minicycles I’m confident that 50 is just the start.”
      “We have quite a bit of experience with electric drive and batteries from the FREERIDE E but for concepts like the KTM SX-E 5 then you need a completely different development even if the department is the same,” he adds on the longer delivery time for what is one of KTM’s simpler but remarkably progressive motorcycles. “From year to year we gain more experience with e-mobility.”
      “We are very confident,” says Edlinger by way of an update. The engineer also admits that he’d used his own kids as unofficial test riders for the various stages of evolution! “The performance of the prototype was already on a very satisfying level, even better than what we expected. We worked on different settings for the power delivery but even with the fastest setting we saw that unexperienced kids could handle it well.”
      The KTM SX-E 5 also ended up having a few more appealing traits. “We are happy with our plans to make a ‘growing’ system, so you can change the h of the bike; this is a really nice feature and provides a bridge between the mini and the larger wheel SX.”
      KTM have worked to keep their Junior offerings as (arguably) the number one choice for kids and parents. KTM SX-E 5 is just an example of how seriously they view this compartment of their motorcycle portfolio.
      KTM SX-E 5 MY2020 © KTM
      Photos: KTM/R. Schedl | KTM
×