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Kimi Raikkonen - membru al Familiei Orange


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kimi_are_KTMKimi Raikkonen este cel mai nou membru al Familiei Orange

Campionul mondial de Formula 1 din sezonul 2007 şi actualul pilot al Citroen J-WRC a devenit posesorul unei motociclete KTM 250 SX-F. Cu această motocicletă Kimi Raikkonen şi-a mai adăugat încă un vehicul de curse la colecţie. Iar după ce a dovedit că se descurcă şi pe macadam nu doar pe asfaltul circuitelor de Formula 1, finlandezul îşi va încerca norocul şi pe două roţi urmând să meargă pe câteva circuite de motocross şi la enduro.



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    • De Dementor
      Motorcycle Stability Control: Feeling MSC at work
      Posted in Bikes, Riding High performance motorcycles on the road have never been safer thanks to systems like KTM & Bosch’s motorcycle stability control (MSC). Nicholas Goddard tries to find the limits of the new frontier of ABS and traction control.
      KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT MY2018 © R. Schedl
      Since the invention of motorcycles, riders have pushed them to their limits and engineers have gradually improved the various parts of the bike in order for the former to keep happening. It’s all about finding a new mark to continually over-step …
      At first, the engines were the limiting factor. Until the Brough Superior was released in 1925, the most powerful production motorcycles had all produced less than 30 bhp. Overnight, the Brough brought an incredible 50% more performance. As engines improved, stronger brakes were necessary, then better tires, and then more sophisticated suspension. When the engines again got stronger, this cycle started over. Then, with the advent of motorcycle ABS in 1998, computers came to help out with the dynamics, not just behind the scenes with engine management systems.
      Since 2014, the top-performing motorcycles have also had inertial measurement units (IMU) which allowed the development and implementation of cornering ABS. This game-changing system for two-wheel safety made its debut with the KTM 1190 ADVENTURE and KTM 1190 ADVENTURE R, developed in conjunction with Bosch and is called motorcycle stability control, or MSC.
      In contrast to monstrous brakes or a stonking engine – both very obvious on the first twist of the throttle or firm squeeze of a brake lever – the IMU’s endless behind-the-scenes measurement remain completely unnoticed on a conservative ride. On such a ride, the safety systems the IMU informs are only likely to intervene during panic-braking (though they may turn on cornering-lights at night to illuminate the inside of a corner when the bike is leaned over). The bike won’t otherwise be sufficiently close to the limits of the tires (or, in the case of wheelie – or stoppie – control, the limits of physics) to trigger the systems.
      In aggressive riding, the many systems that make up MSC – cornering ABS, traction control, wheelie control, rear wheel lift control and, on some bikes, cornering lights – more frequently step onto the stage in order to resolve or to moderate situations that could degenerate. During nearly 1000 km on a KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT, I felt the MSC intervene dozens and dozens of times. Here’s a list of examples of non-panic, every day, brisk-riding scenarios where you can feel the magic of MSC as the bike responds instantaneously to the IMU’s live acceleration data and the measurements from the bike’s wheel-speed sensors.
      KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT MY2018 © R. Schedl
      Wheelie control
      I first noticed an intervention from the MSC while riding on an open, undulating straight section of mountain road. As I came onto the straight and accelerated hard, I expected the front wheel to come off the ground over the first crest. I kept the throttle steady and the wheel did indeed rise into the air, but then it paused and gently came back down. It was the same story on the crests that followed. The sensation was at first unnerving. Once I trusted the system, it was possible to concentrate on the road – rather than the throttle – while accelerating as fast as possible; allowing me to enjoy the incredible performance of the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT without fear of landing on my back with it on top of me …
      KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT MY2018 © R. Schedl
      Traction control
      On one winding stretch of road, damp patches lingered where trees had shaded the road from a drying sun after a mid-day rain. With the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT in ‘Street’ ride mode – providing an eager 170 hp at the request of my right wrist – I came through one damp corner and accelerated too aggressively. The back of the bike stepped sideways slightly, but a fraction of a second later the MSC detected the slip and gently cut the power to the rear wheel. As the bike stood up, I twisted the throttle, accelerated onto a dry patch of road and the front wheel lifted into the air. The MSC had stopped the rear wheel from slipping then, almost immediately after, allowed the front wheel to rise slightly as I accelerated off toward the next corner. All in the blink of an eye.
      KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT MY2018 © R. Schedl
      Panic braking
      In a fast-road situation, a rider on a conventional, non-MSC–equipped bike must not only estimate the amount of grip available, but also constantly calibrate themselves to leave a reasonable margin of safety in the event a panic-braking situation forces them to brake as hard as the conditions allow. The more talented and experienced they are, the smaller the margin of safety can be.
      On an MSC-equipped bike, the situation is different. In a panic braking scenario, MSC can tell the ABS module how far the bike is leaned over which in turn tells the advanced ABS module to keep or redistribute it between the front and rear brakes if necessary. Thus aided, the rider can be sure to take advantage of all the grip that’s available on any given trajectory – even mid-corner. The rider’s mental workload is reduced significantly, and so are his stopping distances. The result is increased safety, increased speed and the confidence instilled with such a system.
      During regular braking – even if only using the front brake – the braking system (if equipped with a 9.1ME system) keeps a slight pressure on the rear brake to sense rear wheel lift more quickly.
      KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT MY2018 © R. Schedl
      In the wet
      Unfortunately but yet fortunately, I had the chance to ride the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT in full rain conditions. Riding a motorcycle in the wet is always tricky. Gentle control inputs might not lead to a skid, but looming large in the back of a rider’s mind is just how much he can accelerate or brake without creating a precarious situation.
      On a wet city road, a braking path might include a manhole cover, some uneven pavement, and slippery paint. Rather than continually adjusting brake lever pressure during a panic stop, a rider on an IMU-equipped bike can let the system determine how much braking the contact patches can handle at each point during the braking path.
      If the braking demand at the lever exceeds the available grip from the contact patch, MSC modulates braking force to mirror the rider’s demand as closely as possible without locking the wheels – keeping the contact patch right on the limit of adhesion even if grip varies from one moment to the next.
      Acceleration is a similar story, but this time it’s the traction control system modulating the engine’s output in order to reduce slip. When your bike is able to use all the grip and traction available, wet roads seem much grippier than before.
      KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT MY2018 © R. Schedl
      Braking mid-corner
      Not that I didn’t trust the engineers from KTM, but I didn’t think it prudent to test the fabled cornering ABS capabilities of the MSC on public roads. Fortunately, a visit to Bosch’s testing center in Boxberg, Germany, produced such an opportunity in a controlled environment.
      I had the chance to ride an MSC-equipped bike around a skidpan as fast as I dared, then grab the front brake as hard as I could. I’d expected that the system would magically find grip where I thought there’d been none. But there was no surprisingly strong braking as I grabbed the lever; instead, the ABS applied the brakes lightly and the bike slowed gently at first – there simply wasn’t much excess grip available with the bike fully leaned over. As I slowed and lateral acceleration diminished, the system would brake harder. If I stood the bike up, MSC would let me brake to the point of the rear wheel coming slightly off the ground. Try as I might, however, I couldn’t get the front wheel to slide under braking while fully leaned over. Incredible.
      KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT MY2018 © R. Schedl
      Final thoughts
      Build confidence in MSC’s capabilities and your riding style will change. Rather than a constant obsession with how much grip is available and how you would handle a panic stop, you simply position the bike on the road, make a reasonable effort to put the tires on a grippy line and ride.
      Even if I hadn’t occasionally explored the limits of the tires on my long ride, the system was constantly vigilant, ever-ready to intervene to help me around a totally unforeseen change in road conditions or a surprise obstacle.
      The knowledge that the safety net is there to save you if you overstep the limit lets you ride closer to the limit. This frees up valuable mental real estate so you can focus on the road ahead.
      A positive side-effect is peace of mind. If you’re riding in the rain with a passenger, you know you can brake very hard without losing control, and you won’t “under brake” and entangle yourself in a situation that could have been avoided. With this technology available, it’s getting harder and harder to justify riding a high-performance bike without it.
      KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT MY2018 © R. Schedl
      Photos: R. Schedl/KTM
    • De Dementor
      Dakar 2018: A tough and beautiful race so far
      As we reach the well-earned rest day of Dakar 2018, it can certainly be said that this year’s route so far has been one of the toughest. From the start in Lima, Peru to today’s rest day in La Paz, Bolivia, the competitors have passed through days of desert and will now head into the mountains, racing at an altitude of over 2,500 meters.
      Luciano Benavides (ARG), Laia Sanz (ESP), Sam Sunderland (GBR), Matthias Walkner (AUT), Toby Price (AUS) & Antoine Meo (FRA) KTM 450 RALLY Dakar 2018 ©
      The opening part of the 40th edition of the notorious Rally Dakar was through the dunes and desert in Peru, with off-piste riding, tough climbs, soft sand and high temperatures to battle through. A mass start on the beach on day four offered a different kind of spectacle followed by some tough navigation and difficult terrain, while Day 5 provided the second longest stage of the rally with extremely tough mountainous sand dunes during the special stage. Austrian-ace Matthias Walkner said after Stage 5: “That was such an exhausting day. They said the rally this year was going to be one of the toughest ever and it’s certainly the hardest Dakar so far for me.”
      Yesterday’s stage brought the riders from Arequipa, Peru to La Paz, and while last year’s winner Sam Sunderland is unfortunately out of the race, the KTM Factory Racing Team is enjoying strong and consistent results from all of its riders aboard their KTM 450 RALLY machines heading into the second half of the event. With 3,034 km covered so far, and over 5,000 km to go across eight stages, including the ultra-challenging marathon stages where no assistance can be given by the team, we take a look at some of the most beautiful images from the race so far …
      Luciano Benavides (ARG) & Laia Sanz (ESP) Dakar 2018 ©

    • De Dementor
      Lyndon Poskitt: Malle Moto and the true spirit of the Dakar
      Posted in People, Racing The Dakar is often referred to as the world’s toughest rally, with most of the attention focused on the factory riders battling for victory. But some would say they have it easy compared to the heroes that decide to enter the Malle Moto class. The Dakar rule book simply describes the Malle Moto class as a ‘challenge created for Bike and Quad Riders without ANY KIND OF SERVICE’. What that means exactly is that competitors have to do everything themselves. They ride their bikes, service and prepare their bikes, and receive no outside assistance throughout the event.
      Lyndon Poskitt is one of those brave riders who has decided to take on the Dakar in its purest form. Read about the Brit’s experience of last year’s race and how he prepared for Dakar Malle Moto 2018 …
      Lyndon Poskitt (GBR) 2017 © Future7Media
      A challenge like no other
      “In 2016 I decided to give the Malle Moto class a go and totally underestimated how hard it would be. I thought I would be ok, I thought if I stayed focused and rode sensibly it wouldn’t be too bad, but you would not believe how much it wears you down. Even when things are going well, you get more and more tired every day. When people ask me how it went and say ‘oh, you did really well, you came second last year’ – let me tell you, it was a struggle.
      © Lyndon Poskitt Racing
      The spirit of the race is completely different in the Malle Moto category. Everybody is in the same boat, they have to do everything themselves. Of course, when something happens there is this huge camaraderie of everyone getting together, it’s like a big family helping each other out. When you see some of the guys coming in early in the morning when you are getting ready to go out, you feel so bad for them, they might get an hour’s sleep at the most before heading out again themselves.
      Personally, I like the phrase Malle is Rally. The class is definitely the traditional way to ride the Dakar. That’s how it was originally, but now it’s evolved into this huge commercial event. While I do have some very good sponsors – I wouldn’t be able to compete without them – I do like to keep things traditional and that’s something I try to share in the media I produce.”
      © Lyndon Poskitt Racing
      Lack of sleep and the will to keep on going
      “Luckily, I only had a couple of those bad nights with no sleep. There was a huge landslide last year and they had to put a detour in place. The whole day was 1150 km long, we had already raced the stage, then had to do a 600 km liaison only to arrive at a road block and be told we had to go a different way. It was already 7:30 pm and we had to ride another 350 km. Even then I thought I would be able to get in by about 10 o’ clock, but the route was all offroad and so gnarly. It was full of trucks kicking up dust and was really tough going. I managed to get back to the bivouac at 1.30 am in the morning and was the only Malle Moto bike home – everyone else was still out there.
      I prepped the bike really quickly, grabbed some food and was in bed by 2 am. We were due to be up again at 4.30 am but the stage ended up getting cancelled, so luckily all the other riders had plenty of time to get back. Despite only getting a couple of hours sleep, I was all set to go. I still got up and was ready and when I went outside there were only four other bikes that had made it back, five of us in total.”
      © Lyndon Poskitt Racing
      Bike maintenance, solo bike maintenance
      “Every day without fail, the rear tire and mousse have to be changed, the front can sometimes last for a couple of days. It’s the only thing we are allowed to have assistance with. It’s strange why that is, but the Malle Moto organization won’t let you take a mousse changer, you have to go to Michelin to have them changed. Even though they are happy to change them for you, I would prefer to be able to change them by myself. I am quite proficient at changing tires and mousses and the problem with having someone else do it is that you have to carry your wheels and the new tires and mousses anything up to 500 meters to get them changed. It’s an added stress, especially in 40-degree heat.
      © Lyndon Poskitt Racing
      The bikes themselves are so strong. All there is to do is change the oil and filters and generally I only do that every other night. The air filter gets changed every day, then there’s small jobs like tensioning and lubing the chain and a general check over of the bike. It doesn’t sound like too much but what is crazy is how time runs away with you – just a few little jobs can easily take up to two hours. If you get in at 7 pm, it’s soon 9 pm and you still have to get some food, sort your roadbook and attend the riders’ meeting before even thinking about sleep. You’re lucky if you get to bed before midnight and then you’re up again at 3 am.
      Last year I learnt to make the absolute most of my time – get things done, don’t talk, don’t go to see people, you haven’t got time for that. It sounds extreme but that’s how you have to be in that class. Last year, I wasn’t rushing to bed and that’s something that has to change this year. I need to get stuff done quickly and get to sleep. An hour’s extra rest each night will mean a massive boost for me.”
      © Lyndon Poskitt Racing
      What´s in the box?
      “For the 2018 Dakar my Malle Moto box is going to be way more organized than last year. I learnt the hard way that you need to have everything organized, again so you don’t waste any time searching around for something. This year I am properly prepared, with separate little boxes inside for various tools and everything sits in there really nicely.
      Tool wise, I only carry what I need. When I was building up my bike in the workshop I tried to use the smallest possible tools I could, and then put it to one side. I knew when the bike was done I had every single tool I needed to take to the Dakar. In another section of the box I have all my consumables; greases, oils, cable-ties, all the things you need throughout the day to keep you going. In the bottom of the box I have all my electrical spares, not just for the bike but for the navigation equipment too, because without that, your rally is over.
      © Lyndon Poskitt Racing
      I keep all my energy gels in there and hydration kits. I don’t take anything that I don’t really need. The box is pretty full but for this year I managed to squeeze a bike cover in too, which comes in handy overnight in the desert. One thing that is really important is a good headtorch. I have them hidden all over the place; one on my bike, one in my gear bag and a couple in my Malle Moto box because if you lose those, you’re in trouble.
      You are allowed to have someone carry things for you, but it costs money so a lot of people don’t do it. I have KTM Racing take some oil and filters, things like that and I replenish my box at the rest day. My tires and mousses for example cost me about 1500 Euro just to have them shipped with another team.”
      © Lyndon Poskitt Racing
      Motorcycle loneliness
      “It’s really important to stay strong. No matter how low you are feeling, because you are on your own. You have to keep pushing on. When I got to about four days from the end last year, I was completely broken. I was tired, exhausted and hurting. But somehow, I managed to get to the finish. You have to be really strong minded to do the Dakar, especially in Malle Moto.
      I fell asleep on the liaison a couple of times last year, one of the hardest things is trying to stay awake. Once you are in the stage it’s fine because your adrenalin is up, but in the morning liaison, when it’s pitch black, cold and raining, you really struggle to stay awake. If you’re lucky you might just nod off for a split second and catch yourself, but twice in 2017 I ran off the road and onto the dirt and woke up riding along with an Armco barrier right next to me. That shook me up a little and so I stopped by the side of the road for a break. I must have slept for only about five minutes maximum and was woken up when the next bike came past, but that five minutes was all I needed, I set off again and felt much better.”
      © Lyndon Poskitt Racing
      Media commitments
      “Most of the other Malle Moto riders wonder how I do it, but if it wasn’t for the media side of things and the exposure that gets, I wouldn’t be able to compete. I’m not a factory racer, I’m not in a position where I’m going to win the event, but what I can do is relate to people. They can see I’m just a normal guy having a go at the Dakar. To be able to share my experiences is what is helping me to actually get there, and achieve my goals as well. I think now, that feeling of being able to share my adventures is 50 % of the drive behind wanting to do it. I love the social media side of things, I love the support and interest from people all over the world and it encourages me to do more.
      © Lyndon Poskitt Racing
      What I’ll be doing this year with the daily video posts is a massive undertaking. We’ve got two people on-site and one person back in the UK receiving the data. It’s all got to be edited on the fly, which is super-technical and difficult to do. Other than the big teams with their big budgets, nobody has tried it before, so hopefully with a little luck we can pull it off and give the viewer a real taste of what the Dakar is like for a regular guy like me.
      One of the key things for me is that the footage has to be authentic. It won’t change who I am and I won’t try to be something I’m not. I am always conscious about getting some shots though, even if that means stopping in the middle of a stage to capture something important. It takes a little time at the beginning of the day to set up the cameras, and then starting and stopping the cameras where I feel the best content is. There are a lot of riders on social media and YouTube putting together cool little edits now, but I’m hoping my videos will be more timeless than that. They’ll tell more of a story and show the true side of the Dakar.”
      © Lyndon Poskitt Racing
      When it´s all over
      “Following on from the Dakar, after everything is finished, things are still tough. I took a week off at the end of last year’s event, but the effects last a lot longer than that. I was struggling to sleep properly for ages, finding myself awake for a lot of the night and I just couldn’t get back into a healthy rhythm again. Hopefully at the end of the 2018 event, everything will have gone well and I will have hours of footage to share with my followers. The Dakar really is something special, something unique and to be able to share my experiences of riding it is a real honor. I just hope everyone else enjoys sharing my journey …”
      © Lyndon Poskitt Racing
      Photos: Future7Media | Lyndon Poskitt Racing
    • De Dementor
      His last road to Dakar #3
      This will be the final time former GP racer Jurgen van den Goorbergh prepares for the toughest of all rallies; the Rally Dakar. The 48-year-old is neck deep into his preparations for his tenth go at the race. In three episodes we will be following his endeavors.
      Jurgen van den Goorbergh (NED) 2017 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions
      It’s been a few years since Jurgen van den Goorbergh celebrated New Year’s Eve with his family. A choice he made willingly, mind you. The last nine years he’s been partaking in the Rally Dakar, that sets off annually on one the first days of the year. Though this year the start date is a bit more family friendly, so he will able to raise a glass of champagne with the family, only to take to the sky the day after. He will eventually land in South America; Lima to be precise. Two weeks racing will depart from the Peruvian capital on January 6, with 14 stages planned. “This will be my last go at it, and I’ve got two reasons I’m going at it this one last time. Firstly, I want to show I can run my self-built Dakar bike – based off the KTM 450 EXC-F – reliably. Secondly, it’s the route for 2018. We start off in Peru, which is why I just had to go. The Peruvian desert has some of the most incredible sand dunes; those are just magical. I’m really looking forward to it.”
      After those six days, the 48-year-old Dutch rider will pass into Bolivia, with a lot more technical stages planned. “That sort of terrain should suite my bike very well. It’s light and agile, so it should be good. That’s where it should shine brightest.” During last year’s edition heavy rain ruined play in Bolivia, but van den Goorbergh isn’t expecting a rerun of that this year. “I’ve been in contact with Chavo Salvatierra (Bolivian Dakar rider) as he’s using a few parts I’ve made him, and he assured me the weather looks a lot better than it did last year. It’s by no means certain it won’t rain, but it will always be better than last time.”
      Jurgen van den Goorbergh (NED) KTM 450 EXC-F 2017 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions
      Difficult game
      Leaving well-prepared, van den Goorbergh is really looking forward to getting this Rally Dakar on the road. Priority for the first few days is to find a rhythm he can keep up for the entire fortnight. Also an important part of the race is to get a hang of navigating at high speeds. “Obviously I’m bike fit, but that is mostly from training on an Enduro bike. The rally bike’s been tested in the roughest of terrains, but I won’t put too many miles on it. I have to save that for South America. The big boys get to train on their race bikes on a day to day basis. I would’ve done a few smaller raids if they weren’t so incredibly expensive.” Because of that, van den Goorbergh will have to get used to navigating again. “I have to regain the rhythm, because I know full well I will be messy at first. You’re used to going way faster, but now you have to look down at the roadbook from time to time. You get distracted, so focus is an absolute must; a split second of losing focus and you’re in trouble. You have to be able to look down, think, and then take the right trail. That’s what makes a rally raid so interesting. If all came down to raw speed, they’d sent Jeffrey Herlings into the desert.”
      Navigating itself has changed a lot since last year, partially influenced by Marc Coma as the acting sporting director for the Dakar. It has become more difficult. “Waypoints are way more hidden now. In the past you’d be able to see the waypoint half a mile out. That won’t be the case anymore, so you’ll be looking at the roadbook more. And obviously you’re going to have to rely on your navigating skills more now.” And that is hardly easy, as van den Goorbergh knows all too well. It doesn’t take much to get into trouble. “If you run wide through a corner or if you cut it, you won’t notice until a few miles down the road your mileage is off by like 300 meters of more. That makes all the difference when it comes to taking the right route down to waypoints that only validate when you pass them by 90 meters or less. So you’re constantly correcting the miles you’ve put on the clock. It’s a difficult game, navigating.”
      © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions
      No rest for the weary
      It’s not just navigating that could cause potential headaches for van den Goorbergh. The fact he’s running in the Malle Moto class (malle means box in French) is an extra challenge in itself. “Running in the Malle Moto is hardship. You’re not just on the bike during the day, you’re also working on it when you get to the bivouac. No-one’s allowed to help you, and that gets tough.” The days are long for van den Goorbergh and his fellow Malle Moto riders (28 in total!). “My alarm goes at around 3.30 am, because we’re usually set to depart at around 5.00 am. By the time you come back in, it’s the end of the afternoon, with little time to eat and shower. It’s simply time you don’t have as a Malle Moto contestant. You’re tired, but you are going to have to get your hands dirty, too. Otherwise the bike won’t be ready for the next day. I have a work schedule for every single day, and that’s easily an hour’s work. And that is purely maintenance, not including repairing mishaps from the stage. If you crash or run into mechanical troubles, you’ve got your work cut out for you.” In Malle Moto you can call yourself a lucky man if you make it to bed by about 11.00 pm. Most of the times you don’t even get that luxury. “That is where a lot of the big boys make the biggest gains on us, because they’ll be calling it a day at 9.00 pm. They get to rest, which in turn helps them focus the next day. Malle Moto doesn’t just get hard, it gets dangerous, because you’ve got so little time to rest.”
      For the bigger problems, van den Goorbergh can call in some help with KTM. “Smaller parts like footpegs and levers I’ve got in the box, but it isn’t bottomless. If I bend or brake my bars, I can walk by KTM’s service truck. I can buy parts like that off them. Then again it’s better if you never need to bother them for parts, because that usually means you’ve been in a crash. Something that is extra heavy to have to deal with for a Malle Moto rider.”
      © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions
      One up
      Jurgen van den Goorbergh has to finish the Dakar, living out of the box the organizers (fixed measurements of 80 x 44 x 36 cm) take to the next bivouac every day. “My box is really two boxes, with the first one lined with loose bits and pieces; bike parts. The second one houses my tools. Because this is my fourth attempt at the Malle Moto class I know exactly what to bring. When I first took the challenge in 2015, I had completely overloaded my tool box, even though I thought I was well enough informed by a duo of former contestants. At camp there’s a work bench for Malle Moto riders, which I’m glad to be able to use. First time around I had brought an axle grinder; something you’re only ever going to be using once, so you might as well borrow it when you need it.”
      Apart from the box, Malle Moto riders are allowed to load up a set off wheels, a tent, and a bag of clothes. The organizers take those from one bivouac to the next. For other stuff, van den Goorbergh counts on befriended teams to carry it for him. “As a Malle Moto rider everyone knows how tough you’re going to get it, so they’re never too hard on you when you ask for a favor, like carrying a bag or some parts for you on their truck. The organizer also know about the hardships a Malle Moto rider goes through, so they think with the riders. For instance by placing the Malle Moto camp centrally in the bivouac; close to the tent where we can get food and drinks, but also close to the Michelin trucks. That alone saves a lot of time carrying wheels and tires across the bivouac.”
      Despite all of the challenges of the Malle Moto class, the former MotoGPTM rider wouldn’t have it any other way. “The purest way of approaching it. I did my first Dakar in 2009, and everything was smooth sailing. I came in seventeenth in my debut Rally Dakar; an incredible performance. I was rookie of the year too, which made it extra special. On paper it’s my best result by miles, but it doesn’t feel like it. Becoming the 2016 Malle Moto winner felt more special. Doing it all by yourself gives you a bigger feeling of accomplishment at the end of it all.”
      Jurgen van den Goorbergh (NED) 2017 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions
      Extra challenge
      It would be a fantastic ending to van den Goorbergh’s Dakar career if he could just take victory in the Malle Moto class in 2018. Though things have gotten a bit more interesting for the Dutchman when he heard Olivier Pain will be running in the specialist class as well. “It was quite a surprise to hear that. Pain is an elite rider, so you wouldn’t expect him to go and run in the Malle Moto class. He’s obviously a really good rider; you would have to be to take third overall like he did in 2014. And the big boys sure know how to swing a wrench, so that won’t be much of a problem either. His only downfall might be him trying to show off his speed. He’s used to doing so for years, but in Malle Moto you’re going to have employ a different strategy altogether.” Van den Goorbergh discovered firsthand how risky eagerness can be in the Dakar. “Last year I went off just a few days into the rally, partly because I was going too fast that day. I was making good time, but in the end it didn’t pay off as I crashed. That one spill caused a DNF, so you really have to be careful.”
      Despite finding a new rival in the fast Frenchman, the goal remains clear for the Dutchman. Finishing on his self-built Dakar bike is pretty much all that matters. “Of course I want to do a good job and finish as high up as possible. In riding Pain one-ups me, but that does not mean I can’t beat him. It isn’t just about raw speed; tactics play a big role. If I do make it to the end, I want to be on the Malle Moto rostrum. When things go to plan, that is feasible. Concerning the overall standings, I’d like to be in with the first fifty riders for the first week. If I can keep up with consistency, I can’t go wrong. In the final week riders will start to retire, allowing me to move up a few places. My goal is to make it to the top 35, and I’m going to give it my all.”
      Don’t want to miss out on Jurgen van den Goorbergh’s process during the Dakar Rally? Then make sure you follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
      Jurgen van den Goorbergh (NED) 2017 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions
      Photos: Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions
    • De Dementor
      The KTM 450 RALLY – Unbeaten at the Dakar
      KTM has enjoyed no fewer than 16 consecutive Rally Dakar victories. Even since 2011, when rules changed and engine sizes were reduced to a maximum of 450cc in an effort to bring other manufacturers into the event, KTM have won every single race. With an all-new bike for 2018, KTM once again take to the start well-prepared, well-motivated and hoping to take win number 17 …
      KTM 450 RALLY 2017 © Marcin Kin
      Following the move of the rally from Africa to South America in 2009, the routes and type of terrains used varied dramatically to the long, flat-out stages of the ‘original’ North African Dakar. In 2011 it was made compulsory for motorcycle engines to not exceed 450cc. This was advertised as ‘levelling the playing field’ for manufacturers in the hope of attracting different brands and with it possibly different winners. At this point KTM had already won the previous nine rallies. The other factor was safety, by reducing the capacity of the machines, overall speeds would be reduced with the bikes easier to handle during the arduous two-week event.
      Going into the 2011 Dakar, KTM had very little time to develop a specialized 450cc machine. Their solution was to fit a carbureted 450cc motocross engine into the chassis of their Dakar-winning 690 RALLY. Although somewhat crude, the bike was a success and took Marc Coma to his third win at the event.
      Marc Coma (ESP) KTM 450 RALLY 2011 © Future7Media
      It wasn’t until 2014 that KTM released their first purpose-built 450 RALLY. The bike was designed around a new fuel-injected 450cc engine, the result of which was a far more agile machine. The 450 took Marc Coma to another victory and year-on-year has continued to dominate the Rally Dakar, right up to Sam Sunderland’s win in 2017. Despite their ongoing success, and not wanting to rest on their laurels, KTM already had plans for a newer, slimmer and faster machine.
      In development for over two years, the latest incarnation of the KTM 450 RALLY is the most capable yet. At first glance you can see the bike is slimmer and more maneuverable. Underneath the updated bodywork and fuel tanks are a whole host of other changes that have come together to create a winning machine.
      A new frame and swingarm instantly create a narrower bike, a slimmer feeling between the legs for the riders. The bike handles the more technical sections with ease due to the improved design and lighter weight – over 10 kg less than the previous model. The center of gravity on the bike is lower and has been pitched forward, aiding both stability and handling at speed.
      KTM 450 RALLY 2017 © Marcin Kin
      The swingarm now sits on its pivot inside the rear of the main chassis, this creates a stiffer rear end and makes the bike less twitchy when ridden hard over the roughest terrain. The rear subframe is fully self-supported, manufactured from carbon, and incorporates one of the fuel tanks. In total, the bike carries approximately 31 liters when fully fueled. Up front, to balance the other changes to the chassis, huge 52 mm WP forks are fitted, another big improvement over the outgoing 48 mm versions.
      The bike keeps it standard size wheels – 21-inch up front and 18-inch on the rear, both shod with Michelin tires and mousses. Moto-Master brakes are fitted to slow down the bikes, mounted on the rear is a 240 mm disc while the front carries a massive 300 mm rotor. These provide enough stopping power to bring the bike to a standstill from speeds of over 180 km/h.
      KTM 450 RALLY 2017 © Marcin Kin
      With the bike sporting an aggressive-looking black color scheme, Matthias Walkner took the new 450 to the win at the final round of the 2017 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship in Morocco. It was Matthias’ first victory of the season and the Austrian attributed the success to an improved feeling on the new bike.
      “The new bike is a massive improvement,” told Matthias. “It feels much safer to ride, although faster at the same time. I think with the input of the younger riders, the bike has progressed a lot and suits the riding style of today. The old bike was a product of the racing as it used to be five or six years ago. Riders like Marc Coma and Jordi Viladoms, who were used to riding the larger capacity machines, perhaps had a different style to how we ride now. A lot of the new, younger riders, coming from a motocross background, prefer the lighter, sleeker feel of the new bike.”
      Matthias Walkner (AUT) KTM 450 RALLY 2017 © Future7Media
      To compliment the changes to the chassis, a new 450cc single-cylinder engine has been fitted. Not only providing better peak performance but also improved response. This is achieved by an all-new throttle body and engine management system. The bike is not only faster now but easier to ride at slower speeds when the going gets really tricky and the rider needs that added control.
      These combined advantages will really come into their own during an event like the Dakar. With competitors covering close to 9,000 km over 14 stages the race is tough on the rider as well as the machine. The new bike, being easier to ride fast over long distances and less of a handful in the slower, technical sections, will help riders stay fresh and focused.
      KTM 450 RALLY 2017 © Marcin Kin
      Laia Sanz will be contesting her eighth Dakar in 2018. The Spanish multiple world enduro and trials champion feels the new 450 may suit her even more than the rest of the team.
      “I’m so happy riding the new bike,” explains Laia. “It felt so good In Morocco back in October at the OiLibya Rally. It’s not only lighter and faster but it’s more stable and that makes such a difference on the stages. When you hit an unexpected hole or jump the bike always stays straight and that is such a big improvement over the last bike. For me, I know I’m not as strong as some of the other guys in the team so to have a more nimble, lighter bike is perhaps even more important.”
      Laia Sanz (ESP) KTM 450 RALLY 2017 © Future7Media
      2016 Dakar winner, Toby Price has had a tough year. The Australian injured his leg during stage four of the 2017 Dakar – pushing hard to make up lost time, Toby came off his bike in a riverbed and fractured the thighbone on his left leg. What followed was a year of recuperation and eventually, further surgery to clean up his left knee and replace the rod in his femur.
      Toby has had very little time on any bike during 2017 and has only managed a couple of weeks riding on the new KTM 450 RALLY in its current form. Despite the lack of testing, the former Dakar winner is confident the new 450 can deliver another top result.
      “The bike has come on so much over the past 12 months,” said Price. “Even from the outside looking in you can see the new improvements and how it should suit the more technical sections in the rally. Over the long stages its weight and agility should make things far less fatiguing for the riders – it’s lost maybe 10 kilos during its development and you can definitely feel that when you are riding it. My first full test won’t come until the Dakar itself now, but you only have to look at the results from Morocco to see how strong the bike is and everyone in the team seems to enjoy riding it. I’m really looking forward to seeing what it can do.”
      Toby Price (AUS) KTM 450 RALLY 2017 © Future7Media
      The Rally Dakar starts on January 6, 2018. Close to 200 bikes will set off into the Peruvian desert on the beginning of their 9,000 km journey that will hopefully see them to the finish at the Argentinian city of Cordoba. The KTM team of Sunderland, Walkner, Price, Meo, Sanz and Benavides will all be aiming to take the new KTM 450 RALLY to its maiden win, the 17th in a row for the Austrian manufacturer.
      ENGINE: Single cylinder, 4-stroke, 449.3cc ENGINE MANAGEMENT: Keihin EMS with electronic fuel injection TRANSMISSION: 6 gears, final drive 14:48, wet multi-disc clutch COOLING: Liquid cooled CHASSIS: Chromium molybdenum trellis steel frame, self-supporting carbon subframe SUSPENSION: 52 mm WP USD forks, WP shock absorber with linkage, 300 mm travel front and rear BRAKES: Front 300 mm, rear 240 mm Moto-Master SILENCER: Akrapovič, titanium FUEL CAPACITY: Approx. 31 liters WEIGHT: Approx. 138 kg (dry) [embedded content]
      Photos: Marcin Kin | Future7Media
      Video: GSP Media/KTM