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  1. Collecting Moments #9: Finally READY TO RACE again! I may have dialed things down a notch over the past year while I got over my injury, but only in preparation for the new adventures to come. After 238 days I was back on the bike and after 363 days I was full of energy, commitment, and READY TO RACE again! Over the past few months it has been the little steps forward that have slowly brought me back to my KTM 300 EXC. The first few steps without crutches, the first weights in the gym, the first mountain bike ride with my Jekyll, the first time back on skis, the first ride out on the bike, and finally the last – and probably biggest – step: back on the race track. It was important to me not to allow an entire year to pass between the accident and my next competitive appearance. © Anna-Larissa Redinger I was staring at the calendar for the Austrian Cross-Country series throughout the entire season, with the same thought constantly rattling around my mind: “Will I be able to come back? When will I get back on the starting grid?” In my last blog entry I spoke of my first ride after my crash in October 2017. It was a special moment, even if I was more cautious, a little slower, and somewhat clumsier than before the accident. I used the summer to try to rediscover my old form, which admittedly took longer than I had expected. A few times in training I simply expected too much of myself and became disappointed with the slow rate of progress. It was only when I set myself a goal – to compete in the final race of the Austrian Cross-Country season in Mattighofen – that my training started to kick off. And how! Suddenly it was back: that indescribable sense of freedom as you fly from one bend to the next. This was when I decided that I was definitely going to be there lining up for the start of my home race. The anticipation was huge – but with a hint of nerves too. It had been a long time since I’d had that wondrous feeling of putting on new tires, adjusting the chassis to the perfect setup, and getting my bike ready to race. Loading the trailer, working through my race checklist, and finally getting prepared for race day. A truly special feeling. It was only once I’d got everything loaded up that I realized just how much I’d missed these moments over the previous year. © Anna-Larissa Redinger Race day for me started at 1 pm in the guest class for male competitors. Why not in the women’s class, I hear you ask? Well, considering that I hadn’t raced for a single minute of the year’s championship and I really was only a guest, I felt it was more appropriate to compete in the guest class. My start was nothing spectacular, but after deciding that I wanted to pursue an intelligent and careful strategy out on the track, I didn’t want to risk everything right at the start of the race. There were 90 guest riders in total and I lined up at number 78 on the grid. Amazingly, I quickly found a great rhythm and felt better with each corner mastered. As the race progressed I trusted myself more and overtook 20 or more riders. One part of the course in particular asked a lot of my mental resolve. It was pretty much identical to the situation where I had injured my knee before. A steep downhill section with a rut as the track. During the warm-up lap I had noticed how my heart rate shot up when I reached this point. I was nervous. My memories of the fall played back in my mind and I could hear the sound of tearing ligaments. “Think of the Romanian forest, Larissa, you’ve already mastered far more difficult sections! You can do it!” – I had to build up my courage! But it worked: with each passing lap I completed this downhill section with more and more authority. KTM 300 EXC © Anna-Larissa Redinger I also stood up to the physical demands better than I had expected. While training at home I had never ridden this sort of distance, so I was really jumping in at the deep end – I couldn’t be sure if I could hold out for the full two hours or not. But as I never overcommitted or pushed myself to my absolute limit during the race, I was able to conserve my energy through to the end. I didn’t feel anything from my knee at all. It was as though nothing had ever happened. My goal was to complete the race without an accident or injury in order to gain some confidence, but also to enjoy myself. In that respect, I definitely succeeded and I am incredibly proud of that! I am grateful and so happy that it didn’t take a whole year to get back on the race track after my injury – and that the experience was so overwhelmingly positive. The motivation to train hard through the winter and get ready for the 2019 season is indescribable! I am once again ready for many new moments on my KTM, including on the race track! © Anna-Larissa Redinger Get to know more about Larissa on the KTM BLOG – Collecting Moments #8: 238 days and I´m back in the saddle! – or check out her website! Photos: Anna-Larissa Redinger
  2. Collecting Moments #9: Finally READY TO RACE again!

    Collecting Moments #9: Finally READY TO RACE again! I may have dialed things down a notch over the past year while I got over my injury, but only in preparation for the new adventures to come. After 238 days I was back on the bike and after 363 days I was full of energy, commitment, and READY TO RACE again! Over the past few months it has been the little steps forward that have slowly brought me back to my KTM 300 EXC. The first few steps without crutches, the first weights in the gym, the first mountain bike ride with my Jekyll, the first time back on skis, the first ride out on the bike, and finally the last – and probably biggest – step: back on the race track. It was important to me not to allow an entire year to pass between the accident and my next competitive appearance. © Anna-Larissa Redinger I was staring at the calendar for the Austrian Cross-Country series throughout the entire season, with the same thought constantly rattling around my mind: “Will I be able to come back? When will I get back on the starting grid?” In my last blog entry I spoke of my first ride after my crash in October 2017. It was a special moment, even if I was more cautious, a little slower, and somewhat clumsier than before the accident. I used the summer to try to rediscover my old form, which admittedly took longer than I had expected. A few times in training I simply expected too much of myself and became disappointed with the slow rate of progress. It was only when I set myself a goal – to compete in the final race of the Austrian Cross-Country season in Mattighofen – that my training started to kick off. And how! Suddenly it was back: that indescribable sense of freedom as you fly from one bend to the next. This was when I decided that I was definitely going to be there lining up for the start of my home race. The anticipation was huge – but with a hint of nerves too. It had been a long time since I’d had that wondrous feeling of putting on new tires, adjusting the chassis to the perfect setup, and getting my bike ready to race. Loading the trailer, working through my race checklist, and finally getting prepared for race day. A truly special feeling. It was only once I’d got everything loaded up that I realized just how much I’d missed these moments over the previous year. © Anna-Larissa Redinger Race day for me started at 1 pm in the guest class for male competitors. Why not in the women’s class, I hear you ask? Well, considering that I hadn’t raced for a single minute of the year’s championship and I really was only a guest, I felt it was more appropriate to compete in the guest class. My start was nothing spectacular, but after deciding that I wanted to pursue an intelligent and careful strategy out on the track, I didn’t want to risk everything right at the start of the race. There were 90 guest riders in total and I lined up at number 78 on the grid. Amazingly, I quickly found a great rhythm and felt better with each corner mastered. As the race progressed I trusted myself more and overtook 20 or more riders. One part of the course in particular asked a lot of my mental resolve. It was pretty much identical to the situation where I had injured my knee before. A steep downhill section with a rut as the track. During the warm-up lap I had noticed how my heart rate shot up when I reached this point. I was nervous. My memories of the fall played back in my mind and I could hear the sound of tearing ligaments. “Think of the Romanian forest, Larissa, you’ve already mastered far more difficult sections! You can do it!” – I had to build up my courage! But it worked: with each passing lap I completed this downhill section with more and more authority. KTM 300 EXC © Anna-Larissa Redinger I also stood up to the physical demands better than I had expected. While training at home I had never ridden this sort of distance, so I was really jumping in at the deep end – I couldn’t be sure if I could hold out for the full two hours or not. But as I never overcommitted or pushed myself to my absolute limit during the race, I was able to conserve my energy through to the end. I didn’t feel anything from my knee at all. It was as though nothing had ever happened. My goal was to complete the race without an accident or injury in order to gain some confidence, but also to enjoy myself. In that respect, I definitely succeeded and I am incredibly proud of that! I am grateful and so happy that it didn’t take a whole year to get back on the race track after my injury – and that the experience was so overwhelmingly positive. The motivation to train hard through the winter and get ready for the 2019 season is indescribable! I am once again ready for many new moments on my KTM, including on the race track! © Anna-Larissa Redinger Get to know more about Larissa on the KTM BLOG – Collecting Moments #8: 238 days and I´m back in the saddle! – or check out her website! Photos: Anna-Larissa Redinger
  3. A new 690 roar with the 2019 LC4 Posted in Bikes, Riding It can be great to be ‘Single’ – plenty of people will tell you – and KTM’s feelings are the same when it comes to one of their most effective and innovative engine concepts. What new 690 delights await? 2018 EICMA and the reference for motorcycling exhibitions saw KTM unveil several models that caught the eye. Among the 790s, E-bikes and other updates for 2019 was the augmentation of the wide KTM catalog with the renovation of the LC4 single-cylinder engine. The revised ‘mono’ – first created back in 1987 and a mainstay in the KTM R&D halls since – sits at the heart of the new KTM 690 SMC R and KTM 690 ENDURO R: two curious bikes that satisfy the specific tastes of supermoto and offroad riders but are also configured for sturdy road and everyday use. KTM 690 ENDURO R MY2019 © KTM The SMC R harks back to KTM’s street origins when the company transitioned their punchy and exciting offroad technology directly to the tarmac and became the Supermoto rider/racer’s bike of choice. Towards the end of the second decade of this century the firm have now embellished what was once a raw and rugged motorcycle into one that still delivers thrills but boasts the type of specs demanded by users young, old, experienced and fresh to the potential of the ‘slide’. Standing out on the KTM 690 SMC R is that engine, and with 74hp at 8000 rpm it is renowned as the world’s most powerful production single. KTM have sculpted the slimmer but more voluminous (13.5 l) fuel tank as a load bearing component for extra rigidity and precision and, together with more compact bodywork, the chassis houses an LC4 that is smoother and more sophisticated than ever. The SMC R comes with two ride modes and has cornering ABS, lean angle-sensitive motorcycle traction control, motor slip regulation (MSR) and Quickshifter+, and the familiar Supermoto ABS mode aiding rear slides with front-end confidence. [embedded content] Four years ago, the KTM 690 ENDURO R was a revelatory trail bike: brutish power delivery on-tap but – somehow – as docile as a cat and with the handling of a KTM 350 SX-F. ABS braking was new fangled on such a hard enduro offering. For model year 2019 the ENDURO R has received a hard shot to the vein with the LC4 promising yet more connection between throttle hand and power play, an even smoother pull and increased efficiency. The ENDURO R also fastens a 13.5 l tank into the brand-new chassis, WP XPLOR suspension and split damping. Electronics might seem arbitrary on such a motorcycle but the provision of lean angle sensitivity to braking and traction functions, two different ride modes, offroad ABS, Quickshifter+ and motor slip regulation (MSR) to prevent rear wheel lock means this is a state-of-the-art and versatile dirt-cum-all-purpose bike. As the promo material packaged and sent with the KTM 690 ENDURO R states: ‘No road or route is impossible’. KTM 690 ENDURO R MY2019 © KTM/F. Lackner The LC4 continues to prosper … and means KTM are still prioritizing diversity of choice in their motorcycle line-up. Just what will EICMA 2019 bring? Photos: KTM | KTM/F.Lackner Video: KTM/KISKA
  4. A new 690 roar with the 2019 LC4

    A new 690 roar with the 2019 LC4 Posted in Bikes, Riding It can be great to be ‘Single’ – plenty of people will tell you – and KTM’s feelings are the same when it comes to one of their most effective and innovative engine concepts. What new 690 delights await? 2018 EICMA and the reference for motorcycling exhibitions saw KTM unveil several models that caught the eye. Among the 790s, E-bikes and other updates for 2019 was the augmentation of the wide KTM catalog with the renovation of the LC4 single-cylinder engine. The revised ‘mono’ – first created back in 1987 and a mainstay in the KTM R&D halls since – sits at the heart of the new KTM 690 SMC R and KTM 690 ENDURO R: two curious bikes that satisfy the specific tastes of supermoto and offroad riders but are also configured for sturdy road and everyday use. KTM 690 ENDURO R MY2019 © KTM The SMC R harks back to KTM’s street origins when the company transitioned their punchy and exciting offroad technology directly to the tarmac and became the Supermoto rider/racer’s bike of choice. Towards the end of the second decade of this century the firm have now embellished what was once a raw and rugged motorcycle into one that still delivers thrills but boasts the type of specs demanded by users young, old, experienced and fresh to the potential of the ‘slide’. Standing out on the KTM 690 SMC R is that engine, and with 74hp at 8000 rpm it is renowned as the world’s most powerful production single. KTM have sculpted the slimmer but more voluminous (13.5 l) fuel tank as a load bearing component for extra rigidity and precision and, together with more compact bodywork, the chassis houses an LC4 that is smoother and more sophisticated than ever. The SMC R comes with two ride modes and has cornering ABS, lean angle-sensitive motorcycle traction control, motor slip regulation (MSR) and Quickshifter+, and the familiar Supermoto ABS mode aiding rear slides with front-end confidence. [embedded content] Four years ago, the KTM 690 ENDURO R was a revelatory trail bike: brutish power delivery on-tap but – somehow – as docile as a cat and with the handling of a KTM 350 SX-F. ABS braking was new fangled on such a hard enduro offering. For model year 2019 the ENDURO R has received a hard shot to the vein with the LC4 promising yet more connection between throttle hand and power play, an even smoother pull and increased efficiency. The ENDURO R also fastens a 13.5 l tank into the brand-new chassis, WP XPLOR suspension and split damping. Electronics might seem arbitrary on such a motorcycle but the provision of lean angle sensitivity to braking and traction functions, two different ride modes, offroad ABS, Quickshifter+ and motor slip regulation (MSR) to prevent rear wheel lock means this is a state-of-the-art and versatile dirt-cum-all-purpose bike. As the promo material packaged and sent with the KTM 690 ENDURO R states: ‘No road or route is impossible’. KTM 690 ENDURO R MY2019 © KTM/F. Lackner The LC4 continues to prosper … and means KTM are still prioritizing diversity of choice in their motorcycle line-up. Just what will EICMA 2019 bring? Photos: KTM | KTM/F.Lackner Video: KTM/KISKA
  5. The Silver Arrow - Episode 2

    We head back in Husqvarna history to their important Silver Arrow model, which was released in 1955. It was a 175 cc ‘lightweight’ motorcycle with a 2-stroke engine and a three-speed gearbox. This model was manufactured until 1965 and there were 11,300 units made. Here, we take a look on how this ‘Silverpilen’ bike paved the way for the factory's future success in which the Silver Arrow played an important role putting Husqvarna on the world stage. Having said that, it was well-known that this newcomer was a true novelty amongst the finest market products available in the middle of the fifties. ‘Viking steel bites’ was often heard in the discussions of field experts. So, let us look at the hard, technical facts of this wonderful machine. The basis of the power from the Dream Machine was used, but since it needed development, there were several technical updates that made this power plant both quicker and more modern. Both the cylinder and the top-end were made from aluminium, increasing heat dissipation, while the cylinder walls were fabricated in hard-chrome steel. Both cylinders and pistons came from the German manufacturer Kolbenschmidt. Maximum power from the engine was measured at a ‘stunning’ nine horsepower at 6,000 rpm. The cylinder measurements were 60 millimetres in diameter and the stroke was at 61.5 mm, which gives us exactly 173.8 cc. A German Bing twin-port carburettor was incorporated in the engine design. This unusual Bing product for the 282 model, was a two-in-one concept with double throttle-slides in one carburettor body. One throttle rose before the other, which made for smooth riding. The gearbox had three positions and all-in-all, this beast was capable of doing 100 km/h, which at the time was a very good figure. According to standards, the lightweight tubular frame was a simple but elegant stamped-steel product where the engine helped to make the bike stable as a part of the build. The ‘rubber band’ suspension was acceptable at the time, but only gave a little riding comfort. Demands were not so advanced in the fifties and the factory soon produced better rubber for their front fork suspension. Streamlining was part of the styling concept and Husqvarna wanted no less, of course. Both the front forks with leading link and rubber links and the head-lamp suited well into this modern, up-to-date design. The single-exhaust system however trimmed more weight. Later, there was a Sports model, which used double-exhaust pipes. Immediately though the weight crept over 75 kilos, but this was of minor importance for the export markets. A friend of mine once told his story going to Germany with his ‘Silverpilen’ (Swedish for Silver Arrow) back in 1957 when he had purchased a used 175 cc Husqvarna. "After the machine I had been riding before, this was like coming into paradise," he said. He was working day time and then bike riding at night - every day of the week. “I had to pick up some spare parts for my employer and he thought it was quicker to let me go fetch them instead of the usual transportation methods. I made it back in three days after visiting Hamburg picking up the parts. My machine ran perfectly and despite some spills on slippery tarmacs, I had no problems during my entire trip." This episode seems to represent what many of the young guys at the time experienced - going to the limit with their Husqvarna, without any problems! The price of the Silver Arrow in 1955 was 1,890 Swedish Kronor corresponding to around 375 U.S. dollars at the time. Launching the newcomer took place in 1955. From the media, the motorcycle was considered to be a rocket toy with an uncertain future. But it soon turned out that this mischievous bike was a hit for the new generation. Besides rock 'n' roll, young people also liked the 2-stroke music and the Silver Arrow became ‘The Graduate’ into the big world. The teenage dream was the big leap from a moped to a grown-up motorcycle! After a couple of years on the market it became clear that the existing 175 cc power plant needed development. Increasing the capacity to 200 cc this newcomer was soon nicknamed the ‘Golden Arrow’. The designers counted on 15 horsepower under continuous load while the machine was only ten kilograms heavier than its predecessor. This made a subtle advantage on the market, but the Golden Arrow - manufactured between 1957-59 - was never accepted by the public so a mere 1,250 units were manufactured before Husqvarna skipped this model entirely. Overall, the Silver Arrow was a tremendous success for the Swedish motorcycle industry. Husqvarna established an international name, although exports of this particular model were limited.
  6. Let’s get 790 happy

    Let’s get 790 happy Posted in Bikes, Riding The annual Milan spectacle saw KTM unveil two new bikes that will excite riders of the travel enduro category. What was under the wrappers at EICMA? Seven years of continual growth for KTM and a burgeoning street division meant that the company were not rocking on their heels for 2019. A packed presentation area in Italy saw the unveiling of the KTM 790 ADVENTURE and an accompanying R model to further extend the family around the 799cc LC8c twin-cylinder engine concept. KTM 790 ADVENTURE R MY2019 © KTM The travel enduro models are the ‘orange’ highlights of the massive show that will last the rest of the week at the Fiera in Milan. The KTM 790 ADVENTURE is a unique offering in the segment with the LC8c tweaked to offer more torque lower in a powerband that will spit out 95hp. The motorcycle has been chiseled to be smooth but also light and very nimble: the exact characteristics that a rider demands from a bike that will produce the goods offroad but then also be apt for a street cruise that will test the extent of the 450 km fuel tank capacity. Some aspects of the popular ADVENTURE ‘siblings’ at 1290 and 1090 make it onto the 790, such as the three mode electronics (with optional ‘Rally’ setting), WP APEX suspension, 5” TFT display dash and integrated KTM MY RIDE app. The rally and enduro DNA of these bikes comes through the ergonomics, and traits such as the low ride h, the slim tank and the use of the LC8c as a stressed member of the chassis to assist with the dropped centralization. This motorcycle isn’t a road bike with some offroad AVON tires slapped on; KTM have mined their competitive roots and unparalleled success on tracks and trails to make sure that the KTM 790 ADVENTURE handles as it should on the loose stuff, and is then a powerful and practical prospect for the tarmac. KTM 790 ADVENTURE MY2019 © KTM/F. Lackner The R version takes the offroad emphasis to another level and with the focus squarely on ‘performance’. Apparently the KTM 450 RALLY was a strong touchstone for the R with a number of tweaks over the standard KTM 790 ADVENTURE accentuating the ability for this bike to give experienced trail fans a satisfying kick. The street element is not found wanting. Again the electronics stand out: MTC (motorcycle traction control), cornering ABS and four ride modes to tailor the output of the throaty LC8c. Alternate WP technology and Metzeler tires are just some of the other specs.  Media and guests that were lucky to get the first views of the KTM 790 ADVENTURE and the R were struck by a slightly different look. The bikes clearly pack some of that rally and ‘enduroesque’ styling thanks to the narrow front end and straight, functional seat unit that only enhance the travel enduro sensation. There were a few other surprises at the 2018 EICMA, click on our future stories to feel ‘the buzz’. Photos: KTM | KTM/F. Lackner Video: KTM/KISKA
  7. ktmLet’s get 790 happy

    Let’s get 790 happy Posted in Bikes, Riding The annual Milan spectacle saw KTM unveil two new bikes that will excite riders of the travel enduro category. What was under the wrappers at EICMA? Seven years of continual growth for KTM and a burgeoning street division meant that the company were not rocking on their heels for 2019. A packed presentation area in Italy saw the unveiling of the KTM 790 ADVENTURE and an accompanying R model to further extend the family around the 799cc LC8c twin-cylinder engine concept. KTM 790 ADVENTURE R MY2019 © KTM The travel enduro models are the ‘orange’ highlights of the massive show that will last the rest of the week at the Fiera in Milan. The KTM 790 ADVENTURE is a unique offering in the segment with the LC8c tweaked to offer more torque lower in a powerband that will spit out 95hp. The motorcycle has been chiseled to be smooth but also light and very nimble: the exact characteristics that a rider demands from a bike that will produce the goods offroad but then also be apt for a street cruise that will test the extent of the 450 km fuel tank capacity. Some aspects of the popular ADVENTURE ‘siblings’ at 1290 and 1090 make it onto the 790, such as the three mode electronics (with optional ‘Rally’ setting), WP APEX suspension, 5” TFT display dash and integrated KTM MY RIDE app. The rally and enduro DNA of these bikes comes through the ergonomics, and traits such as the low ride h, the slim tank and the use of the LC8c as a stressed member of the chassis to assist with the dropped centralization. This motorcycle isn’t a road bike with some offroad AVON tires slapped on; KTM have mined their competitive roots and unparalleled success on tracks and trails to make sure that the KTM 790 ADVENTURE handles as it should on the loose stuff, and is then a powerful and practical prospect for the tarmac. KTM 790 ADVENTURE MY2019 © KTM/F. Lackner The R version takes the offroad emphasis to another level and with the focus squarely on ‘performance’. Apparently the KTM 450 RALLY was a strong touchstone for the R with a number of tweaks over the standard KTM 790 ADVENTURE accentuating the ability for this bike to give experienced trail fans a satisfying kick. The street element is not found wanting. Again the electronics stand out: MTC (motorcycle traction control), cornering ABS and four ride modes to tailor the output of the throaty LC8c. Alternate WP technology and Metzeler tires are just some of the other specs.  Media and guests that were lucky to get the first views of the KTM 790 ADVENTURE and the R were struck by a slightly different look. The bikes clearly pack some of that rally and ‘enduroesque’ styling thanks to the narrow front end and straight, functional seat unit that only enhance the travel enduro sensation. There were a few other surprises at the 2018 EICMA, click on our future stories to feel ‘the buzz’. Photos: KTM | KTM/F. Lackner Video: KTM/KISKA
  8. High Five: A closer look at KTM´s big news in Milan Posted in Bikes, Riding The KTM BLOG takes a deeper looking into the five new machines the READY TO RACE company presented at EICMA. EICMA. To some that means Esposizione Internazionale del Ciclo, Motociclo, Accessori but to most bike freaks, the Milan-based show is the time when most manufacturers present their new production machines and tease the future with incredible prototypes. KTM, in particular, likes to make a big impact at this event; remember ´The Beast´ and ´The Scalpel´? These were presented at the Italian show … This year’s show was no less important to the READY TO RACE company. Presenting the conference on Tuesday November 6 was former MotoGPTM rider, KTM test rider and now commentator, Alex Hofmann. The German was assisted unveiling the new bikes on stage with KTM CEO, Stefan Pierer, KTM CSO, Hubert Trunkenpolz, Red Bull KTM MotoGP Factory Racing rider, Pol Espargaró and former multiple Dakar winner, Marc Coma. KTM 790 ADVENTURE / KTM 790 ADVENTURE R MY2019 EICMA 2018 © Marco Campelli So, what exactly was revealed? The most comprehensive, dynamic and innovative range ever from KTM with machines available that will allow riders of every age and ability to choose and best their own path in 2019. Sounds exciting, eh? Let’s take a closer look at them … KTM 790 ADVENTURE and KTM 790 ADVENTURE R Arguably the most eagerly anticipated bikes to be revealed by the orange company was the KTM 790 ADVENTURE and KTM 790 ADVENTURE R. “You spoke, we listened,” they said, and boy they did not disappoint. KTM is always proud to call itself a riders’ company and these all-new models are a direct result of customer feedback, mixed with the brand’s experience and expertise. The KTM 790 ADVENTURE is for travel enduro fans of every ambition and ability, ready to discover new roads whichever way it’s pointed at – no matter surface. The KTM 790 ADVENTURE R is a lightweight, agile and technically advanced machine for adventurers that endeavor to challenge themselves while challenging tricky terrain. So, two models. Which bike to choose? It all depends just how extreme and regular your offroad riding is. In a nutshell, the KTM 790 ADVENTURE is the most offroad capable travel bike and the KTM 790 ADVENTURE R is the most travel capable offroad bike. KTM 790 ADVENTURE R MY2019 © KTM/F. Lackner KTM 690 SMC R MotoGPTM rider, Pol Espargaró, talked on stage about his love for riding supermoto as an excellent training tool and just for fun, which was a fitting what to introduce the return of the KTM 690 SMC R in 2019. Rebooting supermoto for the road this model takes KTM´s READY TO RACE approach to its purest incarnation on the street; lightweight, agile, addictive single-cylinder punch, premium chassis components and now backed up by leading performance-enhancing electronics. Did anyone say wheelies? KTM 690 SMC R MY2019 © KTM/R. Schedl KTM 690 ENDURO R Someone who knows KTM’s enduro successes better than most and the legacy of the LC4 engine to the brand, is Mr. Hubert Trunkenpolz. Introducing the bike on stage at EICMA was KTM’s CSO, who also happens to be the grandson of the founder of KTM, after all (and that’s what the ‘T’ in KTM stands for …). Versatility is what the new KTM 690 ENDURO R is all about; even more perfectly positioned to connect the tarmac and trails. The massively updated bike also benefitting from the same engine, electronics and chassis improvements made to its sliding Supermoto sibling, but in a platform completely focused on offroad. Endless enduro without the need to ever trailer to the trails. Or take the van … KTM 690 ENDURO R MY2019 © KTM/F. Lackner KTM SX-E 5 It isn’t’ all about the ‘grown-ups’ in 2019 as KTM also showed off its newly developed KTM SX-E 5. The next step in KTM’s innovative line-up. Combining class-leading knowledge in youth motorcycling with years of development work in the e-sector, the KTM SX-E 5 is based on the incredibly popular 2-stroke KTM 50 SX with a high-end chassis powered by an electric motor. KTM’s mission was clear: to create an ultra-competitive machine that is also easy to ride, even for pure beginners. The KTM SX-E 5 enjoys the advantage of zero emissions, low noise and minimal maintenance, which makes it ideal for youngsters looking to make the first step into the world of motorcycling and thanks to its dynamic design, it is ideal for the growing rider with its adjustable seat h. Ah … to be young again! The kids have never had it so good. KTM SX-E 5 MY2020 © KTM/H. Mitterbauer Stay tuned for further information on the KTM 2019 model range and visit www.ktm.com or your nearest official KTM dealer. Photos: Marco Campelli | KTM/F. Lackner | KTM/R. Schedl | KTM/H. Mitterbauer
  9. High Five: A closer look at KTM´s big news in Milan

    High Five: A closer look at KTM´s big news in Milan Posted in Bikes, Riding The KTM BLOG takes a deeper looking into the five new machines the READY TO RACE company presented at EICMA. EICMA. To some that means Esposizione Internazionale del Ciclo, Motociclo, Accessori but to most bike freaks, the Milan-based show is the time when most manufacturers present their new production machines and tease the future with incredible prototypes. KTM, in particular, likes to make a big impact at this event; remember ´The Beast´ and ´The Scalpel´? These were presented at the Italian show … This year’s show was no less important to the READY TO RACE company. Presenting the conference on Tuesday November 6 was former MotoGPTM rider, KTM test rider and now commentator, Alex Hofmann. The German was assisted unveiling the new bikes on stage with KTM CEO, Stefan Pierer, KTM CSO, Hubert Trunkenpolz, Red Bull KTM MotoGP Factory Racing rider, Pol Espargaró and former multiple Dakar winner, Marc Coma. KTM 790 ADVENTURE / KTM 790 ADVENTURE R MY2019 EICMA 2018 © Marco Campelli So, what exactly was revealed? The most comprehensive, dynamic and innovative range ever from KTM with machines available that will allow riders of every age and ability to choose and best their own path in 2019. Sounds exciting, eh? Let’s take a closer look at them … KTM 790 ADVENTURE and KTM 790 ADVENTURE R Arguably the most eagerly anticipated bikes to be revealed by the orange company was the KTM 790 ADVENTURE and KTM 790 ADVENTURE R. “You spoke, we listened,” they said, and boy they did not disappoint. KTM is always proud to call itself a riders’ company and these all-new models are a direct result of customer feedback, mixed with the brand’s experience and expertise. The KTM 790 ADVENTURE is for travel enduro fans of every ambition and ability, ready to discover new roads whichever way it’s pointed at – no matter surface. The KTM 790 ADVENTURE R is a lightweight, agile and technically advanced machine for adventurers that endeavor to challenge themselves while challenging tricky terrain. So, two models. Which bike to choose? It all depends just how extreme and regular your offroad riding is. In a nutshell, the KTM 790 ADVENTURE is the most offroad capable travel bike and the KTM 790 ADVENTURE R is the most travel capable offroad bike. KTM 790 ADVENTURE R MY2019 © KTM/F. Lackner KTM 690 SMC R MotoGPTM rider, Pol Espargaró, talked on stage about his love for riding supermoto as an excellent training tool and just for fun, which was a fitting what to introduce the return of the KTM 690 SMC R in 2019. Rebooting supermoto for the road this model takes KTM´s READY TO RACE approach to its purest incarnation on the street; lightweight, agile, addictive single-cylinder punch, premium chassis components and now backed up by leading performance-enhancing electronics. Did anyone say wheelies? KTM 690 SMC R MY2019 © KTM/R. Schedl KTM 690 ENDURO R Someone who knows KTM’s enduro successes better than most and the legacy of the LC4 engine to the brand, is Mr. Hubert Trunkenpolz. Introducing the bike on stage at EICMA was KTM’s CSO, who also happens to be the grandson of the founder of KTM, after all (and that’s what the ‘T’ in KTM stands for …). Versatility is what the new KTM 690 ENDURO R is all about; even more perfectly positioned to connect the tarmac and trails. The massively updated bike also benefitting from the same engine, electronics and chassis improvements made to its sliding Supermoto sibling, but in a platform completely focused on offroad. Endless enduro without the need to ever trailer to the trails. Or take the van … KTM 690 ENDURO R MY2019 © KTM/F. Lackner KTM SX-E 5 It isn’t’ all about the ‘grown-ups’ in 2019 as KTM also showed off its newly developed KTM SX-E 5. The next step in KTM’s innovative line-up. Combining class-leading knowledge in youth motorcycling with years of development work in the e-sector, the KTM SX-E 5 is based on the incredibly popular 2-stroke KTM 50 SX with a high-end chassis powered by an electric motor. KTM’s mission was clear: to create an ultra-competitive machine that is also easy to ride, even for pure beginners. The KTM SX-E 5 enjoys the advantage of zero emissions, low noise and minimal maintenance, which makes it ideal for youngsters looking to make the first step into the world of motorcycling and thanks to its dynamic design, it is ideal for the growing rider with its adjustable seat h. Ah … to be young again! The kids have never had it so good. KTM SX-E 5 MY2020 © KTM/H. Mitterbauer Stay tuned for further information on the KTM 2019 model range and visit www.ktm.com or your nearest official KTM dealer. Photos: Marco Campelli | KTM/F. Lackner | KTM/R. Schedl | KTM/H. Mitterbauer
  10. How did Herlings make 2018 possible? Posted in People, Racing 17 wins from 19 and a first MXGP title means 2018 was a magnificent motocross season for Jeffrey Herlings. How did he make it happen? We asked Team Manager Dirk Gruebel for some insight. Dirk Gruebel (GER) Valkenswaard (NED) 2018 © Ray Archer The dust from the roost of 2018 MXGP is beginning to settle and besides the knowledge that he is World Champion (and Red Bull KTM are #1 for the seventh time this decade with two different riders) Jeffrey Herlings might soon begin to appreciate the numbers of the year with greater awe. The 24-year-old Dutchman routinely crushed his rivals through a variety of conditions and across different terrain but his phenomenal numbers tell just as much of the story. Herlings has famously said he lived like a “monk” to achieve a 100% podium appearance record, 17 Grand Prix wins from the 19 he contested, 33 motos from 38, 14 1-1 shutouts and only dropped 17 points from the maximum all year (discounting the 50 missed from the Grand Prix of Lombardia, when he was injured). “I’m not sure if he was dedicated more than before because he has always been that way,” opines KTM Group VP of Offroad Robert Jonas. “He started this year in top shape. I still think Jeffrey is ‘growing’ and hasn’t reached his full potential.” Jeffrey Herlings (NED) Red Bud (USA) 2018 © Ray Archer Behind Herlings was his loyal team and the Red Bull KTM staff that had helped and nurtured this fantastic talent since his GP debut as a 15-year-old in 2010. The technical crew refined the #84 KTM 450 SX-F especially in the early rounds of the series and by Portugal and the fifth race of 2018 Herlings had the whole package of pace, connection, reliability, confidence and starts. He was also winning the battle in a ‘toe-to-toe’ with defending champion and teammate Tony Cairoli. To gain some more perspective on how Herlings blossomed from his emphatic opening success of the season in Argentina, returned swiftly and decisively from a training crash and broken collarbone and went on to set more records in the sport we ask German Team Manager Dirk Gruebel for an inside line … Jeffrey Herlings (NED) KTM 450 SX-F Imola (ITA) 2018 © Ray Archer Ok, how did Jeffrey make the difference over the others in 2018? Rival teams are no longer talking about winning in MXGP, rather “catching Herlings” … “You know, Jeffrey made some big mistakes in 2017 and coming into his first season of MXGP. Maybe he was a little bit wrong from the off because guys who moved up before him from MX2 were champion right away [Romain Febvre in 2015 and Tim Gajser in 2016] so for him it was a ‘done deal’ and he ‘had’ to be world champion. I think there were riders who were keen to make it tough for him because he’d smoked them in MX2. I think it was payback time in the 2017 pre-season internationals already and people were closing the door on him and being a bit harder than normal in my opinion … but it was to be expected because he was the greenhorn and there were people who wanted to show him the way, at least that’s how it looked from the outside. For sure he was not on the same fitness level as this year and it took a while to find his lines and his way. He learned. The starts were a big problem and we developed those with him. He’s a maniac now with those, especially during the week. I doubt anybody puts in as much practice as him and he’s improved a lot; top five lately and mostly top two. Within a couple of corners he is first and then it is all about the incredible pace he sets from the first lap until the last which is not possible for most of these riders. Tony tries his best and does really good but it is such a high level that even he struggles to stay with him. If they battle each other then there is usually a gap of thirty-forty seconds to the next guy in third and that’s not normal for this sport.” He seems to run the same speed no matter the track … “Yeah, it doesn’t matter for him anymore. In MX2 you could see he was the fastest in the sand but there was also Tommy Searle or Dylan Ferrandis who could show him a front wheel on the hard-pack once in a while. But now in MXGP this is not really happening. It is a rare thing to see: that he is excelling no matter the ground or even if it’s a new track. It’s impressive.” There are not many motorcycle racers in any FIM World Championship with a similar rate of success … “Last year our message to him was ‘just aim for the top five or top three and you’ll be world champion’ but, to him, it was like the message was still read as ‘be first every weekend’! It ran like this into 2018 and he was a bit down when someone else won but it was good to remove that [notion of] the perfect season because that is another kind of pressure. He was going in a good way this year and the broken collarbone and missing one round didn’t help but coming back to start winning again straight away was something nobody expected.” Jeffrey Herlings (NED) KTM 450 SX-F Assen (NED) 2018 © Ray Archer Was there a time when you thought he was over the limit? “We had it in Indonesia [round twelve of twenty]. For the first event back after injury I thought he took a little too much risk. Ok, he saw the win was possible but he could have paid a high price for it. He took a risk, but so did Tony and he got the short end of the stick when he hurt his thumb and in the end it worked out for Jeffrey. In my opinion it was not necessary to put that pressure on himself to again be winning so soon after surgery.” Can you give a rough estimation of how much Jeffrey is riding during the week? Do you see other riders doing the same mileage? “No. Glenn [Coldenhoff] tried to keep up with him a bit more since last year but it’s tough. He normally rides three times a week between races. If there is no race then on Saturday or Sunday there will be another practice.” Jeffrey has talked about the cost and toll of 2018. Is there the chance of burnout? “It is hard to say. It’s not predictable. He is the strongest out there now but overnight things can change. The human body can be a strange element and can play tricks on you. He really trains a lot but then other people did before him as well and they were Ok in their particular sport. It is hard to say.” Jeffrey Herlings (NED) KTM 450 SX-F Afyon (TUR) 2018 © Ray Archer From the outside he looks like the perfect motocrosser and there are not many weaknesses. In person what’s he like? Is there that same veneer of strength? “In my opinion he puts up a shell, which you also need to protect yourself when you are as famous as him at such a young age already. Even now when he is older the shell is still there. He likes a bit of privacy and distance from people. He puts that ‘armor’ up, and that’s his decision. He is not the most talkative or outspoken person in the paddock, that’s for sure, but if you get to know him then he’s a really good guy.” Did the team make a breakthrough in the period before Portugal and find the solution for his starts? “Hmm, it was a constant process. All through spring we worked on the starts and they got better and better but we also had some stuff coming from the technical side that helped him as well to stay in the same RPM and then he found his procedure, which he didn’t have last year. This is the key now for a good start and he repeats it week by week.” Repeating this season: is that going to be possible? “I think next year we can expect the same Jeffrey again. He is still hungry and eager to win. Some guys do have that ‘big goal’ and then they take a step back or fall into that hole [of motivation] but I don’t think that will happen with him. He is keen to have another title and I think we’ll continue to see the best of him in 2019.” Jeffrey Herlings (NED) Red Bud (USA) 2018 © Ray Archer Photos: Ray Archer
  11. How did Herlings make 2018 possible?

    How did Herlings make 2018 possible? Posted in People, Racing 17 wins from 19 and a first MXGP title means 2018 was a magnificent motocross season for Jeffrey Herlings. How did he make it happen? We asked Team Manager Dirk Gruebel for some insight. Dirk Gruebel (GER) Valkenswaard (NED) 2018 © Ray Archer The dust from the roost of 2018 MXGP is beginning to settle and besides the knowledge that he is World Champion (and Red Bull KTM are #1 for the seventh time this decade with two different riders) Jeffrey Herlings might soon begin to appreciate the numbers of the year with greater awe. The 24-year-old Dutchman routinely crushed his rivals through a variety of conditions and across different terrain but his phenomenal numbers tell just as much of the story. Herlings has famously said he lived like a “monk” to achieve a 100% podium appearance record, 17 Grand Prix wins from the 19 he contested, 33 motos from 38, 14 1-1 shutouts and only dropped 17 points from the maximum all year (discounting the 50 missed from the Grand Prix of Lombardia, when he was injured). “I’m not sure if he was dedicated more than before because he has always been that way,” opines KTM Group VP of Offroad Robert Jonas. “He started this year in top shape. I still think Jeffrey is ‘growing’ and hasn’t reached his full potential.” Jeffrey Herlings (NED) Red Bud (USA) 2018 © Ray Archer Behind Herlings was his loyal team and the Red Bull KTM staff that had helped and nurtured this fantastic talent since his GP debut as a 15-year-old in 2010. The technical crew refined the #84 KTM 450 SX-F especially in the early rounds of the series and by Portugal and the fifth race of 2018 Herlings had the whole package of pace, connection, reliability, confidence and starts. He was also winning the battle in a ‘toe-to-toe’ with defending champion and teammate Tony Cairoli. To gain some more perspective on how Herlings blossomed from his emphatic opening success of the season in Argentina, returned swiftly and decisively from a training crash and broken collarbone and went on to set more records in the sport we ask German Team Manager Dirk Gruebel for an inside line … Jeffrey Herlings (NED) KTM 450 SX-F Imola (ITA) 2018 © Ray Archer Ok, how did Jeffrey make the difference over the others in 2018? Rival teams are no longer talking about winning in MXGP, rather “catching Herlings” … “You know, Jeffrey made some big mistakes in 2017 and coming into his first season of MXGP. Maybe he was a little bit wrong from the off because guys who moved up before him from MX2 were champion right away [Romain Febvre in 2015 and Tim Gajser in 2016] so for him it was a ‘done deal’ and he ‘had’ to be world champion. I think there were riders who were keen to make it tough for him because he’d smoked them in MX2. I think it was payback time in the 2017 pre-season internationals already and people were closing the door on him and being a bit harder than normal in my opinion … but it was to be expected because he was the greenhorn and there were people who wanted to show him the way, at least that’s how it looked from the outside. For sure he was not on the same fitness level as this year and it took a while to find his lines and his way. He learned. The starts were a big problem and we developed those with him. He’s a maniac now with those, especially during the week. I doubt anybody puts in as much practice as him and he’s improved a lot; top five lately and mostly top two. Within a couple of corners he is first and then it is all about the incredible pace he sets from the first lap until the last which is not possible for most of these riders. Tony tries his best and does really good but it is such a high level that even he struggles to stay with him. If they battle each other then there is usually a gap of thirty-forty seconds to the next guy in third and that’s not normal for this sport.” He seems to run the same speed no matter the track … “Yeah, it doesn’t matter for him anymore. In MX2 you could see he was the fastest in the sand but there was also Tommy Searle or Dylan Ferrandis who could show him a front wheel on the hard-pack once in a while. But now in MXGP this is not really happening. It is a rare thing to see: that he is excelling no matter the ground or even if it’s a new track. It’s impressive.” There are not many motorcycle racers in any FIM World Championship with a similar rate of success … “Last year our message to him was ‘just aim for the top five or top three and you’ll be world champion’ but, to him, it was like the message was still read as ‘be first every weekend’! It ran like this into 2018 and he was a bit down when someone else won but it was good to remove that [notion of] the perfect season because that is another kind of pressure. He was going in a good way this year and the broken collarbone and missing one round didn’t help but coming back to start winning again straight away was something nobody expected.” Jeffrey Herlings (NED) KTM 450 SX-F Assen (NED) 2018 © Ray Archer Was there a time when you thought he was over the limit? “We had it in Indonesia [round twelve of twenty]. For the first event back after injury I thought he took a little too much risk. Ok, he saw the win was possible but he could have paid a high price for it. He took a risk, but so did Tony and he got the short end of the stick when he hurt his thumb and in the end it worked out for Jeffrey. In my opinion it was not necessary to put that pressure on himself to again be winning so soon after surgery.” Can you give a rough estimation of how much Jeffrey is riding during the week? Do you see other riders doing the same mileage? “No. Glenn [Coldenhoff] tried to keep up with him a bit more since last year but it’s tough. He normally rides three times a week between races. If there is no race then on Saturday or Sunday there will be another practice.” Jeffrey has talked about the cost and toll of 2018. Is there the chance of burnout? “It is hard to say. It’s not predictable. He is the strongest out there now but overnight things can change. The human body can be a strange element and can play tricks on you. He really trains a lot but then other people did before him as well and they were Ok in their particular sport. It is hard to say.” Jeffrey Herlings (NED) KTM 450 SX-F Afyon (TUR) 2018 © Ray Archer From the outside he looks like the perfect motocrosser and there are not many weaknesses. In person what’s he like? Is there that same veneer of strength? “In my opinion he puts up a shell, which you also need to protect yourself when you are as famous as him at such a young age already. Even now when he is older the shell is still there. He likes a bit of privacy and distance from people. He puts that ‘armor’ up, and that’s his decision. He is not the most talkative or outspoken person in the paddock, that’s for sure, but if you get to know him then he’s a really good guy.” Did the team make a breakthrough in the period before Portugal and find the solution for his starts? “Hmm, it was a constant process. All through spring we worked on the starts and they got better and better but we also had some stuff coming from the technical side that helped him as well to stay in the same RPM and then he found his procedure, which he didn’t have last year. This is the key now for a good start and he repeats it week by week.” Repeating this season: is that going to be possible? “I think next year we can expect the same Jeffrey again. He is still hungry and eager to win. Some guys do have that ‘big goal’ and then they take a step back or fall into that hole [of motivation] but I don’t think that will happen with him. He is keen to have another title and I think we’ll continue to see the best of him in 2019.” Jeffrey Herlings (NED) Red Bud (USA) 2018 © Ray Archer Photos: Ray Archer
  12. #inthisyear1978: Six Days Karlskoga – KTM wins Manufacturers Award Posted in History, Racing 2018 marks the first-ever World Enduro Super Series, the first competition to combine the Hard, Classic, Beach, and Cross-Country disciplines – including the Red Bull Hare Scramble on the Erzberg. According to Winfried Kerschhaggl, manager of the WESS Series: “The sport has grown tremendously in recent years, now it’s time for a championship that brings the key events together.” With one round to go, six KTM riders number among the top ten, with Manuel Lettenbichler one of those snapping at the heels of the leaders. The racers from Mattighofen are considered hot favorites for the WESS title. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER) Hawkstone Park (GBR) 2018 © Future7Media On the other hand, the shine has to some extent come off the International Six Days Enduro in recent years, once likened to the Olympics of motorcycling. Ever since John Penton set the ball rolling at the end of the 1960s with his call for the series manufacture of offroad machines, KTM has been heavily involved in classic enduro sports, both in national championships as well as in the European and later world championships. However, the Six Days Enduro, the annual highlight of the season in autumn, was not initially an event for individual riders. Instead it was a team competition similar to the MX of Nations in motocross. In addition to the World Trophy for national teams that until recently were made up of six riders, the “Silver Vase” was for teams of four. The “Manufacturers Award” was of particular interest to manufacturers involved in offroad racing. In this competition a team of three riders aimed to cross the finish line without picking up any penalties with the aim of demonstrating the speed and reliability of their brand. Delivery of the first Penton offroad machines was taken in the USA in 1968, and a week later they got the opportunity to show just what they could do at the Stone Mountain Enduro in Georgia. Six short months later at the end of September, the Penton squad and their machines made a return to Europe to enter the “43rd Sei Giorni Internazionale di Regolarita”, the International Six Days Enduro in San Pellegrino, Italy. There’s no doubt it was a big risk taking the four small machines, with just 475cc between them, to the Bergamasche Mountains for their first European competition. But, John Penton, straight from his Silver Vase victory with the team from the USA, was undaunted. Together with his son Tom Penton, Dave Mungenast, and Leroy Winters, the Penton Vase team ended in 10th place: more than a good result when one considers that a year earlier the machines were not even on the drawing board. Incidentally, the winners that year were the Italian Vase team that included Arnaldo Farioli, later to become a KTM importer. US Silver Vase team 1968 © Penton Ten years on and KTM won the Manufacturers Award for the first time. The Six Days took place between September 4 and 9, 1978 in the environs of Värnamo in Sweden and, at the end of six hard days racing, KTM led the board in a total of 45 brand teams. At that time, international enduro racing was in the hands of the various national importers; only the entry in the Motocross World Championship came directly from the factory in Mattighofen. Seven importers from Belgium to the USA started with KTM brand teams in Sweden. In Harald Strößenreuther, Reinhard Christel, and Paul Rottler, KTM Germany importer Toni Stöcklmeier, himself once a successful Six Days racer and 1974 German offroad champion in the 350cc category, put forward three reigning national champions all the same time. These three competed valiantly and by the end took 40 seconds and nearly a minute off the Zündapp and Jawa teams, who had started as favorites. Six Days 1978 © Teuchert Today, the International Six Days Enduro is the offroad event with the longest tradition. Originally called the International Six Days Reliability Trial, this was an endurance race for motorcycles and trikes that was held for the first time in 1913 in Carlisle (UK). Since then the International Six Days Enduro, or the “Olympics of Motorcycling” as it is often known, has taken place every year in autumn, with the exception of the two world wars. This year it is being held for the 93rd time in the Chilean city of Viña del Mar. Albeit, it has to be said that the “Six Days” has lost much of its appeal these days. There has even been talk of making the one-time highlight of every offroad year a bi-annual event. Having said that, there’s one thing that won’t change this year – when the 600 participants push their bikes up to the starting line on November 12, the color orange is set to dominate again. Like many professional racers, many private riders continue to put their trust in KTM – the service and lease package was completely booked out in next to no time. And, as in other years, a special “Six Days” version is available again, clearly identifiable by its special decal in honor of the host country. KTM 300 EXC TPI MY2019 © KTM Two days before the start of the Six Days, the first season of the WESS ended with the Red Bull Knock-Out Beach Race in the Dutch city of Scheveningen with the KTM stars Manuel Lettenbichler, Josep Garcia, Taddy Blazusiak, Jonny Walker, and Nathan Watson – the enduro season promises to be action-packed right to the end. Photos: Future7Media | Penton | Teuchert | KTM
  13. #inthisyear1978: Six Days Karlskoga – KTM wins Manufacturers Award Posted in History, Racing 2018 marks the first-ever World Enduro Super Series, the first competition to combine the Hard, Classic, Beach, and Cross-Country disciplines – including the Red Bull Hare Scramble on the Erzberg. According to Winfried Kerschhaggl, manager of the WESS Series: “The sport has grown tremendously in recent years, now it’s time for a championship that brings the key events together.” With one round to go, six KTM riders number among the top ten, with Manuel Lettenbichler one of those snapping at the heels of the leaders. The racers from Mattighofen are considered hot favorites for the WESS title. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER) Hawkstone Park (GBR) 2018 © Future7Media On the other hand, the shine has to some extent come off the International Six Days Enduro in recent years, once likened to the Olympics of motorcycling. Ever since John Penton set the ball rolling at the end of the 1960s with his call for the series manufacture of offroad machines, KTM has been heavily involved in classic enduro sports, both in national championships as well as in the European and later world championships. However, the Six Days Enduro, the annual highlight of the season in autumn, was not initially an event for individual riders. Instead it was a team competition similar to the MX of Nations in motocross. In addition to the World Trophy for national teams that until recently were made up of six riders, the “Silver Vase” was for teams of four. The “Manufacturers Award” was of particular interest to manufacturers involved in offroad racing. In this competition a team of three riders aimed to cross the finish line without picking up any penalties with the aim of demonstrating the speed and reliability of their brand. Delivery of the first Penton offroad machines was taken in the USA in 1968, and a week later they got the opportunity to show just what they could do at the Stone Mountain Enduro in Georgia. Six short months later at the end of September, the Penton squad and their machines made a return to Europe to enter the “43rd Sei Giorni Internazionale di Regolarita”, the International Six Days Enduro in San Pellegrino, Italy. There’s no doubt it was a big risk taking the four small machines, with just 475cc between them, to the Bergamasche Mountains for their first European competition. But, John Penton, straight from his Stone Mountain victory in the USA, was undaunted. Together with his son Tom Penton, Dave Mungenast, and Leroy Winters, the Penton Vase team ended in 10th place: more than a good result when one considers that a year earlier the machines were not even on the drawing board. Incidentally, the winners that year were the Italian Vase team that included Arnaldo Farioli, later to become a KTM importer. US Silver Vase team 1968 © Penton Ten years on and KTM won the Manufacturers Award for the first time. The Six Days took place between September 4 and 9, 1978 in the environs of Värnamo in Sweden and, at the end of six hard days racing, KTM led the board in a total of 45 brand teams. At that time, international enduro racing was in the hands of the various national importers; only the entry in the Motocross World Championship came directly from the factory in Mattighofen. Seven importers from Belgium to the USA started with KTM brand teams in Sweden. In Harald Strößenreuther, Reinhard Christel, and Paul Rottler, KTM Germany importer Toni Stöcklmeier, himself once a successful Six Days racer and 1974 German offroad champion in the 350cc category, put forward three reigning national champions all the same time. These three competed valiantly and by the end took 40 seconds and nearly a minute off the Zündapp and Jawa teams, who had started as favorites. Six Days 1978 © Teuchert Today, the International Six Days Enduro is the offroad event with the longest tradition. Originally called the International Six Days Reliability Trial, this was an endurance race for motorcycles and threewheeler that was held for the first time in 1913 in Carlisle (UK). Since then the International Six Days Enduro, or the “Olympics of Motorcycling” as it is often known, has taken place every year in autumn, with the exception of the two world wars. This year it is being held for the 93rd time in the Chilean city of Viña del Mar. Albeit, it has to be said that the “Six Days” has lost much of its appeal these days. There has even been talk of making the one-time highlight of every offroad year a bi-annual event. Having said that, there’s one thing that won’t change this year – when the 600 participants push their bikes up to the starting line on November 12, the color orange is set to dominate again. Like many professional racers, many private riders continue to put their trust in KTM – the service and lease package was completely booked out in next to no time. And, as in other years, a special “Six Days” version is available again, clearly identifiable by its special decal in honor of the host country. KTM 300 EXC TPI MY2019 © KTM Two days before the start of the Six Days, the first season of the WESS ended with the Red Bull Knock-Out Beach Race in the Dutch city of Scheveningen with the KTM stars Manuel Lettenbichler, Josep Garcia, Taddy Blazusiak, Jonny Walker, and Nathan Watson – the enduro season promises to be action-packed right to the end. Photos: Future7Media | Penton | Teuchert | KTM
  14. ktmFrom A to B

    From A to B Posted in People, Racing The next time you turn on the TV to watch a MotoGPTM race, take time to appreciate the complex logistics operation that goes on behind the scenes. It’s more than just getting a few motorbikes from one circuit to the other. To find out the full story, we decided to dig a little deeper. Jeremy Wilson (GBR) 2018 © Guus van Goethem Meet Jeremy Wilson, logistics coordinator at Red Bull KTM Factory Racing. Originally from Driffield in England, Wilson is now a long-time resident of the MotoGPTM ‘village’, with no less than 23 seasons in the paddock. And although he has been a part of the promising Red Bull KTM MotoGP team ever since its inception, this is only his first season as logistics coordinator. In fact, Wilson was rather shocked when he was offered the job of logistics coordinator for the team. “I’ve got plenty of experience, including time with Red Bull Yamaha, WCM, and Rizla Suzuki. You could say I’m a jack of all trades, I can do all kinds of odd jobs. It started like that at KTM too. When I got here, I used to drive one of the trucks to the circuits and take care of the tires for Pol Espargaró. Then out of the blue, Mike Leitner (KTM’s MotoGP team manager), called me into his office. I thought to myself, “what have I done wrong now?” But to my surprise, without warning, he asked me if I wanted to be a logistics coordinator. I thought, “is he joking?” But no, he was dead serious. I was lost for words, because I really didn’t see it coming.” Wilson was surprised for two reasons: firstly, he’s not exactly great with computers, and secondly, he speaks English with a very strong accent. “English people are very lazy when it comes to learning other languages”, the 51-year-old Englishman readily admits. “I try to talk with less of an accent now, and I’ve been brushing up on my computer skills as well. I still type with two fingers, but I’m gradually getting better at using a laptop. Needless to say, I do much of my work the old-fashioned way … with a pen and paper. Basically, my notebook is my computer. I write down all my tasks, and then cross them off when they’re done.” Jeremy Wilson (GBR) 2018 © Guus van Goethem No worries Through a combination of Wilson’s experience and some outside help, there have been no logistical disasters for KTM this year. With his tireless commitment and willingness to learn, he tries to make the logistics operation as smooth as possible. Luckily, he has two other logistical coordinators to help him out. Wilson is mainly responsible for the trucks and the pit boxes, while his colleague Beatrice Garcia takes care of the people side of the operations. In other words, she makes sure all the team members have got a place to sleep and catch their planes on time. Then there is Thomas Rockenmeyer, who handles the logistics for the spare parts. Jeremy Wilson always gets to the circuit early because he still drives one of the three trucks. Despite being a coordinator, driving a MAN truck is still a part of the job. “On race weekends, to make sure the logistics go smoothly, I like to be the first one there. There might be urgent deliveries, for example, that need to be taken care of as soon as they come in. So, it makes sense to drive the truck as well. That way I know everything will get to the circuit on time.” Race weekends for Wilson start at 14.00 hours on Tuesday afternoon. “It’s a very strict rule of the organization. Everyone has to line up outside the circuit, and then they let us in one-by-one and escort us to our assigned location. We wash the trucks on Tuesday evening so that everything is ready when the pit boxes are built on Wednesday morning.” After the trucks have been unloaded, the whole team gets to work to transform the pit box into KTM’s command center for the weekend. The walls go up, the motorbikes are rolled in, and the tools are laid out in exactly the right place. Everything has to be perfect, so the mechanics and engineers can just walk in and start work straightaway. Thursday afternoon is when Wilson has to take out his laptop and touch base with everyone back at headquarters and make the final arrangements with partner companies like DHL, a key logistical partner of the team. This English member of the KTM MotoGP team has to make sure everything runs smoothly throughout the entire weekend. If anybody needs anything that involves logistics, then Wilson is ready to work out an effective plan. On top of that, he has to be on stand-by next to the track, on a scooter, during the MotoGPTM training sessions. He usually goes to a spot where the riders are most likely to fall off. “Then Pol or Bradley can just jump on and I can get them back to the pit box as quickly as possible.” © Guus van Goethem Shipping parts On Sunday evening, when all the racing is over, the team has to start loading everything back into the trucks. The trucks hardly ever go back to the headquarters in Munderfing, Austria. They go to a depot at a strategic location to save time and money. The logistical operation takes up a big chunk of a MotoGPTM team’s budget. Wilson: “I think something like 40% of the total expenditure goes on transportation for the team.” That is why Wilson tries to make sure all the gear is moved around as efficiently as possible. The key is to eliminate unnecessary travel. “It can take up to three days to drive from Barcelona back to our base in Austria. And by the time you get there, it’s already time to leave for the next GP. So, it doesn’t make any sense really. If we have an emergency and we need to get certain parts from head office, then we just call DHL. They will deliver it to the circuit for us.” This type of efficient planning means Wilson only has to drive around 35,000 km a year, even though he has to go to twelve different Grand Prix circuits spread out across the whole of Europe. “By taking the trucks to strategic locations, we have managed to reduce the amount of driving to an acceptable limit.” Races outside of Europe, on the other hand, bring a completely different set of challenges, because then everything has to be sent by air. For the current series of races (Thailand, Japan, Australia and Malaysia), everything had to be boxed up in crates after the GP in Aragon. In addition, all the import and export documents (so-called “carnets”) had to be labelled the right way, otherwise the crates wouldn’t be allowed through customs. Because DHL handles all of KTM’s transportation for overseas GPs, they help Wilson out with a lot of the paperwork. However, sending everything by air is very expensive, which is why Dorna helps the teams by paying towards some of the costs. “The Grand Prix in Argentina costs the most, because you have to pay € 9 per kilo for airfreight. Normally you only have to pay € 4 to € 5.5 per kilo. And when you have to send 15,700 kilos of gear to Argentina … then you’re talking about a considerable amount of money. To make it affordable for the teams, Dorna covers some of the costs. For the top-10 teams in the MotoGPTM championship, Dorna pays for the first 11,000 kg, and the team has to pay for anything over that. We are not in the top-10 right now, so they only pay for the first 9,000 kg.” In light of these enormous costs, KTM is currently exploring new ways to reduce the cost of Grand Prix weekends overseas. “For example, shipping by sea is a lot cheaper than shipping by air, but of course it takes a lot longer to get there … However, if you have two sets of all the gear, then you can rotate. That way you can use one set while the other set is being shipped to the next circuit. At the beginning of the season, for example, while one set is being used for testing in Malaysia, the other set can be shipped to Qatar. And while the Grand Prix in Qatar is taking place, the set in Malaysia can be shipped to Austin. It’s a strategy they use in Formula 1, and Suzuki do it in MotoGPTM as well. But the initial outlay is enormous: two of everything costs a lot of money. In the long term, though, it makes your logistics a lot cheaper. So, we might switch to this system at some time in the future.” © Guus van Goethem Extreme case The overseas races are a logistical challenge in other ways too as the team has less control over the logistics. “Say you need a certain part in a rush, then you just prey the company delivers on time. Luckily, we have very reliable partners. If they send me an email telling me the part is on its way, then it usually is. But if it doesn’t get there by race time, then I’m the one left with a problem. And it’s a lot harder to come up with an alternative solution at the last moment when you’re overseas. So all-in-all, it can be a real nightmare.” Luckily, up until now, there haven’t been any major transportation disasters for Wilson. But there are plenty of examples to show just how important logistics can be for the success of the Red Bull KTM MotoGP team. Last year, for example, after a successful test with KTM´s test rider Mika Kallio the latest version of the RC16 engine had to be sent to the next Grand Prix as quickly as possible. “We had two of these engines in Munderfing, but they had to be finished off first. That meant we only had a narrow window get them to Jerez in time for the first European Grand Prix of the season. However, we couldn’t use a normal air cargo service because of the fluids. So, we decided to send the whole lot by private jet. It was ultimately a great decision, because it turned our whole season around. That engine was a real difference-maker.” Jeremy Wilson obviously feels right at home being a logistics coordinator at KTM. Especially now he has found his dream job working in the MotoGPTM paddock. Although it’s not that surprising when you find out more about Wilson’s background. “My whole life has been about racing. My father started taking me to Grand Prix races when I was a little child, back in the day when Barry Sheene was the king of the road.” It wasn’t long before he became a part of the road race scene himself. He knows every bump and bend on the Isle of Man and the street circuits of Northern Ireland. Even today, Wilson still manages to find time for some road racing. “I’ve got a couple of two-fifties in the shed back home. 2-strokes of course, because they really burn. It’s the most beautiful thing there is. And now that racing has taken me all the way to the world of MotoGPTM Grand Prix, it’s a dream come true. My first job was with Clive Padgett’s team, when Jay Vincent was riding for them. And since then I’ve never left road racing. So, I’m very lucky that I can actually earn a living through racing as well. Although doing this job doesn’t feel like work at all. Quite the opposite, because I get a kick out of just being in the paddock and being able to play a part in the success of the Red Bull KTM MotoGP team.” Bradley Smith (GBR) & Pol Espargaró (ESP) KTM RC16 Motegi (JAP) 2018 © Gold and Goose Photos: Guus van Goethem | Gold and Goose
  15. From A to B

    From A to B Posted in People, Racing The next time you turn on the TV to watch a MotoGPTM race, take time to appreciate the complex logistics operation that goes on behind the scenes. It’s more than just getting a few motorbikes from one circuit to the other. To find out the full story, we decided to dig a little deeper. Jeremy Wilson (GBR) 2018 © Guus van Goethem Meet Jeremy Wilson, logistics coordinator at Red Bull KTM Factory Racing. Originally from Driffield in England, Wilson is now a long-time resident of the MotoGPTM ‘village’, with no less than 23 seasons in the paddock. And although he has been a part of the promising Red Bull KTM MotoGP team ever since its inception, this is only his first season as logistics coordinator. In fact, Wilson was rather shocked when he was offered the job of logistics coordinator for the team. “I’ve got plenty of experience, including time with Red Bull Yamaha, WCM, and Rizla Suzuki. You could say I’m a jack of all trades, I can do all kinds of odd jobs. It started like that at KTM too. When I got here, I used to drive one of the trucks to the circuits and take care of the tires for Pol Espargaró. Then out of the blue, Mike Leitner (KTM’s MotoGP team manager), called me into his office. I thought to myself, “what have I done wrong now?” But to my surprise, without warning, he asked me if I wanted to be a logistics coordinator. I thought, “is he joking?” But no, he was dead serious. I was lost for words, because I really didn’t see it coming.” Wilson was surprised for two reasons: firstly, he’s not exactly great with computers, and secondly, he speaks English with a very strong accent. “English people are very lazy when it comes to learning other languages”, the 51-year-old Englishman readily admits. “I try to talk with less of an accent now, and I’ve been brushing up on my computer skills as well. I still type with two fingers, but I’m gradually getting better at using a laptop. Needless to say, I do much of my work the old-fashioned way … with a pen and paper. Basically, my notebook is my computer. I write down all my tasks, and then cross them off when they’re done.” Jeremy Wilson (GBR) 2018 © Guus van Goethem No worries Through a combination of Wilson’s experience and some outside help, there have been no logistical disasters for KTM this year. With his tireless commitment and willingness to learn, he tries to make the logistics operation as smooth as possible. Luckily, he has two other logistical coordinators to help him out. Wilson is mainly responsible for the trucks and the pit boxes, while his colleague Beatrice Garcia takes care of the people side of the operations. In other words, she makes sure all the team members have got a place to sleep and catch their planes on time. Then there is Thomas Rockenmeyer, who handles the logistics for the spare parts. Jeremy Wilson always gets to the circuit early because he still drives one of the three trucks. Despite being a coordinator, driving a MAN truck is still a part of the job. “On race weekends, to make sure the logistics go smoothly, I like to be the first one there. There might be urgent deliveries, for example, that need to be taken care of as soon as they come in. So, it makes sense to drive the truck as well. That way I know everything will get to the circuit on time.” Race weekends for Wilson start at 14.00 hours on Tuesday afternoon. “It’s a very strict rule of the organization. Everyone has to line up outside the circuit, and then they let us in one-by-one and escort us to our assigned location. We wash the trucks on Tuesday evening so that everything is ready when the pit boxes are built on Wednesday morning.” After the trucks have been unloaded, the whole team gets to work to transform the pit box into KTM’s command center for the weekend. The walls go up, the motorbikes are rolled in, and the tools are laid out in exactly the right place. Everything has to be perfect, so the mechanics and engineers can just walk in and start work straightaway. Thursday afternoon is when Wilson has to take out his laptop and touch base with everyone back at headquarters and make the final arrangements with partner companies like DHL, a key logistical partner of the team. This English member of the KTM MotoGP team has to make sure everything runs smoothly throughout the entire weekend. If anybody needs anything that involves logistics, then Wilson is ready to work out an effective plan. On top of that, he has to be on stand-by next to the track, on a scooter, during the MotoGPTM training sessions. He usually goes to a spot where the riders are most likely to fall off. “Then Pol or Bradley can just jump on and I can get them back to the pit box as quickly as possible.” © Guus van Goethem Shipping parts On Sunday evening, when all the racing is over, the team has to start loading everything back into the trucks. The trucks hardly ever go back to the headquarters in Munderfing, Austria. They go to a depot at a strategic location to save time and money. The logistical operation takes up a big chunk of a MotoGPTM team’s budget. Wilson: “I think something like 40% of the total expenditure goes on transportation for the team.” That is why Wilson tries to make sure all the gear is moved around as efficiently as possible. The key is to eliminate unnecessary travel. “It can take up to three days to drive from Barcelona back to our base in Austria. And by the time you get there, it’s already time to leave for the next GP. So, it doesn’t make any sense really. If we have an emergency and we need to get certain parts from head office, then we just call DHL. They will deliver it to the circuit for us.” This type of efficient planning means Wilson only has to drive around 35,000 km a year, even though he has to go to twelve different Grand Prix circuits spread out across the whole of Europe. “By taking the trucks to strategic locations, we have managed to reduce the amount of driving to an acceptable limit.” Races outside of Europe, on the other hand, bring a completely different set of challenges, because then everything has to be sent by air. For the current series of races (Thailand, Japan, Australia and Malaysia), everything had to be boxed up in crates after the GP in Aragon. In addition, all the import and export documents (so-called “carnets”) had to be labelled the right way, otherwise the crates wouldn’t be allowed through customs. Because DHL handles all of KTM’s transportation for overseas GPs, they help Wilson out with a lot of the paperwork. However, sending everything by air is very expensive, which is why Dorna helps the teams by paying towards some of the costs. “The Grand Prix in Argentina costs the most, because you have to pay € 9 per kilo for airfreight. Normally you only have to pay € 4 to € 5.5 per kilo. And when you have to send 15,700 kilos of gear to Argentina … then you’re talking about a considerable amount of money. To make it affordable for the teams, Dorna covers some of the costs. For the top-10 teams in the MotoGPTM championship, Dorna pays for the first 11,000 kg, and the team has to pay for anything over that. We are not in the top-10 right now, so they only pay for the first 9,000 kg.” In light of these enormous costs, KTM is currently exploring new ways to reduce the cost of Grand Prix weekends overseas. “For example, shipping by sea is a lot cheaper than shipping by air, but of course it takes a lot longer to get there … However, if you have two sets of all the gear, then you can rotate. That way you can use one set while the other set is being shipped to the next circuit. At the beginning of the season, for example, while one set is being used for testing in Malaysia, the other set can be shipped to Qatar. And while the Grand Prix in Qatar is taking place, the set in Malaysia can be shipped to Austin. It’s a strategy they use in Formula 1, and Suzuki do it in MotoGPTM as well. But the initial outlay is enormous: two of everything costs a lot of money. In the long term, though, it makes your logistics a lot cheaper. So, we might switch to this system at some time in the future.” © Guus van Goethem Extreme case The overseas races are a logistical challenge in other ways too as the team has less control over the logistics. “Say you need a certain part in a rush, then you just prey the company delivers on time. Luckily, we have very reliable partners. If they send me an email telling me the part is on its way, then it usually is. But if it doesn’t get there by race time, then I’m the one left with a problem. And it’s a lot harder to come up with an alternative solution at the last moment when you’re overseas. So all-in-all, it can be a real nightmare.” Luckily, up until now, there haven’t been any major transportation disasters for Wilson. But there are plenty of examples to show just how important logistics can be for the success of the Red Bull KTM MotoGP team. Last year, for example, after a successful test with KTM´s test rider Mika Kallio the latest version of the RC16 engine had to be sent to the next Grand Prix as quickly as possible. “We had two of these engines in Munderfing, but they had to be finished off first. That meant we only had a narrow window get them to Jerez in time for the first European Grand Prix of the season. However, we couldn’t use a normal air cargo service because of the fluids. So, we decided to send the whole lot by private jet. It was ultimately a great decision, because it turned our whole season around. That engine was a real difference-maker.” Jeremy Wilson obviously feels right at home being a logistics coordinator at KTM. Especially now he has found his dream job working in the MotoGPTM paddock. Although it’s not that surprising when you find out more about Wilson’s background. “My whole life has been about racing. My father started taking me to Grand Prix races when I was a little child, back in the day when Barry Sheene was the king of the road.” It wasn’t long before he became a part of the road race scene himself. He knows every bump and bend on the Isle of Man and the street circuits of Northern Ireland. Even today, Wilson still manages to find time for some road racing. “I’ve got a couple of two-fifties in the shed back home. 2-strokes of course, because they really burn. It’s the most beautiful thing there is. And now that racing has taken me all the way to the world of MotoGPTM Grand Prix, it’s a dream come true. My first job was with Clive Padgett’s team, when Jay Vincent was riding for them. And since then I’ve never left road racing. So, I’m very lucky that I can actually earn a living through racing as well. Although doing this job doesn’t feel like work at all. Quite the opposite, because I get a kick out of just being in the paddock and being able to play a part in the success of the Red Bull KTM MotoGP team.” Bradley Smith (GBR) & Pol Espargaró (ESP) KTM RC16 Motegi (JAP) 2018 © Gold and Goose Photos: Guus van Goethem | Gold and Goose
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