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  1. Collecting Moments #8: 238 days and I’m back in the saddle! A lot of people have a passion, or an area of their life, that feels all-encompassing and really defines who they are. When this thing – whatever it is – gets taken away from them suddenly and unexpectedly, it can really turn their world upside down and make them view life from a different perspective. In my case, it was the world of motorsport, where I’d made so many awesome memories. Over the last few months I’ve really experienced the drawbacks of the sport. But it’s this that makes my return that much sweeter. © Jakob Ritter “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” – a phrase I’ve heard a lot. It’s certainly true, though! I’d gotten way too used to packing up my stuff on a Friday afternoon and heading off to enduro training or for a race. Everything changed after my knee injury though – completely overnight – and I can still vividly remember that first weekend after the accident: there are only a few times in my life when I’ve ever felt so empty. The last few months haven’t been easy for me, but, sadly, injuries are as much a part of our sport as success. And it might sound strange, but each goes hand in hand with the other, bringing you to this whole other level as a sportsperson and human. I’ve now experienced both sides and learnt as much from my failures as I have from my success. Never before have I been so desperate to get back on my KTM 300 EXC. The feeling I got when I climbed back on it 238 days after my injury, pressed the E-starter, felt the engine and just rode – that was every bit as good as riding across the finish line at the Red Bull Romaniacs! © Jakob Ritter My physio gave me the green light for my first ride at my last session and it was a moment I’d been waiting on for what felt like an eternity. For the first time in eight months, I got to experience that familiar “I’m packing my stuff for the weekend” feeling. This time I really had to make sure I’d packed everything though: helmet, gloves, glasses, protectors … and my KTM, of course! And it wasn’t just any weekend when I went on my first enduro ride out: it was the weekend of the Erzbergrodeo! Watching the Red Bull Hare Scramble live on TV really gave me the motivation I needed. Watching my enduro racing heroes riding and battling it out gave me this rush of anticipation and energy. It was weird putting my helmet on – a mixture of joy and nerves. I mean, yeah, I’d ridden a bit on trial and motocross bikes since the injury, just to keep the feeling alive, but enduro is this whole other thing for me – it’s really the pinnacle of offroad two-wheel racing. That’s where I really feel at home and I think that’s what made me a little nervous. Could I still do it? What if I’d forgotten everything and it was like starting back at square one? How was my knee going to feel? – I’m sure I’m not the first sportsperson to battle with those kinds of thoughts when riding for the first time following an injury, but it was all new to me. © Jakob Ritter As soon as I pressed the E-starter, though, that old familiar feeling came flooding back. The comforting sound of my KTM instantly made me feel secure. My hands stopped shaking as I put it in gear and set off towards the forest. The world around me faded away and I was able to really enjoy those first magical moments – it was just me and my bike. Reunited at last! – That’s all I could think. I felt free, light, and at peace! After 238 days full of highs and lows, I finally felt like my puzzle was complete and all the pieces were in place. Obviously, you can’t just pick up where you left off after that kind of a break, though. I was more cautious, a little slower, and even kind of clumsy. But none of that mattered to me in that moment because I was just happy and grateful to be riding enduro again. © Jakob Ritter I have dialed things down a notch to prepare for new adventures. I’m maybe not quite READY TO RACE yet, but I’m back where I’m happiest and that’s given me a crazy amount of energy. Get to know more about Larissa on the KTM BLOG – Collecting Moments #7: Training after a knee injury – or check out her website! Photos: Jakob Ritter
  2. Collecting Moments #8: 238 days and I’m back in the saddle! A lot of people have a passion, or an area of their life, that feels all-encompassing and really defines who they are. When this thing – whatever it is – gets taken away from them suddenly and unexpectedly, it can really turn their world upside down and make them view life from a different perspective. In my case, it was the world of motorsport, where I’d made so many awesome memories. Over the last few months I’ve really experienced the drawbacks of the sport. But it’s this that makes my return that much sweeter. © Jakob Ritter “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” – a phrase I’ve heard a lot. It’s certainly true, though! I’d gotten way too used to packing up my stuff on a Friday afternoon and heading off to enduro training or for a race. Everything changed after my knee injury though – completely overnight – and I can still vividly remember that first weekend after the accident: there are only a few times in my life when I’ve ever felt so empty. The last few months haven’t been easy for me, but, sadly, injuries are as much a part of our sport as success. And it might sound strange, but each goes hand in hand with the other, bringing you to this whole other level as a sportsperson and human. I’ve now experienced both sides and learnt as much from my failures as I have from my success. Never before have I been so desperate to get back on my KTM 300 EXC. The feeling I got when I climbed back on it 238 days after my injury, pressed the E-starter, felt the engine and just rode – that was every bit as good as riding across the finish line at the Red Bull Romaniacs! © Jakob Ritter My physio gave me the green light for my first ride at my last session and it was a moment I’d been waiting on for what felt like an eternity. For the first time in eight months, I got to experience that familiar “I’m packing my stuff for the weekend” feeling. This time I really had to make sure I’d packed everything though: helmet, gloves, glasses, protectors … and my KTM, of course! And it wasn’t just any weekend when I went on my first enduro ride out: it was the weekend of the Erzbergrodeo! Watching the Red Bull Hare Scramble live on TV really gave me the motivation I needed. Watching my enduro racing heroes riding and battling it out gave me this rush of anticipation and energy. It was weird putting my helmet on – a mixture of joy and nerves. I mean, yeah, I’d ridden a bit on trial and motocross bikes since the injury, just to keep the feeling alive, but enduro is this whole other thing for me – it’s really the pinnacle of offroad two-wheel racing. That’s where I really feel at home and I think that’s what made me a little nervous. Could I still do it? What if I’d forgotten everything and it was like starting back at square one? How was my knee going to feel? – I’m sure I’m not the first sportsperson to battle with those kinds of thoughts when riding for the first time following an injury, but it was all new to me. © Jakob Ritter As soon as I pressed the E-starter, though, that old familiar feeling came flooding back. The comforting sound of my KTM instantly made me feel secure. My hands stopped shaking as I put it in gear and set off towards the forest. The world around me faded away and I was able to really enjoy those first magical moments – it was just me and my bike. Reunited at last! – That’s all I could think. I felt free, light, and at peace! After 238 days full of highs and lows, I finally felt like my puzzle was complete and all the pieces were in place. Obviously, you can’t just pick up where you left off after that kind of a break, though. I was more cautious, a little slower, and even kind of clumsy. But none of that mattered to me in that moment because I was just happy and grateful to be riding enduro again. © Jakob Ritter I have dialed things down a notch to prepare for new adventures. I’m maybe not quite READY TO RACE yet, but I’m back where I’m happiest and that’s given me a crazy amount of energy. Get to know more about Larissa on the KTM BLOG – Collecting Moments #7: Training after a knee injury – or check out her website! Photos: Jakob Ritter
  3. #inthisyear1978: Gennady Moiseev rides KTM to become World Champion for the third time KTM again dominated the smaller MX2 class in impressive style at the 14th World Championship race in Loket, Czech Republic. Riding his KTM 250 SX-F, Spanish ace Jorge Prado and defending champion Pauls Jonass from Latvia were top of the leaderboard with a significant lead over the third-place rider. Even 40+ years ago, the KTM quarter-liter factory bikes were the ones to beat if you wanted to steal the title at the then 250cc Motocross World Championships. All the same, back in 1978, things were not looking so good for KTM as the season got underway in the Spanish city of Sabadell. Belgian rider Harry Everts had just beaten reigning 250 World Champion Gennady Moiseev (who had broken his forearm a few weeks previously in training) into eighth place on his Spanish Bultaco. Just one year earlier, KTM had looked unbeatable in the quarter-liter class – World Championship title for Moiseev, second place for Vladimir Kavinov and with Belgian rider André Malherbe in third place. Gennady Moiseev 1977/78 © KTM Over the course of the season, the sports instructor from Leningrad had just got better and better, and succeeded in claiming pole position on his 97-kilogram 250cc 2-stroke KTM – a position he held on to right up until the final race. Kavinov landed fourth place, also a pretty respectable race result. At the MX of Nations, held in the West German town of Gaildorf in 1978, the Soviet KTM factory riders were on top form once again – Gennady Moiseev, Vladimir Kavinov and Valeri Korneev won the Trophée des Nations, along with Juri Khudyakov, beating Germany and Belgium. Looking back, the early 70s saw the world in the midst of the Cold War and even motorcycling was split into east and west. Victories against western manufacturers brought with them extreme prestige for countries in the eastern bloc. In Enduro racing, it was predominantly riders from Czechoslovakia and East Germany who found success on Jawa and MZ motorcycles at the European Championships and the International Six Days Enduro. In motocross, the focus was on CZ from Czechoslovakia, on which Soviet rider Victor Arbekov and East German Paul Friedrichs had found World Championship glory. The fact that a rider from the USSR won a 250cc World Championship title on a western bike in 1974, well and truly deserves its place in the pages of offroad sporting history. As far back as 1972 KTM had become aware that there were several talented riders in the Soviet 250 Team who nonetheless lacked the wherewithal to compete successfully. When the motorcycles belonging to the members of the Soviet team were stolen from the paddock the night before a race, KTM offered some of their own machines to the team leader, whose riders were now without bikes. According to protocol, the team leader should have been thrown out of the Communist Party for accepting this offer, but after securing their first victories, the Soviets came to terms with the situation; and when Gennady Moiseev became World Champion two years later, he was promoted to the position of major in the Soviet Army. With three world championship titles, Gennady Moiseev is the most successful motorcyclist of the former Soviet Union. He competed in his first motocross race in 1967, on a Czechoslovakian CZ. Over the next few years, he undoubtedly showed flashes of talent, but it was only when he climbed on to a KTM in 1972 that real success came, and by 1974 he had won his first World Championship title for the Mattighofen-based company. After a poor season that saw him plagued by injuries, he returned to his old form in 1976 and ended up losing out to Finland’s Heikki Mikkola by an extremely narrow margin of just a few world championship points. In 1977, he only had to worry about competition from his own team. KTM boss Erich Trunkenpolz presented him with a Mercedes when he won his second World Championship. Gennady Moiseev, Erika & Erich Trunkenpolz 1977/78 © KTM He then went on to win his third title precisely 40 years ago. His last major success for KTM came in 1979, when he was fourth in the world and won his last World Championship race. When the Soviet Federation decided that their rider should return to CZ in 1980, Moiseev still stayed active in the motorcycling world for a several years but without achieving any kind of noteworthy success. Following the end of his active career, he worked as a motocross trainer and sports coach, eventually being elected president of the Russian Motorcycle Federation in 2000. Gennady Moiseev died on 24 July 2017 at the age of 69 in his home town of St. Petersburg. Gennady Moiseev 1978 © KTM Photos: KTM
  4. #inthisyear1978: Gennady Moiseev rides KTM to become World Champion for the third time KTM again dominated the smaller MX2 class in impressive style at the 14th World Championship race in Loket, Czech Republic. Riding his KTM 250 SX-F, Spanish ace Jorge Prado and defending champion Pauls Jonass from Latvia were top of the leaderboard with a significant lead over the third-place rider. Even 40+ years ago, the KTM quarter-liter factory bikes were the ones to beat if you wanted to steal the title at the then 250cc Motocross World Championships. All the same, back in 1978, things were not looking so good for KTM as the season got underway in the Spanish city of Sabadell. Belgian rider Harry Everts had just beaten reigning 250 World Champion Gennady Moiseev (who had broken his forearm a few weeks previously in training) into eighth place on his Spanish Bultaco. Just one year earlier, KTM had looked unbeatable in the quarter-liter class – World Championship title for Moiseev, second place for Vladimir Kavinov and with Belgian rider André Malherbe in third place. Gennady Moiseev 1977/78 © KTM Over the course of the season, the sports instructor from Leningrad had just got better and better, and succeeded in claiming pole position on his 97-kilogram 250cc 2-stroke KTM – a position he held on to right up until the final race. Kavinov landed fourth place, also a pretty respectable race result. At the MX of Nations, held in the West German town of Gaildorf in 1978, the Soviet KTM factory riders were on top form once again – Gennady Moiseev, Vladimir Kavinov and Valeri Korneev won the Trophée des Nations, along with Juri Khudyakov, beating Germany and Belgium. Looking back, the early 70s saw the world in the midst of the Cold War and even motorcycling was split into east and west. Victories against western manufacturers brought with them extreme prestige for countries in the eastern bloc. In Enduro racing, it was predominantly riders from Czechoslovakia and East Germany who found success on Jawa and MZ motorcycles at the European Championships and the International Six Days Enduro. In motocross, the focus was on CZ from Czechoslovakia, on which Soviet rider Victor Arbekov and East German Paul Friedrichs had found World Championship glory. The fact that a rider from the USSR won a 250cc World Championship title on a western bike in 1974, well and truly deserves its place in the pages of offroad sporting history. As far back as 1972 KTM had become aware that there were several talented riders in the Soviet 250 Team who nonetheless lacked the wherewithal to compete successfully. When the motorcycles belonging to the members of the Soviet team were stolen from the paddock the night before a race, KTM offered some of their own machines to the team leader, whose riders were now without bikes. According to protocol, the team leader should have been thrown out of the Communist Party for accepting this offer, but after securing their first victories, the Soviets came to terms with the situation; and when Gennady Moiseev became World Champion two years later, he was promoted to the position of major in the Soviet Army. With three world championship titles, Gennady Moiseev is the most successful motorcyclist of the former Soviet Union. He competed in his first motocross race in 1967, on a Czechoslovakian CZ. Over the next few years, he undoubtedly showed flashes of talent, but it was only when he climbed on to a KTM in 1972 that real success came, and by 1974 he had won his first World Championship title for the Mattighofen-based company. After a poor season that saw him plagued by injuries, he returned to his old form in 1976 and ended up losing out to Finland’s Heikki Mikkola by an extremely narrow margin of just a few world championship points. In 1977, he only had to worry about competition from his own team. KTM boss Erich Trunkenpolz presented him with a Mercedes when he won his second World Championship. Gennady Moiseev, Erika & Erich Trunkenpolz 1977/78 © KTM He then went on to win his third title precisely 40 years ago. His last major success for KTM came in 1979, when he was fourth in the world and won his last World Championship race. When the Soviet Federation decided that their rider should return to CZ in 1980, Moiseev still stayed active in the motorcycling world for a several years but without achieving any kind of noteworthy success. Following the end of his active career, he worked as a motocross trainer and sports coach, eventually being elected president of the Russian Motorcycle Federation in 2000. Gennady Moiseev died on 24 July 2017 at the age of 69 in his home town of St. Petersburg. Gennady Moiseev 1978 © KTM Photos: KTM
  5. The world´s toughest hard enduro rally Posted in People, Racing The Red Bull Romaniacs, now in its 15th year, is known as the toughest hard enduro rally and marking the halfway point of this year´s World Enduro Super Series. The participants faced approximately 200 km of some of the toughest tracks the Carpathian Mountains have to offer and tackled extremely difficult conditions following heavy rainfall. With an already challenging course, with terrain designed to test even the most hardened Romaniacs veterans, it became even more tricky and the race tested all riders to their maximum – to claim a finish was an achievement in itself. These are some of the best pictures of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders Taddy Blazusiak, Josep Garcia, Nathan Watson and Jonny Walker, who finished third at the 2018 edition to retain his position at the top of the championship standings, closely followed by a strong Manuel Lettenbichler who crossed the finish line just shortly after the winner. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER) © Future7Media Photos: Future7Media
  6. The world´s toughest hard enduro rally

    The world´s toughest hard enduro rally Posted in People, Racing The Red Bull Romaniacs, now in its 15th year, is known as the toughest hard enduro rally and marking the halfway point of this year´s World Enduro Super Series. The participants faced approximately 200 km of some of the toughest tracks the Carpathian Mountains have to offer and tackled extremely difficult conditions following heavy rainfall. With an already challenging course, with terrain designed to test even the most hardened Romaniacs veterans, it became even more tricky and the race tested all riders to their maximum – to claim a finish was an achievement in itself. These are some of the best pictures of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders Taddy Blazusiak, Josep Garcia, Nathan Watson and Jonny Walker, who finished third at the 2018 edition to retain his position at the top of the championship standings, closely followed by a strong Manuel Lettenbichler who crossed the finish line just shortly after the winner. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER) © Future7Media Photos: Future7Media
  7. Moving on: What Ryan did next … A year on from his shock decision to end one of the most prolific careers in AMA SX/MX we caught up on a drastic change of life for Ryan Dungey, how he has eased off the gas and what he’s doing next. We are at the launch of the 2019 KTM SX range of bikes at Tony Cairoli’s Malagrotta circuit near Rome. Ryan Dungey sits down to talk and is friendly, engaging and the consummate professional (we wonder how much he’d earn if we gave him 5 dollars for every interview he performed in an eleven-year career and through winning seven major AMA titles). Physically he still looks like he can buckle some boots and set a new lap time around the hard-pack course, and actually after our interview he quickly suits up to go riding with journalists and athletes like Red Bull KTM’s MX2 star Jorge Prado. Ryan Dungey (USA) 2018 © Marco Campelli Dungey has hardly changed since he won his third 450 SX title in Las Vegas last summer and then held a press conference shortly afterwards to announce he was stepping away from the sport at 27. Compared to the #5 we encountered at races and through media projects when he was full-depth in the regime of being a pro Supercross and motocross racer (thirty weekends of competition a year), Ryan has the relaxed air and stress-free demeanor of a man who no longer has to devote so much energy to focus, drive and concentration. We were able to talk for a long time about the switch from athlete to able-assistant, from single-mindedness to a new form of sacrifice and about finding new ways to channel the determination and desire that helped Dungey to hold the longest consecutive podium appearance record in Supercross with 31 trophies in a row. Ryan Dungey (USA) 2018 © Marco Campelli So, after the press conference last year what did you do? There was no routine any more … “One hard part was making the decision and moving on but then I also didn’t really have a plan. I kinda knew what I wanted to do next … and I didn’t really disappear. I stayed in California because the ‘Outdoors’ was coming with the first two rounds there. I didn’t have anywhere to be so I kinda stuck around and wanted to see those races. Marvin [Musquin] and I are pretty close so I supported him. We had a bit of a vacation and nothing that was really structured.” It seemed like you ‘stopped’ but didn’t stop. You were there in KTM colors, on TV, media roles … “Yeah … for sure I wanted a break but I still enjoyed lots of parts of what I did. It was not like I hated it but it got to a point where I – I was not exhausted – but I knew ‘this was it …’ I’d had enough. Making the decision took a whole year while racing and it was hard because you are supposed to be racing with the mindset of competition. I was trying to make a decision that was tricky to leave on the shelf.” So, it wasn’t a case of ‘run to the beach´ … “I think you need to do those things and regroup and refresh but I was too young to retire from my career and certainly from life. I will always want to contribute and add to this world in some way. Something has to get you out of bed in the mornings and everybody has something that makes them tick. So, I thought about how I could give benefit to other people and thankfully I have a lot of good partners and could transition into a good role with people like KTM, Fox, Oakley and Red Bull. But I didn’t just want to go into it and be paid to do nothing. I wanted to have some influence and for KTM that might be through testing or helping the team or the riders. I wanted to add to something and do meaningful work and not just look for a paycheck. That was my outlook and also as a racer.” With the demands of the sport and the schedule you must almost have to live every day with focus and goals and compromise. To not have that any more – and for the first time in your life – was it bewildering? “As a racer your schedule is jam-packed and maybe that is the case for a lot of jobs. The big adjustment is the change of pace. I’m learning patience and not being in a rush and not getting resentful and bitter. It’s easy to suddenly think ‘I’m not satisfied’ so it is important to have a purpose. You can take time away but it’s good to have something that drives you … not having that is a bad feeling. You look for more projects. My whole schedule was planned out and now it isn’t, and that was a big shift. It has forced me to look at my life and my motives and to question it all and get more answers. When you are in the routine of racing then you just go with it and you don’t really catch things that might be ‘red flags’. You might think ‘maybe I should go racing again because I can improve the monthly bank income much more’ but that’s not right. I learned a lot about myself in this process.” Ryan Dungey (USA) 2018 © Marco Campelli Was it like having a new identity? “No, because I always knew who I was. I’m Ryan Dungey, not a dirtbike racer called Ryan Dungey. I raced dirtbikes: it is not who I am but what I did. I always knew I shouldn’t find my identity in racing. It was never an issue but I think I got spoiled in a way because in that position [of a champion] you can have a lot of influence and benefit a lot of people and I liked that feeling.” Was there also some fear about heading into the ‘unknown’? “It feels like there are a lot of options and you can go in many different directions and that can be confusing. You still want to make sure you make good choices. As a racer all the attention is on you and – not that I was ever self-absorbed – but you are kinda spoiled and then all of a sudden the attention goes onto the next rider and isn’t there anymore. I did not crave the attention and it was good for me to get out of it. I was ready for something else and that aspect never drove me.” Every racer says they are selfish and self-centered. It seems a weird way to exist … “I am still trying to understand that also. Selfishness obviously isn’t good and people say it is a selfish sport and you might have an important role but nobody is not being forced to do anything. We are all working towards a goal. For a rider to recognize the position he is in is like a guy leading a successful business. Of course, everyone wants to please him but he is also turning around and saying ‘how can I make my team or business better or find improvements?’ I think riders need to recognize the position they are in and I learned how people feed off you and how you can motivate your team. It changed for me when I stopped looking at it like ‘how can everybody help ME win a championship?’ to ‘how can I help this team to win a championship?’ then it took off in a good way. So, it is selfish … in a way. Another thing is that these riders are so young, and you do grow out of that as you get older otherwise it makes you miserable. At some point you need to look around and say ‘is everyone still onboard?’ and that means your family, your wife, your circle. I don’t think mine were over it but they were coming to races every single weekend for me for eleven years. Maybe they enjoyed it but I was ready to move on.” You obviously had a lot of success and must have enjoyed the process of reaching those goals. Do you miss that sense of achievement? “No because winning races and championships – the achievement part – they were temporary. I knew that people would forget about that sooner or later. There will be records and this-and-that but people move on. Winning a championship is a great feeling and something great to remember but the very next day it is onto the next championship. You cannot live in that moment. You work for six months and you accomplish a goal but it is short lived. I try to see past the achievement and look for more meaningful stuff. You can win a race or a championship but if you treat people like crap then how does it matter? Being a good ambassador and leader and representing the brand and being a good influence for kids: that is the stuff that is impactful and life-changing. The success on the track was good and kids can look up to that and you can have an integrity that others might want but the bigger picture was the effect on other people. Championships do help bike sales though! And other areas …” Ryan Dungey (USA) 2018 © Sebas Romero It’s been just over a year; do you feel you’ve found Ryan Dungey 2.0? “Yeah, I do. I miss the racing and I miss a lot of things … more so the memories. They pop up. But I have found the next step and how I can impact and still benefit people within the sport, the kids, the riders, the team. Representing the brand and the sponsors and what role I can have. Things are still slowly unfolding but I feel I have found my direction.” You look like you can race tomorrow, so you have obviously avoided the cookie jar. Are you still working out? “Oh yeah. I think I just told my wife Lindsay that I think it has only been three days off since I finished racing. I enjoy it because I don’t have to do it. And I can do different workout routines and not just focus on ‘what’s your lap time?!’ We’ve always lived a healthy lifestyle.” So, what do you want to do next? “I’m a big dreamer. I think about our sport quite a lot and what I can do and since the moment I started I always had the thought ‘how can we make this bigger and better?’ It is tough because there are a lot of separate groups in America and not everyone is working together. So, one of my big goals is to try to get everybody working in unity so other areas can benefit; I think there are a lot of areas of potential in the sport that hasn’t been tapped into everybody gets along … but you only get what you give and companies know that; if you don’t invest then you don’t grow and I have seen that learning curve [work]. I’ve been part of teams like that and it all comes to a stop at some point because you quit giving and investing. I think if we worked together then it would affect everybody through the whole chain. It is not something I want to have control over but maybe at least have a voice in. So that’s one area: what is that next step [for MX/SX] and I cannot do it on my own.” You also have your The Mind Champion coaching/education program. What is that about? “My first project, and it will come out here soon and we have done a lot of content, interviews and filming for it. Even with Roger [De Coster]. I think it will be good for the kids in the sport in any class. For me it has been about sharing knowledge and insight and maybe some wisdom and what helped me get to the level I was. Riders are ultimately a driving force. If they are not a good spokesperson and don’t realize the position they are in then this is not helping. A lot of people are watching and it contributes to the growth of the sport.” Ryan Dungey (USA) 2018 © Simon Cudby Photos: Marco Campelli | Sebas Romero | Simon Cudby
  8. Moving on: What Ryan did next …

    Moving on: What Ryan did next … A year on from his shock decision to end one of the most prolific careers in AMA SX/MX we caught up on a drastic change of life for Ryan Dungey, how he has eased off the gas and what he’s doing next. We are at the launch of the 2019 KTM SX range of bikes at Tony Cairoli’s Malagrotta circuit near Rome. Ryan Dungey sits down to talk and is friendly, engaging and the consummate professional (we wonder how much he’d earn if we gave him 5 dollars for every interview he performed in an eleven-year career and through winning seven major AMA titles). Physically he still looks like he can buckle some boots and set a new lap time around the hard-pack course, and actually after our interview he quickly suits up to go riding with journalists and athletes like Red Bull KTM’s MX2 star Jorge Prado. Ryan Dungey (USA) 2018 © Marco Campelli Dungey has hardly changed since he won his third 450 SX title in Las Vegas last summer and then held a press conference shortly afterwards to announce he was stepping away from the sport at 27. Compared to the #5 we encountered at races and through media projects when he was full-depth in the regime of being a pro Supercross and motocross racer (thirty weekends of competition a year), Ryan has the relaxed air and stress-free demeanor of a man who no longer has to devote so much energy to focus, drive and concentration. We were able to talk for a long time about the switch from athlete to able-assistant, from single-mindedness to a new form of sacrifice and about finding new ways to channel the determination and desire that helped Dungey to hold the longest consecutive podium appearance record in Supercross with 31 trophies in a row. Ryan Dungey (USA) 2018 © Marco Campelli So, after the press conference last year what did you do? There was no routine any more … “One hard part was making the decision and moving on but then I also didn’t really have a plan. I kinda knew what I wanted to do next … and I didn’t really disappear. I stayed in California because the ‘Outdoors’ was coming with the first two rounds there. I didn’t have anywhere to be so I kinda stuck around and wanted to see those races. Marvin [Musquin] and I are pretty close so I supported him. We had a bit of a vacation and nothing that was really structured.” It seemed like you ‘stopped’ but didn’t stop. You were there in KTM colors, on TV, media roles … “Yeah … for sure I wanted a break but I still enjoyed lots of parts of what I did. It was not like I hated it but it got to a point where I – I was not exhausted – but I knew ‘this was it …’ I’d had enough. Making the decision took a whole year while racing and it was hard because you are supposed to be racing with the mindset of competition. I was trying to make a decision that was tricky to leave on the shelf.” So, it wasn’t a case of ‘run to the beach´ … “I think you need to do those things and regroup and refresh but I was too young to retire from my career and certainly from life. I will always want to contribute and add to this world in some way. Something has to get you out of bed in the mornings and everybody has something that makes them tick. So, I thought about how I could give benefit to other people and thankfully I have a lot of good partners and could transition into a good role with people like KTM, Fox, Oakley and Red Bull. But I didn’t just want to go into it and be paid to do nothing. I wanted to have some influence and for KTM that might be through testing or helping the team or the riders. I wanted to add to something and do meaningful work and not just look for a paycheck. That was my outlook and also as a racer.” With the demands of the sport and the schedule you must almost have to live every day with focus and goals and compromise. To not have that any more – and for the first time in your life – was it bewildering? “As a racer your schedule is jam-packed and maybe that is the case for a lot of jobs. The big adjustment is the change of pace. I’m learning patience and not being in a rush and not getting resentful and bitter. It’s easy to suddenly think ‘I’m not satisfied’ so it is important to have a purpose. You can take time away but it’s good to have something that drives you … not having that is a bad feeling. You look for more projects. My whole schedule was planned out and now it isn’t, and that was a big shift. It has forced me to look at my life and my motives and to question it all and get more answers. When you are in the routine of racing then you just go with it and you don’t really catch things that might be ‘red flags’. You might think ‘maybe I should go racing again because I can improve the monthly bank income much more’ but that’s not right. I learned a lot about myself in this process.” Ryan Dungey (USA) 2018 © Marco Campelli Was it like having a new identity? “No, because I always knew who I was. I’m Ryan Dungey, not a dirtbike racer called Ryan Dungey. I raced dirtbikes: it is not who I am but what I did. I always knew I shouldn’t find my identity in racing. It was never an issue but I think I got spoiled in a way because in that position [of a champion] you can have a lot of influence and benefit a lot of people and I liked that feeling.” Was there also some fear about heading into the ‘unknown’? “It feels like there are a lot of options and you can go in many different directions and that can be confusing. You still want to make sure you make good choices. As a racer all the attention is on you and – not that I was ever self-absorbed – but you are kinda spoiled and then all of a sudden the attention goes onto the next rider and isn’t there anymore. I did not crave the attention and it was good for me to get out of it. I was ready for something else and that aspect never drove me.” Every racer says they are selfish and self-centered. It seems a weird way to exist … “I am still trying to understand that also. Selfishness obviously isn’t good and people say it is a selfish sport and you might have an important role but nobody is not being forced to do anything. We are all working towards a goal. For a rider to recognize the position he is in is like a guy leading a successful business. Of course, everyone wants to please him but he is also turning around and saying ‘how can I make my team or business better or find improvements?’ I think riders need to recognize the position they are in and I learned how people feed off you and how you can motivate your team. It changed for me when I stopped looking at it like ‘how can everybody help ME win a championship?’ to ‘how can I help this team to win a championship?’ then it took off in a good way. So, it is selfish … in a way. Another thing is that these riders are so young, and you do grow out of that as you get older otherwise it makes you miserable. At some point you need to look around and say ‘is everyone still onboard?’ and that means your family, your wife, your circle. I don’t think mine were over it but they were coming to races every single weekend for me for eleven years. Maybe they enjoyed it but I was ready to move on.” You obviously had a lot of success and must have enjoyed the process of reaching those goals. Do you miss that sense of achievement? “No because winning races and championships – the achievement part – they were temporary. I knew that people would forget about that sooner or later. There will be records and this-and-that but people move on. Winning a championship is a great feeling and something great to remember but the very next day it is onto the next championship. You cannot live in that moment. You work for six months and you accomplish a goal but it is short lived. I try to see past the achievement and look for more meaningful stuff. You can win a race or a championship but if you treat people like crap then how does it matter? Being a good ambassador and leader and representing the brand and being a good influence for kids: that is the stuff that is impactful and life-changing. The success on the track was good and kids can look up to that and you can have an integrity that others might want but the bigger picture was the effect on other people. Championships do help bike sales though! And other areas …” Ryan Dungey (USA) 2018 © Sebas Romero It’s been just over a year; do you feel you’ve found Ryan Dungey 2.0? “Yeah, I do. I miss the racing and I miss a lot of things … more so the memories. They pop up. But I have found the next step and how I can impact and still benefit people within the sport, the kids, the riders, the team. Representing the brand and the sponsors and what role I can have. Things are still slowly unfolding but I feel I have found my direction.” You look like you can race tomorrow, so you have obviously avoided the cookie jar. Are you still working out? “Oh yeah. I think I just told my wife Lindsay that I think it has only been three days off since I finished racing. I enjoy it because I don’t have to do it. And I can do different workout routines and not just focus on ‘what’s your lap time?!’ We’ve always lived a healthy lifestyle.” So, what do you want to do next? “I’m a big dreamer. I think about our sport quite a lot and what I can do and since the moment I started I always had the thought ‘how can we make this bigger and better?’ It is tough because there are a lot of separate groups in America and not everyone is working together. So, one of my big goals is to try to get everybody working in unity so other areas can benefit; I think there are a lot of areas of potential in the sport that hasn’t been tapped into everybody gets along … but you only get what you give and companies know that; if you don’t invest then you don’t grow and I have seen that learning curve [work]. I’ve been part of teams like that and it all comes to a stop at some point because you quit giving and investing. I think if we worked together then it would affect everybody through the whole chain. It is not something I want to have control over but maybe at least have a voice in. So that’s one area: what is that next step [for MX/SX] and I cannot do it on my own.” You also have your The Mind Champion coaching/education program. What is that about? “My first project, and it will come out here soon and we have done a lot of content, interviews and filming for it. Even with Roger [De Coster]. I think it will be good for the kids in the sport in any class. For me it has been about sharing knowledge and insight and maybe some wisdom and what helped me get to the level I was. Riders are ultimately a driving force. If they are not a good spokesperson and don’t realize the position they are in then this is not helping. A lot of people are watching and it contributes to the growth of the sport.” Ryan Dungey (USA) 2018 © Simon Cudby Photos: Marco Campelli | Sebas Romero | Simon Cudby
  9. Get2Know Red Bull KTM Factory Racing´s Jonny Walker Jonny Walker certainly is one of the best enduro riders worldwide. The British ace currently tops the standings of the World Enduro Super Series as the next and fourth round – the Red Bull Romaniacs – is underway. Jonny Walker (GBR) 2018 © Marcin Kin Marking the halfway point in this year´s series, the Red Bull Romaniacs in Romania will play a pivotal role in the race to become the Ultimate Enduro Champion. But what is needed to win a five-day hard enduro event that is regarded as the world´s toughest and to be crowned WESS champion? We visited Jonny in Andorra to learn more about the importance of fitness training, on-bike skills and the mental attitude needed to race at the very top level of enduro … [embedded content] Photo: Marcin Kin Video: Future7Media
  10. Get2Know Red Bull KTM Factory Racing´s Jonny Walker

    Get2Know Red Bull KTM Factory Racing´s Jonny Walker Jonny Walker certainly is one of the best enduro riders worldwide. The British ace currently tops the standings of the World Enduro Super Series as the next and fourth round – the Red Bull Romaniacs – is underway. Jonny Walker (GBR) 2018 © Marcin Kin Marking the halfway point in this year´s series, the Red Bull Romaniacs in Romania will play a pivotal role in the race to become the Ultimate Enduro Champion. But what is needed to win a five-day hard enduro event that is regarded as the world´s toughest and to be crowned WESS champion? We visited Jonny in Andorra to learn more about the importance of fitness training, on-bike skills and the mental attitude needed to race at the very top level of enduro … [embedded content] Photo: Marcin Kin Video: Future7Media
  11. Interview of the Month: Pol and Bradley’s favorites There are plenty of just a bit too serious interviews on our MotoGPTM heroes, so instead we thought we’d keep it nice and casual. We met up with Pol Espargaró and Bradley Smith in the Red Bull Hospitality to do a little quiz. The KTM duo had to guess each other’s favorites, and for every right answer they scored a point. Let’s see who came out on top! Pol: “Ah, I’m already pretty sure Bradley’s going to be so much better at this than me.” Bradley: “He doesn’t even know who his own favorites are. That’s Pol’s problem. Right, let’s do this. I’m ready!” Pol: “Me too!” Pol Espargaró (ESP) & Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite MotoGPTM Legend? Pol: “Yes, I know this one! That has to be Randy Mamola. He helped Bradley out during his career and was inducted to the Legends Club at the Austin Grand Prix of this year. That’s a point for me; I’m sure!” Bradley: “He’s right. I have no clue as to who would be Pol’s favorite MotoGPTM Legend, but I do remember a rider that used to mean a lot to him. That’s Alex Barros.” Pol: “Yes, that’s a point for Brad.” Bradley: “Though Alex isn’t officially a Legend, right?” Pol: “He isn’t? Well, he sure should be.” Bradley: “You know what? We are now making him a Legend here on the spot.” Pol: “I totally agree. Alex helped me so much when I was only just starting out in racing, back when I raced in the Catalan championship. I was managed by a guy that knew Alex and he set up a meeting with him. He was so kind and he let me into his motorhome. As a little kid that meant so much. I really enjoyed him helping me back then.” Bradley: “That was back when television was still in black and white, right?” Pol vs Bradley: 1:1 Favorite holiday destination? Bradley: “That’s an easy one. Pol’s is Australia. Surfing and the beach are the only things you could wake Pol up early for. Well, that and riding a MotoGPTM bike, obviously. He’ll wake up for that, too.” Pol: “That was a bit too easy. I don’t have a clue what Bradley’s favorite holiday destination is. Malaysia maybe, with extreme temperatures and the horrid humidity. He’d love that; he has to.” Bradley: “Hahaha … Yeah, just about right! No, I really enjoy going to America; California above all. I really like San Diego. Bit of motocross, pushbike rides, and the beach. That’s the good life.” Pol vs Bradley: 1:2 Favorite racetrack? Bradley: “Easy again. That is Phillip Island. Australia and that track are at the top of his list, I’m absolutely sure.” Pol: “Oh, come one! This isn’t fair. Anyway, I guess Bradley’s would be Silverstone. Sole reason to go with that is because it’s his home track, because I really wouldn’t know …” Bradley: “It’s Mugello, though.” Pol: “Right, I should have known that. Another point for Brad.” Pol vs Bradley: 1:3 Pol Espargaró (ESP) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite movie? Pol: “Bradley’s? That’s a given! Has to be Dirty Dancing, both part 1 and part 2.” Bradley: “Pol is amazing, isn’t he? Guessing Pol’s favorite movie would be My Little Pony then. It just has to be.” Pol: “Who told you that?” Obviously neither Pol nor Bradley will be getting any point for this. The score remains 1-3. Favorite beverage? Bradley: “Red Bull.” Pol: “It’s incredible; how do you know all this? But then Red Bull has to be your favorite, right? High five, man! We’re really good at this. But, do you know my favorite flavor too?” Bradley: “Err, dunno. Sugar free perhaps?” Pol: “No way. That has to be your favorite, since you’re constantly working on your diet. It’s Silver; the lime flavored one.” Pol vs Bradley: 2:4 Pol Espargaró (ESP) & Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite current MotoGPTM rider? Bradley: “I’d have to go with his brother Aleix. It might not be his absolute favorite, but he just has to say he is. It’s still family, right?” Pol: “Yes, Bradley nailed it. If it wasn’t for Aleix I would have probably said Dovizioso. Good guy all round and a fast rider too. Really nice guy, but of course my first pick would be my brother.” Bradley: “Pol, it’s 5-2 for me now. You are going to have to start picking up the slack. Just adding a bit of pressure for you.” Pol: “Well, another tough one. Cal Crutchlow, maybe?” Bradley: “Nope.” Pol: “It isn’t? Scheisse! [Shit!]” Bradley: “I’ll give you another shot. Don’t think you’ll get it anyways.” Pol: “Okay, so it’s someone I wouldn’t think of right away … Karel Abraham then!” Bradley: “Wrong! It’s Danilo Petrucci. Main reason is how he made it to MotoGPTM. He got so much stick when he rode the CRT bike. But every chance he got, he took. He just keeps making strides and now he’s managed to put his signature under a works contract. At this point in his career, that deserves respect.” Pol vs Bradley: 2:5 Favorite car? Bradley: “Pol came in his dream car, so that’s a Lamborghini. Just no clue on what type it is. What was that again?” Pol: “Yes, he’s right. It’s a Huracán. I know Bradley doesn’t feel much for supercars, so that isn’t worth going into. I expect he would like a nice van; something his dirtbike would fit into. He could even live and sleep in there, that’s the sort of answer I’m expecting.” Bradley: “That’s not a bad idea, but to be fair, my dream car is a Rolls-Royce.” Pol: “Of course, I like those too.” Bradley: “To put it simply; I have two sides. I’m from Oxford, so I’m expected to be the gentleman. A bit posh. That’s why I like Rolls-Royces. My grandfather has one; a 1996 or 1997 model. His car still looks amazing. But yeah, then I’m also a gipsy, so living out of a van is something I’d enjoy too. So, Pol’s answer was actually half good. Can we award half points?” Pol vs Bradley: 2.5:6 Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite animal? Bradley: “I know that one too! A kangaroo.” Pol: “Here we go again! Everything comes down to my love for Australia.” Bradley: “Don’t get me wrong, but we’ve been teammates for … wow, a long time. Since 2014, I guess? You get to know a person, you know.” Pol: “But then tell me, how come you seem to know me a lot better than I know you? You’ve never told me about your favorite animal.” Bradley: “I don’t talk about my personal life that much, actually.” Pol: “Do you even like animals at all? I don’t even know that. I’m going with a rabbit; shot in the dark.” Bradley: “Nope, it’s a crocodile.” Pol: “How was I supposed to know that? You like crocodiles; that’s crazy!” Pol vs Bradley: 2.5:7 Pol Espargaró (ESP) & Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite sport? Amendment: no other forms of motorsport allowed. Pol: “If that’s the case, it has to be cycling for Bradley.” Bradley: “That’s right. For Pol I’d go with ski touring, like hiking in the mountains but on skis. He lives in Andorra, and I know he goes into the mountains there a lot during winter.” Pol: “I’ll let him have half a point, because I really do like surfing too. The other sport, I think, is officially called Skimo.” Pol vs Bradley: 3.5:7.5 Favorite food? Bradley: “I’d go with pan con tomate, a typical Catalan thing.” Pol: “Good again. I really love that. Basically, just toast you rub tomato into. Bit of oil and some cured ham to go with it. I think Bradley would go with something like a nice and big hamburger maybe? That’s what I’d pick for him if we’d be in a restaurant.” Bradley: “It’s a typical British roast dinner. We usually eat that on a Sunday and it’s actually pretty quaint. Meat, potatoes, and greens. No points for Pol.” Pol: “Seriously? I’m getting owned here!” Pol vs Bradley: 3.5:8.5 Pol Espargaró (ESP) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite motocross rider? Bradley: “Oh my god … Best guess? Vico [former Spanish MX rider].” Pol: “No, mine is Jorge Prado. He’s young, he’s talented, and he’s always smiling. Good kid and a Spaniard of course. Another bonus; he’s a KTM rider too. Bradley’s favorite is … “ Bradley: “We have the same complexion.” Pol: “I know, I know. The American, right? Didn’t he race for Kawasaki?” Bradley: “And Suzuki, and Honda too. Raced the number 4.” Pol: “I just can’t come up with the name!” Bradley: “It starts with Car …” Pol: “Carmichael, yes.” Bradley: “Okay, we’ll let Pol have half a point.” Pol vs Bradley: 4:8.5 Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite music? Bradley: “Pol would go with Reggaeton, I guess.” Pol: “No way, come one. You would like Ed Sheeran. He’s English too, right?” Bradley: “But then everyone likes Ed Sheeran.” Pol: “And he’s orange like you too. Aren’t the two of you related?” Bradley: “Sort of, but I’m a lousy singer. Not too many ginger guys make it, so we have to stick up for each other. Brothers for life.” Pol: “Let’s just agree neither of us get a point here.” Pol vs Bradley: 4:8.5 Favorite corner? Pol: “Bradley would like a hard and very technical corner, lacking any form of grip. That’s where he shines; that’s the sort of corner he likes most.” Bradley: “The corner everyone hates, I love. Completely counterintuitive. Take a rainy day at Misano, turn 1. That would probably be it for me.” Pol: “It would be impossible to guess my favorite; I don’t even know what my favorite corner is!” Bradley: “I really like nicely cambered corners, but those are becoming rare. Assen’s Stekkenwal is one.” Pol: “Loads of grip, too. That’s one amazing corner, indeed.” Bradley: “And the final turn at Phillip Island is the same. You turn in, the bike slightly floating, only to pick up the grip again really fast. That sensation is awesome.” Pol: “We didn’t really score any points here, did we? But we both did have nice answers. What would you say if we both get a point, for the effort.” The judges aren’t particularly harsh today. A mark on both scorecards. Pol vs Bradley: 5:9.5 Pol Espargaró (ESP) KTM RC16 Assen (NED) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite fruit? Pol: “I go for grapes, he eats a lot of them.” Bradley: “I do, actually. And Pol’s favorite fruit? Let me think.” Pol: “Don’t you dare say bananas! That would be too easy of a joke to make.” Bradley: “No, I think he probably really likes durian.” Pol: “Oh no, that’s that weird Malaysian fruit, right? Those things smell so bad.” Bradley: “The smell is horrendous, I know. But they really don’t taste too bad.” Pol: “Yeah, it’s really bad. So bad even, you’re not allowed to bring durians to your hotel.” Bradley: “Yes, and Pol loves them.” Pol: “No, I really don’t! I can’t come up with what they call my favorite fruit in English. [Pol gets up and gets a piece of fruit from the bowl in the Red Bull Hospitality]. This, what do you call that? A plum? Yeah, that’s right! I like those.” Pol vs Bradley: 6:9.5 Favorite street bike? Bradley: “That’s the Husqvarna Vitte … something Pilen.” Pol: “It’s the new Husky, but I’ll go with the Svartpilen. That bike looks so cool. I don’t have one yet, but I’m waiting for it now.” Bradley: “Hahaha, That’s right. I remember Pol at last year’s EICMA in Italy. He just had to have one. Of course, he’s still hoping they’ll give him one.” Pol: “For Bradley it has to be an enduro bike of some sorts. Something like those new KTM 300cc 2-strokes.” Bradley: “If we’re sticking to KTM built bikes, that would be the one, yes. But I’d really love me something like a café racer. KTM just doesn’t build bikes like that. The other day I saw a promo on Max Verstappen’s new bike. That thing is incredible. I think that would be my dream bike right now. It’s completely different from anything that’s come before it. You know what, I’ll let Max pay for it and then borrow it off him every once in a while.” Pol: “Yeah, you show him how to ride it.” Bradley: “I will!” Pol vs Bradley: 7:10.5 Bradley Smith (GBR) KTM RC16 Assen (NED) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite Marvel or DC character? Bradley: “What’s Marvel or DC?” Pol: “Come on, Brad. You know this!” Bradley: “Is that with all those Spider Man kind of characters?” Pol: “Yeah, those popular superhero movies.” Bradley: “If that’s the case I know Pol’s favorite. Has to be Wonder Woman.” Pol: “Bradley would pick the green one, that ugly guy. The Hulk, that’s right. But Bradley is right about Wonder Woman. I really like her.” Bradley: “She is beautiful, isn’t she? Isn’t the actrice French? I’m pretty sure she is. I’d want her to be French. She could talk French to me all day long, even though I wouldn’t be able to understand a single word she’d say.” Pol vs Bradley: 7:11.5 Favorite MotoGPTM battle? Pol: “Am I even in with a shout of winning this anymore? Anyway, I have no clue. I don’t even know that for myself, my favorite MotoGPTM battle …” Bradley: “If I remember correctly it was Assen 2015. It was a scrap for P5, so no-one saw the battle on TV, but to me it was the most epic battle ever. We were both in the group.” Pol: “I remember that. That was a really good fight. I also remember having terrible arm pump. I just kept throwing the bike into the corner like a madman, blocking the rest, basically turning myself into some sort of riding chicane. In the end I did manage to come out on top, but the arm pump really didn’t make it any easier.” Okay, points for you both. That makes the score 8-12.5, with Bradley leading the way. Last question is a bonus. There are two points up for grabs for both of you. Pol: “I’ve lost already, right? But I’m going to defend my honor by getting this right. Should make the loss feel less painful.” Pol Espargaró (ESP) & Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem His favorite model? Pol: “Model??? I’m going to go with Axel Pons; he’s a model now. What are you laughing about, Brad? He really is a model; I’m not kidding. Come on, tell me! Am I right? I’m not entirely certain it’s right …” Bradley: “You’re only saying this because it’s the only model you know.” Pol: “That’s about right.” Bradley: “Let’s be honest, most pictures of models are photo shopped beyond recognition. So, I’m just going to go with Wonder Woman again.” Pol: “Brad’s right. Let’s just both go with Wonder Woman.” That round changing nothing for the final score – Pol vs Bradley: 8:12.5 Bradley: “Oh yeah, I’ll have that! It’s one of the few times I’ve managed to finish ahead of Pol over the last two years. This is my moment of glory … yeah!” Pol: “But if we turn the page, I win. But okay, I’m content with this. In the end I came out second overall and that’s a podium finish regardless. I’m kind of proud of that.” Photos: Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem
  12. Interview of the Month: Pol and Bradley’s favorites

    Interview of the Month: Pol and Bradley’s favorites There are plenty of just a bit too serious interviews on our MotoGPTM heroes, so instead we thought we’d keep it nice and casual. We met up with Pol Espargaró and Bradley Smith in the Red Bull Hospitality to do a little quiz. The KTM duo had to guess each other’s favorites, and for every right answer they scored a point. Let’s see who came out on top! Pol: “Ah, I’m already pretty sure Bradley’s going to be so much better at this than me.” Bradley: “He doesn’t even know who his own favorites are. That’s Pol’s problem. Right, let’s do this. I’m ready!” Pol: “Me too!” Pol Espargaró (ESP) & Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite MotoGPTM Legend? Pol: “Yes, I know this one! That has to be Randy Mamola. He helped Bradley out during his career and was inducted to the Legends Club at the Austin Grand Prix of this year. That’s a point for me; I’m sure!” Bradley: “He’s right. I have no clue as to who would be Pol’s favorite MotoGPTM Legend, but I do remember a rider that used to mean a lot to him. That’s Alex Barros.” Pol: “Yes, that’s a point for Brad.” Bradley: “Though Alex isn’t officially a Legend, right?” Pol: “He isn’t? Well, he sure should be.” Bradley: “You know what? We are now making him a Legend here on the spot.” Pol: “I totally agree. Alex helped me so much when I was only just starting out in racing, back when I raced in the Catalan championship. I was managed by a guy that knew Alex and he set up a meeting with him. He was so kind and he let me into his motorhome. As a little kid that meant so much. I really enjoyed him helping me back then.” Bradley: “That was back when television was still in black and white, right?” Pol vs Bradley: 1:1 Favorite holiday destination? Bradley: “That’s an easy one. Pol’s is Australia. Surfing and the beach are the only things you could wake Pol up early for. Well, that and riding a MotoGPTM bike, obviously. He’ll wake up for that, too.” Pol: “That was a bit too easy. I don’t have a clue what Bradley’s favorite holiday destination is. Malaysia maybe, with extreme temperatures and the horrid humidity. He’d love that; he has to.” Bradley: “Hahaha … Yeah, just about right! No, I really enjoy going to America; California above all. I really like San Diego. Bit of motocross, pushbike rides, and the beach. That’s the good life.” Pol vs Bradley: 1:2 Favorite racetrack? Bradley: “Easy again. That is Phillip Island. Australia and that track are at the top of his list, I’m absolutely sure.” Pol: “Oh, come one! This isn’t fair. Anyway, I guess Bradley’s would be Silverstone. Sole reason to go with that is because it’s his home track, because I really wouldn’t know …” Bradley: “It’s Mugello, though.” Pol: “Right, I should have known that. Another point for Brad.” Pol vs Bradley: 1:3 Pol Espargaró (ESP) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite movie? Pol: “Bradley’s? That’s a given! Has to be Dirty Dancing, both part 1 and part 2.” Bradley: “Pol is amazing, isn’t he? Guessing Pol’s favorite movie would be My Little Pony then. It just has to be.” Pol: “Who told you that?” Obviously neither Pol nor Bradley will be getting any point for this. The score remains 1-3. Favorite beverage? Bradley: “Red Bull.” Pol: “It’s incredible; how do you know all this? But then Red Bull has to be your favorite, right? High five, man! We’re really good at this. But, do you know my favorite flavor too?” Bradley: “Err, dunno. Sugar free perhaps?” Pol: “No way. That has to be your favorite, since you’re constantly working on your diet. It’s Silver; the lime flavored one.” Pol vs Bradley: 2:4 Pol Espargaró (ESP) & Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite current MotoGPTM rider? Bradley: “I’d have to go with his brother Aleix. It might not be his absolute favorite, but he just has to say he is. It’s still family, right?” Pol: “Yes, Bradley nailed it. If it wasn’t for Aleix I would have probably said Dovizioso. Good guy all round and a fast rider too. Really nice guy, but of course my first pick would be my brother.” Bradley: “Pol, it’s 5-2 for me now. You are going to have to start picking up the slack. Just adding a bit of pressure for you.” Pol: “Well, another tough one. Cal Crutchlow, maybe?” Bradley: “Nope.” Pol: “It isn’t? Scheisse! [Shit!]” Bradley: “I’ll give you another shot. Don’t think you’ll get it anyways.” Pol: “Okay, so it’s someone I wouldn’t think of right away … Karel Abraham then!” Bradley: “Wrong! It’s Danilo Petrucci. Main reason is how he made it to MotoGPTM. He got so much stick when he rode the CRT bike. But every chance he got, he took. He just keeps making strides and now he’s managed to put his signature under a works contract. At this point in his career, that deserves respect.” Pol vs Bradley: 2:5 Favorite car? Bradley: “Pol came in his dream car, so that’s a Lamborghini. Just no clue on what type it is. What was that again?” Pol: “Yes, he’s right. It’s a Huracán. I know Bradley doesn’t feel much for supercars, so that isn’t worth going into. I expect he would like a nice van; something his dirtbike would fit into. He could even live and sleep in there, that’s the sort of answer I’m expecting.” Bradley: “That’s not a bad idea, but to be fair, my dream car is a Rolls-Royce.” Pol: “Of course, I like those too.” Bradley: “To put it simply; I have two sides. I’m from Oxford, so I’m expected to be the gentleman. A bit posh. That’s why I like Rolls-Royces. My grandfather has one; a 1996 or 1997 model. His car still looks amazing. But yeah, then I’m also a gipsy, so living out of a van is something I’d enjoy too. So, Pol’s answer was actually half good. Can we award half points?” Pol vs Bradley: 2.5:6 Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite animal? Bradley: “I know that one too! A kangaroo.” Pol: “Here we go again! Everything comes down to my love for Australia.” Bradley: “Don’t get me wrong, but we’ve been teammates for … wow, a long time. Since 2014, I guess? You get to know a person, you know.” Pol: “But then tell me, how come you seem to know me a lot better than I know you? You’ve never told me about your favorite animal.” Bradley: “I don’t talk about my personal life that much, actually.” Pol: “Do you even like animals at all? I don’t even know that. I’m going with a rabbit; shot in the dark.” Bradley: “Nope, it’s a crocodile.” Pol: “How was I supposed to know that? You like crocodiles; that’s crazy!” Pol vs Bradley: 2.5:7 Pol Espargaró (ESP) & Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite sport? Amendment: no other forms of motorsport allowed. Pol: “If that’s the case, it has to be cycling for Bradley.” Bradley: “That’s right. For Pol I’d go with ski touring, like hiking in the mountains but on skis. He lives in Andorra, and I know he goes into the mountains there a lot during winter.” Pol: “I’ll let him have half a point, because I really do like surfing too. The other sport, I think, is officially called Skimo.” Pol vs Bradley: 3.5:7.5 Favorite food? Bradley: “I’d go with pan con tomate, a typical Catalan thing.” Pol: “Good again. I really love that. Basically, just toast you rub tomato into. Bit of oil and some cured ham to go with it. I think Bradley would go with something like a nice and big hamburger maybe? That’s what I’d pick for him if we’d be in a restaurant.” Bradley: “It’s a typical British roast dinner. We usually eat that on a Sunday and it’s actually pretty quaint. Meat, potatoes, and greens. No points for Pol.” Pol: “Seriously? I’m getting owned here!” Pol vs Bradley: 3.5:8.5 Pol Espargaró (ESP) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite motocross rider? Bradley: “Oh my god … Best guess? Vico [former Spanish MX rider].” Pol: “No, mine is Jorge Prado. He’s young, he’s talented, and he’s always smiling. Good kid and a Spaniard of course. Another bonus; he’s a KTM rider too. Bradley’s favorite is … “ Bradley: “We have the same complexion.” Pol: “I know, I know. The American, right? Didn’t he race for Kawasaki?” Bradley: “And Suzuki, and Honda too. Raced the number 4.” Pol: “I just can’t come up with the name!” Bradley: “It starts with Car …” Pol: “Carmichael, yes.” Bradley: “Okay, we’ll let Pol have half a point.” Pol vs Bradley: 4:8.5 Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite music? Bradley: “Pol would go with Reggaeton, I guess.” Pol: “No way, come one. You would like Ed Sheeran. He’s English too, right?” Bradley: “But then everyone likes Ed Sheeran.” Pol: “And he’s orange like you too. Aren’t the two of you related?” Bradley: “Sort of, but I’m a lousy singer. Not too many ginger guys make it, so we have to stick up for each other. Brothers for life.” Pol: “Let’s just agree neither of us get a point here.” Pol vs Bradley: 4:8.5 Favorite corner? Pol: “Bradley would like a hard and very technical corner, lacking any form of grip. That’s where he shines; that’s the sort of corner he likes most.” Bradley: “The corner everyone hates, I love. Completely counterintuitive. Take a rainy day at Misano, turn 1. That would probably be it for me.” Pol: “It would be impossible to guess my favorite; I don’t even know what my favorite corner is!” Bradley: “I really like nicely cambered corners, but those are becoming rare. Assen’s Stekkenwal is one.” Pol: “Loads of grip, too. That’s one amazing corner, indeed.” Bradley: “And the final turn at Phillip Island is the same. You turn in, the bike slightly floating, only to pick up the grip again really fast. That sensation is awesome.” Pol: “We didn’t really score any points here, did we? But we both did have nice answers. What would you say if we both get a point, for the effort.” The judges aren’t particularly harsh today. A mark on both scorecards. Pol vs Bradley: 5:9.5 Pol Espargaró (ESP) KTM RC16 Assen (NED) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite fruit? Pol: “I go for grapes, he eats a lot of them.” Bradley: “I do, actually. And Pol’s favorite fruit? Let me think.” Pol: “Don’t you dare say bananas! That would be too easy of a joke to make.” Bradley: “No, I think he probably really likes durian.” Pol: “Oh no, that’s that weird Malaysian fruit, right? Those things smell so bad.” Bradley: “The smell is horrendous, I know. But they really don’t taste too bad.” Pol: “Yeah, it’s really bad. So bad even, you’re not allowed to bring durians to your hotel.” Bradley: “Yes, and Pol loves them.” Pol: “No, I really don’t! I can’t come up with what they call my favorite fruit in English. [Pol gets up and gets a piece of fruit from the bowl in the Red Bull Hospitality]. This, what do you call that? A plum? Yeah, that’s right! I like those.” Pol vs Bradley: 6:9.5 Favorite street bike? Bradley: “That’s the Husqvarna Vitte … something Pilen.” Pol: “It’s the new Husky, but I’ll go with the Svartpilen. That bike looks so cool. I don’t have one yet, but I’m waiting for it now.” Bradley: “Hahaha, That’s right. I remember Pol at last year’s EICMA in Italy. He just had to have one. Of course, he’s still hoping they’ll give him one.” Pol: “For Bradley it has to be an enduro bike of some sorts. Something like those new KTM 300cc 2-strokes.” Bradley: “If we’re sticking to KTM built bikes, that would be the one, yes. But I’d really love me something like a café racer. KTM just doesn’t build bikes like that. The other day I saw a promo on Max Verstappen’s new bike. That thing is incredible. I think that would be my dream bike right now. It’s completely different from anything that’s come before it. You know what, I’ll let Max pay for it and then borrow it off him every once in a while.” Pol: “Yeah, you show him how to ride it.” Bradley: “I will!” Pol vs Bradley: 7:10.5 Bradley Smith (GBR) KTM RC16 Assen (NED) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite Marvel or DC character? Bradley: “What’s Marvel or DC?” Pol: “Come on, Brad. You know this!” Bradley: “Is that with all those Spider Man kind of characters?” Pol: “Yeah, those popular superhero movies.” Bradley: “If that’s the case I know Pol’s favorite. Has to be Wonder Woman.” Pol: “Bradley would pick the green one, that ugly guy. The Hulk, that’s right. But Bradley is right about Wonder Woman. I really like her.” Bradley: “She is beautiful, isn’t she? Isn’t the actrice French? I’m pretty sure she is. I’d want her to be French. She could talk French to me all day long, even though I wouldn’t be able to understand a single word she’d say.” Pol vs Bradley: 7:11.5 Favorite MotoGPTM battle? Pol: “Am I even in with a shout of winning this anymore? Anyway, I have no clue. I don’t even know that for myself, my favorite MotoGPTM battle …” Bradley: “If I remember correctly it was Assen 2015. It was a scrap for P5, so no-one saw the battle on TV, but to me it was the most epic battle ever. We were both in the group.” Pol: “I remember that. That was a really good fight. I also remember having terrible arm pump. I just kept throwing the bike into the corner like a madman, blocking the rest, basically turning myself into some sort of riding chicane. In the end I did manage to come out on top, but the arm pump really didn’t make it any easier.” Okay, points for you both. That makes the score 8-12.5, with Bradley leading the way. Last question is a bonus. There are two points up for grabs for both of you. Pol: “I’ve lost already, right? But I’m going to defend my honor by getting this right. Should make the loss feel less painful.” Pol Espargaró (ESP) & Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem His favorite model? Pol: “Model??? I’m going to go with Axel Pons; he’s a model now. What are you laughing about, Brad? He really is a model; I’m not kidding. Come on, tell me! Am I right? I’m not entirely certain it’s right …” Bradley: “You’re only saying this because it’s the only model you know.” Pol: “That’s about right.” Bradley: “Let’s be honest, most pictures of models are photo shopped beyond recognition. So, I’m just going to go with Wonder Woman again.” Pol: “Brad’s right. Let’s just both go with Wonder Woman.” That round changing nothing for the final score – Pol vs Bradley: 8:12.5 Bradley: “Oh yeah, I’ll have that! It’s one of the few times I’ve managed to finish ahead of Pol over the last two years. This is my moment of glory … yeah!” Pol: “But if we turn the page, I win. But okay, I’m content with this. In the end I came out second overall and that’s a podium finish regardless. I’m kind of proud of that.” Photos: Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem
  13. Red Bull, KTM & MotoGP™: All in the ‘house’ Posted in Lifestyle, Racing We visit Red Bull’s vast Holzhaus in the MotoGPTM paddock and find out about the company’s aims and desires inside MotoGPTM … Red Bull emerged in MotoGPTM through Yamaha, several key athletes, an association with HRC, event sponsorship, Rookies Cups and finally emphatic presence in every Grand Prix class with Red Bull KTM. Today the Red Bull Energy Station ‘Holzhaus’ stands both as a subtle but monolithic presence in the MotoGPTM paddock and reflects the ambition and vision of both the company and KTM’s hunger for racing prestige. Red Bull Energy Station © Andreas Aufschnaiter/Red Bull Content Pool Walking into the Holzhaus is a little like entering the spacious and airy confines of a hotel. The wooded interior with strategically placed monitors, fridges and seating becomes more casual and less functional (but somehow also more exclusive) the further you rise through the three floors. A vast coffee bar greets the visitor once through the doors and past the showbike KTM. The 16 trucks needed to ship the 788m2 Holzhaus first rolled into the paddock in 2017. The catering/entertainment/business facility quickly became a reference for how Red Bull had grown into the sport. “We’ve come a long way in MotoGPTM and I think the series has been rising year after year in terms of relevance and perception by the public and as a brand we want to be involved in the top motorsports categories,” commented a senior Red Bull spokesperson during our visit and tour. “It is a no-brainer to be involved here. We really like this environment and it is accessible for us and enjoyable to work in as a brand, and for this reason the size of our presence in this paddock has been significantly growing.” Red Bull Energy Station © Andreas Aufschnaiter/Red Bull Content Pool Red Bull’s early biking roots were stamped hard in 2007 with the creation of the Rookies Cup; a filtering competition to Grand Prix that has already produced star talent like Johann Zarco, to name one athlete among many. The contest was backed by KTM and the Austrian link spread to Moto3 (the first title was won in 2012) and then Moto2 before completing the circle in 2017 with the KTM RC16 baptizing KTM’s intent on the premier class. The Holzhaus is the home for this ranging alliance. “For KTM and Red Bull in the paddock this is the central hub and from 2018 we are bringing all of our entities inside,” comments our guide. “It is a great way to give our friends and partners an experience of our engagement in MotoGPTM. This space speaks for us.” More than twenty staff appear to be permanently busy while guests eat and drink only meters away from mechanics, TV pundits and Grand Prix riders. Red Bull opened a lot of eyes in 2017 when the hospitality unit that is almost at F1 level (“I think the Formula One station is even a bit bigger but F1 teams are a bit bigger than MotoGPTM teams. I think this is two-thirds of the size.”) and requires three days to build and two to dismantle what was first erected. But it has expanded in terms of scale since. “Mainly because of the Rookies Cup,” we are told. “We used to have a second facility for them but as a matter of efficiency we brought them in here. When you consider we are feeding between 4-500 people each mealtime in different stages then it gives you an idea for the size of the operation and also puts it into perspective because it is a big building but when you consider the amount of people then it serves a good purpose.” Red Bull Energy Station © Andreas Aufschnaiter/Red Bull Content Pool We’re served a coffee and shown the rooftop terrace that again gives the Holzhaus that spotless and desirable ‘hotel’ feeling. There is a hint of luxury, the feeling of canteen downstairs and the sense that this is a sizeable pocket away from the oil, noise and engineering of the race bikes. Our hosts are quick to stress the versatility of the location. “I think you can see from the style and the layout that it is a multi-functional place for us in the paddock. We’ve hosted presentations, a team launch and more events in conjunction with [MotoGPTM rights holders] Dorna. There are many ways we can use it and KTM run media debriefs and we have big screens and multimedia. Our staff is also used to quickly changing the configuration as well.” Red Bull Energy Station © Andreas Aufschnaiter/Red Bull Content Pool Rumors circulated in the paddock of the millions needed to create and run the Holzhaus. It was therefore irresistible (if predictably futile!) to ask about a ballpark figure to make it all happen. “It is an investment!” is as close as we get. “Purely through the sheer size of it but also the quality we are trying to bring. What is important is that our product – the Red Bull energy drink – is something we use a lot on the premises and is part of the gastronomy occasions; and this is a gastronomy outlet and a pretty nice looking one! We try to make our products fit here; we are a premium product so we try to make the surroundings fit as well in a similar style and manner, that’s why we pay a lot of attention to the details and the setup.” Hiking the Holzhaus to at least ten of the nineteen MotoGPTM events in 2018 is no easy (or cheap) task. Is there a risk that it might not pay off in the short term? We’re met with a serious look. “Of course, if you build a facility like this then it is not just for one year so the plan is to use it for many years,” we’re informed. “For us it has been made as the home for Red Bull KTM but also for Red Bull and our guests. We are planning for the long-term and also developing it year-after-year. We are trying to maximize the facility and the space we get in the paddock from IRTA.” Wow, it might get even larger then. It already has a detachable terrace in some of the larger circuit areas. Red Bull KTM MotoGP Team Barcelona (ESP) 2018 © Markus Berger Importantly for bike racing the unit is a symbol for how a major lifestyle company wants to continue to support and back the sport. The Holzhaus might not appear in other motorcycle paddocks but it’s a statement for how Red Bull view two-wheeled competition across the board and for their synergy with KTM. “MotoGPTM has been expanding quite a lot in terms of viewership over the last few years. Motocross and Supercross in the States as well are both healthy sports. We are present in all the key motorcycling categories like MXGP with Red Bull KTM, Rally and Supercross. We try to find the strategy to be competitive in those series, especially because our competitors are very involved, particularly with the offroad side and they are very active with series sponsorships. So, we try to find our positions there and the relationship with KTM helps a lot and we have been winning many championships over the years.” As we descend the stairs and given a friendly farewell it’s not difficult to understand just how and why Red Bull KTM are rapidly progressing to the front of the Grand Prix grids. Photos: Andreas Aufschnaiter/Red Bull Content Pool | Markus Berger
  14. Red Bull, KTM & MotoGP™: All in the ‘house’

    Red Bull, KTM & MotoGP™: All in the ‘house’ Posted in Lifestyle, Racing We visit Red Bull’s vast Holzhaus in the MotoGPTM paddock and find out about the company’s aims and desires inside MotoGPTM … Red Bull emerged in MotoGPTM through Yamaha, several key athletes, an association with HRC, event sponsorship, Rookies Cups and finally emphatic presence in every Grand Prix class with Red Bull KTM. Today the Red Bull Energy Station ‘Holzhaus’ stands both as a subtle but monolithic presence in the MotoGPTM paddock and reflects the ambition and vision of both the company and KTM’s hunger for racing prestige. Red Bull Energy Station © Andreas Aufschnaiter/Red Bull Content Pool Walking into the Holzhaus is a little like entering the spacious and airy confines of a hotel. The wooded interior with strategically placed monitors, fridges and seating becomes more casual and less functional (but somehow also more exclusive) the further you rise through the three floors. A vast coffee bar greets the visitor once through the doors and past the showbike KTM. The 16 trucks needed to ship the 788m2 Holzhaus first rolled into the paddock in 2017. The catering/entertainment/business facility quickly became a reference for how Red Bull had grown into the sport. “We’ve come a long way in MotoGPTM and I think the series has been rising year after year in terms of relevance and perception by the public and as a brand we want to be involved in the top motorsports categories,” commented a senior Red Bull spokesperson during our visit and tour. “It is a no-brainer to be involved here. We really like this environment and it is accessible for us and enjoyable to work in as a brand, and for this reason the size of our presence in this paddock has been significantly growing.” Red Bull Energy Station © Andreas Aufschnaiter/Red Bull Content Pool Red Bull’s early biking roots were stamped hard in 2007 with the creation of the Rookies Cup; a filtering competition to Grand Prix that has already produced star talent like Johann Zarco, to name one athlete among many. The contest was backed by KTM and the Austrian link spread to Moto3 (the first title was won in 2012) and then Moto2 before completing the circle in 2017 with the KTM RC16 baptizing KTM’s intent on the premier class. The Holzhaus is the home for this ranging alliance. “For KTM and Red Bull in the paddock this is the central hub and from 2018 we are bringing all of our entities inside,” comments our guide. “It is a great way to give our friends and partners an experience of our engagement in MotoGPTM. This space speaks for us.” More than twenty staff appear to be permanently busy while guests eat and drink only meters away from mechanics, TV pundits and Grand Prix riders. Red Bull opened a lot of eyes in 2017 when the hospitality unit that is almost at F1 level (“I think the Formula One station is even a bit bigger but F1 teams are a bit bigger than MotoGPTM teams. I think this is two-thirds of the size.”) and requires three days to build and two to dismantle what was first erected. But it has expanded in terms of scale since. “Mainly because of the Rookies Cup,” we are told. “We used to have a second facility for them but as a matter of efficiency we brought them in here. When you consider we are feeding between 4-500 people each mealtime in different stages then it gives you an idea for the size of the operation and also puts it into perspective because it is a big building but when you consider the amount of people then it serves a good purpose.” Red Bull Energy Station © Andreas Aufschnaiter/Red Bull Content Pool We’re served a coffee and shown the rooftop terrace that again gives the Holzhaus that spotless and desirable ‘hotel’ feeling. There is a hint of luxury, the feeling of canteen downstairs and the sense that this is a sizeable pocket away from the oil, noise and engineering of the race bikes. Our hosts are quick to stress the versatility of the location. “I think you can see from the style and the layout that it is a multi-functional place for us in the paddock. We’ve hosted presentations, a team launch and more events in conjunction with [MotoGPTM rights holders] Dorna. There are many ways we can use it and KTM run media debriefs and we have big screens and multimedia. Our staff is also used to quickly changing the configuration as well.” Red Bull Energy Station © Andreas Aufschnaiter/Red Bull Content Pool Rumors circulated in the paddock of the millions needed to create and run the Holzhaus. It was therefore irresistible (if predictably futile!) to ask about a ballpark figure to make it all happen. “It is an investment!” is as close as we get. “Purely through the sheer size of it but also the quality we are trying to bring. What is important is that our product – the Red Bull energy drink – is something we use a lot on the premises and is part of the gastronomy occasions; and this is a gastronomy outlet and a pretty nice looking one! We try to make our products fit here; we are a premium product so we try to make the surroundings fit as well in a similar style and manner, that’s why we pay a lot of attention to the details and the setup.” Hiking the Holzhaus to at least ten of the nineteen MotoGPTM events in 2018 is no easy (or cheap) task. Is there a risk that it might not pay off in the short term? We’re met with a serious look. “Of course, if you build a facility like this then it is not just for one year so the plan is to use it for many years,” we’re informed. “For us it has been made as the home for Red Bull KTM but also for Red Bull and our guests. We are planning for the long-term and also developing it year-after-year. We are trying to maximize the facility and the space we get in the paddock from IRTA.” Wow, it might get even larger then. It already has a detachable terrace in some of the larger circuit areas. Red Bull KTM MotoGP Team Barcelona (ESP) 2018 © Markus Berger Importantly for bike racing the unit is a symbol for how a major lifestyle company wants to continue to support and back the sport. The Holzhaus might not appear in other motorcycle paddocks but it’s a statement for how Red Bull view two-wheeled competition across the board and for their synergy with KTM. “MotoGPTM has been expanding quite a lot in terms of viewership over the last few years. Motocross and Supercross in the States as well are both healthy sports. We are present in all the key motorcycling categories like MXGP with Red Bull KTM, Rally and Supercross. We try to find the strategy to be competitive in those series, especially because our competitors are very involved, particularly with the offroad side and they are very active with series sponsorships. So, we try to find our positions there and the relationship with KTM helps a lot and we have been winning many championships over the years.” As we descend the stairs and given a friendly farewell it’s not difficult to understand just how and why Red Bull KTM are rapidly progressing to the front of the Grand Prix grids. Photos: Andreas Aufschnaiter/Red Bull Content Pool | Markus Berger
  15. Chris Birch: 5 things I love about the KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R Enduro legend, riding coach and now KTM ADVENTURE ambassador, Chris Birch’s daily steed of choice is the KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R. Riding it constantly since its 2017 launch, the New Zealand resident spent 6000 offroad km last month so we quizzed him for his five favorite features on the most enduro of travel enduros. Chris Birch (NZL) © A. Barbanti Chris Birch is arguably the man responsible for showing the world the extreme possibilities and agility of the multi-cylinder KTM ADVENTUREs. He’s ridden them all; from 950 to 1290 and everything in between (including the upcoming KTM 790 ADVENTURE R) but his favorite of all time is the KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R. Last month, Chris clocked up an astonishing 6000 offroad riding kilometers on this bike, coaching schools all over the world, attending KTM ADVENTURE RALLIES in Australia, Sardinia and the United Kingdom and shooting this incredible Coastal Adventure video in his homeland of New Zealand. [embedded content] He’s also competed on the bike in the 2017 Hellas Rally; a seven-day navigation rally in Greece in which he cruised to the M5 (adventure bike) class victory and finishing an amazing sixth overall against more than 150 racers, competing mainly on 450 Rally machines. Having just added Wales to the list of countries he’s ridden the KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R in, alongside Peru, Italy, Ecuador, Panama, Japan, New Zealand, Indonesia, Canada, USA, Australia, Uruguay, Greece, and England, we sat down with Chris at the Sweetlamb complex at the KTM UK ADVENTURE RALLY and asked him for his five favorite features on the 1050cc orange-framed machine. From 1190 to 1090 … “Going from the 1190 R to the 1090 R, the latter was everything that I had needed to modify my 1190 R to be,” Chris tells us. “It was like KTM R&D listened to my every wish! Before I’d needed to change the wheels to stronger ones because I’d damage them, and the suspension was also improved, close to how I modify mine.” “With the stock bike now, all I do is add some flatter EXC bars to suit my standing position as I’m tall, I also use a clutch lever off a KTM 200 EXC as it is a bit shorter, fit some Mitas tires and re-valve the forks to make them firmer on their initial movement. The final thing is to drop it down a tooth on the front sprocket, which makes it really easy in the tight offroad sections and helps save my license on the road as the top speed is reduced!” Chris Birch (NZL) © C. Wood 1. The engine “The first thing when you have to talk about on a 1000cc plus motorcycle is the engine! I love how much torque it has got; you can really punch it up climbs and obstacles – like a trials bike! You can also be two or three gears wrong and it will just kinda work it all out for you.” “As for the ride modes, I leave my bike in street mode all the time and never change it. ‘Sport’ is a bit too aggressive for me and as for ‘Offroad’ without trying to sound like a dick, I like having the full 125hp all the time. The offroad mode is really good and a valuable tool for most people when riding this bike offroad, but I’m greedy for the power.” “Another reason I never change the ride modes as I like my bike to feel like it does all the time. Like, that’s what it will do and what happens when I crack the throttle in this situation. So, I really know how it will react because I’m so familiar with it. If I play around with the modes too much, it’s like learning three different bikes.” 2. Epic drifts “A combination of the chassis balance, suspension and engine performance I really love how this bike sits in a corner. My favorite thing to do on this bike is slide on a gravel road from corner to corner doing big, smooth drifts.” “All the wheelies and jumps and stuff are great for making videos and pictures, but if I’m going out just to play on it for me, I’ll be just going out to make big power slides from one corner to the next.” KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R © M. Chytka 3. Adaptability “It’s not really a feature as such, but it kinda is. But the most impressed I’ve ever been with the KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R was on a trip to Japan.” “I’d finished my first batch of riding schools and then my wife, Monica, flew in. We then put the luggage on and spent five days touring around Japan. When we got to the next riding venue, they had an enduro cross track there. So, I kicked her off the back along with the luggage and started riding the track. I could jump the doubles and clear the log matrix on the same bike we’d just been touring around on in complete comfort. That really, really impressed me.” 4. The range of use “I suppose it merges a little bit into the last feature in a way, but what I mean is the fact that I can leave my house and start having fun straight away; I don’t have to mess around by loading it on a trailer it or putting it in van.” “From my place, I can connect four of my favorite riding areas all into one loop. Which is really cool. When I leave Wales later, we’ll be looking to find some interesting routes back. It’s just a bike that makes you want to explore and it does that with ease – on and offroad.” KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R © M. Chytka 5. Noise “I love the way it sounds. I don’t rip the baffle out of the KTM PowerParts Akrapovič silencer or remove the catalytic converter, like some do. My bike isn’t particularly loud as I don’t want it particularly loud, but I really just love that LC8 twin-cylinder sounds in all situations. My daughter calls my 1090 R ‘Roary’ because when we go for a ride together and I give it some gas it’s the bike that says ‘roar’. So, I like it and she does too!” Photos: A. Barbanti | C. Wood | M. Chytka
  16. Chris Birch: 5 things I love about the KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R Enduro legend, riding coach and now KTM ADVENTURE ambassador, Chris Birch’s daily steed of choice is the KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R. Riding it constantly since its 2017 launch, the New Zealand resident spent 6000 offroad km last month so we quizzed him for his five favorite features on the most enduro of travel enduros. Chris Birch (NZL) © A. Barbanti Chris Birch is arguably the man responsible for showing the world the extreme possibilities and agility of the multi-cylinder KTM ADVENTUREs. He’s ridden them all; from 950 to 1290 and everything in between (including the upcoming KTM 790 ADVENTURE R) but his favorite of all time is the KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R. Last month, Chris clocked up an astonishing 6000 offroad riding kilometers on this bike, coaching schools all over the world, attending KTM ADVENTURE RALLIES in Australia, Sardinia and the United Kingdom and shooting this incredible Coastal Adventure video in his homeland of New Zealand. [embedded content] He’s also competed on the bike in the 2017 Hellas Rally; a seven-day navigation rally in Greece in which he cruised to the M5 (adventure bike) class victory and finishing an amazing sixth overall against more than 150 racers, competing mainly on 450 Rally machines. Having just added Wales to the list of countries he’s ridden the KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R in, alongside Peru, Italy, Ecuador, Panama, Japan, New Zealand, Indonesia, Canada, USA, Australia, Uruguay, Greece, and England, we sat down with Chris at the Sweetlamb complex at the KTM UK ADVENTURE RALLY and asked him for his five favorite features on the 1050cc orange-framed machine. From 1190 to 1090 … “Going from the 1190 R to the 1090 R, the latter was everything that I had needed to modify my 1190 R to be,” Chris tells us. “It was like KTM R&D listened to my every wish! Before I’d needed to change the wheels to stronger ones because I’d damage them, and the suspension was also improved, close to how I modify mine.” “With the stock bike now, all I do is add some flatter EXC bars to suit my standing position as I’m tall, I also use a clutch lever off a KTM 200 EXC as it is a bit shorter, fit some Mitas tires and re-valve the forks to make them firmer on their initial movement. The final thing is to drop it down a tooth on the front sprocket, which makes it really easy in the tight offroad sections and helps save my license on the road as the top speed is reduced!” Chris Birch (NZL) © C. Wood 1. The engine “The first thing when you have to talk about on a 1000cc plus motorcycle is the engine! I love how much torque it has got; you can really punch it up climbs and obstacles – like a trials bike! You can also be two or three gears wrong and it will just kinda work it all out for you.” “As for the ride modes, I leave my bike in street mode all the time and never change it. ‘Sport’ is a bit too aggressive for me and as for ‘Offroad’ without trying to sound like a dick, I like having the full 125hp all the time. The offroad mode is really good and a valuable tool for most people when riding this bike offroad, but I’m greedy for the power.” “Another reason I never change the ride modes as I like my bike to feel like it does all the time. Like, that’s what it will do and what happens when I crack the throttle in this situation. So, I really know how it will react because I’m so familiar with it. If I play around with the modes too much, it’s like learning three different bikes.” 2. Epic drifts “A combination of the chassis balance, suspension and engine performance I really love how this bike sits in a corner. My favorite thing to do on this bike is slide on a gravel road from corner to corner doing big, smooth drifts.” “All the wheelies and jumps and stuff are great for making videos and pictures, but if I’m going out just to play on it for me, I’ll be just going out to make big power slides from one corner to the next.” KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R © M. Chytka 3. Adaptability “It’s not really a feature as such, but it kinda is. But the most impressed I’ve ever been with the KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R was on a trip to Japan.” “I’d finished my first batch of riding schools and then my wife, Monica, flew in. We then put the luggage on and spent five days touring around Japan. When we got to the next riding venue, they had an enduro cross track there. So, I kicked her off the back along with the luggage and started riding the track. I could jump the doubles and clear the log matrix on the same bike we’d just been touring around on in complete comfort. That really, really impressed me.” 4. The range of use “I suppose it merges a little bit into the last feature in a way, but what I mean is the fact that I can leave my house and start having fun straight away; I don’t have to mess around by loading it on a trailer it or putting it in van.” “From my place, I can connect four of my favorite riding areas all into one loop. Which is really cool. When I leave Wales later, we’ll be looking to find some interesting routes back. It’s just a bike that makes you want to explore and it does that with ease – on and offroad.” KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R © M. Chytka 5. Noise “I love the way it sounds. I don’t rip the baffle out of the KTM PowerParts Akrapovič silencer or remove the catalytic converter, like some do. My bike isn’t particularly loud as I don’t want it particularly loud, but I really just love that LC8 twin-cylinder sounds in all situations. My daughter calls my 1090 R ‘Roary’ because when we go for a ride together and I give it some gas it’s the bike that says ‘roar’. So, I like it and she does too!” Photos: A. Barbanti | C. Wood | M. Chytka
  17. ktm Drifting

    Drifting Spectacular drifts, dust, show: Motorrad Magazine racer Yasmin Poppenreiter and her KTM 450 SX-F defend the honor of the motorcycle on the dirt track against former rally world champion Andreas Aigner in a Mazda MX-5 RF. © www.kurtpinter.com Dirt track racing is booming, and not just in the USA, where the spectacular flat track races in the oval are as popular as a juicy burger with onion rings. The rest of the world is also slowly becoming aware of how exciting, action-packed and enjoyable to watch this sport is. Not only that, everyone gets to take home a free souvenir: a layer of dust on their clothes and hats: all part and parcel of getting up close and personal with the world of motorsport. The Austrian star of the flat track in recent years is more than just a pretty face: Yasmin Poppenreiter, 24, is not only taking part in her fifth season of flat track racing, she also has a number of wins to show for it. Last year she won the Austrian Motorsport Federation (AMF) trophy. As there is no official national championship, this trophy is considered the unofficial title. It’s worth mentioning Yasmin does not compete in a women’s class, but instead against men, who get just as lost in her trail of dust as the spectators. Yasmin, who has been a part of the Motorrad Magazine Racing Team since last year, has already got to the top ten in the world championships. That meant it was time for a new challenge, which Motorrad Magazine provided by organizing this head-to-head. “What do you think about competing against a car in a flat track competition?” we asked her. “Any time,” she responded, full of enthusiasm as through as though her sights were already trained on the apex of the corner. What we didn’t tell her was the name of her opponent: 33-year old Austrian Andi Aigner. If anyone knows how to drift without any unnecessary seconds off the clock, it’s him. Andi, who hails from Styria in southern Austria, gained his first rally world championship title in the near-standard class ten years ago, with race wins in Argentina, Greece and Turkey: none of which are known for their lack of dust! © www.kurtpinter.com We chose a Mazda MX-5 RF as Andi’s racing vehicle for a number of reasons, most importantly so that we could create as much of a level playing field as possible. It had to be rear-wheel drive and the MX-5 is not exactly a monster, even in its most powerful configuration with 160 HP, but its excellent balance, sporty straightforwardness and above all its low weight at just 1130 kilos combine to make an exciting package. The only concession: at the request of the rally champion we fitted winter tires for better traction on the gravel. Yasmin’s racing machine was also near-standard. Based on a KTM 450 SX-F, the chassis was shortened, and the handlebars raised. 19-inch wheels with special dirt track tires were also fitted to the bike. Oh yes, one more thing: the front brakes are removed for dirt track racing. No need for brakes when you’re thundering towards a corner on a 68 HP, 100 kilo READY TO RACE machine at 160 kilometers an hour. This is not for the faint-hearted. © www.kurtpinter.com The showdown drew closer. We found ourselves at the Speedway Arena Eggendorf, run by the ÖAMTC-Zweigverein Wiener Neustadt, an affiliated society of the Austrian car, motorcycle and touring club (ÖAMTC). The 300 meter long track regularly hosts races with training runs every Saturday! The conditions were perfect, the sky was blue, the sun was out. Excitement was shining as brightly as the sun in Yasmin’s eyes. But Andi and the Mazda MX-5 RF got to go first. They took it in turns to race, as the stones kicked up by Yasmin’s rear wheel would damage the Mazda’s pristine paintwork. Andi was allowed to do three laps, then another three (flying) laps against the clock. Even just the first few corners were breathtaking – Andi saw precisely the line he needed to take, stones flying out behind him as he hurtled round the track in the Mazda MX-5. Yasmin seemed skeptical. Then the lap times came in. There was a difference of only 40 hundredths of a second between the laps, the best time being 17.69 seconds. The former world champion summarized the experience: “The Mazda really surprised me, it drove much better than I expected, with much more traction. I had excellent drift control as the conditions were ideal for how the MX-5 handles. The precise, direct steering also helped a lot. And as for the power– it was more than sufficient, you wouldn’t be able to use more here anyway.” © www.kurtpinter.com Now it was Yasmin’s turn. The KTM single roared into life, then sank its teeth into the oval. Anyone standing too close to the track at the exit of the bend would have well-advised to put a helmet on too – that’s how far the gravel was flying as Yasmin twisted the throttle. Just watching was enough to take your breath away, especially when she slid into the bends, pushing herself and the bike to the limit. But, the only thing that mattered here was time: Yasmin also clocked fairly constant times, but her best time – 19.24 – was still a good way behind Andi in the Mazda. “The track is too dry,” claimed Yasmin, equally as drily. Second attempt. Hanson Schruf quickly dispatched the sprinkler vehicle for a turn round the course to dampen the track, that up to then bore close comparison with the Atacama Desert. © www.kurtpinter.com So, the process started over, with Andi going first again. He posted very similar times, as there was not that much room for improvement to begin with. It was a different story for Yasmin, however. She easily turned the better adhesion on the track into faster times – and ultimately clocked a phenomenal lap of 17.92 seconds. A mere 23 hundredths of a second behind Andi Aigner in the Mazda MX-5. Merely the blink of an eye. With a twinkle in his eye, Andi celebrated his win in this unusual head-to-head: “I’ve taken part in a couple of head-to-heads between cars and bikes – this is the first that I’ve won on four wheels,” the event manager and freelance ÖAMTC driving instructor grinned. “It was close,” laughed Yasmin. “We’ll take the front brakes out of the Mazda next time to make sure it’s really an even contest. Then we’ll see who’s faster!” [embedded content] Photos: www.kurtpinter.com Video: www.motorrad-magazin.at
  18. Drifting

    Drifting Spectacular drifts, dust, show: Motorrad Magazine racer Yasmin Poppenreiter and her KTM 450 SX-F defend the honor of the motorcycle on the dirt track against former rally world champion Andreas Aigner in a Mazda MX-5 RF. © www.kurtpinter.com Dirt track racing is booming, and not just in the USA, where the spectacular flat track races in the oval are as popular as a juicy burger with onion rings. The rest of the world is also slowly becoming aware of how exciting, action-packed and enjoyable to watch this sport is. Not only that, everyone gets to take home a free souvenir: a layer of dust on their clothes and hats: all part and parcel of getting up close and personal with the world of motorsport. The Austrian star of the flat track in recent years is more than just a pretty face: Yasmin Poppenreiter, 24, is not only taking part in her fifth season of flat track racing, she also has a number of wins to show for it. Last year she won the Austrian Motorsport Federation (AMF) trophy. As there is no official national championship, this trophy is considered the unofficial title. It’s worth mentioning Yasmin does not compete in a women’s class, but instead against men, who get just as lost in her trail of dust as the spectators. Yasmin, who has been a part of the Motorrad Magazine Racing Team since last year, has already got to the top ten in the world championships. That meant it was time for a new challenge, which Motorrad Magazine provided by organizing this head-to-head. “What do you think about competing against a car in a flat track competition?” we asked her. “Any time,” she responded, full of enthusiasm as through as though her sights were already trained on the apex of the corner. What we didn’t tell her was the name of her opponent: 33-year old Austrian Andi Aigner. If anyone knows how to drift without any unnecessary seconds off the clock, it’s him. Andi, who hails from Styria in southern Austria, gained his first rally world championship title in the near-standard class ten years ago, with race wins in Argentina, Greece and Turkey: none of which are known for their lack of dust! © www.kurtpinter.com We chose a Mazda MX-5 RF as Andi’s racing vehicle for a number of reasons, most importantly so that we could create as much of a level playing field as possible. It had to be rear-wheel drive and the MX-5 is not exactly a monster, even in its most powerful configuration with 160 HP, but its excellent balance, sporty straightforwardness and above all its low weight at just 1130 kilos combine to make an exciting package. The only concession: at the request of the rally champion we fitted winter tires for better traction on the gravel. Yasmin’s racing machine was also near-standard. Based on a KTM 450 SX-F, the chassis was shortened, and the handlebars raised. 19-inch wheels with special dirt track tires were also fitted to the bike. Oh yes, one more thing: the front brakes are removed for dirt track racing. No need for brakes when you’re thundering towards a corner on a 68 HP, 100 kilo READY TO RACE machine at 160 kilometers an hour. This is not for the faint-hearted. © www.kurtpinter.com The showdown drew closer. We found ourselves at the Speedway Arena Eggendorf, run by the ÖAMTC-Zweigverein Wiener Neustadt, an affiliated society of the Austrian car, motorcycle and touring club (ÖAMTC). The 300 meter long track regularly hosts races with training runs every Saturday! The conditions were perfect, the sky was blue, the sun was out. Excitement was shining as brightly as the sun in Yasmin’s eyes. But Andi and the Mazda MX-5 RF got to go first. They took it in turns to race, as the stones kicked up by Yasmin’s rear wheel would damage the Mazda’s pristine paintwork. Andi was allowed to do three laps, then another three (flying) laps against the clock. Even just the first few corners were breathtaking – Andi saw precisely the line he needed to take, stones flying out behind him as he hurtled round the track in the Mazda MX-5. Yasmin seemed skeptical. Then the lap times came in. There was a difference of only 40 hundredths of a second between the laps, the best time being 17.69 seconds. The former world champion summarized the experience: “The Mazda really surprised me, it drove much better than I expected, with much more traction. I had excellent drift control as the conditions were ideal for how the MX-5 handles. The precise, direct steering also helped a lot. And as for the power– it was more than sufficient, you wouldn’t be able to use more here anyway.” © www.kurtpinter.com Now it was Yasmin’s turn. The KTM single roared into life, then sank its teeth into the oval. Anyone standing too close to the track at the exit of the bend would have well-advised to put a helmet on too – that’s how far the gravel was flying as Yasmin twisted the throttle. Just watching was enough to take your breath away, especially when she slid into the bends, pushing herself and the bike to the limit. But, the only thing that mattered here was time: Yasmin also clocked fairly constant times, but her best time – 19.24 – was still a good way behind Andi in the Mazda. “The track is too dry,” claimed Yasmin, equally as drily. Second attempt. Hanson Schruf quickly dispatched the sprinkler vehicle for a turn round the course to dampen the track, that up to then bore close comparison with the Atacama Desert. © www.kurtpinter.com So, the process started over, with Andi going first again. He posted very similar times, as there was not that much room for improvement to begin with. It was a different story for Yasmin, however. She easily turned the better adhesion on the track into faster times – and ultimately clocked a phenomenal lap of 17.92 seconds. A mere 23 hundredths of a second behind Andi Aigner in the Mazda MX-5. Merely the blink of an eye. With a twinkle in his eye, Andi celebrated his win in this unusual head-to-head: “I’ve taken part in a couple of head-to-heads between cars and bikes – this is the first that I’ve won on four wheels,” the event manager and freelance ÖAMTC driving instructor grinned. “It was close,” laughed Yasmin. “We’ll take the front brakes out of the Mazda next time to make sure it’s really an even contest. Then we’ll see who’s faster!” [embedded content] Photos: www.kurtpinter.com Video: www.motorrad-magazin.at
  19. Model / an KTM ?

    Salut, As vrea sa cumpar un KTM, dar proprietarul nu stie ce model e sau din ce an si are o singura poza momentan (pe care o atasez). Intrebarea mea este daca isi poate da cineva seama ce model este si anul aproximativ. Poza nu este intoarsa sau modificata in vre-un fel. Toba este pe partea stanga prinsa cu banda adeziva. Lantul este pe partea dreapta si frana spate pe partea stanga. Tot ce stie proprietarul momentan este ca KTM-ul este de 250 in 2t. Nu sunt sigur daca e asa, dar este singura informatie pe care o are. Nu are motorul la indemana dar cand poate imi va trimite mai multe poze. Mie imi arata a KTM MX din 1990 sau ceva asemanator. Problema este ca MX nu gasesc decat de 125. Multumesc anticipat.
  20. ktm The adventure never ends

    The adventure never ends The KTM BLOG takes a look back at the second ever European KTM ADVENTURE RALLY when 150 hardcore KTM ADVENTURE riders descended on the island of Sardinia at the end of June. The event also featured the first qualifying event for the Ultimate Race, a preview of the KTM 790 ADVENTURE R and we discovered why the wheels for this event will always keep turning. © C. Wood The sun may have set on the second annual European KTM ADVENTURE RALLY and the island fallen quiet from the rumble of LC8 engines, but the memories and friendships made in Sardinia will last a lifetime. Journeying there from as far as Columbia and Russia, the beautiful Italian island didn’t disappoint the 150 hardcore KTM ADVENTURE riders from 24 nations who attended. Sure, there were crashes, broken bikes, injured pilots and navigational errors, but just outside the town of Olbia a new community was formed who rallied around each other, supporting its brothers and sisters with fixing tires, helping them get their bike through a technical stage or simply fetching them a beer from the bar at the end of a long day. And then pushing them into the swimming pool … Over three main days of riding, 13 groups of riders spread out in combinations of ability and discipline to explore and tackle the winding trails and breathtaking roads in the north of the island. When each rider returned and checked in at the ‘Home Base’ at the Geovillage complex, beneath the dust-covered and often sweaty faces at the end of each day were big smiles and even bigger stories to tell over a well-earned cold one. © C. Wood As well as water, beer, Red Bull and shade from the sun, the ‘Home Base’ was the central hub of information for riders and provided a place to work on bikes with support from KTM mechanics, a tire purchase and changing facility from Continental and a retail presence for KTM PowerParts and KTM PowerWear from the Alghero-based KTM dealer, Travaglini Motori. Language barriers and age gaps – riders from 20 to 60 years of age participated – didn’t prevent these individual offroad and street groups from soon forming strong bonds. Within the group instructions, timings, photos, videos were shared and sometimes locations at the event are still pinging with updates from riders taking the long route home as part of a holiday, sharing awesome riding routes or planning the next adventure. Led by KTM staff and local expert guides, the offroad routes covered on average 150 kilometers per day across the three days. With the only rain on the island reserved for the street groups (blamed on the British tour guide …), even the straightforward hot and dusty trails created a challenge. Regular stops were needed for water, breathers, photo opportunities, fixing punctures, avoiding the wildlife (tortoises, mainly) and for the incredible lunch venues. © C. Wood The street groups were treated to arguable the most incredible riding to be found in Europe. Averaging 350 kilometers per day, away from the coastal routes the roads provided a quiet playground for the street-tire shod LC8 powered machines as they took advantage of the grippy surface and breathtaking surroundings. Word soon spread about the quality of the road riding and for the final day, knobblies were swapped for street tires by some offroad riders and a third road group quickly formed. Peter Ziegler, responsible for social media and community projects at KTM, was core to the planning of the event. “We know that our KTM ADVENTURE-riding customers are a special type of rider with high demands on how they want to use their machines. But from the feedback we’ve had, we delivered on that with the trails and street rides offered here and it’s great to see the bikes being used exactly how KTM intended and at the same time seeing new friendships formed. I’m not sure how we better this next year!” ULTIMATE RACE Aside from just the chance to explore the island on different terrains, the European KTM ADVENTURE RALLY also provided the first round of Qualifying for the Ultimate Race. If you don’t know what that is, check out this video … [embedded content] But this ‘event within the event’ will happen at each of the six KTM ADVENTURE RALLIES, which take place in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and USA. The top two from each qualifying event riding a twin cylinder KTM ADVENTURE bike will be given the opportunity to compete at Merzouga in the Ultimate Race. The scale of this prize is huge as it is fully supported with flights, accommodation, entry, bike, race service and more by KTM; the winners will not be disappointed. They will also enjoy coaching from some of the world’s finest and fastest bike athletes, with Quinn Cody and Chris Birch. For such a big prize the competition will be tough. Across four days in Sardinia, Ultimate Race hopefuls had to compete in special challenges. Riding wise, it wasn’t just about outright speed as technique on and off the bike was tested. Orientation and navigational challenges were also thrown down, mental and physical strength pushed as well as the ability to fix a bike in the field. At the end of the qualifying, Sebastian Blum, Germany, was the winner followed up by Stefano Sassaro from Italy to book their place at the Merzouga Rally in 2019. After winning, Sebastian Blum said: “I was a hard enduro rider who discovered adventure riding to be able see and travel to offroad terrain not normally accessible. I was 100% sure I wanted to attend the KTM ADVENTURE RALLY because I wanted to see the tracks in Sardinia. I had everything prepared so I was also ready to participate in the Ultimate Race and it was a lot of fun. It’s a dream for any enduro or adventure rider to try a rally and I want to see how high I can come at Merzouga.” © C. Wood ADVENTURE: A NEW PATH Fresh from the Australian KTM ADVENTURE RALLY, New Zealand’s Chris Birch was on hand as KTM’s ADVENTURE ambassador and rider coach for the KTM Ultimate Race. Another big reason for Chris to be in Sardinia was to give the 150 KTM ADVENTURE-owning attendees at the rally an exclusive first public introduction of the upcoming KTM 790 ADVENTURE R – a break from traditional as it is usually journalists who get the first look at new bikes! Despite being an all-black prototype version with some rough edges as the bike is still in its development process, the potential was clear to be seen as Birch rode it in anger on multiple days of the Rally on the enduro track and on the many trails before being formally introduced in a presentation with a question and answer session afterwards. “I felt like I was cheating on my KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R by riding the new KTM 790 ADVENTURE R!”, Chris Birch says seriously. “I can’t say too much about the bike at the moment as KTM are still in the development process, but this isn’t a bike to replace the KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R or KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE R but further boost their ADVENTURE range. It rides completely different, but the chassis is very capable and feels incredibly light.” “It’s a lot of fun and the engine is real peach. Personally, I have to ride it a different way to the KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R, but I think for a lot of people the low seat h and easy maneuverability will make this popular with riders who want to start growing their offroad ability and still have a great touring machine. I can’t wait for the finished product arriving next year.” © A. Barbanti And it seemed that feeling was echoed by many of the other riders in attendance who scrabbled to sit on the bike or take a photo of it. Stay tuned for more information in November at the EICMA event in Milan … So, not exactly a relaxing holiday, but the 2018 European KTM ADVENTURE RALLY provided incredible riding set against stunning scenery, an exclusive look at a future KTM model, the chance to improve riding and maintenance skills and the opportunity to win a fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime prize. Every time the attendees put on their official t-shirt from the event or they receive a message from a fellow member they will remember these unforgettable experiences. The memories they shared with fellow ´orange bleeders´ will raise a smile as well as thoughts on where the next adventure will take place. © A. Barbanti Photos: Chippy Wood | Alessio Barbanti Video: Eros Girotti/Filmer Force Productions
  21. The adventure never ends

    The adventure never ends The KTM BLOG takes a look back at the second ever European KTM ADVENTURE RALLY when 150 hardcore KTM ADVENTURE riders descended on the island of Sardinia at the end of June. The event also featured the first qualifying event for the Ultimate Race, a preview of the KTM 790 ADVENTURE R and we discovered why the wheels for this event will always keep turning. © C. Wood The sun may have set on the second annual European KTM ADVENTURE RALLY and the island fallen quiet from the rumble of LC8 engines, but the memories and friendships made in Sardinia will last a lifetime. Journeying there from as far as Columbia and Russia, the beautiful Italian island didn’t disappoint the 150 hardcore KTM ADVENTURE riders from 24 nations who attended. Sure, there were crashes, broken bikes, injured pilots and navigational errors, but just outside the town of Olbia a new community was formed who rallied around each other, supporting its brothers and sisters with fixing tires, helping them get their bike through a technical stage or simply fetching them a beer from the bar at the end of a long day. And then pushing them into the swimming pool … Over three main days of riding, 13 groups of riders spread out in combinations of ability and discipline to explore and tackle the winding trails and breathtaking roads in the north of the island. When each rider returned and checked in at the ‘Home Base’ at the Geovillage complex, beneath the dust-covered and often sweaty faces at the end of each day were big smiles and even bigger stories to tell over a well-earned cold one. © C. Wood As well as water, beer, Red Bull and shade from the sun, the ‘Home Base’ was the central hub of information for riders and provided a place to work on bikes with support from KTM mechanics, a tire purchase and changing facility from Continental and a retail presence for KTM PowerParts and KTM PowerWear from the Alghero-based KTM dealer, Travaglini Motori. Language barriers and age gaps – riders from 20 to 60 years of age participated – didn’t prevent these individual offroad and street groups from soon forming strong bonds. Within the group instructions, timings, photos, videos were shared and sometimes locations at the event are still pinging with updates from riders taking the long route home as part of a holiday, sharing awesome riding routes or planning the next adventure. Led by KTM staff and local expert guides, the offroad routes covered on average 150 kilometers per day across the three days. With the only rain on the island reserved for the street groups (blamed on the British tour guide …), even the straightforward hot and dusty trails created a challenge. Regular stops were needed for water, breathers, photo opportunities, fixing punctures, avoiding the wildlife (tortoises, mainly) and for the incredible lunch venues. © C. Wood The street groups were treated to arguable the most incredible riding to be found in Europe. Averaging 350 kilometers per day, away from the coastal routes the roads provided a quiet playground for the street-tire shod LC8 powered machines as they took advantage of the grippy surface and breathtaking surroundings. Word soon spread about the quality of the road riding and for the final day, knobblies were swapped for street tires by some offroad riders and a third road group quickly formed. Peter Ziegler, responsible for social media and community projects at KTM, was core to the planning of the event. “We know that our KTM ADVENTURE-riding customers are a special type of rider with high demands on how they want to use their machines. But from the feedback we’ve had, we delivered on that with the trails and street rides offered here and it’s great to see the bikes being used exactly how KTM intended and at the same time seeing new friendships formed. I’m not sure how we better this next year!” ULTIMATE RACE Aside from just the chance to explore the island on different terrains, the European KTM ADVENTURE RALLY also provided the first round of Qualifying for the Ultimate Race. If you don’t know what that is, check out this video … [embedded content] But this ‘event within the event’ will happen at each of the six KTM ADVENTURE RALLIES, which take place in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and USA. The top two from each qualifying event riding a twin cylinder KTM ADVENTURE bike will be given the opportunity to compete at Merzouga in the Ultimate Race. The scale of this prize is huge as it is fully supported with flights, accommodation, entry, bike, race service and more by KTM; the winners will not be disappointed. They will also enjoy coaching from some of the world’s finest and fastest bike athletes, with Quinn Cody and Chris Birch. For such a big prize the competition will be tough. Across four days in Sardinia, Ultimate Race hopefuls had to compete in special challenges. Riding wise, it wasn’t just about outright speed as technique on and off the bike was tested. Orientation and navigational challenges were also thrown down, mental and physical strength pushed as well as the ability to fix a bike in the field. At the end of the qualifying, Sebastian Blum, Germany, was the winner followed up by Stefano Sassaro from Italy to book their place at the Merzouga Rally in 2019. After winning, Sebastian Blum said: “I was a hard enduro rider who discovered adventure riding to be able see and travel to offroad terrain not normally accessible. I was 100% sure I wanted to attend the KTM ADVENTURE RALLY because I wanted to see the tracks in Sardinia. I had everything prepared so I was also ready to participate in the Ultimate Race and it was a lot of fun. It’s a dream for any enduro or adventure rider to try a rally and I want to see how high I can come at Merzouga.” © C. Wood ADVENTURE: A NEW PATH Fresh from the Australian KTM ADVENTURE RALLY, New Zealand’s Chris Birch was on hand as KTM’s ADVENTURE ambassador and rider coach for the KTM Ultimate Race. Another big reason for Chris to be in Sardinia was to give the 150 KTM ADVENTURE-owning attendees at the rally an exclusive first public introduction of the upcoming KTM 790 ADVENTURE R – a break from traditional as it is usually journalists who get the first look at new bikes! Despite being an all-black prototype version with some rough edges as the bike is still in its development process, the potential was clear to be seen as Birch rode it in anger on multiple days of the Rally on the enduro track and on the many trails before being formally introduced in a presentation with a question and answer session afterwards. “I felt like I was cheating on my KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R by riding the new KTM 790 ADVENTURE R!”, Chris Birch says seriously. “I can’t say too much about the bike at the moment as KTM are still in the development process, but this isn’t a bike to replace the KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R or KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE R but further boost their ADVENTURE range. It rides completely different, but the chassis is very capable and feels incredibly light.” “It’s a lot of fun and the engine is real peach. Personally, I have to ride it a different way to the KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R, but I think for a lot of people the low seat h and easy maneuverability will make this popular with riders who want to start growing their offroad ability and still have a great touring machine. I can’t wait for the finished product arriving next year.” © A. Barbanti And it seemed that feeling was echoed by many of the other riders in attendance who scrabbled to sit on the bike or take a photo of it. Stay tuned for more information in November at the EICMA event in Milan … So, not exactly a relaxing holiday, but the 2018 European KTM ADVENTURE RALLY provided incredible riding set against stunning scenery, an exclusive look at a future KTM model, the chance to improve riding and maintenance skills and the opportunity to win a fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime prize. Every time the attendees put on their official t-shirt from the event or they receive a message from a fellow member they will remember these unforgettable experiences. The memories they shared with fellow ´orange bleeders´ will raise a smile as well as thoughts on where the next adventure will take place. © A. Barbanti Photos: Chippy Wood | Alessio Barbanti Video: Eros Girotti/Filmer Force Productions
  22. 5 mins to talk the future of KTM motocross bikes We put KTM Product Manager Offroad Joachim Sauer on the spot about where the SX range could head in the future. Electronics? Electric? Perfectionism? Confusing. At the launch of their 2019 SX range the KTM engineers and project leaders spoke about how the newest motocross machines were close to “optimum” and the performance and design of the bikes represented something of a creative peak for the R&D department. At the same time as the 2019 machinery was being warmed up and taken to the track by journalists and testers for the first time, KTM Product Manager Offroad Joachim Sauer admitted that work was fully underway for the next generation! Joachim Sauer (GER) © Sebas Romero/Marco Campelli The reviews and innovations of the 2019 SXs have been predictably outstanding. Rather than asking Sauer to wax lyrical about the edges, trims and steps-forward that KTM have made we decided to grill him about where the range can really move next. The catalog already boasts a segment-leading power-to-weight ratio, and handling on the KTM 450 SX-F in particular has never been stronger. In truth it must be a hard search for Sauer and his crew. How do you improve a selection of products that are already hitting operational hs? The portfolio might involve six bikes between 125-450cc and 2-stroke to 4-stroke so there is still scope for discovering and thought but KTM have been relentless in their search of gains with each model (a priority for the 2-strokes was even to reduce vibration further). We suggest the SXs are becoming like the latest iPhones: it is becoming trickier and trickier to find significant ways to raise the bar. Sauer raises an eyebrow but does not disagree. © Sebas Romero/Marco Campelli So, to get a deeper understanding of what the future of SX models could look like, we asked Sauer for some answers … Jochi, it feels like it must be more difficult than ever to make progress with the SXs … “This is exactly the problem. We work very closely with racing and the professional guys – we are READY TO RACE after all – and even if you ask the MXGP riders ‘what do we change next?’ they cannot really give you an answer. Instead you need to make a suggestion. If you go with a longer, shorter or lighter frame then it is hard to predict whether they will like it. I think today there is no real direction in which way we can go because I think we are really close to perfect.” So, does the future means something more radical? “We will stick to our concept. We won’t turn the cylinder around or something like that. We think our concept now is very good and I don’t see any radical changes in the near future. We are already working on the next generation and tests have been going on for a year. Such a project has to be finished far ahead of the launch. It is a lot of detail work to find out where we can go with the frame and inside the same concept. There are a lot of ideas coming in and we have a lot thanks to a close co-operation with the MotoGPTM department and their influence is coming into motocross. There is some space to improve, but today I don’t see much need to improve.” As engineers is it difficult to slow down or stand still? “Our guys never stand still and they always have ideas and things to try. There will be another generation of SX and it will be another step forward. We have enough time to do another intense development and we have a very experienced crew in combination with motorsport. You need to have a super-competitive bike for motorsport but it should also be rideable and usable for an amateur and to find this balance is always a challenge but we have experience with that.” KTM 450 SX-F © R.Schedl/KTM Does the future of motocross bikes involve more electronics? “In this field there will be more and more … but right now the FIM doesn’t allow too much electronics in competition. We are working on the next evolution of the EMS system and in general there are thoughts about ride by wire so we don’t have a throttle cable any more … but the FIM doesn’t allow it yet. If all the companies convince the FIM this is the future then I’m sure we’ll see it eventually. Also, I think electronics with suspension could be something of the future. So far everything has kept quite traditional when it comes to motocross.” What would be the benefits of ride by wire in motocross? “You can control the power delivery much better. If you open to full throttle then the bike accelerates according to traction and so on. We use maps now but we are not as free as we would be with ride by wire. You’d be able to have real traction control for instance, but I don’t know if it is necessary for motocross but it could be an option or you could put a switch that avoids any slip. There are so many options. As KTM have a wide range of bikes in many fields and we are working on that stuff and if the guys believe there would be a benefit for motocross then we hope the rules might one day change to permit that.” Is the technology and knowledge in MotoGPTM helping with this area? “Yeah, absolutely. Not just in electronics but in data recording and then getting a result out of that recording. There is no point in having heaps of data if you cannot read and interpret them. There is a lot of feedback coming from MotoGPTM.” KTM 450 SX-F © R.Schedl/KTM Overall does electronics swallow a lot of budget? Can it really be cost-effective with MX? “I don’t see ride by wire coming in five years but I’m 100% sure that within ten years there will be no throttle cable any more. In ten years there might not be any noise either. It is something we have to face. The electric department will come more into the game for motocross in the mid-term future. So far offroad is not ready yet. As soon as the car industry really moves ahead then motorcycles will follow. There will be a certain delay, but it will happen.” Photos: Sebas Romero | Marco Campelli | R.Schedl/KTM
  23. 5 mins to talk the future of KTM motocross bikes

    5 mins to talk the future of KTM motocross bikes We put KTM Product Manager Offroad Joachim Sauer on the spot about where the SX range could head in the future. Electronics? Electric? Perfectionism? Confusing. At the launch of their 2019 SX range the KTM engineers and project leaders spoke about how the newest motocross machines were close to “optimum” and the performance and design of the bikes represented something of a creative peak for the R&D department. At the same time as the 2019 machinery was being warmed up and taken to the track by journalists and testers for the first time, KTM Product Manager Offroad Joachim Sauer admitted that work was fully underway for the next generation! Joachim Sauer (GER) © Sebas Romero/Marco Campelli The reviews and innovations of the 2019 SXs have been predictably outstanding. Rather than asking Sauer to wax lyrical about the edges, trims and steps-forward that KTM have made we decided to grill him about where the range can really move next. The catalog already boasts a segment-leading power-to-weight ratio, and handling on the KTM 450 SX-F in particular has never been stronger. In truth it must be a hard search for Sauer and his crew. How do you improve a selection of products that are already hitting operational hs? The portfolio might involve six bikes between 125-450cc and 2-stroke to 4-stroke so there is still scope for discovering and thought but KTM have been relentless in their search of gains with each model (a priority for the 2-strokes was even to reduce vibration further). We suggest the SXs are becoming like the latest iPhones: it is becoming trickier and trickier to find significant ways to raise the bar. Sauer raises an eyebrow but does not disagree. © Sebas Romero/Marco Campelli So, to get a deeper understanding of what the future of SX models could look like, we asked Sauer for some answers … Jochi, it feels like it must be more difficult than ever to make progress with the SXs … “This is exactly the problem. We work very closely with racing and the professional guys – we are READY TO RACE after all – and even if you ask the MXGP riders ‘what do we change next?’ they cannot really give you an answer. Instead you need to make a suggestion. If you go with a longer, shorter or lighter frame then it is hard to predict whether they will like it. I think today there is no real direction in which way we can go because I think we are really close to perfect.” So, does the future means something more radical? “We will stick to our concept. We won’t turn the cylinder around or something like that. We think our concept now is very good and I don’t see any radical changes in the near future. We are already working on the next generation and tests have been going on for a year. Such a project has to be finished far ahead of the launch. It is a lot of detail work to find out where we can go with the frame and inside the same concept. There are a lot of ideas coming in and we have a lot thanks to a close co-operation with the MotoGPTM department and their influence is coming into motocross. There is some space to improve, but today I don’t see much need to improve.” As engineers is it difficult to slow down or stand still? “Our guys never stand still and they always have ideas and things to try. There will be another generation of SX and it will be another step forward. We have enough time to do another intense development and we have a very experienced crew in combination with motorsport. You need to have a super-competitive bike for motorsport but it should also be rideable and usable for an amateur and to find this balance is always a challenge but we have experience with that.” KTM 450 SX-F © R.Schedl/KTM Does the future of motocross bikes involve more electronics? “In this field there will be more and more … but right now the FIM doesn’t allow too much electronics in competition. We are working on the next evolution of the EMS system and in general there are thoughts about ride by wire so we don’t have a throttle cable any more … but the FIM doesn’t allow it yet. If all the companies convince the FIM this is the future then I’m sure we’ll see it eventually. Also, I think electronics with suspension could be something of the future. So far everything has kept quite traditional when it comes to motocross.” What would be the benefits of ride by wire in motocross? “You can control the power delivery much better. If you open to full throttle then the bike accelerates according to traction and so on. We use maps now but we are not as free as we would be with ride by wire. You’d be able to have real traction control for instance, but I don’t know if it is necessary for motocross but it could be an option or you could put a switch that avoids any slip. There are so many options. As KTM have a wide range of bikes in many fields and we are working on that stuff and if the guys believe there would be a benefit for motocross then we hope the rules might one day change to permit that.” Is the technology and knowledge in MotoGPTM helping with this area? “Yeah, absolutely. Not just in electronics but in data recording and then getting a result out of that recording. There is no point in having heaps of data if you cannot read and interpret them. There is a lot of feedback coming from MotoGPTM.” KTM 450 SX-F © R.Schedl/KTM Overall does electronics swallow a lot of budget? Can it really be cost-effective with MX? “I don’t see ride by wire coming in five years but I’m 100% sure that within ten years there will be no throttle cable any more. In ten years there might not be any noise either. It is something we have to face. The electric department will come more into the game for motocross in the mid-term future. So far offroad is not ready yet. As soon as the car industry really moves ahead then motorcycles will follow. There will be a certain delay, but it will happen.” Photos: Sebas Romero | Marco Campelli | R.Schedl/KTM
  24. 3D printing: the future of motorcycle construction? Posted in Bikes, Riding KTM R&D are moving even faster in their development of new motorcycles and components thanks to 3D printing. Can the technology really work for the rigorous tests and standards of road bikes in the second decade of the 21st century? Well, the answer would seem to be ‘yes’. KTM recently unveiled their 2019 SX range of bikes at a comprehensive and detailed launch in Rome, Italy. One of the key innovations with the KTM 250 SX 2-stroke in particular involved the use of a printer to advance ideas and tests with the exhaust pipe. Michael Viertlmayr (AUT) 2018 © Sebas Romero/Marco Campelli Head of Engine Offroad & Motocross R&D, Michael Viertlmayr, explained how KTM arrived at the 2019 version that was created to improve the total packaging of the head pipe and to increase the necessary ground clearance of the vehicle. As well as 3D printing KTM also called on their growing experience with MotoGPTM to install oval cross sections to achieve their performance goals. Of course, having the theory is one thing; holding the proof in their hands and testing it on the bike was another. “We have an innovation design cycle,” Viertlmayr says. “Everything starts with a basic concept or an idea and in this case, it was to make the head pipe smaller in size or slimmer. So, we knew about the oval cross sections and being able to wrap the pipe closer around the frame. With a 3D design we go into a simulation-and-calculation phase, and we are one of the very few companies in the world that are able to calculate the very complex thermodynamics of a 2-stroke engine which is much more difficult than a 4-stroke.” “If we are happy with the result of the calculation phase then we go into the first prototype,” he continues. “If we are not satisfied with the results we go into another loop with the design department. If the calculation results are promising we print the segments, weld them together and we have a full working READY TO RACE prototype head pipe.” “We can go on the testbed and track with our test riders and collect feedback and numbers. If we are happy with the design then we go to the second prototype stage, if not then we go back to calculation phase.” “In the second stage we are nearing the production phase; we have the same weld and shell layout – the shells are already made of stamped material for what you’ll see on the production bike. The pipes are still welded by hand and not by robot as on the later production pipes. We do referencing with the first prototype and durability testing for the welding and weld design. If the results are good then we can release the production tools and after a six-month lead time we have the first production pipes in our hands.” “The production pipes are referenced again and have to work in exactly the same way as the first prototype and we have to do excessive durability testing to ensure the quality.” “All-in-all it takes about eighteen months from the basic concept to the finished product, which is twice as quick and ten times more accurate than it was in the past and this has been a big improvement for us. The simulation and calculation tools in combination with rapid prototyping saves us a lot of time and effort.” Idea 3D design © KTM 3D printing has slowly been gaining credence and popularity since the early 1980s with the evolution of raw materials and the actual printing machinery, as well as the capabilities of computer aided design (CAD) to ensure the finest detail is accurately reproduced. The methodology has increased in quality and efficiency to the point where vehicles, firearms and even surgical procedures have been able to embrace and use the technique. It still seems unreal that 3D printing can be done with metals and materials at a high enough resistance to be used on a motorcycle, especially an SX model! The resource is only gaining more prominence and importance though for KTM. R&D have four 3D printers; three for plastic components and one for metal. 3D printer (plastic) © KTM “The volume of parts for R&D is growing constantly year by year,” insists Viertlmayr. “It started with just a few and using quite low-quality plastic but the materials involved have improved drastically. Not only can we print high-quality plastic now but also aluminum parts like a cylinder head for instance, which is pretty cool. We can print in different steel grades and are able to prototype ‘heavily loaded’ parts like rocker arms as well.” The advantages are obvious. “It is just a massive time-saving for us in development,” he says. “It takes less than a week to print out the segments for an exhaust prototype and that alone is a gain of two-three months. It really makes life easier for us. The printed parts are fully operational. They are not only design parts; you can go on the test bench and on the track with them and that is amazing: a huge step forward.” The countdown begins to the day a full KTM is one day squirted out of a computer and a new chapter of manufacturing dominates the halls in Mattighofen. Photos: Sebas Romero | Marco Campelli | KTM
  25. 3D printing: the future of motorcycle construction?

    3D printing: the future of motorcycle construction? Posted in Bikes, Riding KTM R&D are moving even faster in their development of new motorcycles and components thanks to 3D printing. Can the technology really work for the rigorous tests and standards of road bikes in the second decade of the 21st century? Well, the answer would seem to be ‘yes’. KTM recently unveiled their 2019 SX range of bikes at a comprehensive and detailed launch in Rome, Italy. One of the key innovations with the KTM 250 SX 2-stroke in particular involved the use of a printer to advance ideas and tests with the exhaust pipe. Michael Viertlmayr (AUT) 2018 © Sebas Romero/Marco Campelli Head of Engine Offroad & Motocross R&D, Michael Viertlmayr, explained how KTM arrived at the 2019 version that was created to improve the total packaging of the head pipe and to increase the necessary ground clearance of the vehicle. As well as 3D printing KTM also called on their growing experience with MotoGPTM to install oval cross sections to achieve their performance goals. Of course, having the theory is one thing; holding the proof in their hands and testing it on the bike was another. “We have an innovation design cycle,” Viertlmayr says. “Everything starts with a basic concept or an idea and in this case, it was to make the head pipe smaller in size or slimmer. So, we knew about the oval cross sections and being able to wrap the pipe closer around the frame. With a 3D design we go into a simulation-and-calculation phase, and we are one of the very few companies in the world that are able to calculate the very complex thermodynamics of a 2-stroke engine which is much more difficult than a 4-stroke.” “If we are happy with the result of the calculation phase then we go into the first prototype,” he continues. “If we are not satisfied with the results we go into another loop with the design department. If the calculation results are promising we print the segments, weld them together and we have a full working READY TO RACE prototype head pipe.” “We can go on the testbed and track with our test riders and collect feedback and numbers. If we are happy with the design then we go to the second prototype stage, if not then we go back to calculation phase.” “In the second stage we are nearing the production phase; we have the same weld and shell layout – the shells are already made of stamped material for what you’ll see on the production bike. The pipes are still welded by hand and not by robot as on the later production pipes. We do referencing with the first prototype and durability testing for the welding and weld design. If the results are good then we can release the production tools and after a six-month lead time we have the first production pipes in our hands.” “The production pipes are referenced again and have to work in exactly the same way as the first prototype and we have to do excessive durability testing to ensure the quality.” “All-in-all it takes about eighteen months from the basic concept to the finished product, which is twice as quick and ten times more accurate than it was in the past and this has been a big improvement for us. The simulation and calculation tools in combination with rapid prototyping saves us a lot of time and effort.” Idea 3D design © KTM 3D printing has slowly been gaining credence and popularity since the early 1980s with the evolution of raw materials and the actual printing machinery, as well as the capabilities of computer aided design (CAD) to ensure the finest detail is accurately reproduced. The methodology has increased in quality and efficiency to the point where vehicles, firearms and even surgical procedures have been able to embrace and use the technique. It still seems unreal that 3D printing can be done with metals and materials at a high enough resistance to be used on a motorcycle, especially an SX model! The resource is only gaining more prominence and importance though for KTM. R&D have four 3D printers; three for plastic components and one for metal. 3D printer (plastic) © KTM “The volume of parts for R&D is growing constantly year by year,” insists Viertlmayr. “It started with just a few and using quite low-quality plastic but the materials involved have improved drastically. Not only can we print high-quality plastic now but also aluminum parts like a cylinder head for instance, which is pretty cool. We can print in different steel grades and are able to prototype ‘heavily loaded’ parts like rocker arms as well.” The advantages are obvious. “It is just a massive time-saving for us in development,” he says. “It takes less than a week to print out the segments for an exhaust prototype and that alone is a gain of two-three months. It really makes life easier for us. The printed parts are fully operational. They are not only design parts; you can go on the test bench and on the track with them and that is amazing: a huge step forward.” The countdown begins to the day a full KTM is one day squirted out of a computer and a new chapter of manufacturing dominates the halls in Mattighofen. Photos: Sebas Romero | Marco Campelli | KTM
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