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  1. Posted in Riding The first time you see Morocco, you’re shocked by the colors, the smells, the infinite beauty of the astonishing nature and the ancient culture of an extraordinary nation. Morocco is the gateway to Africa and one of the best places in the world to ride a bike. As a country, it indulges in all its splendor leaving you breathless from the very first moment. By: Johnny Nice @thebravebiker Johnny Nice travelling through Morocco aboard his KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S PC @JohnnyNice Whe I landed in Morocco, disembarking in Tangier, the enthusiasm was unimaginable and I was purely excited that finally I’d be able to spend some proper time riding across a country that intrigued me so much in my previous visits, unfortunately only for a few days in the past. I spent the first weeks on the north coast, arriving at the Spanish enclave of Melilla and all the hinterland around, and then pushing myself in and starting to descend, always following a sort of zigzag that very often brought me back to the same roads. The north of the country is incredibly beautiful, perfect roads that are inserted through an infinite number of hills with unique colors and scents. Contrary to most European countries, in Morocco you can ride a bike in the furthest or most extreme offroad tracks without many restrictions. Riding offroad with no restrictions – Morocco is one of the best places to ride an adventure bike PC @JohnnyNice The KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S dances between the endless curves and the kilometers slip under its adventure-specced tires until we reach Fes, the walled city of the north; Fes is considered the cultural capital of the country. It is most famous for the Fes El Bali, the fortified Medina, and the classic Souk market, a must-see for all visitors. I have the feeling of being in the past, overwhelmed by the wonderful chaos of the historic center. I almost always sleep in small family-run hostels where I get the chance to have dinner with the host family. It happens that I now have the traditional Moroccan tea with me, which I have also learned how to serve. Traveling through some offroad paths in the Small Atlas area, I met a travel companion, Saad, a local Moroccan biker. Saad was very helpful and willing to give me lots of advice on local cultures. Having a cup of Moroccan tea with a view PC @JohnnyNice We rode together quite a bit and spent a few wonderful days. The next day we got lost in an offroad track in the middle of nowhere. The sun was already down and we were still trying to find signs of civilization. Eventually, we found a Berber family in deep darkness and they hosted us in their humble home. Like all crazy stories, this one helped create some good memories that I’ll never forget. Our host family treated us like kings and I was impressed by the colors of their eyes; eyes so deep that seemed they were coming from another era. Soon after, I headed to the elegant Rabat, the capital, the main seat of the King of Morocco, and then went down to Casablanca where I got the opportunity to do a general bike check at the KTM dealer. Typical for all KTM dealers, I am welcomed as family. I decided to take a few days off and treat myself to a hotel with a SPA. That’s what life is all about. The next day, my bike was all washed, serviced, and ready to go. A Berber family invited us into their lovely home – the daughter seemed to like orange too PC @JohnnyNice I headed towards Meknes, another pearl, where a biker friend took me around the Medina (the old part of the city) even on the bike, doing a crazy slalom among the thousands of people who flock to go to the market. But this is Morocco. After a couple of days I finally left for one of the wonders of the world, the Atlas. It is indescribable, a huge and very long mountain range, with every type of road, from the asphalt to the gravel roads to the mule tracks. There is something for every taste. At the highest points I also found snow. At this point, I wish I had a lighter EXC to play around. I stop to eat along the way, always at restaurants in small villages where a lunch of tagine costs 5 or 6 Euro. The food is delicious, and I already have an addiction to “tefarnut”, the Berber bread. Guys, you have to try this one. It’s pretty common in this area to meet other bikers and I sometimes cover a few kilometers or even a day riding with them. The next morning we always promise to meet and ride again, but we both know that’s usually a lie. You never meet with these bikers again, and this is one of the prices you have to pay when traveling alone full time. [embedded content] Later on, I spent a few days in Chefchaouen, not just a city but a miracle. It is truly one of the most beautiful cities in northern Morocco, and probably in all of Morocco. Nestled at the foot of the rugged Rif Mountains, it’s a cascade of blue-walled houses harmoniously set in a stunning natural landscape. A paradise for photographers. The Atlas mountain range left all its beauty in my heart, despite a few scratches following a couple of hurtless crashes in the offroad parts. I’m definitely in love with Morocco. The road of the casbahs As the days went by, I visited the Merzouga desert where I enjoyed the sand dunes with a small little buggy I rented on the spot. Lots of new friends here too and unforgettable dinners. Moroccans, when you get to know them a little, you can’t help but love them. They are sunny, happy, and friendly beyond all measure. Here I am in Marrakech. Once an imperial city in Western Morocco, it is the city of mosques, palaces and gardens. The Medina is something incredible, a fortified medieval citadel that dates back to the times of the Berber Empire. Chaotic beyond belief. A crowded labyrinth with various souks, where practically everything can be sold or bought. Marrakech is also visible from a great distance and the Moorish minaret of the 12th century Koutoubia mosque is considered one of the symbols of the city. Just beautiful. The Moroccan scenery if breathtakingly beautiful PC @JohnnyNice Leaving behind the snow-capped mountains of the Moroccan Atlas, the landscape changes and the African charm multiplies in the canyons, palm groves, waterfalls and desert valleys crowned by the many Kasbahs. I can’t stop taking pictures, the succession of landscapes takes my breath away. The road of a thousand Kasbahs starts from Marrakech and passing through Ouarzazate arrives in Zagora or the village of M’Hamid, the last oasis before the infinite expanse of sand and dunes of the Sahara. I feel like I’m living a dream. At every village I am greeted by restaurant employees who wave their arms (yes they literally do it) and invite me to take a seat in their restaurant. It is always difficult to choose one so as not to do another wrong. But they look at you and just smile and say “you will come here next time, inshallah”. I love this country of a thousand contradictions. My reliable travel companion – the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S PC @JohnnyNice The thousand kasbah road retraces the route marked by the caravans that went from Morocco to Sudan and Mali. I travel all over it and along the way I meet other bike travelers with whom I share a couple of days on the way. My 1290 doesn’t miss a beat and it doesn’t give me any problems, I love this bike. I zigzag through the country, stopping for two days here and two days there, the weeks fly by. Sometimes I camp, sometimes I sleep just under the sky looking the same stars I saw in the dark nights in Patagonia, In Ireland or in Idaho. Sleeping under the sky is priceless. I finally arrive in Agadir where I decide to stay for a month, I take an apartment and enjoy that part of Morocco that I will later discover to be my favorite. Enjoying some beach riding with Moroccan friends PC @JohnnyNice The tagines, the tefarnout bread, the tea, the medinas, the mountains, the pristine lakes, the deserts. The breathtaking landscapes and the many friends I now have in this country. I don’t know how to describe the feelings that a bike traveler can feel in Morocco. It’s an extraordinary country, very safe and wonderful, certainly with its contradictions and its shortcomings. But it is among the most beautiful places I have seen in my life and believe me when I say I’ve seen some. If Morocco isn’t among your future riding destinations, you better make sure you make it.
  2. Posted in Riding The first time you see Morocco, you’re shocked by the colors, the smells, the infinite beauty of the astonishing nature and the ancient culture of an extraordinary nation. Morocco is the gateway to Africa and one of the best places in the world to ride a bike. As a country, it indulges in all its splendor leaving you breathless from the very first moment. By: Johnny Nice @thebravebiker Johnny Nice travelling through Morocco aboard his KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S PC @JohnnyNice Whe I landed in Morocco, disembarking in Tangier, the enthusiasm was unimaginable and I was purely excited that finally I’d be able to spend some proper time riding across a country that intrigued me so much in my previous visits, unfortunately only for a few days in the past. I spent the first weeks on the north coast, arriving at the Spanish enclave of Melilla and all the hinterland around, and then pushing myself in and starting to descend, always following a sort of zigzag that very often brought me back to the same roads. The north of the country is incredibly beautiful, perfect roads that are inserted through an infinite number of hills with unique colors and scents. Contrary to most European countries, in Morocco you can ride a bike in the furthest or most extreme offroad tracks without many restrictions. Riding offroad with no restrictions – Morocco is one of the best places to ride an adventure bike PC @JohnnyNice The KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S dances between the endless curves and the kilometers slip under its adventure-specced tires until we reach Fes, the walled city of the north; Fes is considered the cultural capital of the country. It is most famous for the Fes El Bali, the fortified Medina, and the classic Souk market, a must-see for all visitors. I have the feeling of being in the past, overwhelmed by the wonderful chaos of the historic center. I almost always sleep in small family-run hostels where I get the chance to have dinner with the host family. It happens that I now have the traditional Moroccan tea with me, which I have also learned how to serve. Traveling through some offroad paths in the Small Atlas area, I met a travel companion, Saad, a local Moroccan biker. Saad was very helpful and willing to give me lots of advice on local cultures. Having a cup of Moroccan tea with a view PC @JohnnyNice We rode together quite a bit and spent a few wonderful days. The next day we got lost in an offroad track in the middle of nowhere. The sun was already down and we were still trying to find signs of civilization. Eventually, we found a Berber family in deep darkness and they hosted us in their humble home. Like all crazy stories, this one helped create some good memories that I’ll never forget. Our host family treated us like kings and I was impressed by the colors of their eyes; eyes so deep that seemed they were coming from another era. Soon after, I headed to the elegant Rabat, the capital, the main seat of the King of Morocco, and then went down to Casablanca where I got the opportunity to do a general bike check at the KTM dealer. Typical for all KTM dealers, I am welcomed as family. I decided to take a few days off and treat myself to a hotel with a SPA. That’s what life is all about. The next day, my bike was all washed, serviced, and ready to go. A Berber family invited us into their lovely home – the daughter seemed to like orange too PC @JohnnyNice I headed towards Meknes, another pearl, where a biker friend took me around the Medina (the old part of the city) even on the bike, doing a crazy slalom among the thousands of people who flock to go to the market. But this is Morocco. After a couple of days I finally left for one of the wonders of the world, the Atlas. It is indescribable, a huge and very long mountain range, with every type of road, from the asphalt to the gravel roads to the mule tracks. There is something for every taste. At the highest points I also found snow. At this point, I wish I had a lighter EXC to play around. I stop to eat along the way, always at restaurants in small villages where a lunch of tagine costs 5 or 6 Euro. The food is delicious, and I already have an addiction to “tefarnut”, the Berber bread. Guys, you have to try this one. It’s pretty common in this area to meet other bikers and I sometimes cover a few kilometers or even a day riding with them. The next morning we always promise to meet and ride again, but we both know that’s usually a lie. You never meet with these bikers again, and this is one of the prices you have to pay when traveling alone full time. [embedded content] Later on, I spent a few days in Chefchaouen, not just a city but a miracle. It is truly one of the most beautiful cities in northern Morocco, and probably in all of Morocco. Nestled at the foot of the rugged Rif Mountains, it’s a cascade of blue-walled houses harmoniously set in a stunning natural landscape. A paradise for photographers. The Atlas mountain range left all its beauty in my heart, despite a few scratches following a couple of hurtless crashes in the offroad parts. I’m definitely in love with Morocco. The road of the casbahs As the days went by, I visited the Merzouga desert where I enjoyed the sand dunes with a small little buggy I rented on the spot. Lots of new friends here too and unforgettable dinners. Moroccans, when you get to know them a little, you can’t help but love them. They are sunny, happy, and friendly beyond all measure. Here I am in Marrakech. Once an imperial city in Western Morocco, it is the city of mosques, palaces and gardens. The Medina is something incredible, a fortified medieval citadel that dates back to the times of the Berber Empire. Chaotic beyond belief. A crowded labyrinth with various souks, where practically everything can be sold or bought. Marrakech is also visible from a great distance and the Moorish minaret of the 12th century Koutoubia mosque is considered one of the symbols of the city. Just beautiful. The Moroccan scenery if breathtakingly beautiful PC @JohnnyNice Leaving behind the snow-capped mountains of the Moroccan Atlas, the landscape changes and the African charm multiplies in the canyons, palm groves, waterfalls and desert valleys crowned by the many Kasbahs. I can’t stop taking pictures, the succession of landscapes takes my breath away. The road of a thousand Kasbahs starts from Marrakech and passing through Ouarzazate arrives in Zagora or the village of M’Hamid, the last oasis before the infinite expanse of sand and dunes of the Sahara. I feel like I’m living a dream. At every village I am greeted by restaurant employees who wave their arms (yes they literally do it) and invite me to take a seat in their restaurant. It is always difficult to choose one so as not to do another wrong. But they look at you and just smile and say “you will come here next time, inshallah”. I love this country of a thousand contradictions. My reliable travel companion – the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S PC @JohnnyNice The thousand kasbah road retraces the route marked by the caravans that went from Morocco to Sudan and Mali. I travel all over it and along the way I meet other bike travelers with whom I share a couple of days on the way. My 1290 doesn’t miss a beat and it doesn’t give me any problems, I love this bike. I zigzag through the country, stopping for two days here and two days there, the weeks fly by. Sometimes I camp, sometimes I sleep just under the sky looking the same stars I saw in the dark nights in Patagonia, In Ireland or in Idaho. Sleeping under the sky is priceless. I finally arrive in Agadir where I decide to stay for a month, I take an apartment and enjoy that part of Morocco that I will later discover to be my favorite. Enjoying some beach riding with Moroccan friends PC @JohnnyNice The tagines, the tefarnout bread, the tea, the medinas, the mountains, the pristine lakes, the deserts. The breathtaking landscapes and the many friends I now have in this country. I don’t know how to describe the feelings that a bike traveler can feel in Morocco. It’s an extraordinary country, very safe and wonderful, certainly with its contradictions and its shortcomings. But it is among the most beautiful places I have seen in my life and believe me when I say I’ve seen some. If Morocco isn’t among your future riding destinations, you better make sure you make it.
  3. Posted in Riding Winter is always the harshest season to ride bikes. Icy roads, freezing temperatures, and sudden changes in weather conditions make the winter months the most challenging for all motorcyclists. But this doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy riding even in these extreme conditions. By: Paolo Cattaneo @paolocattaneophoto Winter on Crete, Greece. The island has the second highest mountain in the country, peaking at 2500m. Hence plenty of subzero temps and snow up there! No problem for the KTM 890 ADVENTURE. PC @PaoloCattaneo After traveling for over seven years and crossing 45 countries in both hemispheres, I had the fortune (or misfortune) to encounter all sorts of climatic conditions. As I traveled across Canada and USA during one of the coldest winters of the past decade, I feel I can share some of the tips that kept me going and allowed me to ride in sub-zero temperatures. Vernon, BC Canada. October 1st 2018. Autumn in Canada is like winter anywhere else. Something I learned the hard way. PC @PaoloCattaneo 1. Layer-Up When it’s close or below zero degrees outside, it’s hard to find any single piece of garment to provide proper protection against the elements. The best way to prevent hypothermia while riding is to wear multiple layers of clothing, including some thermal/technical inner layers. These will help your body maintain a constant and acceptable temperature for longer periods of time. A good trick also is to wear a rainproof jacket on top of your riding gear; other than preventing rain from reaching your skin, the rainproof construction material is also very good to block the cold air from filtering through. Technical layers are a lifesaver for riding in winter and sleeping outdoor. Quick to wash and dry. If you are a keen adventurer and moto camper, these are the garments to have. PC @HeinzMitterbauer Some of the items that could help you with winter riding are also a balaclava, a neck warmer, some proper winter gloves, some technical socks, a windbreaker sweater etc. While crossing the USA from east to west, I would wear everything I had in terms of clothing in order to stay warm. I was hit by several snowstorms, even in states where usually not much snow gets deposited during the year. I remember I arrived in New Mexico and, after riding in the cold for 650 km, I decided to treat myself and sleep in a nice warm motel instead of camping outside overnight. The sky was blue and there were no ominous clouds in the sky, but my feet were frozen, so I needed a break from the cold air. When I woke up in the morning, I peeked through my room windows and saw my bike parked outside covered in 30 cm of snow. Hand muffs. Not much to say except that once you try those, you would question yourself why you haven’t used those before. No more cold hands! Click the image to get more information about the KTM HANDLEBAR MUFFS PC @HeinzMitterbauer 2. All the heat Your hands, feet and head are the most exposed parts of your body and where the chill usually is being transferred across your body. Hence, these parts will get colder sooner, as your body will try to maintain the core temperature constant for the other vital organs. A set of heated grips, handlebar muffs as well as a heated seat are must-haves for real winter riding. For your hands, heated grips and muffs are so fundamental for winter riding that once you’ll give those a try, you will question yourself why you didn’t start to use those earlier. A heated seat is also an extra piece of equipment that may come in handy, especially if you keep your bike parked outside. Heated and padded seat is what you want to keep your core temperature constant during cold rides. Click the photo to get more info about the ERGO RIDER’S SEAT. PC @HeinzMitterbauer 3. Avoid icy spots at any cost When riding in winter you need to keep an extra eye on where the sun shines or not. Especially on mountain roads, it can make a crucial difference if a road gets beamed by the sun or stays in the shade for most of the day. If a road doesn’t get hit by the sun till the afternoon, this means that the night humidity may have crystallized on the tarmac surface and created what is mostly known as black ice. The end of the carretera austral, in the chilean patagonia. Riding in full winter has its perks. No tourists. Arrived here after 400km under rain and snow. I think I wasn’t gazing at the horizon here…I was just frozen! PC @PaoloCattaneo Keep in mind that this may or may not occur in your country as tarmac composition or salt could prevent ice from forming on it. Regardless, it’s always better to drop a gear and slow down (stay away from the brakes) as soon as you see some shade and tight corners. I had to learn the “black ice lesson” obviously the hard way. While riding towards the glacier at the back of Ushuaia in Argentina, I came across a section of twisties, all radiated by the warm sunny rays of the day. One particular corner instead was in the shade, but It didn’t look much different from the others. Needless to say, that as soon as I touched it, my front wheel slid to the side, making me hit the ground and slide on my arse in less than a millisecond. Luckily, I was riding uphill so gravity somehow allowed me to stop quickly. But the lesson of the day was indeed learned. A battery charger is almost a necessity to have during cold winter nights. It’s the “pacemaker” that keeps the bike’s heart beating even when it’s sleeping. Click the photo to get more information about the KTM BATTERY CHARGER. PC @HeinzMitterbauer 4. Protect your battery It’s never fun to realize your engine won’t start in a cold morning. One of the most frequent batter-killers of is certainly the cold. If you keep your bike parked in the street or a cold garage for a long time, you may have already experienced it. A battery’s chemical composition doesn’t allow it to survive and keep the charge when exposed to extremely low temperatures, hence you could encounter the possibility of finding it hard to start your motorcycle in winter. If your bike is sitting in a garage and you have a power outlet at reach, it’s better to have it constantly connected to a charger during the winter months, even if you use your bike every day. The other alternative is to get one of those portable jump starters and keep it with you at all times. While riding across the top of Yukon, it became challenging to start my bike in the cold and humid Canadian mornings. Luckily, I always had my small jump starter to give an extra kick to my poor battery. Cold can also affect the battery life of your mobile devices. If you keep your smartphone or GPS attached to your bike while riding, make sure it is not directly exposed to the cold winds otherwise you may damage the battery and jeopardize its battery life. A good idea is to use KTM MY Ride app instead, allowing your bike to receive GPS, music, and caller ID info on your dash via Bluetooth, while you can keep your phone secured in your inside jacket pocket. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. That is not snow, but salt. In any case, up at 3300m of altitude, it s kind of always winter. PC @PaoloCattaneo 5. Wash any salt off Something that doesn’t get taken much into consideration usually is that most countries put salt on roads in winter to avoid black ice. As a big part of the bike’s bodywork is made of plastic and all screws are built-in stainless steel, there is not much of a concern in this sense, but If you happen to frequently use your motorcycle in winter, make sure you wash it with fresh water to the bottom part, as soon as you get home. Salt can damage both metal and electronic components quite easily, and it is for the most part invisible to the eye. I remember when I rode across the highest salt flat in the world in Bolivia; that was undoubtedly a spectacular ride, but It wasn’t the best for my motorcycle, which had salt crystals spread all over the engine block. Water, salt, and heat are a bad combo, and they would corrode even the most resistant of material. Huascaran National Park, Peru. Pretty chill up at 5000m, but the rough riding kept me warm. It was a milestone for me to get up here after days of riding through the rough and freezing Andean high roads. PC @PaoloCattaneo
  4. Posted in Riding Winter is always the harshest season to ride bikes. Icy roads, freezing temperatures, and sudden changes in weather conditions make the winter months the most challenging for all motorcyclists. But this doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy riding even in these extreme conditions. By: Paolo Cattaneo @paolocattaneophoto Winter on Crete, Greece. The island has the second highest mountain in the country, peaking at 2500m. Hence plenty of subzero temps and snow up there! No problem for the KTM 890 ADVENTURE. PC @PaoloCattaneo After traveling for over seven years and crossing 45 countries in both hemispheres, I had the fortune (or misfortune) to encounter all sorts of climatic conditions. As I traveled across Canada and USA during one of the coldest winters of the past decade, I feel I can share some of the tips that kept me going and allowed me to ride in sub-zero temperatures. Vernon, BC Canada. October 1st 2018. Autumn in Canada is like winter anywhere else. Something I learned the hard way. PC @PaoloCattaneo 1. Layer-Up When it’s close or below zero degrees outside, it’s hard to find any single piece of garment to provide proper protection against the elements. The best way to prevent hypothermia while riding is to wear multiple layers of clothing, including some thermal/technical inner layers. These will help your body maintain a constant and acceptable temperature for longer periods of time. A good trick also is to wear a rainproof jacket on top of your riding gear; other than preventing rain from reaching your skin, the rainproof construction material is also very good to block the cold air from filtering through. Technical layers are a lifesaver for riding in winter and sleeping outdoor. Quick to wash and dry. If you are a keen adventurer and moto camper, these are the garments to have. PC @HeinzMitterbauer Some of the items that could help you with winter riding are also a balaclava, a neck warmer, some proper winter gloves, some technical socks, a windbreaker sweater etc. While crossing the USA from east to west, I would wear everything I had in terms of clothing in order to stay warm. I was hit by several snowstorms, even in states where usually not much snow gets deposited during the year. I remember I arrived in New Mexico and, after riding in the cold for 650 km, I decided to treat myself and sleep in a nice warm motel instead of camping outside overnight. The sky was blue and there were no ominous clouds in the sky, but my feet were frozen, so I needed a break from the cold air. When I woke up in the morning, I peeked through my room windows and saw my bike parked outside covered in 30 cm of snow. Hand muffs. Not much to say except that once you try those, you would question yourself why you haven’t used those before. No more cold hands! Click the image to get more information about the KTM HANDLEBAR MUFFS PC @HeinzMitterbauer 2. All the heat Your hands, feet and head are the most exposed parts of your body and where the chill usually is being transferred across your body. Hence, these parts will get colder sooner, as your body will try to maintain the core temperature constant for the other vital organs. A set of heated grips, handlebar muffs as well as a heated seat are must-haves for real winter riding. For your hands, heated grips and muffs are so fundamental for winter riding that once you’ll give those a try, you will question yourself why you didn’t start to use those earlier. A heated seat is also an extra piece of equipment that may come in handy, especially if you keep your bike parked outside. Heated and padded seat is what you want to keep your core temperature constant during cold rides. Click the photo to get more info about the ERGO RIDER’S SEAT. PC @HeinzMitterbauer 3. Avoid icy spots at any cost When riding in winter you need to keep an extra eye on where the sun shines or not. Especially on mountain roads, it can make a crucial difference if a road gets beamed by the sun or stays in the shade for most of the day. If a road doesn’t get hit by the sun till the afternoon, this means that the night humidity may have crystallized on the tarmac surface and created what is mostly known as black ice. The end of the carretera austral, in the chilean patagonia. Riding in full winter has its perks. No tourists. Arrived here after 400km under rain and snow. I think I wasn’t gazing at the horizon here…I was just frozen! PC @PaoloCattaneo Keep in mind that this may or may not occur in your country as tarmac composition or salt could prevent ice from forming on it. Regardless, it’s always better to drop a gear and slow down (stay away from the brakes) as soon as you see some shade and tight corners. I had to learn the “black ice lesson” obviously the hard way. While riding towards the glacier at the back of Ushuaia in Argentina, I came across a section of twisties, all radiated by the warm sunny rays of the day. One particular corner instead was in the shade, but It didn’t look much different from the others. Needless to say, that as soon as I touched it, my front wheel slid to the side, making me hit the ground and slide on my arse in less than a millisecond. Luckily, I was riding uphill so gravity somehow allowed me to stop quickly. But the lesson of the day was indeed learned. A battery charger is almost a necessity to have during cold winter nights. It’s the “pacemaker” that keeps the bike’s heart beating even when it’s sleeping. Click the photo to get more information about the KTM BATTERY CHARGER. PC @HeinzMitterbauer 4. Protect your battery It’s never fun to realize your engine won’t start in a cold morning. One of the most frequent batter-killers of is certainly the cold. If you keep your bike parked in the street or a cold garage for a long time, you may have already experienced it. A battery’s chemical composition doesn’t allow it to survive and keep the charge when exposed to extremely low temperatures, hence you could encounter the possibility of finding it hard to start your motorcycle in winter. If your bike is sitting in a garage and you have a power outlet at reach, it’s better to have it constantly connected to a charger during the winter months, even if you use your bike every day. The other alternative is to get one of those portable jump starters and keep it with you at all times. While riding across the top of Yukon, it became challenging to start my bike in the cold and humid Canadian mornings. Luckily, I always had my small jump starter to give an extra kick to my poor battery. Cold can also affect the battery life of your mobile devices. If you keep your smartphone or GPS attached to your bike while riding, make sure it is not directly exposed to the cold winds otherwise you may damage the battery and jeopardize its battery life. A good idea is to use KTM MY Ride app instead, allowing your bike to receive GPS, music, and caller ID info on your dash via Bluetooth, while you can keep your phone secured in your inside jacket pocket. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. That is not snow, but salt. In any case, up at 3300m of altitude, it s kind of always winter. PC @PaoloCattaneo 5. Wash any salt off Something that doesn’t get taken much into consideration usually is that most countries put salt on roads in winter to avoid black ice. As a big part of the bike’s bodywork is made of plastic and all screws are built-in stainless steel, there is not much of a concern in this sense, but If you happen to frequently use your motorcycle in winter, make sure you wash it with fresh water to the bottom part, as soon as you get home. Salt can damage both metal and electronic components quite easily, and it is for the most part invisible to the eye. I remember when I rode across the highest salt flat in the world in Bolivia; that was undoubtedly a spectacular ride, but It wasn’t the best for my motorcycle, which had salt crystals spread all over the engine block. Water, salt, and heat are a bad combo, and they would corrode even the most resistant of material. Huascaran National Park, Peru. Pretty chill up at 5000m, but the rough riding kept me warm. It was a milestone for me to get up here after days of riding through the rough and freezing Andean high roads. PC @PaoloCattaneo
  5. Posted in Racing TAKE A LOOK AT THE FIRST HALF OF THE 2022 DAKAR RALLY This year’s Dakar has already created many talking points and legendary tales that will be told for years to come as we head into today’s rest day in Riyadh. Danilo Petrucci is the man of the moment, having taken his first stage win – and many by surprise – just 53 days after hanging up his MotoGP™ leathers and embarking on what many thought would be a near impossible task for the Italian. Danilo Petrucci aboard his Tech3 KTM Factory Racing machine has made motorsport history PC @RallyZone Petrucci’s entry to the Dakar, his first rally raid experience with real navigation, has been fraught with challenges – not least the little preparation time from first stepping on the bike in November, to concluding his MotoGP career, to arriving in the Middle East having also battled an ankle injury, to be prepared for one of the most notorious races in the world. A positive Covid-19 test on arrival had the KTM ace wondering if he’d even get the chance to compete in the 2022 edition of the event, before clearance from a blood test meant it was all systems go for the friendly Italian. The 31-year-old, who only began his road book training back in October with Jordi Viladoms, KTM’s Rally Sport Manager and former Dakar podium finisher, made a steady start, only to suffer with a small technical issue on stage two, which effectively concluded his competitive status in the main rankings. Frustrating to say the least, but with the new rules, Danilo could continue the race as well as his Dakar experience and what a spectacle that has been – a third place on stage four (although it was revoked for a speeding penalty) and a prestigious stage win on stage five means that Danilo is not only the first racer to go from a MotoGP race season directly to the Dakar, but he’s also the first to have won a MotoGP race and a Dakar stage. The expectation was certainly nowhere near this impressive and historic feat the KTM star has achieved. A few crashes here and there have taught Danilo some of the hard lessons of rally, which is seemingly why most pictures in recent days show some bust up parts on his KTM 450 RALLY, but he’s enjoying the experience and determined to fulfil his original goal of reaching the finish on January 14th. Matthias Walkner is chased by the helicopter on stage 1 of the 2022 Dakar Rally PC @RallyZone The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team are aiming for their 19th Dakar victory and are making consistent progress with all three riders enjoying top three finishes in the opening stages and Matthias Walkner is in prime position heading into the rest day with second overall in the rankings. As with most rally racing, a top result can be a disadvantage the next day, as riders start ahead of their rivals and are tasked with leading the navigation – potentially giving their competitors an advantage to catch up. The game plan is on, and having reached the halfway point the team will be re-grouping and re-charging as much as possible to head out in full attack mode for the stages ahead. Walkner’s consistency aboard the all-new KTM 450 RALLY puts him in a strong position, while Kevin Benavides and Toby Price are eighth and 12th in the general ranking respectively. Most of the timed special on stage six was cancelled due to safety concerns, but the pure variety of terrain from stony and rocky ground, to dust storms in the desert, difficult navigation in the first half of the Dakar have kept the competition hot and there’s everything to play for in week two – anything can happen in this 8,000km race, and with around 3950km left to go there’s a long way to the finish! We’ve selected some of our favorite images from the first half of Dakar 2022 as excitement builds. A variety of terrain – Kevin Benavides tackles the Dakar sand aboard his KTM 450 RALLY PC @RallyZone Toby Price battles the rocks on stage six as he aims to claw back some time to the front PC @RallyZone Matthias Walkner on stage six of the Dakar rally PC @RallyZone Kevin Benavides has been consistent so far and is eighth in the standings going into the rest day PC @RallyZone Danilo Petrucci took a historic win on stage five of the 2022 Dakar Rally PC @RallyZone Toby Price prepares his road book ahead of stage four PC @Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool Petrucci ahead of the start of the 2022 Dakar Rally – an incredible challenge for the likeable Italian PC @RallyZone Focus has to be at the maximum for this notoriously difficult race – Kevin Benavides ahead of the start of stage four PC @RallyZone Matthias Walkner ‘sending it’ on stage four of the 2022 Dakar Rally PC @RallyZone Price in the sunlight – cold, crip mornings loading the roadbook into the bike ahead of a long day PC @Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool Kevin Benavides battles the navigation and the desert PC @DPPI / Red Bull Content Pool Matthias Walkner racing through the wilderness aboard his KTM 450 RALLY PC @Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool
  6. Posted in Racing TAKE A LOOK AT THE FIRST HALF OF THE 2022 DAKAR RALLY This year’s Dakar has already created many talking points and legendary tales that will be told for years to come as we head into today’s rest day in Riyadh. Danilo Petrucci is the man of the moment, having taken his first stage win – and many by surprise – just 53 days after hanging up his MotoGP™ leathers and embarking on what many thought would be a near impossible task for the Italian. Danilo Petrucci aboard his Tech3 KTM Factory Racing machine has made motorsport history PC @RallyZone Petrucci’s entry to the Dakar, his first rally raid experience with real navigation, has been fraught with challenges – not least the little preparation time from first stepping on the bike in November, to concluding his MotoGP career, to arriving in the Middle East having also battled an ankle injury, to be prepared for one of the most notorious races in the world. A positive Covid-19 test on arrival had the KTM ace wondering if he’d even get the chance to compete in the 2022 edition of the event, before clearance from a blood test meant it was all systems go for the friendly Italian. The 31-year-old, who only began his road book training back in October with Jordi Viladoms, KTM’s Rally Sport Manager and former Dakar podium finisher, made a steady start, only to suffer with a small technical issue on stage two, which effectively concluded his competitive status in the main rankings. Frustrating to say the least, but with the new rules, Danilo could continue the race as well as his Dakar experience and what a spectacle that has been – a third place on stage four (although it was revoked for a speeding penalty) and a prestigious stage win on stage five means that Danilo is not only the first racer to go from a MotoGP race season directly to the Dakar, but he’s also the first to have won a MotoGP race and a Dakar stage. The expectation was certainly nowhere near this impressive and historic feat the KTM star has achieved. A few crashes here and there have taught Danilo some of the hard lessons of rally, which is seemingly why most pictures in recent days show some bust up parts on his KTM 450 RALLY, but he’s enjoying the experience and determined to fulfil his original goal of reaching the finish on January 14th. Matthias Walkner is chased by the helicopter on stage 1 of the 2022 Dakar Rally PC @RallyZone The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team are aiming for their 19th Dakar victory and are making consistent progress with all three riders enjoying top three finishes in the opening stages and Matthias Walkner is in prime position heading into the rest day with second overall in the rankings. As with most rally racing, a top result can be a disadvantage the next day, as riders start ahead of their rivals and are tasked with leading the navigation – potentially giving their competitors an advantage to catch up. The game plan is on, and having reached the halfway point the team will be re-grouping and re-charging as much as possible to head out in full attack mode for the stages ahead. Walkner’s consistency aboard the all-new KTM 450 RALLY puts him in a strong position, while Kevin Benavides and Toby Price are eighth and 12th in the general ranking respectively. Most of the timed special on stage six was cancelled due to safety concerns, but the pure variety of terrain from stony and rocky ground, to dust storms in the desert, difficult navigation in the first half of the Dakar have kept the competition hot and there’s everything to play for in week two – anything can happen in this 8,000km race, and with around 3950km left to go there’s a long way to the finish! We’ve selected some of our favorite images from the first half of Dakar 2022 as excitement builds. A variety of terrain – Kevin Benavides tackles the Dakar sand aboard his KTM 450 RALLY PC @RallyZone Toby Price battles the rocks on stage six as he aims to claw back some time to the front PC @RallyZone Matthias Walkner on stage six of the Dakar rally PC @RallyZone Kevin Benavides has been consistent so far and is eighth in the standings going into the rest day PC @RallyZone Danilo Petrucci took a historic win on stage five of the 2022 Dakar Rally PC @RallyZone Toby Price prepares his road book ahead of stage four PC @Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool Petrucci ahead of the start of the 2022 Dakar Rally – an incredible challenge for the likeable Italian PC @RallyZone Focus has to be at the maximum for this notoriously difficult race – Kevin Benavides ahead of the start of stage four PC @RallyZone Matthias Walkner ‘sending it’ on stage four of the 2022 Dakar Rally PC @RallyZone Price in the sunlight – cold, crip mornings loading the roadbook into the bike ahead of a long day PC @Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool Kevin Benavides battles the navigation and the desert PC @DPPI / Red Bull Content Pool Matthias Walkner racing through the wilderness aboard his KTM 450 RALLY PC @Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool
  7. Posted in Racing For the second time in three years Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb goes into an AMA Supercross season with the #1 plate and eying more glory on the vast ‘indoor’ stage. 2022 could be the 26-year-old’s most testing campaign to-date. Why? We asked him to explain… Cooper Webb is Ready To Race Supercross 2022 PC @SimonCudby In 2019 Cooper Webb drafted into the Red Bull KTM team and slipped comfortably into the retiring Ryan Dungey’s shoes. The athlete from North Carolina blended immediately with the KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION and Ian Harrison’s crew and lifted the coveted 450SX championship at his first attempt. Webb backed-up that achievement with a second crown in 2021 as the pandemic still chipped away at the shape and look of the immensely popular American contest. For 2022 Supercross is looking a little more ‘normal’. The series is slated to visit California for the first time since 2019 and the breadth of the calendar takes in 17 different events in 19 weeks with the first 12 on consecutive Saturdays from January 8th and from Anaheim to Seattle. Webb in front of a packed stadium on his way to Championship victory in his maiden campaign for KTM PC @SimonCudby For Webb though the surroundings of his fourth term with KTM have altered. He is no longer working with trainer Aldon Baker, he is riding and practicing at a different facility in Florida, he has the merits of the brand new KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION to discover when the gate drops, and he has a new teammate in the form of long-term friend Aaron Plessinger. On the eve of the opener at Anaheim and during this winter of ‘shake-up’ we tracked Cooper for a swift FaceTime Audio chat to evaluate the shape of his outlook for 2022. “For me change is always good,” he tells us from his car on the way to the practice track. “I’m someone that is always anxious to improve and, although I’ve had some success in the last couple of years, the sport is always moving on in some way. I think you have to look at how you can push the bar and the limit. As a racer I know my ability and I believe in my ability, and I want to give the best of myself every time I’m out there. We’ve made some changes this year…but I think it will only have a benefit.” Webb celebrates the 2019 AMA 450SX Supercross title PC @SimonCudby You’ve worked with two South African trainers to amazing effect but now you’re heading in a slightly different way… I’m with Michael Byrne; that’s the plan for this year. I’ve worked with guys through my career and that’s helped me get some experience. Michael was my riding coach and Aldon was my trainer last year and we had a lot of success. I wanted to see if I could be a bit more successful than I have been so far. In 2021 Webb fought hard for the red plate in a bid to take his second 450 title PC @SimonCudby At 26 you must know what you need – physically and mentally – to go racing? Yeah, you gain experience all the time. Anyone who knows me will tell you that this move was not about a lack of motivation, by any means. I just wanted to change what I am doing, and I feel I still have a lot of years left in me in win championships. Outdoors is something I want to put a bigger emphasis on in the future and my last three motocross seasons have not been great, being completely honest. In Supercross I think I can be considered a contender and I plan to go for my third championship this year. Overall, the change has been really good for me. Physically I feel great and I am riding better than ever. I’m in a really good head-space for the new season. Celebrations in Atlanta 2021 – Webb started gaining momentum in the championship PC @AlignMedia The new KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION: you’ll be asked this question a lot but what do you like about it? How’s it different to the previous version that already won so much…? It was quite a secret! It was tough to keep it under wraps. I rode it for the first time a couple of years ago and then got on the current model in mid-October. We were trying to test and ride without being seen because it wasn’t going to be unveiled until mid-December. I was able to be in California and develop the bike with the team, one-on-one. With it being brand-spanking new there isn’t even a handful of parts that we can use from last year’s model. It was good for us to learn it together and for me to directly say what I liked and what I didn’t. There was already a really good base thanks to the test riders, and I was able to fine-tune it on the supercross track. The biggest thing is that it’s just so rideable. So easy. It does everything really well and it is a huge step in the right direction for a part of the track like the whoops. It turns amazingly. I’m a shorter guy and it just seems to fit my style a bit more and it means I can ride it more to its potential. A team effort – Webb’s mechanic Carlos preparing his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION in 2021 PC @AlignMedia Another new aspect is Aaron’s presence in the team. How will that have an influence? It’s great! We’re really good friends and have been since we were kids. He’s a bit like me: I like a laidback atmosphere and we joke around and have fun but when the helmet comes on it’s ‘go time’. We were teammates and training partners in the past and we get along really well. We have the same friends. I think it will be a fun season. When you are on the road with 17 supercrosses and 12 motocrosses then it can get monotonous, so having someone alongside you going through the same routines and schedules as well as the same joys and pains of race day will make it a bit more enjoyable. Celebrating the AMA 450SX Supercross title in 2021 PC @AlignMedia 2022 supercross should involve more variety compared to the last two championships affected by the pandemic. That has to be another positive for the coming season… I’m super-excited that we are getting more ‘back to normal’. With everything going on it was great to be able to race the last two years – despite the schedules we had – but I think the more traditional 17 rounds in 17 different venues is what supercross is all about. Learning new tracks in different stadiums with different soil and travelling to different cities is something I’ve always enjoyed. It’s good to have variety again. We’ll have baseball stadiums, football stadiums and the dirt changes every weekend. The fans should be at full capacity again and being back at Anaheim; it was really weird not racing there at all last year. Webb is armed with an all-new KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION and the #1 plate PC @SimonCudby Behind-the-scenes documentaries seems to be a popular trend at the moment for pulling new fans into the characters and stories of sports: would you be keen to see or to take part in something similar for supercross? Oh, absolutely. I know Red Bull are pushing a lot right now with their Moto Spy series and it’s a pretty in-depth behind-the-scenes look…and I think this is what people are drawn to and what they want to see. The racing [SX & MX], in my opinion, is the most exciting form of motorsport but the fans and people don’t really get to see much more of what goes into it: the teams, the preparation. There is so much that contributes to that race that’s televised. There are many ‘moving parts’. I’d love to be part of a [media] movement like that, and hopefully supercross can get to a level where it attracts a big platform like Amazon or an equivalent. With a packed schedule that looks more ‘normal’ Webb is looking forward to the new challenge PC @SimonCudby You mentioned motivation a minute ago. In 2021 you backed up your 2019 title, so what keeps you going? What makes you want to push for more? I’m in a good spot. I know what gets me going and what drives me. I believe it’s just that competitive nature of wanting to win. There is no feeling that can replace that. Ever. Then you have that quest to always be the best version of yourself and ask questions about limits. Racing allows me to do that. One thing that makes me tick is when I get doubted or questioned or people tell me I cannot do something: it fires me up to prove them wrong but also demonstrate to myself that I can do it. It does sound a bit crazy I suppose – winning and then immediately looking for the thing to keep you going – but I’m in a good place for my goals and ambitions for the future. I’ve never wanted to win more than I do now. Webb is looking forward to racing with new Red Bull KTM Factory Racing teammate, Aaron Plessinger, who is also a friend of the reigning Supercross champion. PC @SimonCudby
  8. Posted in Racing For the second time in three years Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb goes into an AMA Supercross season with the #1 plate and eying more glory on the vast ‘indoor’ stage. 2022 could be the 26-year-old’s most testing campaign to-date. Why? We asked him to explain… Cooper Webb is Ready To Race Supercross 2022 PC @SimonCudby In 2019 Cooper Webb drafted into the Red Bull KTM team and slipped comfortably into the retiring Ryan Dungey’s shoes. The athlete from North Carolina blended immediately with the KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION and Ian Harrison’s crew and lifted the coveted 450SX championship at his first attempt. Webb backed-up that achievement with a second crown in 2021 as the pandemic still chipped away at the shape and look of the immensely popular American contest. For 2022 Supercross is looking a little more ‘normal’. The series is slated to visit California for the first time since 2019 and the breadth of the calendar takes in 17 different events in 19 weeks with the first 12 on consecutive Saturdays from January 8th and from Anaheim to Seattle. Webb in front of a packed stadium on his way to Championship victory in his maiden campaign for KTM PC @SimonCudby For Webb though the surroundings of his fourth term with KTM have altered. He is no longer working with trainer Aldon Baker, he is riding and practicing at a different facility in Florida, he has the merits of the brand new KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION to discover when the gate drops, and he has a new teammate in the form of long-term friend Aaron Plessinger. On the eve of the opener at Anaheim and during this winter of ‘shake-up’ we tracked Cooper for a swift FaceTime Audio chat to evaluate the shape of his outlook for 2022. “For me change is always good,” he tells us from his car on the way to the practice track. “I’m someone that is always anxious to improve and, although I’ve had some success in the last couple of years, the sport is always moving on in some way. I think you have to look at how you can push the bar and the limit. As a racer I know my ability and I believe in my ability, and I want to give the best of myself every time I’m out there. We’ve made some changes this year…but I think it will only have a benefit.” Webb celebrates the 2019 AMA 450SX Supercross title PC @SimonCudby You’ve worked with two South African trainers to amazing effect but now you’re heading in a slightly different way… I’m with Michael Byrne; that’s the plan for this year. I’ve worked with guys through my career and that’s helped me get some experience. Michael was my riding coach and Aldon was my trainer last year and we had a lot of success. I wanted to see if I could be a bit more successful than I have been so far. In 2021 Webb fought hard for the red plate in a bid to take his second 450 title PC @SimonCudby At 26 you must know what you need – physically and mentally – to go racing? Yeah, you gain experience all the time. Anyone who knows me will tell you that this move was not about a lack of motivation, by any means. I just wanted to change what I am doing, and I feel I still have a lot of years left in me in win championships. Outdoors is something I want to put a bigger emphasis on in the future and my last three motocross seasons have not been great, being completely honest. In Supercross I think I can be considered a contender and I plan to go for my third championship this year. Overall, the change has been really good for me. Physically I feel great and I am riding better than ever. I’m in a really good head-space for the new season. Celebrations in Atlanta 2021 – Webb started gaining momentum in the championship PC @AlignMedia The new KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION: you’ll be asked this question a lot but what do you like about it? How’s it different to the previous version that already won so much…? It was quite a secret! It was tough to keep it under wraps. I rode it for the first time a couple of years ago and then got on the current model in mid-October. We were trying to test and ride without being seen because it wasn’t going to be unveiled until mid-December. I was able to be in California and develop the bike with the team, one-on-one. With it being brand-spanking new there isn’t even a handful of parts that we can use from last year’s model. It was good for us to learn it together and for me to directly say what I liked and what I didn’t. There was already a really good base thanks to the test riders, and I was able to fine-tune it on the supercross track. The biggest thing is that it’s just so rideable. So easy. It does everything really well and it is a huge step in the right direction for a part of the track like the whoops. It turns amazingly. I’m a shorter guy and it just seems to fit my style a bit more and it means I can ride it more to its potential. A team effort – Webb’s mechanic Carlos preparing his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION in 2021 PC @AlignMedia Another new aspect is Aaron’s presence in the team. How will that have an influence? It’s great! We’re really good friends and have been since we were kids. He’s a bit like me: I like a laidback atmosphere and we joke around and have fun but when the helmet comes on it’s ‘go time’. We were teammates and training partners in the past and we get along really well. We have the same friends. I think it will be a fun season. When you are on the road with 17 supercrosses and 12 motocrosses then it can get monotonous, so having someone alongside you going through the same routines and schedules as well as the same joys and pains of race day will make it a bit more enjoyable. Celebrating the AMA 450SX Supercross title in 2021 PC @AlignMedia 2022 supercross should involve more variety compared to the last two championships affected by the pandemic. That has to be another positive for the coming season… I’m super-excited that we are getting more ‘back to normal’. With everything going on it was great to be able to race the last two years – despite the schedules we had – but I think the more traditional 17 rounds in 17 different venues is what supercross is all about. Learning new tracks in different stadiums with different soil and travelling to different cities is something I’ve always enjoyed. It’s good to have variety again. We’ll have baseball stadiums, football stadiums and the dirt changes every weekend. The fans should be at full capacity again and being back at Anaheim; it was really weird not racing there at all last year. Webb is armed with an all-new KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION and the #1 plate PC @SimonCudby Behind-the-scenes documentaries seems to be a popular trend at the moment for pulling new fans into the characters and stories of sports: would you be keen to see or to take part in something similar for supercross? Oh, absolutely. I know Red Bull are pushing a lot right now with their Moto Spy series and it’s a pretty in-depth behind-the-scenes look…and I think this is what people are drawn to and what they want to see. The racing [SX & MX], in my opinion, is the most exciting form of motorsport but the fans and people don’t really get to see much more of what goes into it: the teams, the preparation. There is so much that contributes to that race that’s televised. There are many ‘moving parts’. I’d love to be part of a [media] movement like that, and hopefully supercross can get to a level where it attracts a big platform like Amazon or an equivalent. With a packed schedule that looks more ‘normal’ Webb is looking forward to the new challenge PC @SimonCudby You mentioned motivation a minute ago. In 2021 you backed up your 2019 title, so what keeps you going? What makes you want to push for more? I’m in a good spot. I know what gets me going and what drives me. I believe it’s just that competitive nature of wanting to win. There is no feeling that can replace that. Ever. Then you have that quest to always be the best version of yourself and ask questions about limits. Racing allows me to do that. One thing that makes me tick is when I get doubted or questioned or people tell me I cannot do something: it fires me up to prove them wrong but also demonstrate to myself that I can do it. It does sound a bit crazy I suppose – winning and then immediately looking for the thing to keep you going – but I’m in a good place for my goals and ambitions for the future. I’ve never wanted to win more than I do now. Webb is looking forward to racing with new Red Bull KTM Factory Racing teammate, Aaron Plessinger, who is also a friend of the reigning Supercross champion. PC @SimonCudby
  9. Posted in People, Racing As you’re preparing for your new year celebrations, spare a thought for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Toby Price. An offroad legend, Dakar winner and globally loved racer, Toby is in the final stages of prep for the biggest event on the calendar, the Dakar rally, having spent the last few months living in a hotel room. We caught up with the Aussie just a short time ago to talk about hotel food, training for the big one and a passion for all things mechanical. Toby Price is READY TO RACE Dakar 2022 PC @MarcinKin “It’s been a pretty rough year. Dakar was going well in January. We were sitting in second, fighting for a podium and unfortunately on stage nine a crash cancelled all that for us. My shoulder took a lot longer than expected (to recover) three surgeries and it wasn’t perfect heading into the Dubai trip, but it’s enough to be able to hold together to go riding,” explained Toby. Toby has spent the last few months training in Dubai to prepare for the Dakar PC @MarcinKin “We’re doing the thing that’s ‘normal’ now with the Australian Covid rules. I can’t really go home back to Australia with the quarantine so I’ve been in Dubai now since October and I won’t be going home until January after Dakar. Everything has been good, we’ve released the new bike (the KTM 450 RALLY). We’ve been working on that and making improvements, and being in Dubai has given me more bike time which has been what I’ve needed.” While it may sound glamorous for many, travel is one of the most challenging parts of being involved in racing – living in a hotel room for months may sound easy, but with few nearby friends and family 14 hours away by plane, Toby made a big commitment for Dakar 2021, which also was book-ended with a quarantine once he made it back to Australia. Having started riding again in June, he is doing the same again this year to ensure he’s in the best possible shape for Dakar 2022. Toby Price won his first Dakar with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team in 2016 PC @MarcinKin “There’s one benefit to it, I don’t have to make my bed and I get some fresh towels every day (laughs). Yea last year I had five months living in a hotel room, and hotel food gets pretty boring pretty quickly! Just being away from family and friends – last year was pretty tough, I missed my brother’s first born child and things like that. So, I’m uncle Toby now (laughs). It’s definitely tough, a lot of people don’t know the preparation that goes into this race. I’m 90% for sure living the dream, but that 10% we’re missing with family time, especially at this time of year, and yea I have a lot of friends around the world, but it’s just not like home. The hotel living gets old pretty quickly and with the time difference it’s difficult to even connect back to say hi. But it’s what I need to do.” Toby and Matthias celebrating an all-KTM podium at Dakar 2019 PC @MarcinKin “We did it last year and unfortunately (because of covid) we’re doing it again in 2021 and it was a lot of sacrifice and not the result we wanted at Dakar. It is what it is and unfortunately we know what the consequences can be, but yea it’s been a little bit harder. It’s not just the injury, it hurts more in the chest, kinda more on the left side (winks) when you’ve been away from home so long and that’s the result!” We did ask if Toby could have switched hotels to make it more exciting this time round, but with its proximity to the desert for riding and training, and how close it is to Dubai city for a bit of ‘tourist’ time makes it the best base during his time there. But why doesn’t he stay home to train – it’s Australia, surely there’s plenty of room to ride a rally bike? Dakar is the biggest race of the year watched on by many around the world PC @MarcinKin “For sure there’s plenty of areas and spaces to go riding in Australia, but it’s more motocross enduro style riding, and no navigation or road book training, which is so important for Dakar. We used to have an Australian safari back in Australia which was on the Perth side in Western Australia, but yea unfortunately the race came to a stop in like 2014, just before I started doing rally racing. Rally racing in Australia is not a common sport, but we have a good fan base that follows along with the rallies and they follow us, although the people that show an interest don’t get involved in it or the systems to be able to put on events in Australia.” Training in Dubai has huge benefits for rally riders in their preparation for Dakar PC @MarcinKin “There is a really big benefit to being in the states, here in Dubai or Morocco or Spain area (US, Morocco and Spain have been more restricted during the pandemic than Dubai). Those locations are much easier for road book training as that’s where the Europeans go, it’s also growing in the US. To be here in Dubai it’s a massive positive and bonus because there’s a lot of road books, other rally riders here, it’s kind of set-up for it, and it makes sense for training. Also the team have been coming here for testing, as the other locations we use are also difficult at the moment for us all to travel to because of Covid.” Toby enjoying the Dubai terrain on his KTM 450 RALLY PC @MarcinKin We asked Toby about other sports and entertainment while he’s in Dubai, it’s a big holiday location – surely, it’s not all just work, work, work? “We do get a bit of downtime here – we go play a bit of basketball here and there but we definitely aren’t going to be getting any MBA contracts anytime soon! Whatever we can get involved in, we try and get our training and riding in the morning, so we can have free time or play time in the afternoon. We can go ride some jet skis, flight boards, some fun too – we can find things to do for a bit of fun! It’s not all work, we have to get out to do some stuff too.” The Red Bull KTM Factory racing team training and testing in the ideal landscape of Dubai PC @MarcinKin It’s a necessity to be well prepared for the Dakar. Approximately 8,000km of varied terrain in 14 days with just one rest day. It requires long days on the bike from early in the morning to the evening, and an intense pace with challenging navigation – it’s a world famous event and the highlight of the year for rally riders. “For me winning the Dakar, well it’s a race that everyone prepares for all year. You basically train and prepare 365 days to get to that point to have that trophy in your hand. It takes a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice. This is what we’re working for and with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team everyone puts everything into this. The goal is always to be on the top step at the end of the race,” said Toby, who entered his first Dakar in 2015 and has had two wins and two podiums at the event. Toby’s famous ‘bush mechanic’ repair during the marathon stage of Dakar 2021 PC @RallyZone Looking back to Dakar 2021, if you’re interested in rally racing you’ve probably heard about Toby’s bush mechanic skills – referring to his mad yet reliable fix on a tyre he had gashed on a rock at the last Dakar, where he used cable ties and whatever he could find in the marathon stage, where no outside assistance is allowed overnight, to stay in the race. It was legendary stuff, and amazingly the makeshift fix held out for 709km the next day for Toby to finish second in the stage…. “At the moment I still get tagged in some crazy dodgy pictures (from people replicating the bush mechanic) I’ve been waiting for a lawsuit on my office desk saying hey you fixed it like this and I tried it and it didn’t work’.” Laughed Toby. The riders are not allowed outside assistance overnight at the marathon stage – creative repairs were required to Toby’s sliced tyre PC @RallyZone While that repair was seen and watched by the entire world, Toby’s impressive skills have saved the day on a number of occasions before – including fixing a tyre on the team’s Dakar truck when it was stuck in situ. “Yea, there was the inflating tyres on a Dakar truck, I was worried about that one – there’s some expensive parts on that truck and if it went wrong it could have been bad! I had done it a few times before back home and it worked, but never tried it on such a big tyre.. honestly for the time the tyre was flat, for three hours I had gone riding and when I came back they were still trying to get it inflated, yea I said there’s a quick fix! We can explode the tyre onto the rim. The boys didn’t believe me, I started out pretty softly with the fluid and slowly started to build up so it didn’t explode on us I think third try we did it, and saved the day. Tyre was pumped up! Done and dusted! Hefty invoice for that one……” (we just say don’t try this at home!). Toby’s repair held out and he finished in an incredible second place for stage eight with his repaired tyre PC @RallyZone “Thing is, when you’re put into a situation where you need to fix something to get going again I’ll try anything, gaffa tape – MacGyver style, I’ll use sticks, steel rods, whatever is available, you just got to be creative and let the mind run free a bit.. mine does that a lot (laughs) – in those situations you need to improvise a fair bit. But yea from Dakar last year and the bush mechanic I still get a couple of inboxes per day of people fixing things which is cool and entertaining.” The KTM Dakar truck Toby ‘blew’ the tyre back onto (pictured in 2017) PC @MarcinKin Toby grew up 60km from the nearest town, and while he said he was good at school, he spent a lot of time looking out of the window thinking about dirtbikes and dirtbike tracks. He also was used to fixing stuff – living on a farm in Hillston, Australia, he was often found helping his dad getting things going again until they could get to town to get the parts needed. It was this and a ‘no quit’ mentality that set him up perfectly for races such as the Dakar. Dakar 2022 begins with a prologue on January 1st PC @MarcinKin “If it’s broke we’re going to fix it – you know you pick that up from your parents – I’ve seen my dad buy the worst looking sh**box lawnmowers and you’re just like ‘Dad, ten dollars why did you buy that piece of sh**’ and a week later in the shed you pull the string and it runs first time. It’s the older generation, nowawdays if it’s broke we just throw it in the bin – if it’s 200 dollars for a new one or 180 to fix it everyone is like 20 bucks extra I’ll get rid of it and get a new one. I like mechanical things, I like to know how things work and function and if it breaks I need to make that little bracket there and cut it out of a piece of steel and drill a hole in it and make it work. I have my cars and I love being in the workshop, I live there so I’m always in the workshop fixing something, making something, trying to design something making things bigger and better, it’s such a satisfying thing,” concluded Toby. Let’s hope Toby doesn’t need to bring those skills into play for the next Dakar, which begins in just a few days time where he’ll be looking to clinch his third Dakar victory with the KTM 450 RALLY! The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing line-up with Kevin Benavides, Toby and Matthias Walkner PC @MarcinKin
  10. Posted in People, Racing As you’re preparing for your new year celebrations, spare a thought for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Toby Price. An offroad legend, Dakar winner and globally loved racer, Toby is in the final stages of prep for the biggest event on the calendar, the Dakar rally, having spent the last few months living in a hotel room. We caught up with the Aussie just a short time ago to talk about hotel food, training for the big one and a passion for all things mechanical. Toby Price is READY TO RACE Dakar 2022 PC @MarcinKin “It’s been a pretty rough year. Dakar was going well in January. We were sitting in second, fighting for a podium and unfortunately on stage nine a crash cancelled all that for us. My shoulder took a lot longer than expected (to recover) three surgeries and it wasn’t perfect heading into the Dubai trip, but it’s enough to be able to hold together to go riding,” explained Toby. Toby has spent the last few months training in Dubai to prepare for the Dakar PC @MarcinKin “We’re doing the thing that’s ‘normal’ now with the Australian Covid rules. I can’t really go home back to Australia with the quarantine so I’ve been in Dubai now since October and I won’t be going home until January after Dakar. Everything has been good, we’ve released the new bike (the KTM 450 RALLY). We’ve been working on that and making improvements, and being in Dubai has given me more bike time which has been what I’ve needed.” While it may sound glamorous for many, travel is one of the most challenging parts of being involved in racing – living in a hotel room for months may sound easy, but with few nearby friends and family 14 hours away by plane, Toby made a big commitment for Dakar 2021, which also was book-ended with a quarantine once he made it back to Australia. Having started riding again in June, he is doing the same again this year to ensure he’s in the best possible shape for Dakar 2022. Toby Price won his first Dakar with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team in 2016 PC @MarcinKin “There’s one benefit to it, I don’t have to make my bed and I get some fresh towels every day (laughs). Yea last year I had five months living in a hotel room, and hotel food gets pretty boring pretty quickly! Just being away from family and friends – last year was pretty tough, I missed my brother’s first born child and things like that. So, I’m uncle Toby now (laughs). It’s definitely tough, a lot of people don’t know the preparation that goes into this race. I’m 90% for sure living the dream, but that 10% we’re missing with family time, especially at this time of year, and yea I have a lot of friends around the world, but it’s just not like home. The hotel living gets old pretty quickly and with the time difference it’s difficult to even connect back to say hi. But it’s what I need to do.” Toby and Matthias celebrating an all-KTM podium at Dakar 2019 PC @MarcinKin “We did it last year and unfortunately (because of covid) we’re doing it again in 2021 and it was a lot of sacrifice and not the result we wanted at Dakar. It is what it is and unfortunately we know what the consequences can be, but yea it’s been a little bit harder. It’s not just the injury, it hurts more in the chest, kinda more on the left side (winks) when you’ve been away from home so long and that’s the result!” We did ask if Toby could have switched hotels to make it more exciting this time round, but with its proximity to the desert for riding and training, and how close it is to Dubai city for a bit of ‘tourist’ time makes it the best base during his time there. But why doesn’t he stay home to train – it’s Australia, surely there’s plenty of room to ride a rally bike? Dakar is the biggest race of the year watched on by many around the world PC @MarcinKin “For sure there’s plenty of areas and spaces to go riding in Australia, but it’s more motocross enduro style riding, and no navigation or road book training, which is so important for Dakar. We used to have an Australian safari back in Australia which was on the Perth side in Western Australia, but yea unfortunately the race came to a stop in like 2014, just before I started doing rally racing. Rally racing in Australia is not a common sport, but we have a good fan base that follows along with the rallies and they follow us, although the people that show an interest don’t get involved in it or the systems to be able to put on events in Australia.” Training in Dubai has huge benefits for rally riders in their preparation for Dakar PC @MarcinKin “There is a really big benefit to being in the states, here in Dubai or Morocco or Spain area (US, Morocco and Spain have been more restricted during the pandemic than Dubai). Those locations are much easier for road book training as that’s where the Europeans go, it’s also growing in the US. To be here in Dubai it’s a massive positive and bonus because there’s a lot of road books, other rally riders here, it’s kind of set-up for it, and it makes sense for training. Also the team have been coming here for testing, as the other locations we use are also difficult at the moment for us all to travel to because of Covid.” Toby enjoying the Dubai terrain on his KTM 450 RALLY PC @MarcinKin We asked Toby about other sports and entertainment while he’s in Dubai, it’s a big holiday location – surely, it’s not all just work, work, work? “We do get a bit of downtime here – we go play a bit of basketball here and there but we definitely aren’t going to be getting any MBA contracts anytime soon! Whatever we can get involved in, we try and get our training and riding in the morning, so we can have free time or play time in the afternoon. We can go ride some jet skis, flight boards, some fun too – we can find things to do for a bit of fun! It’s not all work, we have to get out to do some stuff too.” The Red Bull KTM Factory racing team training and testing in the ideal landscape of Dubai PC @MarcinKin It’s a necessity to be well prepared for the Dakar. Approximately 8,000km of varied terrain in 14 days with just one rest day. It requires long days on the bike from early in the morning to the evening, and an intense pace with challenging navigation – it’s a world famous event and the highlight of the year for rally riders. “For me winning the Dakar, well it’s a race that everyone prepares for all year. You basically train and prepare 365 days to get to that point to have that trophy in your hand. It takes a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice. This is what we’re working for and with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team everyone puts everything into this. The goal is always to be on the top step at the end of the race,” said Toby, who entered his first Dakar in 2015 and has had two wins and two podiums at the event. Toby’s famous ‘bush mechanic’ repair during the marathon stage of Dakar 2021 PC @RallyZone Looking back to Dakar 2021, if you’re interested in rally racing you’ve probably heard about Toby’s bush mechanic skills – referring to his mad yet reliable fix on a tyre he had gashed on a rock at the last Dakar, where he used cable ties and whatever he could find in the marathon stage, where no outside assistance is allowed overnight, to stay in the race. It was legendary stuff, and amazingly the makeshift fix held out for 709km the next day for Toby to finish second in the stage…. “At the moment I still get tagged in some crazy dodgy pictures (from people replicating the bush mechanic) I’ve been waiting for a lawsuit on my office desk saying hey you fixed it like this and I tried it and it didn’t work’.” Laughed Toby. The riders are not allowed outside assistance overnight at the marathon stage – creative repairs were required to Toby’s sliced tyre PC @RallyZone While that repair was seen and watched by the entire world, Toby’s impressive skills have saved the day on a number of occasions before – including fixing a tyre on the team’s Dakar truck when it was stuck in situ. “Yea, there was the inflating tyres on a Dakar truck, I was worried about that one – there’s some expensive parts on that truck and if it went wrong it could have been bad! I had done it a few times before back home and it worked, but never tried it on such a big tyre.. honestly for the time the tyre was flat, for three hours I had gone riding and when I came back they were still trying to get it inflated, yea I said there’s a quick fix! We can explode the tyre onto the rim. The boys didn’t believe me, I started out pretty softly with the fluid and slowly started to build up so it didn’t explode on us I think third try we did it, and saved the day. Tyre was pumped up! Done and dusted! Hefty invoice for that one……” (we just say don’t try this at home!). Toby’s repair held out and he finished in an incredible second place for stage eight with his repaired tyre PC @RallyZone “Thing is, when you’re put into a situation where you need to fix something to get going again I’ll try anything, gaffa tape – MacGyver style, I’ll use sticks, steel rods, whatever is available, you just got to be creative and let the mind run free a bit.. mine does that a lot (laughs) – in those situations you need to improvise a fair bit. But yea from Dakar last year and the bush mechanic I still get a couple of inboxes per day of people fixing things which is cool and entertaining.” The KTM Dakar truck Toby ‘blew’ the tyre back onto (pictured in 2017) PC @MarcinKin Toby grew up 60km from the nearest town, and while he said he was good at school, he spent a lot of time looking out of the window thinking about dirtbikes and dirtbike tracks. He also was used to fixing stuff – living on a farm in Hillston, Australia, he was often found helping his dad getting things going again until they could get to town to get the parts needed. It was this and a ‘no quit’ mentality that set him up perfectly for races such as the Dakar. Dakar 2022 begins with a prologue on January 1st PC @MarcinKin “If it’s broke we’re going to fix it – you know you pick that up from your parents – I’ve seen my dad buy the worst looking sh**box lawnmowers and you’re just like ‘Dad, ten dollars why did you buy that piece of sh**’ and a week later in the shed you pull the string and it runs first time. It’s the older generation, nowawdays if it’s broke we just throw it in the bin – if it’s 200 dollars for a new one or 180 to fix it everyone is like 20 bucks extra I’ll get rid of it and get a new one. I like mechanical things, I like to know how things work and function and if it breaks I need to make that little bracket there and cut it out of a piece of steel and drill a hole in it and make it work. I have my cars and I love being in the workshop, I live there so I’m always in the workshop fixing something, making something, trying to design something making things bigger and better, it’s such a satisfying thing,” concluded Toby. Let’s hope Toby doesn’t need to bring those skills into play for the next Dakar, which begins in just a few days time where he’ll be looking to clinch his third Dakar victory with the KTM 450 RALLY! The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing line-up with Kevin Benavides, Toby and Matthias Walkner PC @MarcinKin
  11. Posted in People, Travel Traveling alone and mostly offroad across 72 countries, I never felt the itch to have someone close during my rides. I think solo traveling is the best way to get to know the outside world and yourself. Quite recently, my decade-long riding plans were about to change, as I got to cross Italy with my riding partner. And that was an opportunity I could not miss… Instagram: @thebravebiker Sardinia – a paradise of earth for travelers themselves and their bikes. PC @JohnnyNice The preparation of the trip, as always, was practically zero. We simply loaded the bike with the bare minimum and set off. And here I am on the saddle of the 2021 KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S together with Amina, who comes from Morocco. From Bassano del Grappa, we crossed the small Dolomites, visited Lake Garda and the rest of Northern Italy until we reached Liguria, where the Cinque Terre have us amazed with its timeless beauty. My initial concerns that Amina could find all the hardships in the world traveling with just one change of clothing quickly dissipated as she proved to be extremely versatile and flexible from the very start. Her only suffering was the cold temperatures. With the minimum of luggage and a maximum of excitement we started our tour in Bassano del Grappa. PC @JohnnyNice The electronically adjustable suspension of the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S allowed us to travel comfortably and not suffer the holes that are often found on Italian B-roads. The great advantage of the new suspension is that it is very easily adjustable based on the road you are travelling on and directly from the illuminated switches on the left of the handlebar. I can say that I changed my set-up every day, several times a day. I am in love with the new semi-active suspension. The new suspension is amazing. This makes even a trip for two to an awesome and comfortable journey. PC @JohnnyNice We got on the ferry in Livorno and found ourselves in wonderful Sardinia, a paradise on earth. We traveled along the coasts and the internal part of the fantastic island and along the famous road 125. Thanks to the perfect asphalt and the excellent grip, we allowed ourselves to let go of a few more horses from the engine and have fun. This bike is a blade and riding on this street is the funfair for adults. The perfect weather was a welcome addition and after four days we were back on the ferry to Rome, the Eternal City for some needed rest. After a couple of days of rest, we left for Naples, a transfer stage on the motorway, probably my first time on the motorway with the new bike. There, I was able to test the Adaptive Cruise Control system, which amazed me. With added safety from the latest technology, the bike accelerates and brakes on its own, holds the pre-set distance from the vehicle ahead and gives you a greater sense of long-distance comfort and safety. I spent this stage of the trip playing with the ACC like a young boy. I used travelling on the motorway to test all the new technology on my KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S. PC @JohnnyNice Naples and the Costiera Amalfitana welcomed us with their unique beauty, we were captivated by the scenery and by one of the most iconic roads for motorcyclists. We enjoyed it all. Amina never stopped taking photos and videos, she has been captivated by the beauty of Italy. Sometimes we got a bit cold, so I had to operate the heated grips and saddle. She was amazed by this extra luxury thought for the travel companion. The comfort of this motorcycle, even for two, is extraordinary. Miles slip under the wheels and you don’t even notice it. Nice get together among freedom lovers. PC @JohnnyNice We crossed the south of Italy and landed in the beautiful Puglia where we walked along the coast and, as always, tasted all the local delicacies. Italy is an incredible country also from a gastronomic point of view, each region has a lot to offer, and the food is one of the best you might find anywhere in the world. Central Italy never ceases to amaze. We crossed Umbria and arrived in Tuscany. The KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S was like a dancer in the Tuscan hills among the Chianti vines. With a bit of searching, we ended up discovering the most scenic and characteristic roads. Just fantastic. We rode an average of 230 kms per day, traveling a couple of hours in the morning and a couple in the early afternoon. We would also use the rest of the day to visit some cities or simply spoiling ourselves to an Aperitivo after a long day of riding in the most beautiful country in the world. We couldn’t get enough of one the most beautiful countries in the world. PC @JohnnyNice After three intense weeks we returned to Bassano del Grappa with many memories. My first trip with a pillion was a success, we had no inconvenience. It was hard for me to accept, but traveling on the road and not offroad makes the journey enormously smoother. I must be honest, solo adventurous trips and motorbike holidays as a couple are completely different. Beautiful, but different. Traveling alone, you only deal with yourself, and, in my case, you face new difficulties every day mainly due to offroad conditions. As a couple, you must find compromises and a lot depends on how well you can communicate with your riding partner. In my case, I was pretty lucky. The bike was flawless. I was able to learn more about the electronics and appreciate the new dashboard which, thanks to the color graphics, allows you to check the bike by simply pressing a button. Ready to go on new adventures with my KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S. PC @JohnnyNice The world is big and it’s out there for all of us to explore…
  12. Posted in People, Travel Traveling alone and mostly offroad across 72 countries, I never felt the itch to have someone close during my rides. I think solo traveling is the best way to get to know the outside world and yourself. Quite recently, my decade-long riding plans were about to change, as I got to cross Italy with my riding partner. And that was an opportunity I could not miss… Instagram: @thebravebiker Sardinia – a paradise of earth for travelers themselves and their bikes. PC @JohnnyNice The preparation of the trip, as always, was practically zero. We simply loaded the bike with the bare minimum and set off. And here I am on the saddle of the 2021 KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S together with Amina, who comes from Morocco. From Bassano del Grappa, we crossed the small Dolomites, visited Lake Garda and the rest of Northern Italy until we reached Liguria, where the Cinque Terre have us amazed with its timeless beauty. My initial concerns that Amina could find all the hardships in the world traveling with just one change of clothing quickly dissipated as she proved to be extremely versatile and flexible from the very start. Her only suffering was the cold temperatures. With the minimum of luggage and a maximum of excitement we started our tour in Bassano del Grappa. PC @JohnnyNice The electronically adjustable suspension of the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S allowed us to travel comfortably and not suffer the holes that are often found on Italian B-roads. The great advantage of the new suspension is that it is very easily adjustable based on the road you are travelling on and directly from the illuminated switches on the left of the handlebar. I can say that I changed my set-up every day, several times a day. I am in love with the new semi-active suspension. The new suspension is amazing. This makes even a trip for two to an awesome and comfortable journey. PC @JohnnyNice We got on the ferry in Livorno and found ourselves in wonderful Sardinia, a paradise on earth. We traveled along the coasts and the internal part of the fantastic island and along the famous road 125. Thanks to the perfect asphalt and the excellent grip, we allowed ourselves to let go of a few more horses from the engine and have fun. This bike is a blade and riding on this street is the funfair for adults. The perfect weather was a welcome addition and after four days we were back on the ferry to Rome, the Eternal City for some needed rest. After a couple of days of rest, we left for Naples, a transfer stage on the motorway, probably my first time on the motorway with the new bike. There, I was able to test the Adaptive Cruise Control system, which amazed me. With added safety from the latest technology, the bike accelerates and brakes on its own, holds the pre-set distance from the vehicle ahead and gives you a greater sense of long-distance comfort and safety. I spent this stage of the trip playing with the ACC like a young boy. I used travelling on the motorway to test all the new technology on my KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S. PC @JohnnyNice Naples and the Costiera Amalfitana welcomed us with their unique beauty, we were captivated by the scenery and by one of the most iconic roads for motorcyclists. We enjoyed it all. Amina never stopped taking photos and videos, she has been captivated by the beauty of Italy. Sometimes we got a bit cold, so I had to operate the heated grips and saddle. She was amazed by this extra luxury thought for the travel companion. The comfort of this motorcycle, even for two, is extraordinary. Miles slip under the wheels and you don’t even notice it. Nice get together among freedom lovers. PC @JohnnyNice We crossed the south of Italy and landed in the beautiful Puglia where we walked along the coast and, as always, tasted all the local delicacies. Italy is an incredible country also from a gastronomic point of view, each region has a lot to offer, and the food is one of the best you might find anywhere in the world. Central Italy never ceases to amaze. We crossed Umbria and arrived in Tuscany. The KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S was like a dancer in the Tuscan hills among the Chianti vines. With a bit of searching, we ended up discovering the most scenic and characteristic roads. Just fantastic. We rode an average of 230 kms per day, traveling a couple of hours in the morning and a couple in the early afternoon. We would also use the rest of the day to visit some cities or simply spoiling ourselves to an Aperitivo after a long day of riding in the most beautiful country in the world. We couldn’t get enough of one the most beautiful countries in the world. PC @JohnnyNice After three intense weeks we returned to Bassano del Grappa with many memories. My first trip with a pillion was a success, we had no inconvenience. It was hard for me to accept, but traveling on the road and not offroad makes the journey enormously smoother. I must be honest, solo adventurous trips and motorbike holidays as a couple are completely different. Beautiful, but different. Traveling alone, you only deal with yourself, and, in my case, you face new difficulties every day mainly due to offroad conditions. As a couple, you must find compromises and a lot depends on how well you can communicate with your riding partner. In my case, I was pretty lucky. The bike was flawless. I was able to learn more about the electronics and appreciate the new dashboard which, thanks to the color graphics, allows you to check the bike by simply pressing a button. Ready to go on new adventures with my KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S. PC @JohnnyNice The world is big and it’s out there for all of us to explore…
  13. Posted in People, Racing Kevin Benavides – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing PC @MarcinKin Kevin Benavides is ready to take on the world’s most notorious race again this January with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team. The reigning Dakar champion, who hails from Salta in Argentina, has been getting to grips with the KTM 450 RALLY with his first competitive outing in Morocco in October, and now has his eyes on the ‘big one’ which is edging ever closer. We caught up with Kevin recently to find out more about rally life, home life, running a KTM dealership and racing for KTM. “I’m 32 years old – my birthday is always during Dakar on January 9, which is good but I always miss making the parties! We have to do it after (laughs),” says Kevin. “My home is in Salta, which is one of the most popular cities in Argentina and it’s in the North. It’s really beautiful, with a lot of mountains and I love it there. It’s also quite famous as the Dakar was there for a lot of years from around 2009 and there was always a bivouac there. The local people really love the Dakar,” continued the KTM racer. Kevin has wanted to be a professional since a young age – now he is a rider that young competitors look up to PC @MarcinKin Kevin’s passion for motorcycling came predominantly from his father. He started riding from a young age, although he explains his parents never pushed him. His father raced to regional level, as well as a mechanic on bikes where he fixed them up for selling, but Kevin had a dream to be a professional. Kevin explained how he always watched the Dakar, but as a multi-time enduro champion, he was always so focussed on enduro it was not particularly his thing. In 2013 Mariano Casaroli who ran a team in Argentina asked him to try the rally bike, but Kevin was sure he wanted to stay racing enduro. In 2014 and 2015 the question came again; the Dakar in 2015 was in the Salta area and Mariano had a rider who was out of the race, the bike ended up at Kevin’s house. He was asked to test it – still not convinced about rally riding, he did, and the rest was history. Kevin’s brother, six years his junior and also a Dakar rider, would follow in his footsteps and today they are both at a professional level. It’s the final few weeks before Dakar and Kevin is looking forward to racing the new KTM 450 RALLY PC @MarcinKin “When it came to rally, yea I wasn’t convinced, but from the first moment (on the bike) I felt so comfortable and I thought, yes maybe I need to try. After that I found a link with a manufacturer – I had conversations with KTM at the time, but there were no places in the team. I finished racing enduro in 2014 and started with rally in April 2015. My first race was the Ruta 40 – I had a lot of help, then I did two races more. I won in Paraguay and that gave me the entry for the Dakar.” “I had a bike to go race in Morocco, and as always, all the top riders were there; I finished fourth there in what was my first international race. Then in 2016 I jumped to my first Dakar. I said ‘okay, try to finish in the first 20 and it would be really nice’. On day three I won my first stage, in Argentina, it was crazy. I was the first Argentinian to win a stage at the Dakar. It motivated me a lot. I finished fourth in my first year, it was like a dream,” continued Benavides. Kevin’s first competitive outing on the KTM 450 RALLY was at the Rallye Du Maroc PC @MarcinKin 2021 marked a big change for Benavides, as he made the switch to KTM. He is passionate about the brand and Red Bull, and for him it was always a goal to ride in orange. As the first Latin American to win the Dakar, which he achieved earlier this year, he’s set his sights on being the first rider to win the Dakar for two brands and is now fully settled with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team and aboard the KTM 450 RALLY. It’s also interesting to note the racer – whose motivation is infectious – previously studied business administration and runs a KTM dealership that he started at home in 2013, which has been growing since. Enjoying the dunes in Morocco – Kevin is not only a racer, but he runs a KTM dealership at his home in Salta PC @arielwojciechowski.com “KTM is an amazing team, with a lot of experience, and everyone inside the team is really nice – I have a great relationship with everyone. With the decision to go there, well I could have stayed in my comfort zone, but I really wanted to challenge myself and in my heart was the KTM brand. I knew it would be good for me for the future. We do have a KTM dealership back at home, but that’s not the first reason – it’s in second position, and of course it helps, but I am so happy to be with KTM.” The number one plate on the KTM 450 RALLY – Kevin hopes to be the first person to win the Dakar with two brands PC @MarcinKin As an Argentinian that’s influencing the South American dirtbike scene, it was interesting that most of Benavides’ ‘heroes’ growing up were riders such as Juha Salminen and Antoine Meo in enduro, Antonio Cairoli in motocross, and Paulo Goncalves in rally (mostly former KTM champions). He knew as a young rider from South America it would be difficult to be noticed and break into the European scene to follow his dreams. Thanks to the Dakar, MXGP races in Argentina and riders such as Kevin, his brother Luciano, Pablo Quintanilla and others, young riders from this area of the world are aspiring to much higher levels these days. “I knew ‘I am from Salta’, not in Europe. I followed more the European riders at that time than US. I think I could arrive because I was so persistent, and I fought a lot for the recognition. I was the first guy from here to the Enduro World Championship too – and unless you’re there it’s hard to be recognised. Normally, back then when you say you’re from South America it was quite negative for the teams, but now we really showed good riders from here. There’s a lot of South American riders that are a really good level and we want to show the world that. It’s also good for the next generation – there’s lots of kids that want to grow and have said they want to be like me, which is so nice and something I’m proud of,” continued Kevin. Preparation is key – Kevin is busy with his Dakar preparations PC @MarcinKin When it comes to home life and training being in South America has a lot of advantages as a rally rider with the available riding terrain. A strict schedule of waking at 7.30 to 08.00 – ‘our tradition is going to bed more late..,’ says Kevin – means a comfortable morning start before cooking breakfast and hitting the gym. A personal trainer puts him through his paces before lunch, and then the afternoon is filled with something aerobic like cycling, rowing or ski. Running isn’t normally on the agenda, but a session riding enduro, motocross or rally is usually planned. Kevin has settled well into the KTM family and the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team PC @ MarcinKin As we head towards Dakar and with the development of the new KTM 450 RALLY, touch points with the rest of the team have been more regular with testing in America, Rally Morocco and Dubai meaning Kevin has been travelling more than at home. Now he’s back at his base, sticking to his regime with a schedule of physical and mental training to arrive at Dakar in the best way with the help of his mechanic, road book preparation helper, fitness trainer and psychologist. Away from the hard work, Kevin likes cycling and mountain biking – which is part of his program – as well as cars and watersports with jet skiing and wakeboarding on a lake close to home. ‘Everything adrenaline I like!,’ he exclaimed. When training, Kevin explained it’s helpful having a rally riding brother. Training together means they can push each other and out on the bikes – more importantly – look out for each other. Kevin explains the hard part is at the races knowing his brother is racing too, but psychological training is important so he can focus on the job he needs to. For training Kevin enjoys a riding motocross on his KTM 450 SX-F, here he shows off his motocross skills on the KTM 450 RALLY at Pala Raceway in North America! PC @AlignMedia “Me and my brother train a lot together and this is really nice, as we are just so competitive. If I make 10 push ups, he will want to do 11 so on the next round I will make 12! We make it fun, but also on the bike we can push a lot. Although on the negative side when you race it’s quite hard. We manage a lot, we train for that part with a psychologist, it’s not easy when you’re racing with your brother, you know.” “In the rally race it’s not like a motocross or an enduro where you know almost everything (about the track). In rally you never know so when you pass some danger, you automatically think – I think of my brother and how he will pass. When you finish you always want to make a check on how your brother is and if he arrived okay. I guess it’s complicated, but we are professional, we enjoy a lot and also I believe in him a lot. He trains like me, he is really prepared but that element is there that makes it more difficult than other sports. In Dakar everyone really takes care of the safety and rally riders are also taking care of each other. We have a lot of fun together.” Ready To Race – the final preparations are taking place ready for the Dakar in early January PC @MarcinKin Kevin will be making the final preparations for the Dakar, which begins with a prologue on January 1st ahead of two weeks and approximately 8,000km of racing, where he’ll be aiming for victory aboard the KTM 450 RALLY. We’d like to wish him and teammates Toby Price and Matthias Walkner all the best for bringing back the Dakar crown.
  14. Posted in People, Racing The final round of 2021 MotoGP™ at Valencia also staged the MotoGP eSports Global Series finale as the fastest gamers gathered for the biggest and best prize yet. Is the show getting more and more prominent? We went along to the spectacle at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit to find out… The final in Valencia brings an important and tangible connection between MotoGP the sport and MotoGP the eSport PC @RobGray The eighteenth and last round of MotoGP™ welcomed back a sizeable quota of public and saw more than 75,000 finding space to watch Valentino Rossi bid farewell to the championship and Red Bull KTM Ajo celebrate both Moto2™ and Moto3™ titles. Before Sunday’s races there is a decent throng of fans around the eSports hub to conclude the ‘digital’ version of 2021 MotoGP on Friday evening. The venue for the Global Series finale is a plain white, raised marquee with a small logo above the door, located in the middle of the fan area at Valencia. Inside the marquee the aspect is much different. A large stage houses the game ‘pods’ where the finalists will sit and race (sadly they are hidden from view for most of the audience). Racks of multi-coloured lights swirl around, screens beam graphics and action from all sides. The walls are lined with black drapes, giving the space a performance-venue feeling. At the front of an auditorium area that sits almost a hundred people and adjacent to the ‘podium’ is the grand prize: a BMW X4 costing 80,000 euros and the biggest incentive yet in the fledgling history of MotoGP eSports. 11 players take part in the MotoGP eSports World Championship 2021 PC @Dorna The gamers are introduced, and some are enthusiastically cheered by representation from the MotoGP teams. There are bosses and riders (Jack Miller, Alex Rins, Luca Marini, Deniz Öncü) in the audience. KTM count on Italian ‘DarkBright’ and Brit ‘JackHammer4658’ to steer the digital RC16s of Tech3 KTM Factory Racing and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing respectively. Neither are in the running for the title, but Hammer would have an important say in the final result. Complete focus as the racers head into the next lap PC @Dorna What is MotoGP eSports? Well, using the official game created by developers Milestone and a title that has been tweaked, refined and advanced in the ten years that the Italian company has had the licence, aspiring gamers from all corners of the world can apply to make it through the Pro Draft (using Xbox, PlayStation or PC). This series of 4 challenges will filter the best players. The MotoGP teams will then choose their 11 contenders for the Global Series and a calendar of double-header GPs with the results counting towards the final standings: just like the real thing. The virtual ‘Grands Prix’ were set to take place at actual MotoGP events but, due to the pandemic, Valencia is the first time the racers have gathered. Playing MotoGP™ 21 requires sharp hand-eye coordination, quick reflexes, and fierce concentration PC @Dorna The Global Series Final see the 11 participants compete in two sprints (no more than 10 laps) around the Circuit of the Americas and the Ricardo Tormo. The races are built-up through live commentary and the whole affair is streamed live on YouTube and Facebook. The audience at Valencia watch the action through the large screens behind the gamers where the camera angles alternate between TV-style external views and the rider’s/gamer’s perspective. The game looks stunning. It is easy to detect that we’re not watching real MotoGP through the external, trackside views because of the phoney bike dynamics but for perspectives like the onboard dashboard camera facing the rider then the lighting is deceptively brilliant. The fact that the gamers can have their own customization on helmets and gear while racing as, say, Brad Binder, is even more impressive. It’s hard to remember when the line between real and virtual has ever been so blurred. Jack Hammersley (‘JackHammer4658’) is competing for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing PC @KTM The highlight of the two dashes is the last lap fight between JackHammer4658 and the reigning champion Adriaan_26 (riding a Repsol Honda) at COTA. The latter needed to recover from an early fall to stay in contention and Hammer’s KTM was resistant until the final two corners. The close contest and the stakes involved momentarily suspend belief: this is exciting sport. The riders ‘crash’ and are circulating within tenths of a second of each other. This helps the spectators respect the fact that these are competitors with evident skill. The setting and the repercussions of their performances adds tension. By the time of the second checkered flag there is a mixture of joy and relief for Italian Trast73 – the winner in 2017 and 2018 – as he holds on to claim the championship, the car and the applause. MotoGP eSports is now in its fifth edition and is trying to tap into a movement that is growing massively both commercially and in terms of user interest and engagement. MotoGP eSports content was already attracting over 16 million views in 2020 and more than 2.5 million acts of engagement. These totals should increase even more in 2021 and continue on an upward trajectory. Tech3 KTM Factory Racing’s representative Matteo Mazzucchelli aka ‘DarkBright’ PC @KTM “From its creation the MotoGP eSports Championship has been growing considerably year upon year both in terms of participants and the level of audiences,” Senior Director of Global Commercial Partnerships, Marc Saurina tells us. “With some very young audiences (50% between 14-24 years) eSports has become a perfect platform to introduce new generations to the MotoGP scene and capture their interest. A marker of the growth can be seen in the social networks around MotoGP eSports: they keep expanding and in terms of following it has become the third biggest property for Dorna, only behind MotoGP and WorldSBK. In terms of business, it is not only a way to offer new and different content to current MotoGP sponsors but also a means to attract new brands to the MotoGP world.” The Final in Valencia brings an important and tangible connection between MotoGP the sport and MotoGP the eSport. This isn’t some panorama hidden away through an ethernet cable, dark bedrooms and living rooms. Promoters Dorna Sports have brought decent production values to a physical event like the Global Series Finaly to give even more credibility. MotoGP eSports 2021 World Championship line-up PC @Dorna “When Dorna decided to organise the first MotoGP eSports Championship we saw that staging the events at a circuit and during a Grand Prix was important to consolidate and grow visibility of the competition,” confirms Saurina. “Combining both series gives us a great opportunity to organise sponsor promotions, TV production, MotoGP rider appearances. It also allows us to interact directly with race fans, especially the younger generation.” Trast73 is in his late twenties, JackHammer4658 has yet to break his twenties. ‘MrTftw’ travelled from Australia to Valencia to compete. MotoGP eSports is winning interest and encouraging gamers to get serious and get professional. Add the sense of occasion at Valencia, the tension, pre-race nerves and celebration of the final podium finishers then eSports is edging nearer to the real racing than we might expect.
  15. Posted in People, Racing The final round of 2021 MotoGP™ at Valencia also staged the MotoGP eSports Global Series finale as the fastest gamers gathered for the biggest and best prize yet. Is the show getting more and more prominent? We went along to the spectacle at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit to find out… The final in Valencia brings an important and tangible connection between MotoGP the sport and MotoGP the eSport PC @RobGray The eighteenth and last round of MotoGP™ welcomed back a sizeable quota of public and saw more than 75,000 finding space to watch Valentino Rossi bid farewell to the championship and Red Bull KTM Ajo celebrate both Moto2™ and Moto3™ titles. Before Sunday’s races there is a decent throng of fans around the eSports hub to conclude the ‘digital’ version of 2021 MotoGP on Friday evening. The venue for the Global Series finale is a plain white, raised marquee with a small logo above the door, located in the middle of the fan area at Valencia. Inside the marquee the aspect is much different. A large stage houses the game ‘pods’ where the finalists will sit and race (sadly they are hidden from view for most of the audience). Racks of multi-coloured lights swirl around, screens beam graphics and action from all sides. The walls are lined with black drapes, giving the space a performance-venue feeling. At the front of an auditorium area that sits almost a hundred people and adjacent to the ‘podium’ is the grand prize: a BMW X4 costing 80,000 euros and the biggest incentive yet in the fledgling history of MotoGP eSports. 11 players take part in the MotoGP eSports World Championship 2021 PC @Dorna The gamers are introduced, and some are enthusiastically cheered by representation from the MotoGP teams. There are bosses and riders (Jack Miller, Alex Rins, Luca Marini, Deniz Öncü) in the audience. KTM count on Italian ‘DarkBright’ and Brit ‘JackHammer4658’ to steer the digital RC16s of Tech3 KTM Factory Racing and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing respectively. Neither are in the running for the title, but Hammer would have an important say in the final result. Complete focus as the racers head into the next lap PC @Dorna What is MotoGP eSports? Well, using the official game created by developers Milestone and a title that has been tweaked, refined and advanced in the ten years that the Italian company has had the licence, aspiring gamers from all corners of the world can apply to make it through the Pro Draft (using Xbox, PlayStation or PC). This series of 4 challenges will filter the best players. The MotoGP teams will then choose their 11 contenders for the Global Series and a calendar of double-header GPs with the results counting towards the final standings: just like the real thing. The virtual ‘Grands Prix’ were set to take place at actual MotoGP events but, due to the pandemic, Valencia is the first time the racers have gathered. Playing MotoGP™ 21 requires sharp hand-eye coordination, quick reflexes, and fierce concentration PC @Dorna The Global Series Final see the 11 participants compete in two sprints (no more than 10 laps) around the Circuit of the Americas and the Ricardo Tormo. The races are built-up through live commentary and the whole affair is streamed live on YouTube and Facebook. The audience at Valencia watch the action through the large screens behind the gamers where the camera angles alternate between TV-style external views and the rider’s/gamer’s perspective. The game looks stunning. It is easy to detect that we’re not watching real MotoGP through the external, trackside views because of the phoney bike dynamics but for perspectives like the onboard dashboard camera facing the rider then the lighting is deceptively brilliant. The fact that the gamers can have their own customization on helmets and gear while racing as, say, Brad Binder, is even more impressive. It’s hard to remember when the line between real and virtual has ever been so blurred. Jack Hammersley (‘JackHammer4658’) is competing for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing PC @KTM The highlight of the two dashes is the last lap fight between JackHammer4658 and the reigning champion Adriaan_26 (riding a Repsol Honda) at COTA. The latter needed to recover from an early fall to stay in contention and Hammer’s KTM was resistant until the final two corners. The close contest and the stakes involved momentarily suspend belief: this is exciting sport. The riders ‘crash’ and are circulating within tenths of a second of each other. This helps the spectators respect the fact that these are competitors with evident skill. The setting and the repercussions of their performances adds tension. By the time of the second checkered flag there is a mixture of joy and relief for Italian Trast73 – the winner in 2017 and 2018 – as he holds on to claim the championship, the car and the applause. MotoGP eSports is now in its fifth edition and is trying to tap into a movement that is growing massively both commercially and in terms of user interest and engagement. MotoGP eSports content was already attracting over 16 million views in 2020 and more than 2.5 million acts of engagement. These totals should increase even more in 2021 and continue on an upward trajectory. Tech3 KTM Factory Racing’s representative Matteo Mazzucchelli aka ‘DarkBright’ PC @KTM “From its creation the MotoGP eSports Championship has been growing considerably year upon year both in terms of participants and the level of audiences,” Senior Director of Global Commercial Partnerships, Marc Saurina tells us. “With some very young audiences (50% between 14-24 years) eSports has become a perfect platform to introduce new generations to the MotoGP scene and capture their interest. A marker of the growth can be seen in the social networks around MotoGP eSports: they keep expanding and in terms of following it has become the third biggest property for Dorna, only behind MotoGP and WorldSBK. In terms of business, it is not only a way to offer new and different content to current MotoGP sponsors but also a means to attract new brands to the MotoGP world.” The Final in Valencia brings an important and tangible connection between MotoGP the sport and MotoGP the eSport. This isn’t some panorama hidden away through an ethernet cable, dark bedrooms and living rooms. Promoters Dorna Sports have brought decent production values to a physical event like the Global Series Finaly to give even more credibility. MotoGP eSports 2021 World Championship line-up PC @Dorna “When Dorna decided to organise the first MotoGP eSports Championship we saw that staging the events at a circuit and during a Grand Prix was important to consolidate and grow visibility of the competition,” confirms Saurina. “Combining both series gives us a great opportunity to organise sponsor promotions, TV production, MotoGP rider appearances. It also allows us to interact directly with race fans, especially the younger generation.” Trast73 is in his late twenties, JackHammer4658 has yet to break his twenties. ‘MrTftw’ travelled from Australia to Valencia to compete. MotoGP eSports is winning interest and encouraging gamers to get serious and get professional. Add the sense of occasion at Valencia, the tension, pre-race nerves and celebration of the final podium finishers then eSports is edging nearer to the real racing than we might expect.
  16. Posted in Bikes, Travel A WEEKEND ADVENTURE IN THE GREEK MOUNTAINS Can a smaller displacement ADVENTURE bike be fun? That’s exactly the question we set off to answer with Quinn Cody riding the new KTM 390 ADVENTURE for a long weekend in the Greek wilderness. Alternating between rugged terrains and perfectly paved roads. Greece is a true adventure bike paradise PC @francescmonterophoto Sometimes handling a big bike can be a bit of a handful. The added weight or horsepower make my personal KTM 1190 ADVENTURE or the KTM 890 ADVENTURE I’ve been riding for the last year way better in covering long distances fast. But when it comes to having pure fun in narrow mountain gravel roads, the new KTM 390 ADVENTURE has been a very pleasant surprise. As much as I like the power of the big orange machines, I will admit that things could easily get out of hand, especially in long days or tricky offroad conditions. The weight sometimes makes pushing your limits on a +200 kg bike tricky. For the launch of the new KTM 390 ADVENTURE, myself and offroad legend Quinn Cody were invited to act as main riders in the official launch video. Packing light and securing your luggage efficiently are also key aspects for a successful journey PC @francescmonterophoto The idea was simple; we would pick up two bikes from Athens, Greece with the goal to ride them through the Greek mountains as we were heading to the basecamp of the European KTM ADVENTURE RALLY. It took us three days to get there and we rode almost 500 km overall in three days. I’ve already been spending time on the Greek land, and I knew what great riding opportunities it offered, especially on a lighter and more versatile adventure bike like the KTM 390 ADVENTURE. For this three-day adventure, I had one of my motorcycling heroes, Quinn Cody, riding alongside me and allowing me to learn from him. Quinn comes from a long streak of impressive achievements in motorsport, such as participating at the Red Bull Romaniacs on a KTM 1090 ADVENTURE, getting a top-10 at the Dakar Rally and winning the Baja 1000 Rally four times. It was an honor to ride next to this legend! PC @francescmonterophoto Our riding skills were clearly unmatched, but our machines set us on a whole new common ground. He was obviously a much more experienced offroad rider, but I did have broader wisdom in terms of Greek road navigation, as this was his first time in the country. As I’ve ridden the previous version of the KTM 390 ADVENTURE, I immediately felt at home on the updated motorcycle in terms of power or handling. My only focus was to think about all the cool places that we could have explored together. The new model presented an exquisite color scheme, that in my opinion makes it resemble the stunning KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R. In terms of electronics and engine, there’s a new setting that allows the OFFROAD TC to remain activated in the event of a brief stall or crash. We met with Quinn in Athens and picked up two brand new KTM 390 ADVENTURE bikes from KTM Greece. After a quick initial briefing with the staff, we suited up in the latest spanking new KTM PowerWear and hit the road heading towards the mountains. Greece offers an incredible multitude of trails and an immense variety of terrains, which are easy to navigate for me… now. Wearing versatile and durable riding gear is fundamental for any motorcycle trip PC @francescmonterophoto There’s always an element of unpredictability when riding on Greek roads. But, unlike other countries who present restrictions in terms of riding possibilities, Greece has no limitations in where a motorcyclist is allowed to go. Indeed, it is one of the last remaining “free-riding” paradises in Europe. The first off-road section was easy and smooth. Narrow but fast gravel roads, right on the edge of the small mountains surrounding the capital. My fully loaded KTM 390 ADVENTURE performed excellently, even riding at high paces. The suspension was surprisingly great even for a big heavy guy like myself. Trying to keep up with the champion was a challenge for me. Luckily the KTM 390 ADVENTURE’s lightweightness played in my favour while chasing Quinn up on the greek mountains PC @francescmonterophoto The riding position while standing up is aggressive and ideal for off-roading situations, but still comfortable enough to be handled with ease. After roughly 90 dusty kilometers, we arrived in the beautiful coastal town of Loutraki, just a few km away from the Corinth Canal. As we started our day rather late, we decided to kick our boots off and wait for the sun to disappear on the horizon. Nothing is more gratifying than stopping on the side of the road, along the beach, and having a cold drink, at the end of a hot riding day. As nice and comfortable as a hotel can be, nothing compares to sleeping in nature. For this reason, I decided to take my newly acquired friend to one of the most beautiful lakes I knew around and spend our next night wild camping. Unwinding at the end of a full day of riding is one of the best feelings of adventure motorcycling PC @francescmonterophoto The following day, as we started riding early in the morning, I took Quinn through some further but more interesting parts of the peninsula. This meant hitting the highway for a bit and riding straight up a famous ski resort in the Peloponnese region. Even on the highway, the KTM 390 ADVENTURE behaved excellently; it sits smoothly at 110 km/h and has a comfortable riding position while seated. The best part was clearly the staggeringly low fuel consumption that the engine delivered, averaging an impressive 3.5 liters for every 100 km. Once off the highway, we began climbing up one face of the 2,400 meters peak, via a beautifully paved road. Riding the 390 ADVENTURE up these smooth roads was simply a pleasure. Its maneuverability in the sharp and narrow corners was probably the best in all the Adventure segment. The adjustable WP suspension and grippy Continental TKC 70 tires, make the 390 one of the best machines out there in terms of riding versatility. Once we reached the beautiful mountain town of Trikala, we started hitting the dirt again. It was hard to keep up with Quinn, but riding the KTM 390 ADVENTURE and not having to deal with a much heavier and powerful bike, gave me the confidence to push a bit harder, and keep up with his pace. The KTM 390 ADVENTURE favourite terrain: quick and tight tarmac corners PC @francescmonterophoto After climbing and descending through a tricky alpine forest section, we finally reached Lake Doxa, where I planned for us to spend the night. The lake had a beautiful grassy shore where we pitched our swags and lit a small fire. It was great to chat with a legend like Quinn and share stories about adventure riding. The night was peaceful. In the morning a group of horses and dogs greeted us for breakfast and kept us company while we packed our tents. We rode up to a mountain top, just behind the beautiful town of Kalavryta. As I was saving the best for last, I also wanted to “entertain” my guest with some proper Enduro terrains. I knew about a steep hill climb where momentum and throttle control were fundamental for the completion of the ride up. I took him there and asked him, obviously, to go first. With a staggering calm and nonchalance, Quinn disabled his Traction Control, stood up on his pegs and took off like a rocket, climbing the hill in one go. Seeing him controlling the bike with such ease and climbing the long uphill like a steinbok, gave me the courage to give it a try. Quinn getting the most out of the new KTM 390 ADVENTURE. Nothing can stop this versatile adventure bike! PC @francescmonterophoto It was clearly out of my comfort zone to ride up such a steep and rocky hill, but having the KTM 390 ADVENTURE under me gave more confidence in the sense that, if something could have gone wrong, I would have been able to handle the situation. As I correctly foresaw, it took me three attempts to finally ride up that hill. As we rode off to the highway heading to the ADVENTURE RALLY basecamp in Nafpaktos, I took time to dry off my sweat and appreciate how easy it was to ride this machine. Being so light and maneuverable, it allowed me to easily compensate for the small skill gap that I had allowing me to keep up with a more experienced Dakar rider. It was a great honor for me tour guide for such a great rider and person as Quinn. Once again, Greece and the KTM 390 ADVENTURE did not disappoint. Check out the video here: [embedded content]
  17. Posted in Bikes, Travel A WEEKEND ADVENTURE IN THE GREEK MOUNTAINS Can a smaller displacement ADVENTURE bike be fun? That’s exactly the question we set off to answer with Quinn Cody riding the new KTM 390 ADVENTURE for a long weekend in the Greek wilderness. Alternating between rugged terrains and perfectly paved roads. Greece is a true adventure bike paradise PC @francescmonterophoto Sometimes handling a big bike can be a bit of a handful. The added weight or horsepower make my personal KTM 1190 ADVENTURE or the KTM 890 ADVENTURE I’ve been riding for the last year way better in covering long distances fast. But when it comes to having pure fun in narrow mountain gravel roads, the new KTM 390 ADVENTURE has been a very pleasant surprise. As much as I like the power of the big orange machines, I will admit that things could easily get out of hand, especially in long days or tricky offroad conditions. The weight sometimes makes pushing your limits on a +200 kg bike tricky. For the launch of the new KTM 390 ADVENTURE, myself and offroad legend Quinn Cody were invited to act as main riders in the official launch video. Packing light and securing your luggage efficiently are also key aspects for a successful journey PC @francescmonterophoto The idea was simple; we would pick up two bikes from Athens, Greece with the goal to ride them through the Greek mountains as we were heading to the basecamp of the European KTM ADVENTURE RALLY. It took us three days to get there and we rode almost 500 km overall in three days. I’ve already been spending time on the Greek land, and I knew what great riding opportunities it offered, especially on a lighter and more versatile adventure bike like the KTM 390 ADVENTURE. For this three-day adventure, I had one of my motorcycling heroes, Quinn Cody, riding alongside me and allowing me to learn from him. Quinn comes from a long streak of impressive achievements in motorsport, such as participating at the Red Bull Romaniacs on a KTM 1090 ADVENTURE, getting a top-10 at the Dakar Rally and winning the Baja 1000 Rally four times. It was an honor to ride next to this legend! PC @francescmonterophoto Our riding skills were clearly unmatched, but our machines set us on a whole new common ground. He was obviously a much more experienced offroad rider, but I did have broader wisdom in terms of Greek road navigation, as this was his first time in the country. As I’ve ridden the previous version of the KTM 390 ADVENTURE, I immediately felt at home on the updated motorcycle in terms of power or handling. My only focus was to think about all the cool places that we could have explored together. The new model presented an exquisite color scheme, that in my opinion makes it resemble the stunning KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R. In terms of electronics and engine, there’s a new setting that allows the OFFROAD TC to remain activated in the event of a brief stall or crash. We met with Quinn in Athens and picked up two brand new KTM 390 ADVENTURE bikes from KTM Greece. After a quick initial briefing with the staff, we suited up in the latest spanking new KTM PowerWear and hit the road heading towards the mountains. Greece offers an incredible multitude of trails and an immense variety of terrains, which are easy to navigate for me… now. Wearing versatile and durable riding gear is fundamental for any motorcycle trip PC @francescmonterophoto There’s always an element of unpredictability when riding on Greek roads. But, unlike other countries who present restrictions in terms of riding possibilities, Greece has no limitations in where a motorcyclist is allowed to go. Indeed, it is one of the last remaining “free-riding” paradises in Europe. The first off-road section was easy and smooth. Narrow but fast gravel roads, right on the edge of the small mountains surrounding the capital. My fully loaded KTM 390 ADVENTURE performed excellently, even riding at high paces. The suspension was surprisingly great even for a big heavy guy like myself. Trying to keep up with the champion was a challenge for me. Luckily the KTM 390 ADVENTURE’s lightweightness played in my favour while chasing Quinn up on the greek mountains PC @francescmonterophoto The riding position while standing up is aggressive and ideal for off-roading situations, but still comfortable enough to be handled with ease. After roughly 90 dusty kilometers, we arrived in the beautiful coastal town of Loutraki, just a few km away from the Corinth Canal. As we started our day rather late, we decided to kick our boots off and wait for the sun to disappear on the horizon. Nothing is more gratifying than stopping on the side of the road, along the beach, and having a cold drink, at the end of a hot riding day. As nice and comfortable as a hotel can be, nothing compares to sleeping in nature. For this reason, I decided to take my newly acquired friend to one of the most beautiful lakes I knew around and spend our next night wild camping. Unwinding at the end of a full day of riding is one of the best feelings of adventure motorcycling PC @francescmonterophoto The following day, as we started riding early in the morning, I took Quinn through some further but more interesting parts of the peninsula. This meant hitting the highway for a bit and riding straight up a famous ski resort in the Peloponnese region. Even on the highway, the KTM 390 ADVENTURE behaved excellently; it sits smoothly at 110 km/h and has a comfortable riding position while seated. The best part was clearly the staggeringly low fuel consumption that the engine delivered, averaging an impressive 3.5 liters for every 100 km. Once off the highway, we began climbing up one face of the 2,400 meters peak, via a beautifully paved road. Riding the 390 ADVENTURE up these smooth roads was simply a pleasure. Its maneuverability in the sharp and narrow corners was probably the best in all the Adventure segment. The adjustable WP suspension and grippy Continental TKC 70 tires, make the 390 one of the best machines out there in terms of riding versatility. Once we reached the beautiful mountain town of Trikala, we started hitting the dirt again. It was hard to keep up with Quinn, but riding the KTM 390 ADVENTURE and not having to deal with a much heavier and powerful bike, gave me the confidence to push a bit harder, and keep up with his pace. The KTM 390 ADVENTURE favourite terrain: quick and tight tarmac corners PC @francescmonterophoto After climbing and descending through a tricky alpine forest section, we finally reached Lake Doxa, where I planned for us to spend the night. The lake had a beautiful grassy shore where we pitched our swags and lit a small fire. It was great to chat with a legend like Quinn and share stories about adventure riding. The night was peaceful. In the morning a group of horses and dogs greeted us for breakfast and kept us company while we packed our tents. We rode up to a mountain top, just behind the beautiful town of Kalavryta. As I was saving the best for last, I also wanted to “entertain” my guest with some proper Enduro terrains. I knew about a steep hill climb where momentum and throttle control were fundamental for the completion of the ride up. I took him there and asked him, obviously, to go first. With a staggering calm and nonchalance, Quinn disabled his Traction Control, stood up on his pegs and took off like a rocket, climbing the hill in one go. Seeing him controlling the bike with such ease and climbing the long uphill like a steinbok, gave me the courage to give it a try. Quinn getting the most out of the new KTM 390 ADVENTURE. Nothing can stop this versatile adventure bike! PC @francescmonterophoto It was clearly out of my comfort zone to ride up such a steep and rocky hill, but having the KTM 390 ADVENTURE under me gave more confidence in the sense that, if something could have gone wrong, I would have been able to handle the situation. As I correctly foresaw, it took me three attempts to finally ride up that hill. As we rode off to the highway heading to the ADVENTURE RALLY basecamp in Nafpaktos, I took time to dry off my sweat and appreciate how easy it was to ride this machine. Being so light and maneuverable, it allowed me to easily compensate for the small skill gap that I had allowing me to keep up with a more experienced Dakar rider. It was a great honor for me tour guide for such a great rider and person as Quinn. Once again, Greece and the KTM 390 ADVENTURE did not disappoint. Check out the video here: [embedded content]
  18. A cagey run to 10th position in Valencia on November 14th made Remy Gardner the twelfth champion in Moto2™ and only the second ever Australian to win in the ‘intermediate’ class. Here’s how the 23-year-old clinched his title at the eighteenth and final round of 2021 Moto2. Remy Gardner – the first Australian to win a Moto2™ World Championship PC @Rob Gray It’s Sunday in Valencia, Spain and Remy Gardner looks pale and tired. His fatigued expression might be due to a lack of sleep: his crash nine days previously in Portugal left him with several cracked left ribs. Perhaps it’s because of the pressure of leading the world championship from round three and having to constantly fend-off the outrageous speed of Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie teammate Raul Fernandez. His weariness could also have something to do with the weight of expectation, of being 1987 500cc World Champion Wayne Gardner’s son and the desire to achieve his goal – a target that Ajo team predecessors like Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira could not reach – and claim the Moto2™ crown. The Australian, who has been based in Catalunya for most of his childhood and adult life to-date (he is fluently bilingual) is sitting in front of select media and trying to articulate how he stitched together a superb Moto2™ campaign. It was his sixth in the class and his first in Red Bull KTM Ajo colors. Gardner’s term with the all-conquering crew run by Aki Ajo – a key platform in the KTM GP Academy to promote and develop young and promising talent – will last just one year. He had already signed to enter MotoGP for 2022 with the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing Team, even before the #1 medal came his way. Aki Ajo’s crew was an important stepping stone in preparation for MotoGP 2022 PC @Rob Gray Ajo, Gardner and Fernandez decimated Moto2™ . Between the two riders they won 13 of 18 Grands Prix, finishing 1-2 on the podium a remarkable seven times. There were only two rounds of Moto2™ that did not feature a Red Bull KTM Ajo machine on the rostrum. Fernandez dazzled with his speed, Gardner with his racecraft and consistency. Fernandez crashed out in Germany, Britain and Emilia Romagna, while Gardner’s DNF in Texas really narrowed the duel heading to Portimao, Portugal. Gardner hurt himself on Friday but opted for a different tire choice compared to the Spaniard on Sunday and owned his fifth Grand Prix and twelfth podium in masterful fashion. Defeating adversity has become something of a trend for Gardner. His family broke up, he pursued a career backed by his father but struggled on uncompetitive machinery and was an ill-fit in Moto3. He smashed and broke both of his legs in a motocross training accident in 2018 that set his career back and by the time of his first GP podium finish in 2019 on the way to 15th in the world he’d already accumulated plenty of race mileage without much distinction. In 2020 he moved to 6th, won his first Grand Prix and then firmly entered Aki Ajo’s radar. The Finn got to know the Aussie and then decided he wanted to take a chance on #87. “I was quite clear that I believed in him and I liked his style” – Aki’s first thoughts on Remy Gardner PC @Rob Gray “I remember our first face-to-face talks were quite intensive and tough and emotional,” Ajo said to us on Sunday at Valencia. “I would not say we were fighting…but we had some different opinions and I was quite clear that I believed in him and I liked his style but quite a lot would have to change with the attitude if we worked together.” “He was talking technical details at this moment, for me it was too much,” he continues. “He also had some doubts in his head that he was too heavy and the bike is slow because of this-or-that. I was shooting everything down when we started talking and he was quite shocked. But I also felt that this guy was quite strong: I saw he was emotional but also accepting, and he was quickly ready to start work. I believed this was the first good sign. So, we went step-by-step moving him into the team and with his new crew.” Aki and Remy celebrating the Moto2™ World Championship title PC @Rob Gray Ajo kept the job of racing and setting expectations simple. He followed his mantra of creating circumstances around the riders that allowed them to express their full potential, even drawing on the positivity of their bad times. “What I always say to them, especially to Remy after races when he was thinking about those tough years in the past, would be ‘hey, without that, maybe you are not here…and at least you are not staying where you are’. I think the tough moments are necessary when you reach the top and you want to stay there.” Ajo still had to balance two raw and spectacular talents as they chased the team’s second Moto2™ world championship and their first in Red Bull colors and for the KTM GP Academy. “I was afraid of it [the dispute] but it was actually much easier than I expected,” he smiles. “Maybe we got lucky or something! Both respected each other in an incredible way in the box, on the track and outside, everywhere.” Red Bull KTM Ajo duo heading into the final races of the season battling for the championship lead PC @Rob Gray Remy on…2021 It has definitely been intense. Raul did an amazing job this year. As a rookie he really put-it-to-me and made me work for it. This is a such as amazing team, so many podiums and great races. An incredible season with so many Parc Fermes [moments] and trophies. There were times when I finished 2nd and thought ‘ah, a bad day’ but you have to enjoy every moment. The last quarter was really intense with Raul being so fast. I made a few mistakes but he did as well. Consistency was key in the end and the days when I couldn’t win or Raul did then it was about finishing with whatever points I had. Ultimately this is what got us across the line. Remy Gardner claiming one of five victories in 2021 PC @Rob Gray On…dealing with the Valencia race, the restart and nerves It was difficult to move around the bike aggressively [because of his ribs]. It was about finishing the race. The restart played havoc with the ritual of getting set, getting your mind set and ready to go out and do your thing. It means you have to do all that all again. It was hard to keep your nerve and not over-ride. It looked like it was chaos in front of me and I didn’t want to get caught in any drama, so I sat at the back of the group and did my race. Definitely a different strategy and plan compared to the other races this year. I knew what I had to do. I had everything clear. Aki as well kept me calm. Gardner at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana season finale in Spain PC @Rob Gray On…his career building to this point For sure there have been so many hard years…but then decent success this year. I really changed my ‘chip’ last year and started going a bit better. Even though I didn’t have the most podiums I managed to get my mind under control and everything was falling into place. I was trying to keep positive about everything. 2015-2019 was really tough for me. There were points in my career where I thought ‘that’s it, the end of the road’. Especially after the injury, fighting back from that was incredibly difficult. The worst one was breaking my legs, it was a really big accident, a really bad accident. Not just to my legs but a hit to my head and back. I remember being let out of hospital and going home thinking ‘I don’t have a ride, don’t have any results, career’s over’. I was playing on the PlayStation one day and thought ‘what choice do I have?’ I could sit there and cry about it or get up and push like a ‘m*****f****r’ until I was dead. So that’s what I did. I picked myself up and did physio for eight hours a day until I was passing-out and getting dizzy spells. I wanted to walk earlier than they said. The doctor reckoned three months in a wheelchair and by the third week I was already waddling around the house like a penguin. It was some never-give-up spirit I guess, and it paid off. His “never-give-up spirit” took Remy through a lot of drawbacks throughout his career PC @Rob Gray On…facing pressure I’m sure a lot of people think ‘the Gardner name; it’s gonna be easy’ but it has been really tough. Not really in a personal way and the pressure of being ‘the son of Wayne’ but there were actually a lot of doors that were closed for being that ‘son of Wayne’. Of course, there were a lot that opened, and he helped me a lot in the younger stages of my career. I would not be here without him. In the last four-five years it has been more ‘on me’. Once you get to the world championship you are a professional athlete and you are paid by the team and you work with them. That was on me: to learn, to improve and work with other people. The last part of this season was very tough, pressure-wise. In Misano we had the rain and then the double Long Lap penalty and I still managed to bring it home in 7th, which is what counts. Any points are better than no points and experience helped. You make mistakes, live with yourself and move on. You learn all the time. My best race ever was Portimao. That was the decider. I stuck to my guns with the hard tire and really believed in myself. That was key. Despite dealing with a lot of pressure, Remy never stopped believing in himself PC @Rob Gray On…the prospect of MotoGP It seems that the level of us – the younger generation guys – is quite high. There are a lot of race winners and world champions. Winning the title is incredible and it gives you an understanding of what you need to do and how you need to do it, how to contain your emotions and push when necessary, to take the points when you can’t win. It gives you a lot of experience managing pressure more than anything, I’d say. Hopefully I’ll adapt well to the MotoGP bike. There is a lot more to learn and a new class to get to grips with. I just want to have fun and get in there with the big boys. I cannot wait. Champagne and celebrations following a successful 2021 season PC @Rob Gray Gardner gets up to leave the press conference room. He’s carrying the celebration helmet and wearing the white dedication t-shirt. He’s accompanied by ever-present girlfriend Clara and her family. One job is done, a whole other game now awaits. “I have to say that Remy is a really, really nice character and I have a place in my heart for him,” says Ajo. “It was really easy to work with him but at the same time you can always see how hungry he is and how much he is willing to sacrifice.”
  19. A cagey run to 10th position in Valencia on November 14th made Remy Gardner the twelfth champion in Moto2™ and only the second ever Australian to win in the ‘intermediate’ class. Here’s how the 23-year-old clinched his title at the eighteenth and final round of 2021 Moto2. Remy Gardner – the first Australian to win a Moto2™ World Championship PC @Rob Gray It’s Sunday in Valencia, Spain and Remy Gardner looks pale and tired. His fatigued expression might be due to a lack of sleep: his crash nine days previously in Portugal left him with several cracked left ribs. Perhaps it’s because of the pressure of leading the world championship from round three and having to constantly fend-off the outrageous speed of Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie teammate Raul Fernandez. His weariness could also have something to do with the weight of expectation, of being 1987 500cc World Champion Wayne Gardner’s son and the desire to achieve his goal – a target that Ajo team predecessors like Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira could not reach – and claim the Moto2™ crown. The Australian, who has been based in Catalunya for most of his childhood and adult life to-date (he is fluently bilingual) is sitting in front of select media and trying to articulate how he stitched together a superb Moto2™ campaign. It was his sixth in the class and his first in Red Bull KTM Ajo colors. Gardner’s term with the all-conquering crew run by Aki Ajo – a key platform in the KTM GP Academy to promote and develop young and promising talent – will last just one year. He had already signed to enter MotoGP for 2022 with the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing Team, even before the #1 medal came his way. Aki Ajo’s crew was an important stepping stone in preparation for MotoGP 2022 PC @Rob Gray Ajo, Gardner and Fernandez decimated Moto2™ . Between the two riders they won 13 of 18 Grands Prix, finishing 1-2 on the podium a remarkable seven times. There were only two rounds of Moto2™ that did not feature a Red Bull KTM Ajo machine on the rostrum. Fernandez dazzled with his speed, Gardner with his racecraft and consistency. Fernandez crashed out in Germany, Britain and Emilia Romagna, while Gardner’s DNF in Texas really narrowed the duel heading to Portimao, Portugal. Gardner hurt himself on Friday but opted for a different tire choice compared to the Spaniard on Sunday and owned his fifth Grand Prix and twelfth podium in masterful fashion. Defeating adversity has become something of a trend for Gardner. His family broke up, he pursued a career backed by his father but struggled on uncompetitive machinery and was an ill-fit in Moto3. He smashed and broke both of his legs in a motocross training accident in 2018 that set his career back and by the time of his first GP podium finish in 2019 on the way to 15th in the world he’d already accumulated plenty of race mileage without much distinction. In 2020 he moved to 6th, won his first Grand Prix and then firmly entered Aki Ajo’s radar. The Finn got to know the Aussie and then decided he wanted to take a chance on #87. “I was quite clear that I believed in him and I liked his style” – Aki’s first thoughts on Remy Gardner PC @Rob Gray “I remember our first face-to-face talks were quite intensive and tough and emotional,” Ajo said to us on Sunday at Valencia. “I would not say we were fighting…but we had some different opinions and I was quite clear that I believed in him and I liked his style but quite a lot would have to change with the attitude if we worked together.” “He was talking technical details at this moment, for me it was too much,” he continues. “He also had some doubts in his head that he was too heavy and the bike is slow because of this-or-that. I was shooting everything down when we started talking and he was quite shocked. But I also felt that this guy was quite strong: I saw he was emotional but also accepting, and he was quickly ready to start work. I believed this was the first good sign. So, we went step-by-step moving him into the team and with his new crew.” Aki and Remy celebrating the Moto2™ World Championship title PC @Rob Gray Ajo kept the job of racing and setting expectations simple. He followed his mantra of creating circumstances around the riders that allowed them to express their full potential, even drawing on the positivity of their bad times. “What I always say to them, especially to Remy after races when he was thinking about those tough years in the past, would be ‘hey, without that, maybe you are not here…and at least you are not staying where you are’. I think the tough moments are necessary when you reach the top and you want to stay there.” Ajo still had to balance two raw and spectacular talents as they chased the team’s second Moto2™ world championship and their first in Red Bull colors and for the KTM GP Academy. “I was afraid of it [the dispute] but it was actually much easier than I expected,” he smiles. “Maybe we got lucky or something! Both respected each other in an incredible way in the box, on the track and outside, everywhere.” Red Bull KTM Ajo duo heading into the final races of the season battling for the championship lead PC @Rob Gray Remy on…2021 It has definitely been intense. Raul did an amazing job this year. As a rookie he really put-it-to-me and made me work for it. This is a such as amazing team, so many podiums and great races. An incredible season with so many Parc Fermes [moments] and trophies. There were times when I finished 2nd and thought ‘ah, a bad day’ but you have to enjoy every moment. The last quarter was really intense with Raul being so fast. I made a few mistakes but he did as well. Consistency was key in the end and the days when I couldn’t win or Raul did then it was about finishing with whatever points I had. Ultimately this is what got us across the line. Remy Gardner claiming one of five victories in 2021 PC @Rob Gray On…dealing with the Valencia race, the restart and nerves It was difficult to move around the bike aggressively [because of his ribs]. It was about finishing the race. The restart played havoc with the ritual of getting set, getting your mind set and ready to go out and do your thing. It means you have to do all that all again. It was hard to keep your nerve and not over-ride. It looked like it was chaos in front of me and I didn’t want to get caught in any drama, so I sat at the back of the group and did my race. Definitely a different strategy and plan compared to the other races this year. I knew what I had to do. I had everything clear. Aki as well kept me calm. Gardner at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana season finale in Spain PC @Rob Gray On…his career building to this point For sure there have been so many hard years…but then decent success this year. I really changed my ‘chip’ last year and started going a bit better. Even though I didn’t have the most podiums I managed to get my mind under control and everything was falling into place. I was trying to keep positive about everything. 2015-2019 was really tough for me. There were points in my career where I thought ‘that’s it, the end of the road’. Especially after the injury, fighting back from that was incredibly difficult. The worst one was breaking my legs, it was a really big accident, a really bad accident. Not just to my legs but a hit to my head and back. I remember being let out of hospital and going home thinking ‘I don’t have a ride, don’t have any results, career’s over’. I was playing on the PlayStation one day and thought ‘what choice do I have?’ I could sit there and cry about it or get up and push like a ‘m*****f****r’ until I was dead. So that’s what I did. I picked myself up and did physio for eight hours a day until I was passing-out and getting dizzy spells. I wanted to walk earlier than they said. The doctor reckoned three months in a wheelchair and by the third week I was already waddling around the house like a penguin. It was some never-give-up spirit I guess, and it paid off. His “never-give-up spirit” took Remy through a lot of drawbacks throughout his career PC @Rob Gray On…facing pressure I’m sure a lot of people think ‘the Gardner name; it’s gonna be easy’ but it has been really tough. Not really in a personal way and the pressure of being ‘the son of Wayne’ but there were actually a lot of doors that were closed for being that ‘son of Wayne’. Of course, there were a lot that opened, and he helped me a lot in the younger stages of my career. I would not be here without him. In the last four-five years it has been more ‘on me’. Once you get to the world championship you are a professional athlete and you are paid by the team and you work with them. That was on me: to learn, to improve and work with other people. The last part of this season was very tough, pressure-wise. In Misano we had the rain and then the double Long Lap penalty and I still managed to bring it home in 7th, which is what counts. Any points are better than no points and experience helped. You make mistakes, live with yourself and move on. You learn all the time. My best race ever was Portimao. That was the decider. I stuck to my guns with the hard tire and really believed in myself. That was key. Despite dealing with a lot of pressure, Remy never stopped believing in himself PC @Rob Gray On…the prospect of MotoGP It seems that the level of us – the younger generation guys – is quite high. There are a lot of race winners and world champions. Winning the title is incredible and it gives you an understanding of what you need to do and how you need to do it, how to contain your emotions and push when necessary, to take the points when you can’t win. It gives you a lot of experience managing pressure more than anything, I’d say. Hopefully I’ll adapt well to the MotoGP bike. There is a lot more to learn and a new class to get to grips with. I just want to have fun and get in there with the big boys. I cannot wait. Champagne and celebrations following a successful 2021 season PC @Rob Gray Gardner gets up to leave the press conference room. He’s carrying the celebration helmet and wearing the white dedication t-shirt. He’s accompanied by ever-present girlfriend Clara and her family. One job is done, a whole other game now awaits. “I have to say that Remy is a really, really nice character and I have a place in my heart for him,” says Ajo. “It was really easy to work with him but at the same time you can always see how hungry he is and how much he is willing to sacrifice.”
  20. The European KTM ADVENTURE RALLY 2021 turned out to be exactly what we all anticipated: a thrilling motorcycle adventure in an exciting new destination, Greece. This is one of the best countries in Europe to ride bikes; a destination where all mountain roads can be ridden and explored freely. Climbing steep hills with your KTM on a balmy greek summer day – what else? PC @francescmonterophoto Three long days of riding alongside adventurers from all part of the world, this event is a must-do for all KTM fans and owners like me. The event was based in the city of Nafpaktos, a small fishing village that had its name engraved in the history books from the famous battle of Lepanto, a ferocious naval battle in 1571 that saw the Italian and Spanish naval fleet inflict a major defeat on the Ottoman naval army. The easiest way to communicate your happiness to a photographer is to pop a wheelie when you see one PC @francescmonterophoto While I was traveling the world on my KTM 1190 ADVENTURE, I stumbled upon the 2018 edition of the ADVENTURE RALLY in British Columbia, Canada and got a small taste of it. At that time, my poor Bronte (the name I gave to my beloved bike) had over 160,000 km and I didn’t have the heart to put it through such a harsh weekend of Canadian trail riding. Since then, I always dreamt that one day I could finally participate in the event and get my boots (and bike) dirty. This year, I finally managed to be part of the event and I even had the privilege to be one of the Tour Guides. The global pandemic has forced me to spend a considerable amount of time in Greece. For this reason, KTM gave me the opportunity to inspect the tracks and assess the feasibility of the terrains before the event officially started. There’s an advantage in riding in groups. If you get lost or get a puncture, you won’t be alone PC @francescmonterophoto As it was my first ADVENTURE RALLY, I was sincerely shocked by the number of hours KTM staff put into it. Seeing the entire team working non-stop for the duration of the RALLY was indeed incredible. From the event coordinators to the photographers, from the safety personnel to the mechanics, who changed approximately 500 tires over two days. Local experts, medics, and support vehicles were also involved in the event, to ensure emergencies would have been addressed promptly if needed. It is quite the responsibility to ensure that 150 people get out, ride, and arrive home safely every day! Our guides helping on and off the track PC @francescmonterophoto The first day was mostly designed to greet and brief the participants, coming from over 25 different countries. Riders had the option to self-navigate using GPS/smartphone, or ride in guided groups. The self-navigating participants had to bring their own GPS to the registration tent, for each device to be updated with the official event tracks. A short skill assessment was instead mandatory for whoever chose to ride in guided groups. This was important to congregate people with similar riding experiences. Like every KTM ADVENTURE RALLY, there are always special guests in attendance. Previous events saw the participation of motorsport legends, Toby Price and Chris Birch. This year we had the honor of riding with Giovanni Sala (5x Enduro World Champion & 8x Dakar Finisher) and Quinn Cody (Baja 1000 Champion & 2x Dakar Finisher). Joey Evans leaving the whole crowd astonished, while telling his fairytale from being paralyzed to managing to walk again and racing Dakar PC @francescmonterophoto Aside from the fact that many KTM employees are ex Motocross or Enduro champions, there were a couple of other “celebrities” to be seen at the event, such as Joachim Sauer an ex European Enduro Champion. We were also fortunate enough to hear the inspiring story of Joey Evans, who shared his incredible story of participating in the Dakar Rally, after recovering from a devastating injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down. A simply mind-blowing experience that should not go unappreciated. A quick riding skill assessment test had to be performed by all group riding participants, before the start of the event PC @francescmonterophoto The event was designed to have three riding days, with the second day being the longest and most difficult, clocking 267 km. As I inspected the trails myself, I knew that some of the obstacles would have been difficult for quite a few people. However, as all adventure riders know, a good pub-moto story happens only when there is challenge involved! And I believe that most people went home with plenty of stories to tell. The KTM ADVENTURE RALLY is not your usual adventure bike event. As the name states, it is an ADVENTURE, and only differs from a rally race because there’s no competitive spirit involved. Instead, it has been created to build comradery between participants and test each rider’s capability on challenging terrains. The full version of “high five” is the chest bump. Our photographers captured this celebratory moment between two riders, right after overcoming a difficult riding section PC @francescmonterophoto Dust, stones, sand, mud, water crossings, mountain passes, hill climbs and much more; the event had it all. Over 1,000 km of beautiful trails, across three different types of mountain ranges, in some of the most iconic places that Greece had to offer. Aside from the incredible landscapes, I was simply blown away by the atmosphere that the event created and the friendships that were built between people after just 3 days of riding. I believe the reason behind this was that most participants were outside of their comfort zone. Not many were accustomed to riding over 230 km of off-road trails a day. This was a challenge for most people, as fatigue and muscle ache could break the average man. Riders were pushing and encouraging each other in overcoming obstacles, like soldiers helping members of their platoon. The rally presented some hard challenges but people were never left behind to deal with issues by themselves PC @francescmonterophoto But as far as events go, the event was quite a challenge for all. Most people, including myself, were lucky enough to have just a permanent grin on their faces. There was the occasional battle with flat tires, some bruises and a bike falling off a cliff that we managed to rescue. Both the bike and the rider came out unscathed and with a heck of a pub-moto story to tell. Talking about memories, KTM managed to gather the best photographers and videographers the industry had to offer. Resulting in participants returning home with thousands of incredible action shots. If you ever dreamt of getting a photoshoot while riding your bike, the KTM ADVENTURE RALLY is the best place to get one. Check out the event video recap here: [embedded content] As it is commonly said; a picture is worth a thousand words, and the riders’ faces after three days of blasting through the gorgeous Greek mountains say it all: PC @M. Campelli
  21. The European KTM ADVENTURE RALLY 2021 turned out to be exactly what we all anticipated: a thrilling motorcycle adventure in an exciting new destination, Greece. This is one of the best countries in Europe to ride bikes; a destination where all mountain roads can be ridden and explored freely. Climbing steep hills with your KTM on a balmy greek summer day – what else? PC @francescmonterophoto Three long days of riding alongside adventurers from all part of the world, this event is a must-do for all KTM fans and owners like me. The event was based in the city of Nafpaktos, a small fishing village that had its name engraved in the history books from the famous battle of Lepanto, a ferocious naval battle in 1571 that saw the Italian and Spanish naval fleet inflict a major defeat on the Ottoman naval army. The easiest way to communicate your happiness to a photographer is to pop a wheelie when you see one PC @francescmonterophoto While I was traveling the world on my KTM 1190 ADVENTURE, I stumbled upon the 2018 edition of the ADVENTURE RALLY in British Columbia, Canada and got a small taste of it. At that time, my poor Bronte (the name I gave to my beloved bike) had over 160,000 km and I didn’t have the heart to put it through such a harsh weekend of Canadian trail riding. Since then, I always dreamt that one day I could finally participate in the event and get my boots (and bike) dirty. This year, I finally managed to be part of the event and I even had the privilege to be one of the Tour Guides. The global pandemic has forced me to spend a considerable amount of time in Greece. For this reason, KTM gave me the opportunity to inspect the tracks and assess the feasibility of the terrains before the event officially started. There’s an advantage in riding in groups. If you get lost or get a puncture, you won’t be alone PC @francescmonterophoto As it was my first ADVENTURE RALLY, I was sincerely shocked by the number of hours KTM staff put into it. Seeing the entire team working non-stop for the duration of the RALLY was indeed incredible. From the event coordinators to the photographers, from the safety personnel to the mechanics, who changed approximately 500 tires over two days. Local experts, medics, and support vehicles were also involved in the event, to ensure emergencies would have been addressed promptly if needed. It is quite the responsibility to ensure that 150 people get out, ride, and arrive home safely every day! Our guides helping on and off the track PC @francescmonterophoto The first day was mostly designed to greet and brief the participants, coming from over 25 different countries. Riders had the option to self-navigate using GPS/smartphone, or ride in guided groups. The self-navigating participants had to bring their own GPS to the registration tent, for each device to be updated with the official event tracks. A short skill assessment was instead mandatory for whoever chose to ride in guided groups. This was important to congregate people with similar riding experiences. Like every KTM ADVENTURE RALLY, there are always special guests in attendance. Previous events saw the participation of motorsport legends, Toby Price and Chris Birch. This year we had the honor of riding with Giovanni Sala (5x Enduro World Champion & 8x Dakar Finisher) and Quinn Cody (Baja 1000 Champion & 2x Dakar Finisher). Joey Evans leaving the whole crowd astonished, while telling his fairytale from being paralyzed to managing to walk again and racing Dakar PC @francescmonterophoto Aside from the fact that many KTM employees are ex Motocross or Enduro champions, there were a couple of other “celebrities” to be seen at the event, such as Joachim Sauer an ex European Enduro Champion. We were also fortunate enough to hear the inspiring story of Joey Evans, who shared his incredible story of participating in the Dakar Rally, after recovering from a devastating injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down. A simply mind-blowing experience that should not go unappreciated. A quick riding skill assessment test had to be performed by all group riding participants, before the start of the event PC @francescmonterophoto The event was designed to have three riding days, with the second day being the longest and most difficult, clocking 267 km. As I inspected the trails myself, I knew that some of the obstacles would have been difficult for quite a few people. However, as all adventure riders know, a good pub-moto story happens only when there is challenge involved! And I believe that most people went home with plenty of stories to tell. The KTM ADVENTURE RALLY is not your usual adventure bike event. As the name states, it is an ADVENTURE, and only differs from a rally race because there’s no competitive spirit involved. Instead, it has been created to build comradery between participants and test each rider’s capability on challenging terrains. The full version of “high five” is the chest bump. Our photographers captured this celebratory moment between two riders, right after overcoming a difficult riding section PC @francescmonterophoto Dust, stones, sand, mud, water crossings, mountain passes, hill climbs and much more; the event had it all. Over 1,000 km of beautiful trails, across three different types of mountain ranges, in some of the most iconic places that Greece had to offer. Aside from the incredible landscapes, I was simply blown away by the atmosphere that the event created and the friendships that were built between people after just 3 days of riding. I believe the reason behind this was that most participants were outside of their comfort zone. Not many were accustomed to riding over 230 km of off-road trails a day. This was a challenge for most people, as fatigue and muscle ache could break the average man. Riders were pushing and encouraging each other in overcoming obstacles, like soldiers helping members of their platoon. The rally presented some hard challenges but people were never left behind to deal with issues by themselves PC @francescmonterophoto But as far as events go, the event was quite a challenge for all. Most people, including myself, were lucky enough to have just a permanent grin on their faces. There was the occasional battle with flat tires, some bruises and a bike falling off a cliff that we managed to rescue. Both the bike and the rider came out unscathed and with a heck of a pub-moto story to tell. Talking about memories, KTM managed to gather the best photographers and videographers the industry had to offer. Resulting in participants returning home with thousands of incredible action shots. If you ever dreamt of getting a photoshoot while riding your bike, the KTM ADVENTURE RALLY is the best place to get one. Check out the event video recap here: [embedded content] As it is commonly said; a picture is worth a thousand words, and the riders’ faces after three days of blasting through the gorgeous Greek mountains say it all: PC @M. Campelli
  22. If you’re unfamiliar with the first RIDE & SLAY video, think along the lines of an apocalyptic wasteland meets GYMKHANA and you’re on the right track. It’s a visually explosive blend of motorcycle stunting, larger-than-life characters, and high-energy editing that leaves you wanting more. Thankfully for us, Rok Bagoros and his team have obliged with RIDE & SLAY 2. Rok Bagoros on the new KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO PC @Nejc Ferjan Our resident stuntman Rok Bagoros needs no introduction. With a wildly successful YouTube channel showcasing his signature style, Rok often stuns the motorcycling world with never-seen-before stunt executions. This time around, we follow Rok on a mission through the Lip Bohinj sawmill to help a mate get the day’s work done. Along with the wheelies, drifts, and tire-shredding destruction that are typical of any Bagoros production, it’s the backdrop and on-screen action that impresses most. In this latest installment, Rok’s weapon of choice is KTM’s newest addition to THE BEAST lair – the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO. The new KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO with the new WP APEX SAT is the embodiment of our READY TO RACE culture PC @Nejc Ferjan Fresh out of the foundry with second-generation WP APEX semi-active suspension technology – or SAT for short – the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO is the smartest, most advanced, and most calculating BEAST to date. Featuring newly developed electronically controlled magnetic valves for variable damping, providing a wide range of adjustability from maximum comfort to track-ready stiffness – riders can adjust the suspension all at the push of a button. What’s more, is, when fitted with the optional SUSPENSION PRO package, the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO is able to adapt to the road surface and riding style, adjusting the suspension automatically when AUTO mode is selected. This means riders can simply get down to the job of riding, without having to fret about what the suspension should be doing. Rok’s stunts require many hours of preparation as well as a high level of confidence, general fitness, and riding experience PC @Nejc Ferjan But back to RIDE & SLAY 2. We asked Rok a few questions about what it took to complete this latest project. This is what he had to say. KTM: It took 5 years to complete RIDE & SLAY 1 – how long did the second installment take? ROK: In RIDE & SLAY 1, I tore my ligaments and was forced to suspend a lot of filming for a while – which added to the long production time. This time, however, we knew what to expect, and could complete the project a lot quicker. All in all, we did the entire shoot in about 5 days, but it took us about 2 months of planning to find the ideal location, leveling up my fitness game to hustle the bigger bike around, practicing, and choreographing the stunts, and all the logistics. Ride and Slay 2 was produced in only 5 days PC @Nejc Ferjan KTM: You’re using the new KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO in this video. How did you find the WP APEX semi-active suspension technology? Did it add any benefits to your bike setup? ROK: For sure! The SAT system is super convenient to use and took out a lot of the setup time needed for different tricks. To be honest, I am not all that good at setting up my suspension and often have to reply to the WP suspension technicians to dial in the suspension. But with just the WP APEX semi-active suspension and a few presses of a button, I set up my suspension to the hardest level in a matter of seconds to perform big drifts and then hit a button to soften it up for jumps or where the floor was super bumpy. It saved us a lot of time. The new WP APEX semi-active suspension technology (SAT) is making Rok able to perform the most unbelievable stunts in the most efficient way PC @Nejc Ferjan KTM: The location is awesome – Where was this shot? ROK: This is actually the biggest Sawmill in Slovenia called Lip Bohinj. It’s located in the Valley of Bohinj close to the Triglav national park. Actually, when we presented them with the idea, we were expecting them to deny us the idea. I mean, who in the world would stop the production of a major factory to let a group of crazy bike enthusiasts drift around their yard? But we were wrong – the CEO, Bojan Resman, saw it as an opportunity to show people that a sawmill is more than a stockpile of wood, but also a place where cool projects can happen. And to show the young generation that it can be a fun place to work. So, the doors were wide open for us and they offered us full support to prepare everything that we needed. I’d like to again extend a HUGE thanks to the entire Lip Bohinj team. The team members (from left to right) Davorin, Andrej, (Rok), Špela from the LIP Bohinj – sawmill company in Slovenia were great to work with PC @Nejc Ferjan KTM: Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty – How many tires did you destroy in the making of this video? ROK: Well that one hurts – even for a stunt rider like me! We completely destroyed 10 rear tires and burned around 100 liters of gasoline in the making of RIDE & SLAY 2. Then again, when THE BEAST is constantly on the rev limiter, it will eat tires and fuel. 10 rear tires and 100 litres of fuel were burned in the making of the video PC @Nejc Ferjan KTM: And lastly, will there be a 3rd installment in the near future? ROK: Yes! We are planning to shoot the next one in 2022. We are already brainstorming around locations and what bike to use. These two elements are the most crucial when it comes to making these videos. But yes, keep an eye out for RIDE & SLAY 3 in the near future! You can catch RIDE & SLAY 2 right here or on YouTube by simply clicking this link -> MOTORCYCLE DRIFT MANIA [embedded content]
  23. If you’re unfamiliar with the first RIDE & SLAY video, think along the lines of an apocalyptic wasteland meets GYMKHANA and you’re on the right track. It’s a visually explosive blend of motorcycle stunting, larger-than-life characters, and high-energy editing that leaves you wanting more. Thankfully for us, Rok Bagoros and his team have obliged with RIDE & SLAY 2. Rok Bagoros on the new KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO PC @Nejc Ferjan Our resident stuntman Rok Bagoros needs no introduction. With a wildly successful YouTube channel showcasing his signature style, Rok often stuns the motorcycling world with never-seen-before stunt executions. This time around, we follow Rok on a mission through the Lip Bohinj sawmill to help a mate get the day’s work done. Along with the wheelies, drifts, and tire-shredding destruction that are typical of any Bagoros production, it’s the backdrop and on-screen action that impresses most. In this latest installment, Rok’s weapon of choice is KTM’s newest addition to THE BEAST lair – the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO. The new KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO with the new WP APEX SAT is the embodiment of our READY TO RACE culture PC @Nejc Ferjan Fresh out of the foundry with second-generation WP APEX semi-active suspension technology – or SAT for short – the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO is the smartest, most advanced, and most calculating BEAST to date. Featuring newly developed electronically controlled magnetic valves for variable damping, providing a wide range of adjustability from maximum comfort to track-ready stiffness – riders can adjust the suspension all at the push of a button. What’s more, is, when fitted with the optional SUSPENSION PRO package, the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO is able to adapt to the road surface and riding style, adjusting the suspension automatically when AUTO mode is selected. This means riders can simply get down to the job of riding, without having to fret about what the suspension should be doing. Rok’s stunts require many hours of preparation as well as a high level of confidence, general fitness, and riding experience PC @Nejc Ferjan But back to RIDE & SLAY 2. We asked Rok a few questions about what it took to complete this latest project. This is what he had to say. KTM: It took 5 years to complete RIDE & SLAY 1 – how long did the second installment take? ROK: In RIDE & SLAY 1, I tore my ligaments and was forced to suspend a lot of filming for a while – which added to the long production time. This time, however, we knew what to expect, and could complete the project a lot quicker. All in all, we did the entire shoot in about 5 days, but it took us about 2 months of planning to find the ideal location, leveling up my fitness game to hustle the bigger bike around, practicing, and choreographing the stunts, and all the logistics. Ride and Slay 2 was produced in only 5 days PC @Nejc Ferjan KTM: You’re using the new KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO in this video. How did you find the WP APEX semi-active suspension technology? Did it add any benefits to your bike setup? ROK: For sure! The SAT system is super convenient to use and took out a lot of the setup time needed for different tricks. To be honest, I am not all that good at setting up my suspension and often have to reply to the WP suspension technicians to dial in the suspension. But with just the WP APEX semi-active suspension and a few presses of a button, I set up my suspension to the hardest level in a matter of seconds to perform big drifts and then hit a button to soften it up for jumps or where the floor was super bumpy. It saved us a lot of time. The new WP APEX semi-active suspension technology (SAT) is making Rok able to perform the most unbelievable stunts in the most efficient way PC @Nejc Ferjan KTM: The location is awesome – Where was this shot? ROK: This is actually the biggest Sawmill in Slovenia called Lip Bohinj. It’s located in the Valley of Bohinj close to the Triglav national park. Actually, when we presented them with the idea, we were expecting them to deny us the idea. I mean, who in the world would stop the production of a major factory to let a group of crazy bike enthusiasts drift around their yard? But we were wrong – the CEO, Bojan Resman, saw it as an opportunity to show people that a sawmill is more than a stockpile of wood, but also a place where cool projects can happen. And to show the young generation that it can be a fun place to work. So, the doors were wide open for us and they offered us full support to prepare everything that we needed. I’d like to again extend a HUGE thanks to the entire Lip Bohinj team. The team members (from left to right) Davorin, Andrej, (Rok), Špela from the LIP Bohinj – sawmill company in Slovenia were great to work with PC @Nejc Ferjan KTM: Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty – How many tires did you destroy in the making of this video? ROK: Well that one hurts – even for a stunt rider like me! We completely destroyed 10 rear tires and burned around 100 liters of gasoline in the making of RIDE & SLAY 2. Then again, when THE BEAST is constantly on the rev limiter, it will eat tires and fuel. 10 rear tires and 100 litres of fuel were burned in the making of the video PC @Nejc Ferjan KTM: And lastly, will there be a 3rd installment in the near future? ROK: Yes! We are planning to shoot the next one in 2022. We are already brainstorming around locations and what bike to use. These two elements are the most crucial when it comes to making these videos. But yes, keep an eye out for RIDE & SLAY 3 in the near future! You can catch RIDE & SLAY 2 right here or on YouTube by simply clicking this link -> MOTORCYCLE DRIFT MANIA [embedded content]
  24. Posted in People, Travel Glenn Vassnes emerged victorious from more than 2,000 adventurers from more than 70 countries who entered KTM’s 2021 THE WORLD ADVENTURE WEEK. The Norwegian hit 1,043 km and completed the needed challenges in just two-and-a-half days by throttling a 14-year-old KTM 690 SMC. Instagram: @glennvassnes “It’s unbelievable how something so big can be so nimble and handle so well”, says Glenn for his 2021 WAW prize PC @KTM Scandinavia “I heard very early about THE WORLD ADVENTURE WEEK contest, and I thought ‘that sounds amazing’. I knew I had to do it but there was a small problem. For different reasons I was left without a bike… so I had to ask a friend if he could lend me one and I ended up with the 690 SMC.” From this point Glenn’s life began to get complicated. The 33-year-old from Stord was one of over two thousand riders who set about tasks such as climbing a certain elevation, visiting a KTM dealership and breaching the magic 1,000 km barrier during the course of seven days in early July. Over 700 group rides took place, and a million kilometres were made and charted through social media and the RISER App, with the goal of bringing a community of like-minded and passionate motorcyclists together, and then documenting and following their endeavours. Glenn attacked the 2021 WAW aboard a borrowed KTM 690 SMC PC @glennvassnes Vassnes was ready to attack THE WORLD ADVENTURE WEEK with the KTM 690 SMC when his plans hit a snag. “I was told to start work earlier than expected,” said the Instrument Engineer who had to travel to an offshore platform for his job. “I had to leave on Friday and believed I could still do it. Then I had another call which said I had to be there even earlier! I looked at the competition and what I had to do and I was really pumped about it so decided to try and make it happen in less than three days. It was a very narrow window. I thought ‘1,000 km is a lot’ but I believed I could handle it.” Getting delivery of the brand new KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S from his local KTM dealer PC @KTM Scandinavia There were some fraught moments. “On day two I was making the 890 m of elevation task with two friends so we targeted the biggest mountain we could,” he recalls. “We were about 200 km into the trip and were coming down the mountain when my friend’s bike, from another brand, failed. He knew how much I wanted to hit my goals, so we left his machine and he rode 170 km on the back of mine. The SMC is not the biggest of bikes and we’re not the smallest dudes!” Then there was an unexpected finale. “So, on day three I had to catch my flight to work. I got up extra early, did some mileage, visited the KTM dealer that was close to me – another one of the tasks – and then rode three hours to the airport. When I arrived and went to close my App, for some reason the KTM dealership task had disappeared. I had to find another one close to the airport. I got lost in the city but found the place, got the App checked and then went back. I was cutting it very fine for the flight now, it was raining, and I got lost again trying to reach the airport. I managed to check-in with only two minutes left! Another problem was my riding gear: where could I leave it? I found a solution by getting a shoe bag at the airport and somehow managed to get all my wet, stinky kit inside and only just out of there!” Glenn’s efforts during THE WORLD ADVENTURE WEEK proved he is a READY TO RACE rider PC @KTM Scandinavia Vassnes laughs about the experience now and is also full of praise for the SMC that carried him to first place. “It was much cooler to do it on a bike like this than one that is designed for the purpose,” he opines. “Also, the 690 SMC is really fuel efficient. It’s quite an old model now and looks kinda dorky but I could keep the same speed as my friends on their bikes while using way less fuel. I’ve done a lot of very long rides on a KTM EXC. In fact, it is one of my passions and I knew how good something like the 300 2-stroke could be. So, I had a lot of faith in the 690 SMC.” The Norwegian seems to relish life in the saddle. While his WAW trek was arduous at times, he cannot pick a particular highlight. “There were many really. Together with my friends and girlfriend we ride a lot anyway; getting on the roads and having adventures.” He also claims that his particular territory is prime for two wheels. “We’re on the west side of Norway, an island, with a mix of a lot of coastal roads and mountains. It would probably be bad for cars because of the amount of turns and twists but for bikes? It must be one of the best in the world.” “The 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S has changed my biking life”, Glenn claims PC @KTM Scandinavia Thanks to his #1 ranking for WAW, Vassnes took delivery of a brand new KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S. He claims it’s changed his ‘biking’ life. “I have to say that it’s incredible. I’m not that good at saving money because I’m usually spending it on trashy old motorcycles so I would never be in a position to buy a bike like the SUPER ADVENTURE, and its mind-blowing. I’m a big Supermoto fan so it’s still a bit unbelievable how something big can be so nimble and handle so well. I actually had to remove the centre stand because I was scraping it so much. It’s so easy.” Vassnes arguably deserves some ‘easy’ after taking the hard way to conquer WAW! More information about THE WORLD ADVENTURE WEEK and the final leader board can be found here.
  25. Posted in People, Travel Glenn Vassnes emerged victorious from more than 2,000 adventurers from more than 70 countries who entered KTM’s 2021 THE WORLD ADVENTURE WEEK. The Norwegian hit 1,043 km and completed the needed challenges in just two-and-a-half days by throttling a 14-year-old KTM 690 SMC. Instagram: @glennvassnes “It’s unbelievable how something so big can be so nimble and handle so well”, says Glenn for his 2021 WAW prize PC @KTM Scandinavia “I heard very early about THE WORLD ADVENTURE WEEK contest, and I thought ‘that sounds amazing’. I knew I had to do it but there was a small problem. For different reasons I was left without a bike… so I had to ask a friend if he could lend me one and I ended up with the 690 SMC.” From this point Glenn’s life began to get complicated. The 33-year-old from Stord was one of over two thousand riders who set about tasks such as climbing a certain elevation, visiting a KTM dealership and breaching the magic 1,000 km barrier during the course of seven days in early July. Over 700 group rides took place, and a million kilometres were made and charted through social media and the RISER App, with the goal of bringing a community of like-minded and passionate motorcyclists together, and then documenting and following their endeavours. Glenn attacked the 2021 WAW aboard a borrowed KTM 690 SMC PC @glennvassnes Vassnes was ready to attack THE WORLD ADVENTURE WEEK with the KTM 690 SMC when his plans hit a snag. “I was told to start work earlier than expected,” said the Instrument Engineer who had to travel to an offshore platform for his job. “I had to leave on Friday and believed I could still do it. Then I had another call which said I had to be there even earlier! I looked at the competition and what I had to do and I was really pumped about it so decided to try and make it happen in less than three days. It was a very narrow window. I thought ‘1,000 km is a lot’ but I believed I could handle it.” Getting delivery of the brand new KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S from his local KTM dealer PC @KTM Scandinavia There were some fraught moments. “On day two I was making the 890 m of elevation task with two friends so we targeted the biggest mountain we could,” he recalls. “We were about 200 km into the trip and were coming down the mountain when my friend’s bike, from another brand, failed. He knew how much I wanted to hit my goals, so we left his machine and he rode 170 km on the back of mine. The SMC is not the biggest of bikes and we’re not the smallest dudes!” Then there was an unexpected finale. “So, on day three I had to catch my flight to work. I got up extra early, did some mileage, visited the KTM dealer that was close to me – another one of the tasks – and then rode three hours to the airport. When I arrived and went to close my App, for some reason the KTM dealership task had disappeared. I had to find another one close to the airport. I got lost in the city but found the place, got the App checked and then went back. I was cutting it very fine for the flight now, it was raining, and I got lost again trying to reach the airport. I managed to check-in with only two minutes left! Another problem was my riding gear: where could I leave it? I found a solution by getting a shoe bag at the airport and somehow managed to get all my wet, stinky kit inside and only just out of there!” Glenn’s efforts during THE WORLD ADVENTURE WEEK proved he is a READY TO RACE rider PC @KTM Scandinavia Vassnes laughs about the experience now and is also full of praise for the SMC that carried him to first place. “It was much cooler to do it on a bike like this than one that is designed for the purpose,” he opines. “Also, the 690 SMC is really fuel efficient. It’s quite an old model now and looks kinda dorky but I could keep the same speed as my friends on their bikes while using way less fuel. I’ve done a lot of very long rides on a KTM EXC. In fact, it is one of my passions and I knew how good something like the 300 2-stroke could be. So, I had a lot of faith in the 690 SMC.” The Norwegian seems to relish life in the saddle. While his WAW trek was arduous at times, he cannot pick a particular highlight. “There were many really. Together with my friends and girlfriend we ride a lot anyway; getting on the roads and having adventures.” He also claims that his particular territory is prime for two wheels. “We’re on the west side of Norway, an island, with a mix of a lot of coastal roads and mountains. It would probably be bad for cars because of the amount of turns and twists but for bikes? It must be one of the best in the world.” “The 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S has changed my biking life”, Glenn claims PC @KTM Scandinavia Thanks to his #1 ranking for WAW, Vassnes took delivery of a brand new KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S. He claims it’s changed his ‘biking’ life. “I have to say that it’s incredible. I’m not that good at saving money because I’m usually spending it on trashy old motorcycles so I would never be in a position to buy a bike like the SUPER ADVENTURE, and its mind-blowing. I’m a big Supermoto fan so it’s still a bit unbelievable how something big can be so nimble and handle so well. I actually had to remove the centre stand because I was scraping it so much. It’s so easy.” Vassnes arguably deserves some ‘easy’ after taking the hard way to conquer WAW! More information about THE WORLD ADVENTURE WEEK and the final leader board can be found here.
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