It is one of those small stories that we love to share… It is always wonderful to see how special people enjoy themselves doing things they want to do, especially if it seems out of the ordinary. American seniors Jay and Ethel Rose from Taos in New Mexico embarked on a tour to Eastern Europe and Turkey on a rented KTM 1190 Adventure. The retired veterinarians are 73 and 72 years old. They travelled about 14,000km in ten weeks and never stayed longer than three days in one place. While passing through Austria a visit to KTM for a quick factory tour was also on their to-do-list.
The eastern European trip started in the south of France at Cannes. The pair travelled through Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Albany and Greece to reach Turkey. After Istanbul they followed a loop trough the Asian region of the country, along the Black Sea and back to the capital. Afterwards they went through Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary to arrive in Austria. Once the factory visit in Mattighofen was completed they crossed the Alps through Italy and back to Cannes.
Ethel and Jay rode motorcycles growing up then stopped for 35 years during their working life building and running a horse hospital in California. After their retirement in 1995 they moved to Taos in New Mexico and took up motorcycling again. The bike-mad pair have enjoyed trips to South Africa, Mexico, France and Corsica and simply love travelling.
For Turkey, which was high on their list of destinations to see, they rented a new KTM 1190 Adventure from Columbus International, a company they also had relied on during a trip through France a year previously. Owner Alex Masters was extremely helpful organising the journey with the new bike that went on sale just a few days before the jaunt was about to begin. The bike was run-in quickly, inspected and fitted with the luggage system only the night before the couple took off at the end of March.
“It was a great,” Jay summed up. “We enjoyed every single day, although we had much more rain to endure then we expected. But all-in-all it was a fantastic experience. We met incredible friendly and helpful people everywhere.”
“We had such a great time,” Ethel added. “Of course we would like to come back and visit more of Europe and especially Austria, which is such a nice and beautiful country.”
Back in New Mexico Jay Rose owns several bikes and is very much a KTM aficionado: KTM 950 Supermoto, KTM 300XC-W, KTM 640 Adventure plus a street-touring bike. So what did he think about the new 1190 Adventure? “Very nice and powerful engine, brilliant handling, very easy to ride even fully loaded and also comfortable for two-up riding.”
At Mattighofen the couple were greeted by national press manager Philipp Grünberger for a guided tour through the bike manufacturing area. They also got to see the engine plant at nearby Munderfing and visited the Freeride E motocross facility. To keep friends and family informed about their travails, Jay and Ethel made a daily internet-diary during the entire trip, filled with impressions and lots of photos.
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