Ten days ago I travelled to Tenerife. Now we are close to the final sessions of the international press launch of the KTM 1190 Adventure. So far almost 70 journalists and testers have climbed aboard our new ‘baby’ to gather riding impressions across the beautiful roads throughout the island. Every day people have returned safely and no damage to the bikes whatsoever, apart some scratches on the footpegs…
The final riding day is close with 20 media from France, Japan, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Romania, Poland and one more tester from Britain. So let’s have a short look around our Adventure ‘paddock’:
No motorcycle press launch takes place without massive efforts for photo and video productions. Our artists behind the cameras, Sebas and Francesc, do everything first class and make sure all individual requirements are met. The big challenge afterwards is to check all the material and make personal selections for every test rider. This is incredibly time consuming. My colleague Alex Koths takes care of this usually deep into the night and makes sure everybody gets his gallery in time before travelling home the next day.
Experienced motorcycle tester Johann Ahlberg from ‘Fast Bikes Sweden’ always shows up very motivated. This time even more so. For the Adventure launch the Scandinavian arrived a couple of days beforehand and rode his bicycle across our pre-selected test loops. Hats off and much respect, Mr Ahlberg, but now please, forward to the real adventure with our new bike…
Washing and polishing
For sure, a motorcycle for press test rides has to be totally clean and immaculate, especially with regard to several studio-esque photography sessions, which are incorporated into the event. This is why our staff of mechanics, along with duo Vitalis Röck and Martin Parzer, invest a lot of time over and over again into washing, drying and polishing the test fleet after each riding day. Thanks guys for your work!
Play with names
KTM Product Manager Jörg Schüller and myself accompanied a journalist to some special photo locations in the mountains. Only after parking alongside and climbing off the bikes do we discover the playful/special number plates of our Adventures. Stan and Laurel? Bonnie and Clyde? No, it’s German female first names: Ute and Uta!
Monsieur Despres, Party on!
After Marc Coma flew over to shadow the Spanish group of bike testers, Cyril Despres also took the opportunity to visit journalists during the course of our event. So after barely enjoying some downtime at home since coming back from another successful Dakar in South America, our French rally factory rider travelled to Tenerife, much to the delight of the press throng attending the final days of the launch. Eva Priewasser, our head of organisation, ordered a very decorative cake from the hotel kitchen: a special Adventure-Despres-Dakar-winning dish, fitting for the champion’s presence. Et voila: Congratulations to Cyril!