KTM Australia Adventure Rallye
As the dust settles from our inaugural KTM Australia Adventure Rallye – and all us Rally riders have high country withdrawals – we take a look back at one (or rather two!) aspects of the ride that have so far flown under the radar. Their names are Reno and Anita and they hail from a place called Kiska.
Kiska just so happens to be in charge of designing and planning for all future KTM models. KTM Australia was fortunate to have two Kiska team members make the trek over from Austria to the Snowy Mountains for a week to partake in the KTM Australia Adventure Rallye, with one purpose in mind: Find out what the Australian KTM rider wants from an ADVENTURE bike and use that feedback in the design of future models! Enter Reno and Anita – our new friends …
Name: Reno Wideson
Position at Kiska: Product Manager (KTM and Husqvarna)
So … That means you actually do? Define the targets and model plan for all future KTM and Husqvarna developments. This means:
- Defining project goals for all new projects
- Identifying who the end customer is and what their real needs and desires are
- Proposing and justifying exciting new models
- Ensuring each new model is a true KTM: PURITY, PERFORMANCE, ADVENTURE and EXTREME – from initial conception through to production
Name: Anita Schnitzer
Position at Kiska: Researcher
So … That means you actually do? With a background in Industrial Design I’m responsible for product design and innovation related researches. This means:
- Gaining deep understanding for people and their products
- Understanding motivations, needs and dreams
- Structuring and validating information to uncover opportunities and challenges
- Channeling that information to the right people to help shape new products and improve quality
What was the main purpose behind your trip to Australia and the KTM Australia Adventure Rallye?
“To gain an insight and understanding into what Adventure riding means to the Australian KTM rider. Who are they? What motivates them to ride? How do they ride? What do they do with their bikes? And what can we do to make their next KTM even better?!”
After spending a week in the high country, what are your thoughts on Australian riding conditions?
“Tough! It’s a completely different environment to what we’re used to riding in Europe. Dry, hot and vast! The lack of fuel availability, amount of time in the saddle and terrain the 1190 ADVENTURE Rs were being used in was unexpected to say the least!”
What was your favorite part of the KTM Rallye?
“Days 3, 4 and 5 (and Thursday evening of course)! See previous answer, but I can’t over state how much of an eye-opener days 1 and 2 were! It took that time to adjust, but once in the groove and with the jetlag sorted the riding and the scenery was epic. Riding with a such a great bunch of like-minded KTM riders was a truly amazing and unique feeling. The KTM mindset was clear to see in all the riders and KTM staff.”
After hearing KTM rider feedback – what type of ADVENTURE bike does the Aussie KTM rider want?
Where you surprised at all by what the rider feedback was?
“We were relatively surprised by the hardcore usage of the current ADVENTURE bikes, but when you see the big bikes being hustled like that in the harsh terrain the cohesive feedback we got from the riders made perfect sense.”
How different is Australian adventure riding to European adventure riding?
“In Europe we simply don’t have the same terrain and space to ride, so Adventure riding in Europe tends to be predominantly road based, or it certainly would need to start with a fair amount of road riding before you get to the dirt. In contrast the vast and challenging terrain available to the Australian rider just begs to be ridden, and it’s a damn fun doing it WFO on a KTM!”
Any insider info you can sneak us in regards to future KTM ADVENTURE models?
“Oh come on! Haha this is everyone’s favorite question, and of course we could tell you, but then we’d have to kill you.”
Famous last words …
“We would just want to add another thank you to the KTM staff and to the KTM riders on behalf of KTM and Kiska for their really valuable input and for the time they spent with us sharing their stories and their KTM adventures! We promise to put it all to good use.”
Photos: Wilkinson Photography