It’s like a fairy-tale. In 2017, Matthias Walkner finished runner-up at the Rally Dakar. A year later, after working hard on both his fitness and navigation, he returned to the Dakar on the new KTM 450 RALLY machine he’d helped to develop. After two weeks of riding in one of the toughest Dakars ever, Matthias clinched victory – an Austrian rider on-board an Austrian machine, with an Austrian title sponsor!
It is something of a mysterious art. By nature motorcycles and riders are not the most aerodynamic of vehicles on the road so what do KTM do to maximize this area of their R&D and how does it fit in with the design of the orange bikes? We delved into the quiet and complex depths of engineering at Mattighofen to ask …
High performance motorcycles on the road have never been safer thanks to systems like KTM & Bosch’s motorcycle stability control (MSC). Nicholas Goddard tries to find the limits of the new frontier of ABS and traction control.
As we reach the well-earned rest day of Dakar 2018, it can certainly be said that this year’s route so far has been one of the toughest. From the start in Lima, Peru to today’s rest day in La Paz, Bolivia, the competitors have passed through days of desert and will now head into the mountains, racing at an altitude of over 2,500 meters.
The Dakar is often referred to as the world’s toughest rally, with most of the attention focused on the factory riders battling for victory. But some would say they have it easy compared to the heroes that decide to enter the Malle Moto class. The Dakar rule book simply describes the Malle Moto class as a ‘challenge created for Bike and Quad Riders without ANY KIND OF SERVICE’. What that means exactly is that competitors have to do everything themselves. They ride their bikes, service and prepare their bikes, and receive no outside assistance throughout the event.
This will be the final time former GP racer Jurgen van den Goorbergh prepares for the toughest of all rallies; the Rally Dakar. The 48-year-old is neck deep into his preparations for his tenth go at the race. In three episodes we will be following his endeavors.
KTM has enjoyed no fewer than 16 consecutive Rally Dakar victories. Even since 2011, when rules changed and engine sizes were reduced to a maximum of 450cc in an effort to bring other manufacturers into the event, KTM have won every single race. With an all-new bike for 2018, KTM once again take to the start well-prepared, well-motivated and hoping to take win number 17 …
Winner of the 2017 Rally Dakar, Sam Sunderland has had a mixed season in this year’s FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. A title contender right up to the final round in Morocco, Sunderland endured a series of minor injuries and bad luck that eventually ruled him out of the running. Despite this, his pace throughout the year has been hugely impressive, with wins at the opening two rounds in Abu Dhabi and Qatar. Sam heads into the 2018 Dakar as the man to beat.