Welcome to the first issue of RIDE KTM Adventure for 2017!
Winning once might be down to luck, but with 16 consecutive victories, KTM’s Dakar domination is anything but circumstantial. With the READY TO RACE attitude and a massive team effort, KTM Factory rider Sam Sunderland won the 2017 Dakar Rally, extending KTM’s undefeated record!
The hearts of orange bleeders and Dakar race fans across the country broke when Toby Price had to withdraw from the race with a broken leg. But he is one tough bloke and we know he will be back on the bike soon!
We are also ramping things up for our own Australian Adventure, with #KTMRALLYE17 just around the corner!
– KTM Australia
The 2017 Dakar Rally, an edition that delivered its share of drama was finally settled on Saturday when Red Bull KTM factory riders, Britain’s Sam Sunderland and Austrian teammate Matthias Walkner crossed the line 1-2 to give the Austrian brand its 16th consecutive victory. Spain’s Gerard Farres Guell completed a perfect day when he finished third for a complete KTM podium.
Sam Sunderland and Matthias Walkner not only succeeded in taking the top two spots, but also to complete the rally for the first time. Both had retired injured in earlier editions.
Sunderland and Walkner stepped up and delivered for the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team after teammate and 2016 winner, Toby Price of Australia, went out in the fourth stage after crashing and breaking his leg in four places. After surgery in La Paz, the Australian desert champion has now returned to home with the aim of being back on his KTM 450 RALLY machine in four months.
Sunderland also makes history as the first British rider to ever win the bike category at Dakar.
Sunderland: “When I crossed the line my emotions really took over. I’ve had a lot of weight on my shoulders for the last six days. Now it feels incredible. I have to say thanks to my team, the bike has been great from start to finish. When Toby (Price) went out of the race it was a blow to the team as he’s a good friend. Because of the strong bonds we have in our team it helped us to pull together and strive to do something special. There’s a lot of fast guys that have the potential to win this race, I think cutting out the mistakes was the key to this win.”
Walkner: “This was a really rough Dakar so to arrive in Buenos Aires on the podium is an amazing feeling. I had a tough year last year, so to be here now is a dream come true. The hardest moment came on Stage 10 because there was the potential for my position to change on this day. I really studied the road book before the stage to hopefully get some advantage. That paid off for and it felt cool to get rewarded like this.”
Spanish KTM factory rider Laia Sanz, who had a very successful second week after losing time in the first week, wrapped up her rally at 16th overall, just one place short of her pre-race goal of a top 15 finish. Also the women’s World Enduro Champion, Sanz is the standout woman rally-raid rider.
Australian rider Todd Smith, who flipped a coin with his brother in December to take a last minute spot for the 2017 Dakar, has finished 18th overall. An outstanding effort for having two weeks preparation for The Odyssey, congratulations Todd!
The 2017 Dakar started in Paraguay, travelled to the high altitude regions of Bolivia and then south and east through Argentina. The already extraordinarily challenging two-week event, this year introduced new navigation and levels of difficulty. It was also plagued by extremes of weather – temperatures from the 40 degrees Celsius to freezing, altitudes up to 4500 meters, torrential rains, flooding and in the last week, a massive landslide in Argentina that not only destroyed a village but left teams and vehicles trapped for 24 hours. The extreme weather conditions also resulted in two stages being canceled and another two cut at the half way mark of the timed special when flood waters made it impossible to continue.
The remarkable spirit of the Dakar was perfectly captured in two incidents. Speaking from his hospital bed in La Paz after a massive crash in the fourth stage, Price said his biggest regret was letting down his team. Then, on Thursday, Slovakian KTM rider Stefan Svitko, who finished second last year collapsed with exhaustion at the end of the special and had to be transported by ambulance to the bivouac. He later returned, picked up his bike and was on the start for Friday’s penultimate stage. Svitko crossed the finish line in overall 25th place.
While the Dakar Rally attracts the world’s elite rally-raid riders, it is also a magnet for private teams and amateur riders who make up most of the field of competitors. Ninety-seven, of the original field of 146 were at the finish in Buenos Aires.
Photos: Flavien Duhamel / Red Bull Content Pool // Kin M / KTM Media Library
RESULTS STAGE 12:
1. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 30:29 min
2. Gerard Farres Guell (ESP), KTM, +00 sec
3. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, +18
4. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, +33
5. Paulo Goncalves (POR), Honda, +1:25 min
6. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, +1:42
7. Diego Martin Duplessis (ARG), KTM, +2:16
8. Juan Carlos Salvatierra (BOL), KTM, +3:00
11. Laia Sanz (ESP), KTM, +3:08
43. Todd Smith (AUS), KTM +9:36
Final Standings Dakar 2017 after 12 of 12 stages
1. Sunderland, 32:06:22 h
2. Walkner, +32:00 min (5 min penalty)
3. Farres Guell, +35:40
4. Van Beveren, +36:28 (1 min penalty)
5. Barreda, +43:08 (58:01 min penalty)
16. Sanz, +3:01:54 h
18. Smith, +3:53:25 (25 min penalty)
OFFICIAL RALLYE PARTNER: MOTOREX
KTM Australia is excited to announce MOTOREX as an official partner for the 2017 KTM Australia Adventure Rallye.
Broadening our Technical Support assistance for the event, A1 Accessory Imports has come on board with Motorex as an Official Rallye Partner.
This means Rallye riders get the added bonus of a special MOTOREX STATION every night at the bivouac, which will include a DIY air filter cleaning station, DIY oil change area as well as a range of Motorex products on hand for riders who may need to grab some throughout the event.
“We are really keen to share the passion for adventure,” states Andrew Higgins, National Sales & Marketing Manager for Motorex.
“And what better way than to become an official partner for KTM’s Rallye.
KTM and Motorex go hand in hand and have a long term partnership in all forms of motorcycling, so it makes complete sense to offer a DIY air and oil filter service centre at this year’s Adventure Rallye.
Riders can stop in after a big day on the bike, and we will have any Motorex products they may need or they can use our DIY filter service centre.
5 days of adventure riding in the Blue Mountains region, with like-minded orange adventure riders sounded like an event we just had to be a part of. So very excited – – see you riders there!”
The 2017 KTM Australia Adventure Rallye “Blue Mountains” kicks off with Sign On on Sunday, March 5th 2017. The event booked out in record time, with 200 adventure riders poised to take part in the second annual Australian event. Check out a preview below of what is in store for these lucky adventurers!
“Lord of the Rings really put a lot of pressure on New Zealand.”
Justin Bradshaw didn’t hold his punches when asked about his expectations of adventure riding in New Zealand.
Along with co-founding partner Mark Roebke, the duo behind ride-sharing and navigational app REVER were invited to the inaugural KTM New Zealand Adventure Rallye to assist riders with route navigation.
Having connected at the KTM USA Adventure Rider Rally in Deadwood, South Dakota earlier this year (read about that adventure here), KTM NZ Rallye organisers were excited to kick start a partnership with this dynamic company.
REVER is a smartphone app that allows riders to discover, share and map motorcycle rides. Which meant that Justin and Mark would be the go-to guys for all GPS questions on the Rallye, assisting riders with their navigational units or smartphones to follow the route. Our very own GPS experts to answer all the tech questions. Perfect!
But KTM is a “hands-on” company. Justin and Mark weren’t just traversing half way across the globe to sit behind their Macs for 5 days. No way- if they were to be part of this adventure, they were expected to take part in the full experience!
Mounted aboard KTM 1190 Adventure’s (and a 690 Enduro R when Mark could kick Rosie off it!), they partook in the inaugural “Coast to Coast” Adventure Rallye, crossing New Zealand’s North Island from East to West. There were spills, thrills and everything in between! With their can-do attitudes and ever-present smiles, Justin and Mark were a great addition to an already unique event.
So back to Justin’s opening statement . . .
“Lord of the Rings really put a lot of pressure on New Zealand.
It totally lived up to it.
What we weren’t expecting was Jurassic Park and Caddyshack too. We have a lot of incredible riding in the U.S. but shy of poaching the local links, there is nothing like ripping a motorcycle across the groomed farm lands of New Zealand.
Toss in twisting gravel roads and sloppy single-track through stunning Jurassic Park jungle and you pretty much have the best Adventure riding you can imagine. The KTM staff know how to put on an incredible event. We can’t wait to come back and help support the next edition of the KTM Rallye.”
Event videographer Dave Darcy from MAD TV was able to ride with The Yanks and witness first hand some of their epic moments – watch below!
As the most demanding rally race in the annual calendar the Dakar Rally requires serious navigational skills, with racers having to find their way through thousands of miles of rugged offroad terrain. The principles of rally navigation are simple – the course is marked on a roll of paper called the roadbook and there are checkpoints and un-manned waypoints that riders must cross.
But how do riders actually find the right tracks and how do all these instruments on the navigation tower help them do that?
With Dakar 2017 underway, Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing Team Technical Manager Stefan Huber takes us through the basics of navigating by explaining the function of the various screens, boxes and switches on the KTM 450 RALLY machine.
#1 – Roadbook
“The roadbook is by far the most vital piece of navigation equipment on a rally bike,” explains Huber. “It comes in the form of a long scroll of paper that offers specific directions at set distances along the course. We place it inside the aluminum holder and there’s a mini electric motor to roll the paper forward and backward if needed.”
Everything in the Dakar revolves around that scroll of paper and without it a rider’s chances of finishing a stage are seriously reduced. “The roadbook is well protected inside its case and it’s extremely important for it to be rolling freely so that our riders can read it,” adds Huber.
“In the extreme case the electric rolling mechanism stops functioning, riders can always roll the roadbook manually using the handles on the left. But that means they should be taking their hand off the bars, probably losing time in the process.”
#2 – Trip Meter & Compass Heading
“Right above the roadbook holder we have two smaller instruments that have the same size and shape. The one on the left is the trip meter and the one on the right is the compass heading,” comments Stefan.
“Both these instruments are directly connected to the GPS tracking that’s provided by organization. The trip meter on the left gives accurate distance information in kilometers and the compass heading gives the right direction as a number value in degrees.”
#3 – Back-Up Trip Meter
“Right under the roadbook holder we have a third trip master, that’s mainly used as a back-up,” explains Stefan. “The main difference is that this third trip master is connected to the front wheel sensor instead of the GPS and that’s how it measures distance.”
“In the past race organizers created roadbooks based on distance from trip meters connected to the bike’s wheels, but it’s not the case any more. In the Dakar the most accurate way to measure your distance is always the trip meter that gets data from the GPS.”
#4 – GPS
“Mounted exactly on top of the upper triple clamp and handlebars is the GPS, which is set by the organization. With navigation mostly done using the roadbook, the GPS is used to spot the waypoints during each stage.”
“When riders get close to a waypoint they get an arrow on the screen of their GPS. The arrow actually shows the correct direction to the waypoint. Once you’ve passed through this waypoint the arrow disappears and the GPS goes back to showing the compass.”
“There are different kinds of waypoints during a Dakar stage. For example, a safety waypoint will give you a 3 km radius for the arrow to appear on the GPS. To validate this waypoint riders need to ride within a 90 meters radius of it. Waypoints in more treacherous terrain might have a larger radius of 200 meters. Together with waypoints there are also manned checkpoints where riders need to stop to get a stamp on their timecard.”
#5 – Handlebar Switches
“The main navigation switch block is positioned on the left of the handlebars. Starting with the toggle switch in the back, it operates using the rider’s left thumb. Its job is to control the movement of the roadbook paper inside the holder and it operates either back or forth.”
“From the front switch block, the two black switches control the GPS-connected trip meter moving the numbers up and down to keep the distance travelled correct. The other three green switches operate the third trip meter that’s connected to the front wheel.”
“An additional two-position black switch controls the flow of fuel coming from either the front or the rear tanks. We have two separate fuel pumps so riders can switch between them. Sometimes they prefer to empty the rear tanks first in order to get optimum weight balance.”
“The lights switch on the left comes from the EXC range. On the right side of the bars we have the control unit switch that riders use to change between the two pre-programmed mappings and the electric starter button.”
#6 –Safety Equipment
“Placed on the front left side of our carbon fiber navigation tower is the Iritrack safety tracker, which enables real-time monitoring and tracking of our riders by the Dakar organization. Riders can notify the rally organization of an emergency pushing the red button on the Iritrack.”
“If a rider stops unexpectedly, organization can contact to ask if they’re OK. If it takes the rider more than three minutes to respond, they can alert the emergency rescue team.”