3 years ago

Dirt and Trail July 2018 issue 2

  • Text
  • Durability
  • Bikes
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  • Enduro
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EXCLUSIVE WORLD LAUNCH ANOTHER STEP FORWARD 2019 KTM SX Launch - Malagrotta MX Track. Rome. Italy. This, incidentally is Antonio Cairolli’s private track (Yup, he owns it…) and KTM’s test track in Italy. Our full time team of Kyle and Glenn were doing really lekker stuff like riding in Swaziland, so we roped in the talents of our Mike Maverick to undertake this really tough assignment. Head to Europe, rub shoulders with the rich and famous – and test the latest and greatest Motocross machines from this amazing orange brand… Enduro boys and girls – please read all of this and take note… we are pretty certain that most of these innovations will find their way onto your bikes too. Leaner, meaner lighter… 12 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2018

50 million Euro’s - Don’t quote me but I’m sure that I heard that figure being bandied around as the budget that KTM allocated to upgrade their latest MX range and although it sounds like an insurmountable sum of money, the upgrades are very evident in the new lineup… I have to wonder if other manufacturers are that dedicated to dirtbike development. After a 10 hour flight from JHB International, we touched down in Rome. We had to make our own way to the hotel – KTM laid on a Fiat 500. Man the drive to the hotel was an experience all of its own – not only do they drive on the wrong side of the road, but they are all related to Valentino Rossi. I saw two accidents on the way there – and was gobsmacked to see how friendly everyone was. “Ahhh itsa no problem – itsa happening all the time…” hands all over the place… Very funny. If you think riding or racing MX is exciting, just try driving in this city – in peak hour traffic. The hotel eventually appeared – a sea of orange flags in the midst of the city. Quick parking and a wander through the doors to the display of a spankin new SX250 and lots of admirers fondling her. Quick shower, shave no time to dawdle, KTM hosted a meet and greet and introduced us to the bikes. Even the cocktails and swizzle sticks were orange – branded KTM of course, attention to detail – KTM City. In the hall they popped a movie up with Cairolli and Dungey chatting about the new bikes, the endless hours of testing and feedback given to the boffins on how to make the bikes better. The lights came on and – Ta daaaaaa. In they walked, along with up and coming superstar Jorge Prado. The crowd went mad! Talk about special effects. For a guy who has always looked up to these riders – that was amazing. And guess what? They all rode with us at the track. Unusual, because Dungey does not normally ride at events like this. Once the formalities were over, the riders joined us for the Buffet, along with all of KTMS management and tech guys… I sat with some of the press guys – mostly from France, Italy, Ukraine, Germany – a great bunch – all mad about bikes – and – interestingly, most from print media... Bright and Breezy the next day we were collected from the hotel and transferred to the track. Wow! We have cool tracks, but man – unless you see it yourself – you don’t understand. The track is really technical – built into the side of a mountain, DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2018 13