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KTM counting on motocross knowhow in shriek to dethrone Honda

From 2001 till 2019, KTM launched into an unprecedented hump of 18 consecutive Dakar wins, spanning the legendary tournament’s African and South American eras. But since the rally-raid moved to Saudi Arabia in 2020, Honda has taken two wins from two. These defeats get precipitated a alternate of strategy from KTM, which goes into the…

KTM counting on motocross knowhow in shriek to dethrone Honda

From 2001 till 2019, KTM launched into an unprecedented hump of 18 consecutive Dakar wins, spanning the legendary tournament’s African and South American eras. But since the rally-raid moved to Saudi Arabia in 2020, Honda has taken two wins from two.

These defeats get precipitated a alternate of strategy from KTM, which goes into the 2022 Dakar with a three-man factory line-up comprising Toby Price, Mathias Walkner and Kevin Benavides, who defected from Honda following his 2021 victory.

“The postulate used to be that we invent a motorcycle that is much less difficult to address,” 2018 Dakar champion Walkner instructed Motorsport.com. “The bike must furthermore be much less difficult to lunge over stony, tough gravel tracks and over dunes. Nonetheless, nothing must be lost in phrases of steadiness.

“There are original stipulations in Saudi Arabia and now we get had a tougher time than we had in South The USA. Honda appears to be like to address it better.”

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On the coronary heart of the revamped 450 Rally is a brand original metallic body that takes its create cues from KTM’s motocross bikes – marking an total alternate of philosophy.

Work has furthermore been accomplished on the swingarm, the linkage, WP’s dampers and heaps of alternative technical significant functions, with varied configurations and location-americabeing tried out during testing throughout the Twelve months.

“It got right here from my aspect to push within the course of motocross frames,” defined Walkner. “My traditional idea used to be that the motocross division at KTM has change into enormous. There could be so unprecedented knowhow there.

“We as a ‘little’ rally division get to find out and test every thing ourselves. There could be generally no longer ample time and furthermore no longer ample personnel capacity. But with motocross, which that you must well presumably presumably presumably drop back on so unprecedented experience because they’ve already tested and tried 99 percent of things on the least as soon as.

“I first rode this body in testing in March 2020. Then we saved adding original parts and changing things. Unfortunately, every thing has been delayed and dragged out due to the coronavirus.

“The very best alternate is basically the body. The [fuel] tanks are furthermore rather heaps of. You largely strive to role the mass so that the centre of gravity is as central and as a ways down as doubtless. The entrance tank has change into unprecedented bigger and the rear a minute smaller.”

Walkner turned FIM Noxious-Nation world champion for the 2d time in 2021, but this success used to be no longer carried out with the original bike, which is able to attain its debut on the Dakar – and the choice to plug alongside with the up up to now 450 Rally got right here gradual.

“KTM gave me the desire of riding the frail or the original bike”, added the Austrian. “The final test used to be within the origin of December. However the choice wanted to be made earlier than then, for the reason that bikes had been already due to the be shipped to Saudi Arabia in November.

“It used to be complicated to expend, but I’m overjoyed now on reflection. We did 10 prolonged and outrageous days of testing with all doubtless location-americaand configurations. Now I’m entirely pleased that it of route works so successfully.

“We went back on some things because we lacked a minute of testing time. But in 2022 we are in a position to attain up for all these within the [Cross-Country] rally season in time for the 2023 Dakar.”

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