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2022 Brother Leader Tread KTM Line upjpgThe National Enduro Championship season was off to a stellar start for Brother Leader Tread KTM. The first round of the championship took place in Harding, KwaZulu-Natal, this past weekend where riders blistered their way through some of the most iconic trails South Africa has to offer.

The event marked the debut race of two new orange riders – namely Blake Gutzeit and Matthew Stevens. Star rider Bradley Cox was missing from the action after an injury he sustained at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. 

Gutzeit stepped onto a KTM 300 XC-W TPI for his debut national event with the orange team. Having started in the fourth row, he was off to a slow start in the opening lap as he worked his past the riders ahead of him. As he picked up the pace from the second lap, however, it wasn’t long before he closed the gap on frontrunners Brett Swanepoel and Wade Young. 2022 Brother Leader Tread KTM Line up. 1After an eventful fourth lap and an exceptional display of grit, Gutzeit finished second in his class and second overall. He explained:  “I really put the hammer down in the second lap and made up a lot of time. It gave me confidence going out on the third lap, and I quickly started closing the gap on the guys ahead of me. I unfortunately crashed on the fourth lap and broke my clutch! I never gave up though, and kept my head strong. I managed to get ahead of Brett when we hit a muddy section, so with a bit of luck and a ‘never say die’ attitude, I finished in second overall!” said Gutzeit.2022 Brother Leader Tread KTM Line up. 2Adding to the excitement this weekend is the fact that former Brother Leader Tread KTM rider, Scott Bouverie, set the routes. As one of the most talented Enduro riders the country has seen, Bouverie carved out nothing less than world-class trails in Harding. 2022 National Cross Country Season Opener.  “The track was incredible! It was a ‘real Enduro’ route that was so well marked. Scott put on a great show. There was even a new timing system, which I believe is a big step forward for racing in South Africa. My motorcycle ran so smoothly and the team dynamic was awesome – we share the same common goal of wanting to win and that really kept me going on Saturday,” said Gutzeit. 

Also making his debut for Brother Leader Tread KTM was exciting Enduro prospect Matthew Stevens, who raced in the J1 class on the KTM 125 XC. He had a tough start to the event by his own high standards and used the remaining laps to play catch up. With a sixth place overall in his class, the rider was happy to secure some championship points but was also determined to work on his speed for the next event. 2022 National Enduro Round 1 by Mpho Ramathikithi for zcmc.co.za 38Stevens also raced in the Extreme Enduro Championship the following day where he stormed to a podium spot. He commented: “I’m more comfortable on the extreme terrain and realised that I need to work on my pace on the faster stuff. I loved every moment of this weekend and look forward to improving as I move into the rest of the season.”

The Brother Leader Tread KTM team will now turn their attention to the next round of the National Cross Country Championship. The event takes riders back to KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday for what promises to be a nail-biting day of racing.2022 Brother Leader Tread KTM Line up. 3 All eyes will be on star rider Bradley Cox who opened the season in victory. In what was an unforgettable start to the championship, the rider stormed to both the Overall and OR1 Class win at Legends MX. 

In the highly competitive OR2 Class, new recruitScott Heygate will enter the event with fresh sense of confidence after the first round. It was an impressive debut performance for the rising star who managed to finish second in his class and fourth overall – his best national finish in South Africa to date.2022 National Enduro Round 1 by Mpho Ramathikithi for zcmc.co.za 42Joining him in the OR2 Class is Red Bull KTM’s Kerim Fitz-Gerald. With years of experience to fall back on, the former South African Motocross champion will look to build on his third place finish from the first round.

Rounding out the team is young gun Matthew Wilson, who like teammate Cox opened the season in victory. The team added Wilson to their cross country roster in the OR3 Class this season, and judging by his first performance, have a promising season ahead with the rising star. end bike test

David Goosen 01After an unforgettable season with Husqvarna Racing, star rider David Goosen has announced his retirement from competitive racing. Goosen injured his knee in the last moto of the recent Cape Town national and later discovered that it would require surgery. 

The rider well-known for his “21” number board brought a breath of fresh air into a highly anticipated 2021 season for the Husqvarna Racing team. Having been a top contender for the championship title, Goosen and the team decided to give the 2022 season their best shot before the rider would gracefully end his competitive racing career.    David Goosen 02The recent injury, however, is expected to side line Goosen from the next three rounds of the season – dashing any hope of winning the MX1 or MX2 Championship. After numerous discussions about the best way forward for both Goosen and the team, it was with heavy hearts that the decision was made for an early retirement. 

“Just over a year ago we were so proud and excited to announce the signing of David as our premier athlete in MX1 and MX2. David is so much more that a top motocross rider to me, he is also a friend, a gentleman and a fine ambassador for both our team and the sport! This career ending injury is tough, really tough, and he will leave an enormous gap in many ways. We will, however, make sure we keep him around us and the sport whenever possible. It’s time for new beginnings for David and Shannon, and we are going to miss them both!” said Husqvarna South Africa’s Brand Manager Fred Fensham.David Goosen 03Motocross has been a part of Goosen’s life since he got his first motorcycle at 3 years old. Growing up in Zimbabwe, he fondly remembers spending weekends with his family at the track for a great portion of his childhood.  As he looks back at that time in his life, he believes that it set him up for success in what would soon become a flourishing racing career.

The rider was crowned the country’s National Motocross Champion in 2017 – a defining moment in Goosen’s racing career. With immense pride in everything that rider has achieved, the team took some time to chat to Goosen about everything from his recent injury to the most memorable moments of last season: David Goosen 04

Tell us about the extent of your recent injury?

I injured my knee in the last moto of the recent Cape Town national. While pushing at the front end of the pack I had a bit of a side swap and my knee clicked quite harshly. MRI scans showed that I had torn the meniscus in my knee. I opted to not have an operation as I wasn’t in too much pain and could continue riding. 

Just over a week ago while I was training for the upcoming round, I had a very similar twisting movement on the bike which ended up causing a locked out knee and a serious amount of pain. I had no option but to undergo emergency theatre to release and fix the knee. The outcome was a 270 degree meniscus tear which had to be sewn and repaired.

David Goosen 05How did you and the Husqvarna Racing team come to the decision to ultimately withdraw from competitive racing?

The Husqvarna Racing team and I agreed to give this year our all before I called it a day from competitive racing at the end of this 2022 season. The injury is going to set me out for the next three rounds now and it’s going to take a lot for me to come back to full fitness to be competitive again - all for the one or two rounds that will be left. I’m saddened to call it early, but with work pressures and the constant hustle it’s about time I take a break and catch up on some normal life. I feel like this is the right time that I step back and let this opportunity go to a new up and coming rider that will give their full effort and commitment to racing and Husqvarna.David Goosen 06What will your involvement in the sport and with the Husqvarna Racing team look like from here?

I’d love to stay involved with Husqvarna going forward - we have not gotten into discussions yet but they have an amazing motorcycle line up that I’m a very big fan of. I’ll always be a massive fan of the brand. I don’t have any plans for motocross yet, but I’ll always be a serious motocross guy. I’m pretty sure I’ll be at the track riding in a few months and enjoying the sport fully, but using it more as more as a relief than to be competitive.

What have been some of the highlights with the team over the last year? 

The Husqvarna Racing team has been awesome to work and be involved with. The two year deal has unfortunately ended a bit sooner than we had hoped for. I can’t thank them enough for the times we have had together and for giving me every opportunity needed. We had some great results and some very fun days racing, which I’ll always cherish. A massive thank you to Husqvarna and Fred Fensham for all the belief and support, Grant for all the work he always put in to help, Pritchard for keeping the bikes in tip top condition, and of course Franziska for giving me the opportunity.David Goosen 07What has your career in racing motocross meant to you?

Racing motocross has been everything to me, I think it’s been 27 years now. I went from a small kid messing around in Zimbabwe to racing all across Europe! I have competed at the top level in South Africa for years I have reached goals I never thought was possible. It’s challenged me to the deepest of the deep over the years, but I take this as school fees and character building to my life. I have built a career in the motorcycling industry away from racing that I am excited to put extra focus into now. David Goosen 08How do you hope that your career has inspired the next generation of riders coming through the ranks

I’d hope to think I’ve left a good taste in people’s mouths with the way I handled myself with racing. A lot of people have seen me through the highs and lows and I feel like I held it together pretty okay. I was as professional as possible, and I appreciated everything along the way that any person or brand ever gave me. 

A very big thank you goes out to all of my sponsors and people that have supported this amazing journey - it’s been a life time of good times and special memories. I’ll look forward to returning to the gate one day with a bunch of mates to ride in MX3 or perhaps even a few laps of MX1.David Goosen 09end bike test

Brad Binder Red Bull KTM MotoGP Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia The Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia at the new Mandalika International Street Circuit was wet and steamy but entirely memorable for a dominant performance by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Miguel Oliveira who sailed to his first win of the season and the sixth vicxtory for KTM in the premier category.

• Oliveira, in his 50th MotoGP start, excels in demanding wet conditions for a first KTM win of the year
• Points for Brad Binder as the South African wins frantic battle for 8th
• Two-from-two podium trophies for KTM this season after ruling the Mandalika circuit inauguration as Binder sits just 2 points from world championship lead and Oliveira is 4th
• KTM lead Constructors’ championship for the first time as Red Bull KTM top Team’s standings

MotoGP rounded the flat, fast, hot and soaking-wet Pertamina Mandalika Circuit, the first Grand Prix on Indonesian soil in a quarter of a century. The teams and riders familiarized themselves with the brand-new facility during a brief pre-season test but had to cope with harsh temperatures and low-grip asphalt that was unpredictable in terms of the size and cleanliness of the main racing line. The MotoGP sprint was delayed by over an hour after a torrential rain shower flooded the venue, and additionally resulted in the overall race distance being reduced to 20 laps.Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM MotoGP Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia 2Red Bull KTM started from the second and third rows of the grid thanks to Binder and Oliveira’s efforts through a positive Q2 on Saturday. Oliveira rocketed from 7th to the lead and diced with Jack Miller as the pair edged a slight distance over the rest of the pack.

As the conditions changed, riders remained on edge tackling the varied sections of dampness as the heat helped to clear some of the racing lines. Oliveira embraced the challenge and forged a five second lead by the mid-race stage which he managed all the way to the checkered flag.

Marking Oliveira’s fourth victory in the MotoGP category, KTM are the top manufacturer in the series for the first time in their six-year tenure in the category while Red Bull KTM Factory Racing top the Team’s standings following their best start to a season so far. Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM MotoGP Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia Launching from 4th, Binder suffered a technical problem before he could establish his race pace and then ploughed a course through the water to win a thrilling battle for 8th. Binder is now just two points from the top of the MotoGP Championship table and Oliveira has lifted to 4th. Since KTM joined the premier class in 2017, the manufacturer has taken 15 podiums including six victories and will be looking to carry this momentum after a positive start to the 2022 season.

Miguel Oliveira: “Emotionally that was a roller coaster. The start was perfect and then it was hard to judge the limit. I followed Jack for a few laps and understood I could go faster, I then focused to do the maximum and built the gap. I was managing the cushion through the race, but it was not easy. It hasn’t been the easiest time for me, so this is emotional, and I promised my daughter a trophy from Indonesia, so this is for her. Let’s go to Argentina now and see what we can do and keep up the level. Right now, I’m happy to be on top of the podium.” 

Brad Binder: “I’m disappointed because I had a good feeling all weekend and especially with rain tires. Despite the rain the grip from the track was insane in some places. Unfortunately, I did the whole race with the ride height device down and to finish 8th is like a win. If it had been a dry race, then I don’t think I would have been able to do anything. So, we got unlucky and lucky with the circumstances. It was difficult to bring the bike home so I’m happy. Argentina is a track I really enjoy. It will be my first time there on the MotoGP track so let’s see.”

Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “I’m really happy and what a result for the team and the company. Everybody who has worked in this project deserves this win. Miguel was so strong since Friday morning and so committed is any condition or circumstance. Two races and two podiums and a victory: we are in a good way. What a great start to 2022.”Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM MotoGP Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia 1end bike test

KTM 790 DUKEThe KTM 790 DUKE makes a welcome return to the streets, bringing all-new colorways and a renewed rebellious streak to the world of midweight Naked machinery. From its inception in 2017, the KTM 790 DUKE took the worldwide motorcycle markets by storm selling over 29,000 units. This was later followed by the introduction of the KTM 890 DUKE R, labeled THE SUPER SCALPEL, placing the KTM LC8c parallel-twin engine at the very top of the food chain in the midweight segment. In early 2021, the KTM 790 DUKE was upgraded to the KTM 890 DUKE, with more power and improved electronics. KTM 790 DUKE 1The 2022 KTM 790 DUKE is the continuation of the story which introduced the world to the power and agility of the KTM LC8c parallel-twin platform, with further development offering a true global mid-range motorcycle with READY TO RACE character and performance. 
Providing an unmatched riding experience, and neatly filling the gap between the KTM 390 DUKE and KTM 890 DUKE, the KTM 790 DUKE will be reintroduced into the market, with Europe receiving the 95 Hp version, allowing for A2 configuration. The rest of the world will receive the full 105 Hp version. Pricing will start at 8,999 € in Europe, with motorcycles arriving on dealer floors from June 2022. KTM 790 DUKE 2The latter is powered by the most compact twin-cylinder in its class, generating 105 Hp and 87 Nm. This has been tuned specifically for torque output, providing easy, rideable power. However, an impressive top end ensures the KTM 790 DUKE maintains its excitement throughout the rev-range while meager fuel consumption of only 4,4 l / 100 km means riders can enjoy the twisties long before the low fuel light flashes.  A lot of attention was also paid to ensure the typical DUKE riding feeling of lightness, agility, and sportiness. Handling is not only agile but also very precise thanks to geometry developed specifically for sporty street riding. High-quality WP APEX suspension at each end ensures a perfect connection with the road, and rider confidence at all times. 

Like a middleweight boxer in his prime, the 2022 KTM 790 DUKE is a champion of merging agility and hard-hitting punch. More so, it continues the trend of being a leader in the market when it comes to power to weight ratio and equipment levels. 

In terms of electronic wizardry, the KTM 790 DUKE boasts the most advanced and complete package in the midrange segment, with standard features such as: 

● Cornering sensitive Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC
● Cornering ABS with SUPERMOTO mode 
● 3 standard Ride modes to quickly change the feel of the engine and level of MTC 
● Full-color 5-inch TFT display 
● LED lights all around 

A number of optional features are also available, adding higher spec levels to the KTM 790 DUKE, namely:

● Quickshifter+, allowing for clutchless up and downshifts 
● Motor Slip Regulation (MSR) 
● TRACK mode 
● Cruise Control 
● Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) 
● KTM MY RIDE providing hands-free connection to phone and music KTM 790 DUKE 3The usual selection of ride modes, notably RAIN, STREET and SPORT settings provide riders with easy-to-access customization of traction and throttle control, ensuring confident riding in all road and weather conditions. 
In terms of looks, the 2022 KTM 790 DUKE introduces two new colorways to the mix, with a traditional KTM orange scheme and an all-new gray and black motif entering the fray. 

The KTM 790 DUKE needs little introduction, but with its re-entry into the market, and a renewed look to match its already legendary performance and character, the 2022 KTM 790 DUKE is poised to introduce a new generation of riders to the world of DUKE. 

A full range of specially developed KTM PowerParts and KTM PowerWear is available for riders to personalize their motorcycles and get themselves geared up in READY TO RACE performance. end bike test

QATAR GP Losail International Curcuit Podium Brad Binder 1KTM made their best start to a MotoGP season – in what is only their sixth year on the grid – as Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder rode his RC16 at the Lusail International Circuit to finish runner-up in the Grand Prix of Qatar last weekend.

The South African qualified through Q2 after initially heading Free Practice 1 at the flat, fast and dusty floodlit circuit located just outside the sprawling capital city of Doha. Binder showed snippets of highly competitive race speed throughout the sessions on Friday and Saturday and at a notoriously tricky venue for the entire KTM MotoGP effort. The factory had never broken into the top five of a Qatar Grand Prix, since making their debut in 2017, but Binder showed their continuing surge in performance by lodging his #33 machine into the leading group and charged to the flag. QATAR GP Losail International Curcuit Podium Brad Binder 4Binder passed both Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro to slide into 2nd position and was hounding the rear wheel of winner Enea Bastianini on the last lap of 22 at Lusail. The trophy represented Binder’s third in the MotoGP category at the beginning of his third term in the class. It was the second time the 26-year-old had finished in the top three at the opening race of the season: the first occasion was back in 2016 (also at Qatar) when he went on to win the Moto3™ world championship. 

In 2017 KTM took a best result of 16th at Lusail and were 33 seconds away from the victor. In just six rapid years the ranking has improved to 2nd and the gap was just three tenths of a second.QATAR GP Losail International Curcuit Podium Brad Binder 5MotoGP now moves to the new Mandalika Circuit for the Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia on March 20th. 

Brad Binder: “Incredible. If you told me we’d be 2nd in Qatar after the first test I wouldn’t have believed you. Today was a great day, it was a great weekend. I knew we had a good level but I had so much confidence and belief in the bike from beginning to end. We made such a huge step. For us to be on the podium in Qatar is insane. Now we’re looking for more!” 

Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “An almost perfect start to the season and a deserved result for Brad and the whole team. It was an incredible race pace but he was able to manage the speed. The start was fantastic. Let’s keep going in this direction. The next race will be a challenge but we will look forward to it.”

Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsport Director: “It was an outstanding weekend. We restructured our whole program over the winter after coming so far, so quick and it was time for a change. This weekend showed we are on the right way and the podium was the ultimate payback. In fact, I still cannot believe it because this track is one of the toughest for us. We turned it around and this result means a lot to us.” QATAR GP Losail International Curcuit Podium Brad Binder 2end bike test

THE ULTIMATE ORANGE MOTOGP EXPERIENCE What we do know, however, is the best way to experience racing at this level is in the metal. KTM invites all race fans and dedicated orange-bleeders to assault their senses with the sights and sounds of full-throttle, action-packed, unscripted, and untamed racing.

Without a doubt, the sight of motorcycles passing at breakneck speed, the sounds of high-revving V-4 engines, and the smell of burnt rubber make it a spectacle for the senses - and arguably, the greatest show on earth.THE ULTIMATE ORANGE MOTOGP EXPERIENCE 2022KTM will once again be offering THE ULTIMATE ORANGE MOTOGP™ EXPERIENCE, which includes exclusive entry into KTM grandstands at key racetracks, along with KTM FAN PACKAGES loaded with race-day essentials.

13 – 15 May 2022 Grand Prix de France | Le Mans

03 – 05 June 2022 Gran Premi de Catalunya | Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

17 – 19 June 2022 Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland | Sachsenring

24 – 26 June 2022 TT Assen | TT Circuit Assen

05 – 07 August 2022 British Grand Prix | Silverstone Circuit

19 – 21 August 2022 Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich | Red Bull Ring

14 – 16 October 2022 Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix | Philip Island

The 2022 MotoGP season gets started in March 2022 with THE ULTIMATE ORANGE MOTOGP™ EXPERIENCE tickets on sale now.

Tickets are available here.THE ULTIMATE ORANGE MOTOGP EXPERIENCE 2022 1end bike test

Husqvarna Racing at the National Cross Country Season Opener. 1National Cross-Country Championship - Legends MX

Husqvarna Racing kicked off the National Cross-Country Championship with victory. The first round of the series took riders to Gauteng’s Legends MX, where leading rider Brett Swanepoel stormed to the win in the OR2 Class and second place overall.  

Swanepoel was off to a slow start by his own high standards after the time trial. As the first rider to ‘feel out’ the loop, he lost some time as navigated through the different sections of the route. By the time he lined-up for the main race, he had 40 seconds to make up as he chased down leading rider Bradley Cox.  Husqvarna Racing at the National Cross Country Season Opener. 2“I knew I had a bit of work to do, so I put my head down and pushed really hard. I made sure to not make careless mistakes and didn’t take any unnecessary risks. One small mistake at the first race of the season can cost you greatly, so I found a good flow and gained more confidence with each passing lap,” said Swanepoel.

The rider describes gaining confidence with each competitor that he passed and feeling surprisingly stronger as the track got rougher. It was a proud moment for the team when Swanepoel crossed the finish line having not only taken the OR2 Class win but made up enough time to finish in second overall. 

The event also marked the rider’s return to his Husqvarna FX 350. He commented: “I can’t describe how good it felt to be back on the FX 350 – everything about that bike works for me. It’s an all-rounder and I love racing when I’m on that bike! The track was also good – we obviously love our KwaZulu-Natal terrain, but this was one of the best Gauteng races that we’ve ever had.”Husqvarna Racing at the National Cross Country Season OpenerjpgIt was a bittersweet race for rising talent Davin Cocker. The event showcased his immense potential in the sport but also presented one of his most challenging days in the saddle yet. 

After a blistering time trial, Cocker lined-up with a second-place start. He battled it out with frontrunners Bradley Cox and Mike Pentecost and grabbed the opportunity to take the overall lead on a rocky climb. 

It was an unforgettable experience for the rider as he held onto the lead right up until the third lap. In an unfortunate turn of events, however, Cocker got stuck in a mud hole and lost both time and positions. He commented, “It was real anti-climax after an incredible start to the race. I struggled to get out of the hole and then to add to it, I had a silly fall when my hands slipped off the grips because of all the mud. I had to take it easy to the finish line after that.”

While the day didn’t end as Cocker had hoped, he certainly proved that he has what it takes to challenge the frontrunners in this sport and will come back swinging in the next round. end bike test

2022 National Cross Country Season Opener. Successful Start to 2022 Cross Country Season for Brother Leader Tread KTM   

Brother Leader Tread KTM’s Bradley Cox has opened the season with victory. In what was an unforgettable start to the 2022 National Cross-Country Championship, the rider stormed to both the Overall and OR1 Class win at Legends MX on Saturday, 26 February.  

As the reigning champion, it’s no secret that Cox lined-up for the event with a target on his back. Undaunted by the pressure, he set off with a blistering pace to win the time trial. He commented, “I definitely felt the pressure coming into the race. I know that I have a big target on my back being the defending champion. I also feel the pressure to live up to last year’s performance and be a good role model to the younger guys coming through the ranks. I didn’t let it get to me though, and felt relieved to kick the event off by winning the time trial.”2022 National Cross Country Season Opener. 1While he set off for the main race with a slower pace than he’d hoped, it wasn’t long before the rider found his groove and took the lead. “Once I managed to take the lead I didn’t look back. This was my first race on the KTM 450 XC-F and I couldn’t have asked for a better debut on the big bike. It was a tight, rocky track but with the 450 being so versatile, if you know how to ride it then you can make anything work.” 

In the highly competitive OR2 Class, Brother Leader Tread KTM unleashed the flying Zambian,Scott Heygate. It was an impressive debut performance for the rising star who managed to finish second in his class and fourth overall – his best national finish in South Africa to date. 2022 National Cross Country Season Opener. 2Heygate took the OR2 lead in the early stages of the race and inched his way to the front of the pack overall. After a costly mistake on the second lap, however, the rider found himself struggling to get his motorcycle out of a mud hole. He explained, “It took me a while to get out of that situation and I lost a lot of valuable time. Nevertheless, I put my head down and pushed from that point forward until I reached the finish line. I still managed to end the race with my best ever result in South Africa.”

Joining him in the OR2 Class was Red Bull KTM’s Kerim Fitz-Gerald. With years of experience to fall back on, the former South African Motocross champion started the day with his fastest time trial finish yet. Early into the main race, however, a fall on the rocky section of the track left him struggling to get back to the pits without a clutch. 2022 National Cross Country Season Opener. 3“The day started off really well, but on the second lap I unfortunately had a fall and broke my clutch lever right off. I had around 24km’s to finish without it, which made things really difficult - especially going up some of the climbs. The team managed to fix that for me in the pits and also gave me some solid advice about giving the rest of the race my best shot. I went back out there with the right attitude and knew that whatever the result, I would open myself up to learning as much as I could from this race,” said Fitz-Gerald. 

His determination and sense of grit was rewarded with a hard-earned third place finish in his class behind his teammate. 

A cherry on top of what was a highly successful day of racing for the orange team was a victory from new recruit Matthew Wilson. The team added the young gun to their cross-country roster in the OR3 Class this season. 2022 National Cross Country Season Opener. 4After a solid time trail, the 17 year old capitalised on his position to push his way to the front of the pack. Despite facing some challenges on the rocky section of the track, the rider pulled off a debut OR3 Class victory and third place overall for the Brother Leader Tread KTM team onboard his KTM 250 XC-F.

“The track was actually more demanding than I thought it would be – it had a little bit of everything. I’m really happy to have gotten the experience and pulled off the win on my debut race for the team!” said Wilson. end bike test

yamThe end of the 2022 Dakar Rally in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in which Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team riders Adrien van Beveren and Andrew Short finished in fourth and eighth place respectively, brings to a close Yamaha's long and storied association with the 450cc motorcycle class at both the Dakar Rally and the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.

Yamaha is the only brand that has featured in every Dakar Rally since its inception, with Frenchman Cyril Neveu taking victory aboard a Yamaha XT500 on the very first edition in 1979 and following that up with a second win a year later. Dakar Legend Stéphane Peterhansel scored a record six victories for Yamaha in the 1990s with Italian Edi Orioli adding to Yamaha's success in Africa with victory in the 1997 edition.

In more recent years the unique WR450F 2-Trac enjoyed a successful start in the 400cc Super Production category, finishing best in class at the 2004 and 2005 races with David Frétigné. He rode the bike to third overall at the first South American edition in 2009, with Hélder Rodrigues also finishing on the podium in 2011 and 2012, before Olivier Pain took third in 2014. For 2015, Yamaha brought a brand new WR450F Rally, with the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team coming close to podium finishes on several occasions, with Adrien van Beveren missing out on winning the 2018 edition just a few kilometres from the finish.

With 44 Dakar Rallies behind it, Yamaha will no longer race at the event with the WR450F Rally but will continue to have a presence in the SSV category supporting racers with its Yamaha YXZ1000R prototype project, which was raced in the 2021 and 2022 Dakar Rally editions, finishing 2nd and 6th as part of the ongoing development program. On two wheels the focus will shift to meeting evolving customer requirements in the off-road sector, considering the future introduction of the new Ténéré World Raid.

Yamaha would like to thank everyone involved in organising the Dakar Rally, the team’s crew, the riders and the sponsors who worked with the manufacturer over the last four decades and brought so much success and many emotions.

Eric de Seynes: President, Chief Executive Officer, Yamaha Motor Europe

"Yamaha has a long and storied history with the Dakar Rally, starting in 1979 at the first ever edition and running unbroken into the modern era. It's also an event that I personally have a real passion for, having twice contested the event and for many years worked closely with Jean-Claude Olivier, who not only raced and won stages at the Dakar but also oversaw Yamaha's most successful pioneer period in the rally. However, while the Dakar Rally has mainly succeeded in remaining close to its roots, even when it moved out of its spiritual home of Africa, the world in which it exists has changed considerably. Our off-road customers now have different expectations and they look for different products, and we must cater for these if we are to stay connected. It is for this reason we have decided to end our long history on two wheels at the Dakar Rally and in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, while simultaneously strengthening our commitment to racing the Dakar on four wheels with the Yamaha YXZ1000R SSV. However Yamaha's commitment to Rally Raid events with motocycles is not over, but our future engagement must have a closer connection to our customers and their aspirations, developing further the Ténéré 700 potential towards a direction which will enable them to rediscover the more adventurous side of Rallies."end bike test

KTM 890 DUKE GPThe KTM 890 DUKE GP shows off its namesake with a unique GP-inspired livery, adding to the KTM 890 DUKE’s ultra-sharp street fighter image.

The KTM 890 DUKE GP presents a compact and well-balanced performance motorcycle made for riders who relish fast country roads. It strikes the ideal balance between high performance and agility, with real-world riding demands and usability. 

Making use of the astonishing LC8c parallel twin, the KTM 890 DUKE GP churns out a respectable 115 hp and 92 Nm. And with the LC8c being the most compact engine in this segment, maintaining the bragging rights of being the chosen platform for producing the most agile motorcycle in its class. 

The same can be said about the overall design. The KTM 890 DUKE GP is aggressive in its stance, bristling with typical KTM design highlights and purposeful, compact proportions. Thanks in part to lightweight craftsmanship and advanced engineering, the KTM 890 DUKE GP is also one of the lightest motorcycles in its segment, with special attention given to the overall riding experience. 

Agile and precise handling comes courtesy of geometry developed specifically for sporty street riding, the KTM 890 DUKE GP is all about handling. High quality WP APEX suspension at each end ensure a perfect connection with the road and promote ultimate ride confidence. end bike test