Jun 28, 2009

Ride a KTM Day

Every once in a while an extra cool reason to teach MSF classes comes along. June 28th was one of those days. Some time ago, I signed up for a day of riding new KTM bikes at the DTCC police driving range. I'd almost forgotten about it in preparation for my North Dakota trip. Good old Outlook reminded me the day before the event that I was supposed to be riding motorcycles the next day.

I haven't had much exposure to KTM since the KTM logo was practically hidden under the Penton brand. When I was in Bismarck, ND, I stumbled on to the Cycle Hutt, a huge KTM dealer, and saw more KTM bikes than I've seen in 25 years. It wasn't that long ago, that every enduro and motocross would be jammed with Penton/KTM two strokes. Ok, it wasn't that long ago by my timetable. Since KTM yanked the Penton name from their motorcycles, regaining the momentum their motorcycle brand once had has been a long, slow struggle. Obviously, from the 2004 KTM screw-up in The Long Way Round and after alienating their diehard Penton fan base back in the late 70's, KTM's marketing department has demonstrated a serious lack of capability.

With events like the "Ride Orange" promotion, the company may be finding a way to make up for their checkered past. I had a chance to ride a bunch of KTMs: the 990 Adventure, the 990 Super Duke, the 690 Duke, and, my favorite, the 690 SMC Supermoto. It was a lot of fun in a great setting surrounded by really nice people

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