Motocross Champion. KTM Australia GM. Aussie Legend. In the Australian motorcycling industry you will be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t know the name Jeff Leisk. To say he has had a varied and illustrious career both on and off the track is more than a slight understatement.
He’s won GP and MXoN motos, finished second in the world in his first ever full GP season (and led the way for many young Australians to follow in his footsteps), raced AMA Supercross and Motocross, dominated the Mr Motocross era of Australian racing and in recent years has competed in a variety of events including the Troy Bayliss Classic (Flat Track), Broadford Bike Bonanza (Vintage) and the Finke Desert Race (Trophy Truck) . . . just to name a few. Oh – and when he retired from motocross in 1990, he began racing Sprint Cars, which he continues to this day!
These days, as General Manager for KTM Australia, Jeff has access to yet another aspect of motorcycling . . . road and adventure riding. We grabbed five minutes with the boss man and asked him his thoughts on road bikes, road racing and more importantly the new 1290 Super Duke R that has found it’s way into his shed.
RIDE KTM: You’re well known as a motocross racer, did you ever try your hand at road racing?
Jeff: Yes when I was living and racing in the US in the 80’s Eddie Lawson took me under his wing and gave me some lessons on how to road race, I really enjoyed it and when I finished my MX career I did some road race events in Perth and had some success.
You’ve just returned from the Moto GP at Phillip Island, what impresses you most about this event?
I just like seeing all the people riding down to the event and enjoying the camaraderie that comes with being a Motorcyclist.
Do you keep up with Moto GP throughout the year?
When I can I love to catch it on TV, the coverage these days is exceptional and you really get to feel what it is like for the riders.
You’ve recently been commuting and heading out on weekend rides, what do you enjoy about it?
Riding is a great stress relief as you get into the zone and only think about what is ahead. I also like the social side of riding as it connects people from different backgrounds in a very special way.
You recently acquired a 1290 Super Duke R, what do you enjoy about this model?
I like the stripped back appearance of the Super Duke R, it is raw but has extremely good manners on the road.
What modifications have you made to date?
I have a few from the Powerparts catalogue, Complete Akrapovic system, air filter, billet fuel cap, carbon front guard, limited edition orange wheels, tail tidy and pillion seat cover.
Any ambitions of taking it to a track to really open it up?
Maybe but it is not a priority, I like to commute to work on it and ride on the weekends with my dad who is 80 this year.
In your opinion what are the other highlights in the KTM street range?
It’s different, our design cues are unique like no other brand.
So are you converted or will your heart always be with the dirt bikes?
I can feel my preferences change with age, I am very fortunate to be able to enjoy all models of bike from our extensive range and now that we have amazing road bikes like the 1290 Super Adventure and the Super Duke R I can honestly say its 50:50.