The inaugural KTM Australia Adventure Rallye entirely lived up to its name when 121 riders of KTM adventure bikes took part in an epic five days of glorious journey through the beautiful Victorian high country.
Taking in over 1500 kilometres of prime Snowy Mountains riding, the orange riders left from their Jindabyne assembly and technical check point first thing Monday morning, destined for evening stopovers at Omeo and Dargo, with the Wednesday night stop at Bright proving particularly memorable.
There, the group got a surprise visit from Australia’s very first Dakar Rally champion Toby Price, who, after joining them there at dinner rode the rest of the way with the group, on an 1190 Adventure R.
Thursday night’s stopover took the KTM riders to Dinner Plains before the final night’s return to Jindabyne saw a wrap-up dinner with photos and video from the week.
Riders also got the chance to choose their own adventure, with an alternative to the day’s Main Route offered in a Breakout Route, which took a more challenging course. Terrain varied from rocky hills to forest tracks, rivers and creeks to sweeping landscapes and ridges with broad vistas.
The weather was gloriously fine if unseasonably warm for the first four riding days, but rain on Thursday night sent the KTM riders out with the best conditions of the week on Friday, with almost no dust and some of the best tracks seen — capped off by a crossing of the mighty Murray River.
The hungry travellers were treated to dinner every night as part of the Rallye inclusions, which included a KTM goody bag with KTM Rallye t-shirt, genuine KTM Buff, KTM Rallye stickers, KTM Rallye stubby holder and Motorex chain lube & visor cleaner.
As it tends to with projects that involve exciting adventure on two wheels, KTM Australia committed fully to the Adventure Rallye with a huge organisational and support crew of 28 Rallye Staff to make certain every requirement was met professionally.
This crew included Rob and Anja from Tyres for Bikes on Tyre Support, KTM Tech Support Mike Faulkner, Luggage Supports Mark Pacheco and Greg Chambers, and Gord Lalonde as Backup 4×4 Support.
KTM Australia is anything but a brand run by suits, and its support network on the Rallye also included; KTM General Manager Jeff Leisk, National Sales Manager Tam Paul as well as State Brand Managers Ray Barnes, Brendon Roberts and Angus Reekie.
Marketing Manager Greg Chambers and Marketing Coordinator Rosie Lalonde were there to keep things true to the vision, while Official Photographer Danny Wilkinson and Videographer Adam Riemann captured it, and Route Coordinators Nick Selleck from Maschine and local High Country legends Sprocket, Grego and Huffy provided the best possible guidance.
Of course the best coordination in the world means nothing to riders themselves didn’t have a good time, but it seems there is little doubt about that:
“Congratulations to the KTM Adventure Rallye crew on the best 5 days of Adventure riding ever. Besides the premium riding trails it was great to catch up with old friends, make new friends and mingle with legends of the off-road scene. It was also great to see KTM Australia Management and Staff getting down and dirty with the rest of us on this remarkable 5-day adventure. It seriously shows that you are one of us. Keep up the good work, this is the beginning of something big.” – John Trovato
“Thanks to everyone who made this event so special. All the boxes were certainly ticked! Awesome organization, unbelievable trails, fabulous support and great food. If you missed out, then you really did miss out. Bring on next year.” – Paul Coxon
“I must say before the Rallye my thoughts were that there would be too many riders and staying at the same night stop each night would mean it would be just a procession. Also the thought was that it couldn’t be too hard as there were 1190/1290s going and surely KTM wouldn’t want to break any. How wrong were we?, KTM lived up to the “Ready to Race” logo, or in this case “Ready to Rallye”, hold on tight for what was the best ride I have ever had.” – Andy Powell
Check out the KTM Australia Adventure Rallye preview video below! Full feature length film to come . . .