Recently KTM invited members of the media to their corporate office in Murrieta, CA, to see some of the things the Austrian brand has been working on. In an effort to create the type of presence they have in the Grand Prix series over here in America, KTM is ramping up their racing efforts in every way imaginable. They have an incredible collection of talent on their factory racing program including Roger DeCoster, Ian Harrison, a host of talented mechanics and four world-class riders. They recently began a program called KTM Factory Services, which essentially leases out race engines to KTM teams who are willing to pay for them (approximately $25K per person per year). Now they have created a WP suspension division here in America to handle the suspension needs of KTM riders and the shop is on the same street as KTM in Murrieta. The addition of the WP Factory Services branch, a sister company of KTM itself, will be the final piece to the puzzle in providing elite-level racing service to teams and KTM riders in the U.S. The Rockstar KTM team and BTOSports.com KTM team are both utilizing the Factory Services divisions at KTM and they seem thrilled by the support.
Chad Pederson photos
The event was centered on the release of the 2014 Factory Edition 450 SX-F, a polished version of their standard 450 machine. The bike comes with a strengthened frame, lighter components, Dunlop race tires [which aren’t even available yet], lighter brake rotors and custom Red Bull graphics and orange frame that you can’t buy anywhere else. It’s a beautiful bike that is ready to race right out of the crate. Just make sure you save up because it retails for just under $10,000.
All of the team riders made an appearance, including Ryan Dungey, Marvin Musquin, Ken Roczen, Dean Ferris, Andrew Short, Matt Goerke, Davi Millsaps, Jason Anderson and Joey Savatgy. It was cool to see Roczen’s #94 on the ‘14 450 and meet Ferris, the newest addition to the team, but much of the buzz centered around a noticeable limp from Davi Millsaps and the addition of Ivan Tedesco to the team indefinitely. Millsaps admitted he hurt his right knee in a recent incident but wouldn’t comment further on it. Rockstar team manager Dave Gowland would only say that Davi might not be able to compete at the opener and that Ivan was going to be filling in for the time being. Details were very vague. The obvious tenderness in Millsaps’ knee, however, was not. Last year’s Anaheim 1 winner could barely put pressure on the joint.
Red Bull KTM has a new look for 2014.
Chad Pederson photo
If you doubted the direction of KTM you are certainly getting a taste of foot lately. Expect more of that to come as the Orangemen build their self proclaimed “KTM village” in the pro racing paddock.