Our Resident German Speaker Geoff Fox was practicing his German by reading Ken Roczen's monthly column in the new CROSS Magazine from Germany. With permission from Wofgang Brandt, we got the okay to share the English version below, as Ken talks about his new bike and the RCH Racing team. (For more from CROSS check out and practice up on your own German right here.)
Man, how happy I am finally to be able to announce my switch to RCH Suzuki. You really can't imagine how hard it has been for me not to post something on Instagram especially after I sat on the bike for the first time. For a long time I've thought about changing to Suzuki because I was never really completely satisfied with the KTM. The team around me was super and they've given me their all. However the KTM has its own characteristics and at some time it came to the point that I no longer had hundred percent belief in the motorcycle. It was time for a change. For four years I was on KTM and during the last season we put in a fantastic amount work and won the outdoor title. So I just figured it was time to stop - at the top. In my head I was ready for the change and have decided on a two year contract with Suzuki because I really like team RCH and the guys around it and I know that we can deliver something really significant. I can also say that finances had nothing to do with my decision. It was also important for me to continue to work with partners that I've had for many years such as Redbull and Fox. That would not have been possible with Kawasaki. In addition the attitude, the spirit with the RCH team is really super. They have a flair and they are younger so it just works better for me. I get along with Ricky and Carey really well which is very important for me. You can see that everyone on the team is really proud that I've given them my trust and they walk around with they're chests puffed out.
When I was allowed for the first time to ride the new RM-Z450 right away the good old feelings and memories from years on Suzuki came back. Quite quickly I felt comfortable of the Suzuki almost as if I'd never been away. The big difference between KTM and Suzuki is simply the frame. The steel frame is very flexible and thus it has its own characteristics. The aluminum frame of the Suzuki is definitely stiffer and that just works better for me. For me the the big difference is that I really feel hundred percent comfortable on the bike and I know that it'll do whatever I want it to.
The Suzuki is a good motorcycle ride out of the crate. With a good guy working on the suspension nothing is very difficult anymore. The nice thing with RCH is that I have a lot of freedom in choosing different pieces. For example the suspension. That was also very important for me and I wanted to have it in my contract. In spite of that I first tried out the Showa works suspension. We tested for a couple days and we always came back to the basic setup. We tested many different things but in the end we always came back to the original set up because I just felt better that way. I also asked my dad if he would come over for the testing because he notices many things that I really just can't see. What was really stressful though where the press people, photographers and the video filmers. We tested in California and again and again they came around and wanted to get something from me. I take seriously my time with the fans but I really can't let it interfere with our serious testing work. Therefore we broke off the testing in California and decided to go to Florida Florida.
In Florida my trainer Aldon has purchased a new training facility and has all the important things for me there. I have agreed with Aldon to be my trainer for the next five years. I'm real happy about that. That part of the puzzle is not changing. Our training group is new and it now includes Ryan Dungee, Marvin Musquin and Jason Anderson as well.
Aldon is a little bit nervous because during my break after the winning the title I've done almost nothing except relax. That was absolutely important for me - to let my hair down and relax and simply do the things that I haven't had any time for before. I did a lot of golfing and also my buddy Tim Koch came to visit and with him I went to a concert by Drake vs. Lil Wayne. That kind of thing like golfing or jet skiing just help me to relax and be with my friends. At the beginning of October I was at the Red Bull Straight Rhythm and you can't understand how much I really would have liked to race there. The track of the event was really super but it was too early for me and it didn't make any sense to get involved. In spite of that I had a good time and signed many autographs and talked with fans.
Next week it's going to again be RIDE, RIDE RIDE and to again push for fitness. It's not so simple to prepare for Supercross. Everything feels different. You don't feel comfortable because the motorcycle is a lot different for Supercross tracks than for Outdoors. But we still have three months till Anaheim and I'm not worried because I'm on a good path and by the beginning of January I'll be top fit and on the best bike as I line up behind the the starting gate. I can promise you that.