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We saw ladies come from all over New Zealand (and even Australia) to be a part of this epic event. Let's do a quick re-cap of the day. Goodies bags, drinks stations, event t-shirts, back to basics clinics, chill out zones, Fasthouse Moto Ice Cream relay, drinks and dinner, Saturday Night Live, photographer, demo bikes, band and an absolute tonne of prizes!

Four Wins for Birch Now at Hard Adventure Enduro

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All the riding skills in the world, plus more, were going to be needed just to cope with the notoriously-difficult Hard Adventure Enduro event, being staged at various venues in and around Tokoroa over Labour Weekend. Throw in a few slippery rocks, deceptively-narrow balance boards, pesky tree roots, immovable logs, unpredictable creek beds, mossy rocks, steep up-hills and down-hills, clinging mud and the constant tyranny of trying to beat the clock, and you have an event like no other.

While it’s probably fair to say that challenges like this are the bread and butter of men such as Kiwi internationals Chris Birch, from Thames, Cambridge’s Dylan Yearbury and Wainuiomata’s Jake Whitaker, even these warriors were well and truly stretched. The event had a pandemic-enforced break last season, but it was back with all the same crazy obstacles to confound competitors for the sixth running this year, the three-day event severely stretching wits and nerves again over Labour Weekend.

When two-time and reigning national enduro champion Yearbury topped the leader-board in the elite Gold Grade after Friday evening’s prologue, it seemed he might be capable of adding another overall victory to the ones he claimed at this event in 2017 and 2018. But he then suffered a nasty scratch to his eye early on Saturday and he was forced to withdraw.


It all got a bit too much for this rider as he reached the top of a short uphill section of the track. In the end, it was multiple national and international champion Birch who prevailed as he rode his KTM 300EXC bike to the top step of the podium. Whitaker, on an identical KTM 300EXC bike again settled for overall runner-up, making it a 1-2 result for the KTM brand. Birch keeps on racking up the wins, with this now his fourth overall victory at this event in the six years it has been run and his rivals must be scratching their heads to find ways of beating him, or at least slowing him down. It was always going to be a “last man standing” affair again this year, with plenty of obstacles lined up to sap the spirits, trap, trick and wear down even the most experienced of dirt bike racers.

The event is designed to be difficult. Using a similar format to the notorious Red Bull Romaniacs international hard enduro that is held each year in Romania. Whitaker is a record eight-time national trial champion and it, therefore, came as no surprise that it would be he who would keep Birch honest, although New Plymouth’s Tony Parker, considered a veteran in this sport, impressed also in finishing third overall.

Birch won the inaugural Husqvarna Hard Adventure Enduro in 2016, before Yearbury returned from injury to win it the following year and then repeated the feat in 2018. But Birch then won it twice more, back-to-back in 2019 and 2020.

“My first off-road day on Saturday went well,” said 42-year-old father-of-one Birch afterwards.

“It was difficult to navigate, but I pushed hard and managed to get a gap over my rivals. That proved to be crucial. I had a bit of time on Jake (Whitaker) and that was just as well because I struggled to stay with him on Sunday. He was riding very well and I had to do everything I could to stick with him.

“There was one section called ‘The Last Climb’ that was impossibly steep. Myself, Jake, Tony Parker and (Taupo’s) Wil Yeoman teamed up to use ropes to haul one another’s bikes up the cliff before we could carry on and, after that, we then found we still weren’t at the top and it became even steeper still,” Birch explained.

“My fitness wasn’t the best this year and in the end, I was just trying to hang on.”

As for runner-up Whitaker, he said he was “over it” after finishing second to Birch once again at this event.

“I think I rode pretty well, apart from having a bit of a crash … a big crash actually … on day one. That put me about six minutes behind Chris (Birch) and that was virtually impossible to claw back,” the 31-year-old explained.

“I caught up to him a bit on Sunday and we were neck-and-neck.

“I have been runner-up or finished third too many times at this event. I’m over it.”

Event organiser Sean Clarke confessed afterwards: “I think this year we  reached the limit for hardness.”

Other grade winners were Auckland’s Ryan Hayward (Silver); Rerewhakaaitu’s Zach Sefuiva (Bronze) and Australian Rick Braico (Iron).

The event was sponsored by Husqvarna NZ, Forbes and Davies, O’Neal, Ogio, Arai Helmets, Maxima Racing Oils, Forma boots, Maxi Grip, Blur, Forest Trail Events, Kiwi Rider magazine, SATCO logging attachments and Michelin tyres.

© Words and main photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ

Additional photos by Kat Gunson, BikesportNZ


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From conception to development, get exclusive access and join us as we go behind the scenes and look at the fascinating process of bringing the all-new KTM 1390 SUPER DUKE R to life in this in-depth look at the BIRTH OF THE BEAST 4.0.

Get ready to meet the stars of the show – the passionate and dedicated engineers whose relentless pursuit of perfection turned dreams into a 1,350 cc, 190 PS reality.

Then, from the test bench to the track, there’s no substitute for a real rider’s feel, and who better than former MotoGP™ racer Jeremy McWilliams to put the developments to the test.

The ultimate result… Not only the most fearsome DUKE ever created, but the stand-out leader of the Hyper Naked category.


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The 61st annual New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville at the weekend is the biggest and best motocross on the Kiwi calendar and that’s where all the sport’s superstars usually come out to play. In the end it was clear there was one man doing all the playing, multi-time former national motocross champion Harwood, although the fact that he was able to race at all was a mystery.


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Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Manuel Lettenbichler has stormed to victory at the 2023 Red Bull Romaniacs. In control and out front throughout the five-day event, the KTM 300 EXC racer delivered day after day of exceptional rides in the Carpathian Mountains to take the win by well over one hour.

KTM Powers 2023 Berm Busters

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This year, Berm Buster offers more than 150km’s of trail riding including 4 main tracks, graded 1-2, 22 expert tracks graded 3-6, 3 kids tracks and a demo track for everyone to come down and test our latest offroad machines.


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In just a few months’ time the third running of the incredibly popular European Junior e-Motocross Series will kick-off at the MXGP of Spain with registrations for the ground-breaking series now officially open. As in previous years, entries are open to 6–8-year-olds (age taken on January 1, 2023) with each event taking place alongside events on the FIM Motocross World Championship calendar. 

Positively showcasing two-wheeled e-motorsport competition since its inception in 2021, the 2023 series is expected to be the best yet. The exciting championship allows KTM to emphasize its commitment towards electric-powered motorcycles and is the perfect starting point for ambitious young racers to quickly develop their skills by competing on MXGP racetracks.

The European Junior e-Motocross Series is open to all KTM SX-E 5 riders and will continue to utilize the same proven race format in 2023. A timed qualifying session seeds riders onto the start line for each of the two races with the top three overall climbing onto the podium to celebrate their success, just like their MXGP heroes.

Starting earlier than previous seasons, the MXGP of Spain on May 7 hosts the opening round with the remaining four events taking place during the early summer months. Familiar venues return aside from round two in France, which visits the superb Villars sous Ecot. Round three takes place at Teutschenthal, Germany before the series then culminates with a two-day event at Loket, the MXGP of Czech Republic, on July 15-16, where the overall champion will be crowned.

With registrations reaching full capacity well ahead of the first round in both 2021 and 2022, the parents of ambitious young riders are urged to secure a place on the start line as soon as possible. The only requirement to ensure entry is for riders to be affiliated with their national federation and to commit to a minimum of three events.

Every young rider who competes on state-of-the-art KTM SX-E 5 minicycles will receive an exciting selection of products from the KTM PowerWear range. Designed with the same race-winning intent as KTM SX-E 5, the pit wear, merchandise, and accessories provided will ensure all youngsters dress with a professional appearance in the paddock.

Riders and their families will also experience track walks with elite racers, enjoy a tour of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing pits, and discover just what goes on inside the MXGP paddock during a race weekend. And should the eventual 2023 European Junior e-Motocross Series Champion be mounted on a KTM SX-E 5, an incredible prize is on offer – an exclusive training session with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing!

For further information on the 2023 European Junior e-Motocross Series and to secure a place on the start line, please visit -

Riaan Neveling - Head of Global Marketing KTM: “The 2022 European Junior e-Motocross Series was, for lack of a better word, electric! Not only did it showcase the true READY TO RACE capabilities of the KTM SX-E 5, but it also proved that electric power has a place in motorsport. This series has given KTM the perfect platform to show the world how good our e-powered motocross bikes can be and will continue to be into 2023. On behalf of KTM, we are really excited about the third year of the European Junior e-Motocross Series and look forward to bringing more action in 2023.”

Calendar – 2023 European Junior e-Motocross Series
  • Round 1: 7 May, MXGP of Spain – intu Xanadú - Arroyomolinos
  • Round 2: 21 May, MXGP of France – Villars sous Ecot
  • Round 3: 11 June, MXGP of Germany - Teutschenthal
  • Round 4: 15 July, MXGP of Czech Republic – Loket
  • Round 5: 16 July, MXGP of Czech Republic – Loket


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The KTM Group’s racing and production alliance with high quality lubricant firm, Motorex, will reach two decades of longevity in 2023. A renewed deal between Europe’s largest motorcycle manufacturer and the Swiss specialists will continue to see Motorex as the ‘first fill’ choice for the KTM Group’s brands as well as the principal option in various world championship race disciplines.


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Securing victory at the 2023 Dakar Rally with Kevin Benavides, KTM secured its 19th win at the most grueling and iconic of all off-road events. Not only that, KTM secured an incredible one-two finish with the fight for the win literally going down to the final few kilometers of the two-week-long competition.

It was Kevin Benavides’ incredible consistency and speed over the 14 stages of racing that paid off, with the Argentinian racer coming from 12 seconds behind on the penultimate day to clinch the win after a blinding display of riding on the very final stage. His Red Bull KTM Factory Racing teammate Toby Price, who eventually placed second, can hold his head high, as the two-time Dakar Champion fought right to the finish, ultimately losing out by an agonizing 43 seconds.

The 2023 event will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the toughest ever for a variety of reasons. Riders covered well over 8,000 kilometers in total, and close to 5,000 of them were raced against the clock. If the unforgiving Saudi desert wasn’t tough enough, the heavy rains that fell over the first week of racing threw another challenge into the mix with flooded rivers and muddy lake beds making racing and navigating even tougher. Add that to the two weeks of early mornings and minimal sleep and you end up with not only one of the most physically demanding events in the world, but one of the most mentally draining, too.

The first week of racing at this year’s Dakar went incredibly well for the KTM-mounted desert warriors. Kevin Benavides was lying second overall and was closely followed in third by the young, up-and-coming American Mason Klein. One place behind Mason, Toby Price was less than two minutes behind the leader on what was already shaping up to be one of the tightest Dakars in history. Rounding out the top 10 after stage eight was Matthias Walkner – not the position the Austrian wanted to occupy, but after crashing on day two and injuring his wrist, the fact that he was even able to continue was outstanding.

Going into the second week of racing it was all about the dunes. And while the navigation was perhaps less demanding, the ability to read the terrain became far more important. Mason Klein, who had already topped stage two, unfortunately suffered two crashes on the first day back after the rest day. Although he was able to continue, the injuries he sustained would eventually rule him out of contention. The 21-year-old future star was forced to throw in the towel on day 12. Matthias Walkner was also forced to withdraw one day later when a crash near the start of the special on day 13 resulted in the Austrian being airlifted to hospital. Thankfully Matthias sustained no serious injuries.

At the close of that 13th day, Kevin Benavides, who had topped the timesheets despite stopping to aid the injured Walkner, trailed his teammate Price by just 12 seconds. The Dakar was going to come down to a 138-kilometer sprint on the final day. With the start order reversed for stage 14, Benavides set off second to last, with Price just three minutes behind. The two KTM 450 RALLY riders both gave everything they had over that final special, but there would be just one winner – Kevin Benavides.

With navigation proving critical on the final day of competition, by missing a couple of waypoints and being forced to turn back, Toby Price finished the stage 55 seconds down on Benavides. The final result gave Benavides victory and an incredible 19th Dakar win for KTM. With Price rounding out the top two overall, it was an incredible fortnight of racing for the whole Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team.

Kevin Benavides: “It’s been an amazing day! I just focused on every kilometer from the first to the last. I didn’t think about the position or the result I just gave my 100 percent over the whole stage and tried to enjoy the day. The final special was really fast and tricky, and so muddy – thankfully I didn’t make any big mistakes, but it would have been easy to have an issue out there. I have worked so hard for this. This year’s rally has been one of the closest ever and there wasn’t a single day where you could afford to ease off. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my team, and all my family and friends. It’s going to take a little while to sink in, I can’t describe this feeling right now.”

Toby Price: “So, so close. Yeah, a great job from Kevin, he did really well. I knew it was going to be tight, and of course I pushed right from the start all through the stage. I just missed three waypoints by virtually meters, and it dropped me back. Obviously, the goal is to win, and it’s frustrating to miss out by such a narrow margin. But I’m fit, healthy, and I’m going home with a trophy, so that’s the most important thing. I’m ready for another one next year.”

Norbert Stadlbauer – Rally Team Manager: “It's been an incredible Dakar – one of the toughest in history and definitely the closest! It’s been such a close battle inside the Red Bull KTM team with Toby and Kevin separated by just 12 seconds going into the final day today. Thankfully, the performances of both riders gave KTM a one-two in the race, with Kevin earning his second win and the 19th for KTM. Of course, you can’t have two winners, but Toby claiming second place is still an incredible achievement and down to the hard work he has put in over the two weeks. The team have also done an amazing job, not just at the event, but also over the whole of the past year building up to this race. Now it’s time to celebrate before we look ahead to the next race in the season.”

Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsports Director: “Beside the riders, I’m maybe the happiest man on the planet right now. It’s amazing after this long journey and this tough race, to have only 12 seconds separating the two guys coming into this final day. And then for them to push so hard over the stage and reach the finish line safely and in first and second is incredible. After around 5,000 kilometers and over 40 hours of racing, to have them so close is unheard of, and the whole team did an amazing job to get them here in this position. What it came down to was basically a motocross race for 130 kilometers. Both riders did an amazing job, and even though you can only have one winner, I’m hugely proud of them both, as the pressure was really on today. KTM now have 19 wins at the toughest offroad race in the world, but we won't stop there. We're already looking forward to this season and then the 2024 Dakar next year.”

Overall Standings – 2023 Dakar Rally

1. Kevin Benavides (ARG), KTM, 44:27:20
2. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 44:28:03 +0:43
3. Skyler Howes (USA), Husqvarna, 44:32:24 +5:04
4. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Honda, 44:46:22 +19:02
5. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Honda, 44:47:50 +20:30

2022 KTM Christmas Gift Guide

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The perfect gift for any orange racer is found in this year's packed-out Gift Guide. From KTM teamwear to functional off-road and street gear, you're bound to find something that speaks to every orange racer heart.

AFC/Bay Motorcycles Spring Break Rallye

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The spring break Rallye was spread over 4 days or riding and almost 1700km’s in all different types of riding conditions. Starting in Hastings at Bay Motorcycles the riders were treated to a great start of the Rallye, with great weather and perfect riding conditions.


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Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Manuel Lettenbichler has won the 2022 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship. Claiming a dominant victory at the eighth and final round of the series - Hixpania Hard Enduro - the young German secured the title in style on his KTM 300 EXC. FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Trystan Hart narrowly missed the podium in fourth.


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Led home by series winner Timoteï Cez, the top six overall finishers in this year’s European Junior e-Motocross Series all achieved their successes aboard the state-of-the-art KTM SX-E 5 minicycle! With Cez winning three of the five rounds, further victories went to Cameron Berry and Austin Edwards, making it a stellar 2022 series for the all-conquering SX-E 5.


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With just over four weeks to go until the 2022 European Junior e-Motocross Series kicks off in Spain, all 40 spaces on the start line are almost taken with registrations on course to reach full capacity well before the closing date. Interested parents of riders on KTM SX-E 5 minicycles are encouraged to register quickly to avoid disappointment as the second running of this ground-breaking series l


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Continuing the highly successful partnership with Infront Moto Racing, KTM is pleased to announce that registrations are officially open for the 2022 running of the ground-breaking European Junior e-Motocross Series. Incredibly popular during 2021 while proving to be a hugely positive step forward regarding two-wheeled e-motorsport competition, registrations are now open and 6–8-year-olds (age tak


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2021 has been a memorable campaign for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing across the disciplines. Spirited presence in at least six different spheres of motorcycle competition has delivered notable success as well as the full range of emotions. Among the elation and the adversity on track and off, KTM were able to embellish stories and welcome new silverware with a total of 327 FIM world titles now in t


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KTM Factory Racing unveiled the KTM RC16 colors for the 2021 MotoGP FIM World Championship through a digital presentation that introduced the new look, line-ups and objectives for the anticipated season ahead.

Oliveira dominates home MotoGP™ in Portugal

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Red Bull KTM closed an intense but memorable 2020 MotoGP campaign with Miguel Oliveira romping free of the pack to win his second race of the season at the challenging Algarve International circuit for the Grande Prémio MEO de Portugal. Oliveira’s home GP success was the company’s third victory from fourteen rounds.


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KTM made history in Brno, Czech Republic yesterday as Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder sensationally clinched the Austrian manufacturer’s first MotoGP victory in only his third premier class race aboard the KTM RC16.


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Lessons learned in the toughest motorcycle racing arena helped shape the new edition of the distinguished KTM 450 RALLY REPLICA. The feedback collected from thousands of kilometers and numerous victories at the Dakar Rally and the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship has defined the key upgrades that make the 2021 KTM 450 RALLY REPLICA the most desirable rally competition machine on the ma


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Officially opened in spring last year, the KTM Motohall in Mattighofen gives visitors a fascinating insight into the high-speed world of the legendary motorcycle brand. The 2,600 m² exhibition uses the latest technology to create a fascinating hands-on experience, including interactive displays, virtual tours and plenty of original bikes – an unforgettable experience for any motorsports fan!


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KTM lifts the covers off the latest incarnation of the bike that the Supercross and Motocross elite will be using to chase more AMA glory – the KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION. Based on development feedback from the ‘sharp end’ of the sport, the MY20 KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION features performance and aesthetic upgrades over the standard model. For 2020, the KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION will be ava


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There’s more to riding a KTM than the time spent in the saddle. It’s a mentality, a sense of pride carried through your day to day life; riding a KTM is a lifestyle. With that in mind, KTM ensures that riders can reflect their READY TO RACE spirit and state their stance when they are away from their treasured orange machinery with the KTM MOTOHALL RETRO and KTM POWERWEAR CASUAL & ACCESSORIES 2020


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KTM is proud to announce the venue for the fourth annual edition of the European KTM ADVENTURE RALLY, which will take place in Nafpaktos, Greece, on June 9-12, 2020. With the 2020 KTM ADVENTURE RALLY basecamp set in the beachside town of Nafpaktos, 200 attendees will be able to join an exclusive READY TO RACE community event that will include three full days of riding in some of the best mountain


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KTM revealed their latest innovations on the first day of the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy. The company unveiled three brand new models – the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R, the KTM 890 DUKE R, and the KTM 390 ADVENTURE – as well as displaying their full gamut of motorcycles for 2020 across a busy exhibition stand.