Kurt’s Dakar bike is powered by the same engine that is in his Baja 1000 and Hare & Hound bike, but that is about the only commonality between the Dakar Rally bike and any other KTM. The Dakar bike is built for comfort, speed and navigation. The instrument panel and handlebars have a patchwork quilt of buttons and switches that control the scrolling of the road map and activate all the complex navigation equipment. Navigation is the key to success in the Dakar Rally. It doesn’t matter how fast you are if you don’t know where you are going. The instruments are man’s best friend in the lonely deserts of Peru. We didn’t want to use our normal motocross test tracks for this test, so instead we headed out to the wide-open stretches of the California desert near Kurt’s Antelope Valley home turf. We have to confess that we were scared. This was a big bike, and we got our feet wet by riding it down some desert dirt roads to get
With the bike weighing over 380 pounds, Kurt needs some
heavy-duty braking power. KTM equipped the bike with a
300mm front rotor that was very sensitive when applying the
In the skid plate there is a 1-gallon water tank to comply with
the Dakar safety regulations. The water is required just in
case the rider becomes stranded in the middle of the desert.
It could keep Kurt alive until help comes.
The instrument panel has a road map, which tells Kurt what
lies ahead; the heading, which is there to help him read the
terrain; and the tachometer, which keeps him doing the
speed limit that the road book tells him to go.