All Photos by Cole Kirkpatrick/Kirkpatrick Digital Cinema
It’s all about the location. KTM has a great history of picking awesome places to stage its annual Adventure Riders Rally, and REVER has been helping the Orange Brigade with location scouting and event support for the past five years. You don’t need to tell us that Colorado is awesome, as that is our home base, and once again KTM picked a local Rockies ski resort as its hub, this time in Breckenridge.
If you’re unfamiliar with the KTM Adventure Rally, it’s a gathering of KTM riders from around North America who all converge on the chosen destination town for a long weekend of riding, camaraderie, checking out the latest wares from a huge selection of vendors, and this year hosting a qualifier for the KTM Ultimate Race Competition at the Merzouga Rally in Morocco next year.
Orange Machines Galore
If you love KTM ADV and dual-sport bikes, this is the place to be. You’ll find a wide variety of machines from first-gen 950s to 1290 Super Adventures and everything in between; brand-new 790s were in heavy attendance, while EXCs of every displacement, and even a large contingent of plated two-strokes filled in the gaps. One of the best aspects of the rally is the ability to sign up for demo rides on all of KTM’s ADV and dual-sport machines. The 790s were in high demand, and the demo fleet definitely got some serious miles put on them over the weekend.
Routes and Riders
The past few years, REVER has helped scout the recommended riding routes for the participants and then built the routes into the REVER app and helped riders get the GPX files onto navigation devices. One of the cool things on offer at every KTM ADV Rally, is that attendees can sign up for rides guided by current and former KTM stars like Mike Lafferty, Chris Fillmore, Taylor Robert, Russell Bobbitt, Paul Krause, and Destry Abbott.
Ultimate Race Qualifier
A unique twist on this year’s event was the Ultimate Race Qualifier. Almost 40 riders signed up for a chance to compete for the two available slots for the KTM Ultimate Race Competition in Morocco. At the conclusion of Day One the field would be cut down to the top-10 finishing riders. Despite the name, this is more of a navigation challenge with a few special tests thrown in for good measure. On the first day, riders would have to navigate to and capture 30 virtual geofenced waypoints using the REVER app, and navigating via provided and pre-programed GPS units. A timed special test at the Leadville Motocross Track, and a wheel-change competition, were the only timed elements.
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Qualifier Day Two
After hours of checking waypoints and applying penalties on Friday night, the KTM and REVER staffs narrowed the field down to 10 finalists. Things were about to get much more difficult for the remaining competitors on Saturday. With more than double the POIs to capture (62), and a lot more challenging terrain, only the cream of the crop had a chance of stealing the two cherished spots. When the dust had settled, Wes VanNieuwenhuise was declared the winner after impressive performances in all the tests. Chasing him home and winning day two’s navigation test was Brendan Crow. Both riders will represent the USA in Morocco next year. Congrats guys.
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Riders who wanted to improve their Adventure Bike skill set, had the chance to sign up for clinics put on by Jimmy Lewis and his Off-Road Riding School. The former Dakar Rally podium finisher and Baja 1000 winner had his hands full with full classes everyday of the event. Teaching every aspect of wrestling a big ADV bike, from body position to balance to on-trail technique.
You Can Still Ride The Routes!
Did you miss the event? Or not get a chance to ride all the routes you wanted to? Join the KTM Adventure Rider Rally 2019 - Breckenridge community, as all of the routes will remain live indefinitely HERE.