Industry

KTM Dirt Days Part I

Author: Aaryn Minerds

Author: Aaryn Minerds

Posted:

KTM Australia are into their second year of running their KTM dirt days, a day designed to give the average punter a chance to ride the entire range or both the EXC and SX range that they bring into Australia, also for 2011 they have been running the Husaberg hot lap days in conjunction with the KTM dirt days giving the general public a unique chance to try before they buy, something you rarely see in the off road bike market.

With the KTM tour heading into my home state of South Australia and only being held less than an hour down the freeway at Callington I thought it would be a great chance to get out and see how these days run in person and also a good excuse to throw a leg over a KTM or two or five!

Before heading out to Callington I made a Call to KTM Australia’s marketing coordinator Greg Chambers to get a bit of an insight on how the days are run, why KTM have gone down this path and how beneficial these days have been for not just the KTM brand put also for their customers and perspective new customers. Then on the Sunday I headed out to take in the day for myself which you can read all about in KTM dirt days Part 2, including a quick catch up with one of the South Australian KTM dealer principles who helped make the day possible.

Fullnoise : Let’s start with a bit of an overview of the KTM dirt days and how they came about.

Greg: Originally the concept came because as you know testing dirt bikes for the public is quite hard, more often than not there are not Demo models to try at dealerships, even when demo models are available they don’t get to take the bikes out to where they work best and that is the track and trails.

We as a company seen that as a hole in the market, and wanted our customers and potential customers to have the opportunity to test for themselves the new bikes, that is the reason dirt days has been formed, it seems to be going really well and the general public are really responding to it, just last weekend at Broadford we had over three hundred riders turn out which was amazing. It really goes to show that people want to test these bikes and not just KTM customers, also the people that may have never ridden a KTM and want to see what they are all about.

Fullnoise : How long have you been running the KTM dirt days, from my understanding this is the second year?

Greg: This is our second year running the KTM dirt days, though we did trial it in Victoria a few years ago and called it KTM orange days, at that stage we just ran the two of them and they were successful, but the concept never took off nationally. It was not until last year that we put some resources behind it and last year allocated the Motorex KTM race truck to move the bikes around, and then moved this year to a dedicated truck for these events.

There were some great trails to test the KTM EXC range on, one the riders favorite sections of the trail was the dry sandy creek bed at the end of the Enduro lap.
Fullnoise : By the sounds of things these dirt days have been successful for the KTM brand, are there plans to continue this on next year and how long can you see this concept lasting?

Greg: We are hoping to make these annual events, and are looking at the possibility of more locations going forward, at the moment we only have one event per state, unfortunately some states missed out this year including Tasmania and also the Northern Territory, we would look to extend this to some new areas, and some of the heavier dirt biking spots like northern New South Wales and places like that, we are always looking for ways to expand.

Fullnoise : How successful do you feel these days have been, does it result in more people on KTM bikes come the end of the day?

Greg: Yeah definitely we see it as being successful, we do get a conversion rate out of the day, it really does aide in the purchase decision at the end of the day, more than anything I think it really helps the person who was already going to purchase a KTM, or is looking to make a purchase of a new bike to give them a chance to really decide on which bike is the right on for them.

With our EXC range being so extensive starting from a 200 two stroke all the way up to a 500 four stroke, there is so much variation it really is good to give people the chance to make a clearer decision on what type of motorcycle they want to own, which is a great aspect to these days.

Fullnoise : You made mentioned about the large range of bikes that are available to test, and with having more than one of each type of bike to test at these days, how big is the fleet of bikes you transport around the country to these days?

Greg: We do have multiples of each model, the Motocross bikes we actually take around there are the five motocross models so ten bikes available at each of the days, then the local dealers provide the EXC models, the dealers come along to the days with their stock, so at any day we have about twenty motorcycles depending on the state and the number of people attending.

Fullnoise : How much time and effort goes into the upkeep of the bikes, with ten bikes that would have to be serviced and fixed and transported around the country after being ridden by people that don’t own them it would have to be a very large task.

Greg: It actually takes quite a lot of effort, the staff behind these days are run off their feet both on the days of these events then also maintaining these motorcycles, because of the timing of these events we actually flew out a full set of Motocross bikes and the full range EXC bikes for the first couple of venues, at that stage we had a fleet of over twenty motorcycle to maintain for the Queensland, New South Wales and Victorian events.

Just doing air filters alone on twenty bikes is a mission, on top of that you have crash damage, grips, levers all the plastics, the tyres, chains and sprockets all the general maintenance items a customer would do at home we were looking after on the whole fleet. From the moment we pack up until the next event we are spending that time cleaning and freshening up the bikes for the next event.

The two stroke Motocross range was popular, and the sandy conditions at Callington made them a blast to ride.
Fullnoise : Thanks for your time Greg, just one last question for the people still to attend one of these dirt days this year, are the bikes that the public can ride on the day available to buy on the day?

Greg: The motocross bikes we own and most of them already have a home to go to, the EXC range are generally the dealers bikes and the dealers are there on the day, so yeah it is possible to buy the bike you ride on the day at these events or even to just have a chat to the dealers on the day and arrange to head into the shop to purchase at a later day. It really is a great chance to ride the bikes and at the same time get to know your local dealer.

A big thanks to Greg for giving us an insight to how the days come about and what goes into each of these events. As mentioned at the top I was able to get out to the South Australian event and take in the day for myself , keep an on the site over the next couple of days as we made the trip to Callington in South Australia to take in one of the KTM dirt days ourselves to see just how they run.

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