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Our Month long Racing Journey Continues Abord our KTM

Author: Aaryn Minerds

Author: Aaryn Minerds

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It is hard to believe is has been two weeks since we last updated our progress on our five week racing journey across South Australia and Victoria.

When we last checked in, our KTM 350 SX-F was about to head to Renmark for round four of the South Australian Motocross Championships. Renmark proved to be an interesting weekend.

With rain coming down on and off on the Saturday night before the race, we were greeted with a sloppy mud track Sunday morning for practice. Another shower during practice also meant race one would be raced in some tricky conditions.

By Moto two, things had dried out nicely. I lined up on the gate for what became one of the most enjoyable races on the KTM to date. Though getting off to an average start and being pretty well last, I was able to find some nice lines early and put in a solid 10 minute plus one lap moto, getting quicker and quicker every lap.

In fact my lap times at the end of the race showed that I did in fact get quicker every single lap, with my fastest lap of the race being the final lap.

Check out the below video of the final lap of moto two from our helmet cam.



With Renmark over, I headed in to what became one of the most hectic weeks of the year to date. The next race on our radar was rounds 7 and 8 of the 2013 Australian Off-Road Championship, being held at Coonawarra in South Australia.

I had a little bit of work to do on the bike to get it ready for not only the AORC round, but also Hattah the following weekend. I was unsure of what to expect at Coonawarra, I was under the impression there was going to be a lot of sand and some wide open test sections, though in the end only half of that impression come to light!

We made a couple of small changes to our KTM for the lead in to the AORC. The first thing to be changed was gearing, going back down from a 51 tooth rear sprocket to a 48 ready for some high speed action! While changing the rear sprocket we also replaced both the chain and the front sprocket, all with parts from the KTM Powerparts range.

The next change we made for the upcoming sand races, was to replace our Pirelli Scorpion Mid Hard front and rear tyres to a set of Pirelli Scorpion Mid Soft tyres.

These were the only real changes we made to our KTM as we switched from MX to Off-Road racing, there were a couple of oversights on my behalf that I will make sure I add to a bike before I do another AORC round or a local Off-Road race! Namely organising a set of hand-guards and a bash plate. I was lucky enough to get through the weekend with my hands in tact as well as my frame and cases, but certainly a lesson learnt.

I do have a full break down of our weekend at the AORC that I will post a little later, so we wont go into a full break down of the event just yet. What I will say is that the event was not what I was expecting.
We spent the weekend filming at the AORC with MXTV's Brenden Bell, after he finished having a ride on Saturday.
Credit: R!DE HQ
The tests and trails were tight and even a little daunting when I first arrived and walked some of the Quarry test. At the end of the two days though I was more than a little hooked on Off-Road racing, with over five hours of bike time in two days, plenty of challenging tests and a body that was completely spent, I left the event wanting to do more of this type of riding and racing.

Our KTM 350 SX-F was the perfect bike to be on during the event. It tackled everything from the sight sandy single track amongst the fine forest, with quite a few log crossings, the open grass track with more logs and a few trees to squeeze through, to the single goat tracks and rocky, slippery up hill sections around the quarry test with out missing a beat.

For a rookie log hopper and trail rider like myself, the 350 had the perfect power to pull me through everything without ripping my arms off, and enough power to lift my 95kg + frame up and over logs from a standstill even in the deep sand.

The best thing about the KTM on the weekend? The magic button. Since first receiving our KTM I have been a fan of the electric start, it has come in handy during a couple of Motocross races, but out in the bush it is the handiest thing in the world.

The amount of times the E-start saved me after getting either stuck on a log and being forced to get off and lift my bike over was brilliant. I also have no idea what I would have done on one occasion when I stalled near the top of a uphill single track without the electric start, there was no way in the world I would have been able to get started with out rolling backwards down the hill with out the magic button.

I was able to complete my first Off-Road race since 2008, finishing all 9 tests on Saturday and all 7 tests on Sunday along with a lot of trail riding back and fourth between the two separate tests.

We are now mid way though this week, our KTM is clean and awaiting a fresh funnel web filter, some fresh Motorex Oil and a quick going over before we load back up again and head to Mildura in Victoria for the Hattah Desert race, another great test of our 350 SX-F.

Top Image: Our KTM 350 SX-F in action at the Renmark round of the SA motocross championships
Credit: Liz Shaw (FULL THROTTLE IMAGES)

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