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Rumorville – KTM Rally 450RR To Lead Baja Charge
KTM 450RR headed to Baja?
It seems like we just got back from the Baja 1000 and the news is already out that KTM is quietly telling people that they are going to make an all out commitment to win the SCORE series for next year. That is quite a statement considering the disappointing result the team had this year with the 530xcw bike.
On one hand it makes sense; everything is in place from last years effort. The race bike only completed about 200 miles, so add a new motor and cure the minor issue that put them out and everything will be ready to go again. But that is not the case. KTM has sort of cleaned house of both bikes and riders and next years effort will be completely new.
The Bike: Six of the new 450RR bike have just been built. Two are for Marc Coma to ride the European Baja series, two are for Cyril Despres if KTM can get him resigned after the upcoming Dakar and the final two are earmarked for the USA. Information on just exactly what the new RR is has been scarce. I asked a couple of months ago and got a flat out “no” as a reply. It appears that it is basically a reworked LC4 motor similar to the 690R. The big visual give away is that the swingarm rides outboard of the trellis frame, just like the 690.
The Rider: Look for Kurt Caselli to lead the Baja charge. Both David’s, Pearson and Kamo, have been shown the door. There is not doubt that Kurt is at the top of his game right now, but it gives him a pretty full plate of WORCS, Hare & Hound, ISDE and three Baja races. Look for him solo the San Felipe 250 and then potentially team up with Ivan Ramirez for the other races.
So I will leave you with a look at the new KTM 450RR model. The factory team is currently preparing for the 2011 Dakar rally. Could we see this bike racing in Baja next year? Stay tuned.
12/17 – I talked with Kurt a little today, he thinks they are going to be racing a plain ol’ 450sxf. That does not sound nearly as exotic, but it probably makes more sense, particularly for the San Felipe 250 and the 500. He did bring up some interesting names as potential co-riders, current very fast Baja guys who must not have deals for next year yet.