KTM's Paris Dakar racing bikes at the
2001 Barcelona International Motorcycle Show

Photo - Jordi Arcaron's KTM Paris-Dakar bike

The 2001 KTM factory works bike of KTM

Okay. Okay. This year KTM beat BMW soundly in the Paris-Dakar.

Okay. Okay. The Boxer is heavier than the KTM and the F650RR is also a single.

So, what gives. It's interesting to make a comparison between the style of KTM and the style of BMW, especially this year because the bikes were fairly different (again) in horsepower and handling characteristics.

I got a good closeup look at Jordi's bike and another KTM, combined together to get a few pictures. Overall, what I noticed were pretty much the same modifications for long-distance desert rallying. This being, high clearance suspension, Excel rims with mousse, twin lights, radiator guards, and high cockpit.

Where the KTM differred dramatically from the BMW was in overall fit and finish. It was well put together and indeed very reliable (this year) but compared close-up to the BMW there was less use of specially machined parts and tubing. The bike is a study in simplicity of design and ruggedness. It was sparse in comfort but long in toughness.

Check out the photos and compare them to the BMW R900RR photos so see for yourself and make up your own opinion!

KTM Paris-Dakar closeup

Photo - KTM, cockput

Roadbook, GPS, and navigation units were pretty much standard compared to BMW.
Started switch and light switches were the same as well. Cockpit is a bit more
crowded compared to larger R900RR space.

Photo - KTM - carbon fiber bash plate

The engine is fairly close to the frame rails. Look at the abuse that this bike
took and how the carbon fiber plate has held up. Impressive!

Photo - KTM, engine and countersprocket

It's ugly but made for riding. Quick and open access to counter-sprocket.
Big tongs on footpegs and rear brake lever.

Photo - KTM, drivetrain

Quick change rear swingarm, lower chain guide, large rear sprocket.

Photo - KTM, radiator guards

Simple but effective. The quick access and protective guards.

Photo - KTM controls, side

A look at the controls from the side. Note the large opening for air passage. 

Photo - KTM, underside radiators

Compared to the BMW, the KTM definitely had more direct airflow
over cooling components - but also more direct dust intake.

Photo - Another KTM

This is not a KTM but a Cagiva that I found hanging around a distributor's booth.
I think that it's fairly old and that they roll it out for sales promos. (thanks to Adam Younie for the catch).

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