Like most professional racers, I’ve been riding bikes since a very young age …and I’ve ridden lots of them. Lots. Curiously though, I’ve never actually owned a lot of bikes myself. Most of the bikes I’ve ridden in the last 25 years have belonged to someone else.
Still today, people often ask me to ride their bikes. Although, sadly, no one’s actually employing me anymore to ring their baby’s neck. I rarely except offers to “take her for a spin and tell me what you think”. I mean, you’ve seen my crash videos right? It happens. The last thing I want to do is throw someone’s shiny, new, pride and joy into the dirt.
For the past few years, Tony and the team at Brisbane KTM have offered to sponsor my coaching programs by way of a ‘rolling loan bike’, a stock KTM 500 EXC. By rolling, I mean Brisbane KTM supply me with a stock 500EXC, replacing it every 6 months or so with the latest model. This has been an amazing opportunity for me and I’m so grateful for the support provided by Brisbane KTM and KTM Australia.
There’s been just one problem with this arrangement. Every 6 months or so, I’d have to give my baby back… and break-ups are hard!
I’d bring her home all shiny and new, still in the crate. I’d put her together with the care and precision of a neurosurgeon. I’d take her out as often as I could and get to know her. I’d fall in love. Guaranteed, every time. But then, I’d get the call. It would be Tony from Brisbane KTM/Motorcycles R Us. It was time. I’d have to give her back. Again.
So last time I spoke to Tony, the conversation went a little differently. This time I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t give up the 2016 model EXC. Here’s all the reasons why I’m not giving your KTM back, mate! This one’s a keeper.
The power delivery on this KTM 500EXC is really nice, right through the range with plenty of top end torque when it’s needed. The Brembo braking system is awesome and the bike handles amazingly well and comfortably through all types of corners, from tight hairpins to big, fast sweepers. She’s perfect.
With some fast talking, a deal was done and she’s mine to keep. One of very few bikes that I’ve actually owned in the last 20 years. Just as, I’m sure many of you do, sometimes I’ll pull up a chair in the garage and sit there, just looking at her. The only problem I have now is, she’s just been joined by the latest model KTM 500 EXC, again, kindly on a rolling loan from Brisbane KTM. So now there’s two of them… and I have a dilemma.
– Garry McCoy