Winning Dakar for a company is like conquering the world. KTM is so succesful at Dakar becasue of the support they have. If another team stepped up and gave the support KTM does then I think they would be just as comptetitive. I have only caught a few stages of this years Dakar and I only noticed 1 XR, I am sure there are more, but at the same time I saw a dozen KTM.
I haven't watched enough this year, but in past years it looked like BMW gave just as much support as KTM. Remeber when Jimmy Lewis (I think that was his name, he was the journalist from the U.S) ran it, BMW had a lot of support.
KTM has been adding support in the off-road respects here. They just aren't in the dez out here. They have only a small contingency for the desert events. Mostly BITD and the AMA H&H/Enduro areas. They are supporters of Supercross (especially 125's), Arenacross, GNCC, and even FMX.
Look at the expsoure they have received on Speed TV, not to mention the tv time in Europe. Most all of the bikes running Dakar are KTM (twins or singles). They are bound to be the winners.
Jimmy Lewis is still a contributing editor at Dirt Rider Mag and also has a riding school.
Check him out at <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.jimmylewisoffroad.com/frames1.html>http://www.jimmylewisoffroad.com/frames1.html</A>
Confucius Say - "Every man who do Flying-W, come down with nuts in mouth."
the rumer i am hearing about honda is that they my be cutting back on there off raod racing this year. they are to busy with there car racing. the motorcycles are just an after thought to the big wigs.
It is mostly a matter of target audiences...Dalar os big news in Europe and Africa, so the Manufacturers who target those sales markets put more emphasis on the competitions that those buyers watch on tele. Here, folks are into Supercross and MotoX and some desert and the primary sellers(the Japanese) target those markets because that is their biggest selling base. KTM is starting to enter these Markets here and it is evident in the Canadian motorcross Television coverage. In the mid 80's, KTM started to push its desert bikes here when there was more TV coverage of deser racing, but they went away when the TV coverage did...just like most Truck manufacturers.