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Old 05-08-2012, 02:16 PM   #17
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Joined: Oct 2004
Location: India Wharf
Oddometer: 10,302
My son just completed the Mexican 1000 aboard his new KTM 350 EXc-F. He teamed with a road racing buddy. Neither had ever ridden the desert. They finished 4th bike and 1st in class.

Rider 1 said it topped out at 96mph. It eventually melted off the rear blinker leaving bare wires. Could have been altered air flow with the giant loop spares bag. Rider 2 said he topped in low 90's and he was there a lot of the time.

The bike was crashed a few times during the event. Actual all out race miles were about 900. The other 300 were transits between stages. The bike handled great and the stock suspension was excellent. They bend a couple of rims, but had spare wheels so no problem. They did shred one rear tire during a dry lakebed section that was pinned. Apparently the tire balls they used can melt at high speeds. Might not have been lubed enough. Neither had experience with tire balls before either.

They'll probably try again next year, but they want more top speed. The big bikes were in the 105 mph range and made it hard to be competitive on the fastest sections. The 350 ate them up in the technical parts, though.

The overall winner was a Honda 450 Dakar rally bike/rider, followed by a 1983 Husky WR 430 that won the BK1 in that year. She was raced by Malcolm Smith's son. #3 was inmate Mike Gilkey aboard his KTM 950 Enduro.

In sum, the little KTM is real stout and a friendly bike to ride.
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