What's the REAL story behind KTM saying no to Long Way Round?

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by zolo, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. zolo

    zolo Adventurer

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    So I started watching the Long way Round series again. I'm curious as a new KTM owner and ex GS owner.
    Does anyone know the reason KTM said no to Ewan and Charlie?
    Im sure there is a thread someplace....maybe its been beaten to death.

    They say that KTM didn't think they would make it? Is that the whole truth beginning and end of the story?
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  2. charlie264

    charlie264 Long timer

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    I’ve heard a few rumours like they wanted full KTM sponsorship, etc. What I have been told by someone who would know (mum’s the word) OB1, Boardman and the camera man went through a total of four GS’s each for long way round...<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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  3. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    KTM is a very grass roots company in terms of promotion and advertising. And they pretty much put all of their eggs in their "Rally" events. The Dakar rally alone is enough to break most companies coffers. KTM really doesn't do much in the way of US promotions either. Their Baja 1000 promotions have been pretty half baked from what I've heard, at best. They just didn't have the motivation to offer any support to the Long Way Round crew. Nor did they feel they would have any image control in the end. And I'm not so sure the KTM Adventure would have made the type of difference the Long Way Round crew was looking for. Perhaps the 950 SE would have been a better choice, with an additional rear fuel cell? Even then you still don't have a bike that's easy to remove out of the mud.
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  4. mrjemm

    mrjemm Clumsy Oaf

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    Woulda been daft.

    I get jarred with the same question every time I tell anyone I ride KTM, about the same as when they find out I don't eat meat... (Sorry Zolo, it comes up in conversation all the time, not necessarily here).

    LWR began early 04. The bike came out 03. It was their first with that engine, and as I am sure most will tell you here, it had teething issues, as would be expected.

    It woulda been a gamble. A big gamble.

    And would they (KTM) have benefitted if the bikes (and promotion) succeeded?

    How about no? I recall a couple of years back that KTM were increasing production and was told they couldn't cope with it, and instead reduced production and put prices up to compensate. Maybe apocryphal, but quite likely related to truth.

    Almost certainly KTM are more sensible than to risk either bad or good publicity in this case. Both could have hurt them.

    And the SE wasn't out then I think.
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  5. WARRIORPRINCEJJ

    WARRIORPRINCEJJ Not in the clique...

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    I don't have a clue. But, this ^^^^^ is the explanation that has always made the most sense...to me, at least.


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  6. Schannulleke

    Schannulleke Been here awhile

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    My guess is:

    the LWR-preparations were not that thorough at the moment KTM cancelled it's support for the LWR.
    The only remaining option was BMW and they didn't want to get a "no" again so they increased the preparations before the trip and most probably also the support from BMW during the trip. BMW surely had a lot of demands too before supporting the LWR, and they undoubtedly complied. They had 3 support trucks (that we know of) so my guess is that at least 1 BMW-specialist was in the support crew with tons of spare parts (enough to build a complete new bike :D). This way the LWR just couldn't go wrong, there would always be a solution at hand, whatever happened.

    That why the received the support from BMW.

    If they would heave had the same level of willingness for preparation and support for the bikes (to convince KTM this could not go wrong whatever happens) at the moment they had KTM in mind, I think KTM would have probable also supported the LWR.

    Unfortunately, during the editing of the series they put in the scenes they want and leave out the scenes they want. BMW surely demanded to be able to participate in the editing of the series. A good example of this, is why Claudio's bike was fixed and transported when he had to ride a lot of km's on the Russian bike, without us knowing the details about it.
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  7. Roughidle

    Roughidle Super Star Destroyer....

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    I also think these are the correct reasons. The GS's could have blown up and killed Ewan and Charlie, and BMW would still sell a ton of them. But any failure of the trip, bike related or not, could have been difficult for KTM's marketing team to overcome.
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  8. Tangai

    Tangai Been here awhile

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    “Unfortunately, during the editing of the series they put in the scenes they want and leave out the scenes they want. BMW surely demanded to be able to participate in the editing of the series.”<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    A lot to assume, but probably true as BMW does seem to have a lot pull with the media. The broken down BMWs helped convince me to buy a KTM. <o:p></o:p>
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  9. Roughidle

    Roughidle Super Star Destroyer....

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    Not to completely derail this thread into a KTM vs BMW quality battle, BUT my KTM dealer was a former BMW tech. And I quote: "I've never made as much money as when I was a BMW mechanic". To be fair, I don't think he was hurting as a KTM mechanic....until the recession.
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  10. Shakey!

    Shakey! Pants....That is all

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    My understanding was that OB1 & Charlie also wanted to be given financial support as well as the bikes from KTM/BMW.
    OB1 mentions this in either the book or the tv show. Something along the lines of, "All we wanted was a couple of bikes and a little bit of money...."
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  11. Schannulleke

    Schannulleke Been here awhile

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    Isn't that what we all want? :lol3

    Looking at the series I thought (*) their reaction was a little bit arrogant when they didn't get the free bikes, as they just expected. If they wanted to ride with KTM's, they could have just bought KTM's (as all of us have done, including some people here in the OC who also ride a world tour).

    (*) based on only what is edited into the series
    #11
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  12. IheartmyNx

    IheartmyNx Ihave2draft

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    That sounds like what the hypothetical conversation Toyota would have had, had Camel approached them,...

    And the out-comes the same...

    Didnt take anything away from Landcruiser, but sure didnt make them a household name either... Lucas did that:lol3

    Still, woulda been cool to see both KTM and LC had they have taken that fork in the road...
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  13. RozzyCat

    RozzyCat Bleeds orange

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    Promotionally speaking the LWR ride wouldn't be consistent with KTM's brand equity - Ready to Race. Now if it would've been the Long Way Round Rally - that would work. :D

    I personally had KTM loan me a bike for one year when I worked on behalf of the Blue Ribbon Coalition and was a Board member fighting to keep public lands open to motorized use. They are grass roots.
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  14. RozzyCat

    RozzyCat Bleeds orange

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    Sounds grassroots to me. Way to go Mark!
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  15. scorpion

    scorpion Two arm bandit

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    Sometimes people and projects just don't connect at the right time. :dunno
    Maybe their pitch wasn't to the right person on the right day?

    There are endless stories in Hollywood about mega-hits being passed over by studios for unknown or innocuous reasons.
    Since then, product placement has been the name of the game, and in the end it probably would not have hurt KTM sales in the US.
    #15
  16. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    is there a bike that is easy to get out of the mud?
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  17. Thisguy

    Thisguy Hold Fast

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    From what I have read, it just seems like the biggest problem is what they said in the show. They wanted free bikes and support. The one thing I don't understand is why they did not set the bikes up better. They should have reinforced the subframes. That seem to be he only problem they were having. And not disconnecting the battery when they welded it.
    #17
  18. charlie264

    charlie264 Long timer

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    Bin the TLWR Spoilt brats and watch this.

    allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always">
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  19. JBSmith

    JBSmith Ink-stained wretch

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    That over-the-top drama in the first episode soured me on the whole enterprise. ("A little bit arrogant" is a huge understatement.) I still watch the DVDs every now and then but I always skip the first one. I know, they did the miles, they should get credit for that, but jeez, what a couple of well-off, entitled whiners.
    #19
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  20. WARRIORPRINCEJJ

    WARRIORPRINCEJJ Not in the clique...

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    :lol3


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