KTM Malaysia have always pursued ways to provide the best lifestyle events for KTM motorcycle owners, in collaboration with the KTM Malaysia Owners’ Group (KMOG). No less important are riding and safety programs such as the Defensive Riding Programs (DRP) last year in order to prepare the riders for the KMOG Borneo Ride 2017.
As an extension of the approach that rider safety and skill should be continuous process, KTM Malaysia and KMOG held the “KTM Weekend Adventure with Chris Birch” event over the 19th to 21st January 2017 weekend. The first day of the adventure consisted of a riding clinic at KTM Malaysia’s offroad circuit in Sungai Buaya, Rawang. A total of 20 KMOG members were present, bringing along a good mix of KTM motorcycles including the 1290 Super Adventure S, 1290 Super Adventure T, 1190 Adventure, 1090 Adventure, 1050 Adventure, 990 Adventure, 690 Enduro, 450 EX/C – F ISDE, Freeride 250, among many others.
Chris Birch and his assistant Chris Whitehouse taught participants on the finer points of offroad riding such as: Adjustments to the motorcycle’s controls. Proper body positioning, weighting and standing stance. Correct throttle control. Vision techniques. Correct brake use. Drawing from those aspects, participants were also taught on how to tackle difficult situations such as mud, loose sand, loose gravel, obstructions, low-speed control, cornering and climbing steep hills. The aim of the lessons resulted in better control of the motorcycle while riding not only offroad, but also in challenging road conditions.
Additionally, it was also the opportunity for KTM adventure motorcycle owners to discover the full offroad capabilities of their large adventure motorcycles firsthand. Chris Birch also answered questions during a Q&A session with the media. The second day of the event saw KTM Malaysia’s factory rider, Gabit Saleh and marshals, leading the group which also included Chris Birch and Chris Whitehouse in a trail ride. The trail ride began at Bukit Beruntung, where the party rode through oil palm estates, plantations, and the general countryside, before ending back at the track in Sungai Buaya.
The trail consisted of a mix of terrain including hard-packed sand and soil, loose gravel and sand, soft mud and deep mud, water puddles, a stream crossing, rickety bridges, steep up and downhill slopes, and dirty tarmac. The riders were welcomed to speak to both gentlemen during the ride to improve on their riding skills. Birch and Whitehouse were also on-hand to provide tips and advice during each section of the ride. Besides that, Chris Birch took the opportunity to demonstrate the full offroading and adventure capabilities of the KTM 1290 Super Adventure S, despite being a road-oriented model compared to the 1290 Super Adventure R. He performed power slides, power slide U-turns, stream crossings,riding over deep mud without faltering, power wheelies over loose surfaces, among others.
Chris Birch capped off the trail ride with a demonstration of his amazing skills and experience by riding the KTM 450 EX/C-F. The KTM owners were also equally impressed that their KTM adventure motorcycles could tackle the challenging conditions, without any one motorcycle breaking down. Additionally, while there were multiple spills and drops, no one was injured. Consequently, everyone had great fun while learning how to ride. Chris Birch then conducted an autograph session, before presenting the certificates signed by him on the next and last day of the event.