The decision as to which bike I should ride is enormously important.
Throughout my life I have ridden different brands: BMW, KTM, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki and others.
My approach is to ride the same kind of bike in training and racing. Now, this is where things get a little complicated… and yes this is where “there’s no one bike that can do it all” comes to light. A fully rally raid racing bike is a beast that is suitable for desert racing, however the setup, size and massive weight are not conducive to regular training. And especially in my situation where local rides are mainly in tight technical enduro trails and forestry roads. This is where you need a smaller enduro bike to hone your skills and navigate local terrain with some grace.
So what should I do?
First there’s the bike I currently own: 2005 KTM 450 EXC which right now is my only bike that I use for training and racing.
This is the first bike I’ve ridden after I got my prosthetic leg and the one I have adjusted to my unique situation. At this stage I’m comfortable with it and feel reasonably competent riding it. The downside is that it’s an older, tired machine which has seen better days.
There’s lots of wear and tear on older components (bearings, valves, suspension, engine, drivetrain etc.) and I find myself constantly replacing parts and fixing broken ones. Also, as my training volume increase so does the stress on the bike which will increase wear and tear. I am a pretty decent mechanic so doing the work myself right now is an added bonus as I get a chance to know the bike inside out.