Off-Road Observer: 29
The Yamaha WR450F features a five valve fuel injected engine housed in a YZ250F chassis. The current model WR450F heralds the biggest change since the introduction of that first WR400F. Yamaha designers, testers and engineers have revisited the drawing board and re-invented the new WR450F from the ground up.
Alex Gobert focuses on the world of off-road, presented by Yamaha's 2012 WR450F.
The story of Ben Grabham is a pretty special one. Already recognised as a legend of Australian off-road and desert competition, his injuries earlier this year proved that event the best can come unstuck in what may just be the most unforgiving racing conditions that Australia has to offer.
It was 8 April and during the Condo 750 that Grabbo crashed while competing for HSE Motorex KTM Desert Racing after contacting a kangaroo at around 150 km/h.
As has been written about by Adam Riemann in the Off-Road Observer before, it was really serious, really scary and career threatening at times. Needless to say, the off-road fraternity was relieved when KTM began releasing a series of YouTube film updates tracking his recovery.
This week’s latest update showing Ben’s return to riding aboard a 500 EXC was the best update of all, a surprise of sorts to those who haven’t been closely tracking his progress.
Complete with a gnarly scar on his back that serves as a reminder the dangers that motorcycle racing/riding can involve, Grabbo is back on two wheels and most likely back on the gas. The memories may still be fresh, but his love for riding outweigh the challenges that he’s faced.
“I’ve hardly slept the last two nights, knowing that I could ride again,” he said in the video. “I looked forward to getting the bike so much and it’s way ahead of schedule compared to what I really thought.
“To be honest, I’ve done everything possible to get to this stage, from diet to everything I could. Normally I’m a big fan of my energy drinks and I don’t mind having a drink or two at Finke with the boys after Toby wins, but yeah, none of that. I’ve just been reading every bit that I could about what to eat, what I shouldn’t and I’ve just been doing everything that I could really.”
To see the entire film of Grabbo back in action for yourself, check it out below. It’s inspiring and makes us feel grateful for what we have, but best of all, one of the country’s best is well on his way to a racing return.
Ben may have missed the Finke and Hattah desert races this year while teammate Toby Price revelled in the glory, but don’t be surprised if you see him back in contention next June for Finke glory. Running at the front is the only way that Grabbo knows…