Interviews 3 Oct 2017

Industry Insight: KTM Australia’s Kyle Blunden

A unique look into KTM's support and technical service at the AJMX championship.

KTM has always been a strong supporter of junior motocross, which is why it’s only natural for them to back the KTM Australian Junior Motocross Championship (AJMX), currently in full swing this week at Horsham in Victoria. MotoOnline.com.au tracked down KTM Australia motorsport marketing’s Kyle Blunden to get a unique insight into the brands support and technical service provided at the week-long event.

Image: Jeremy Hammer (Foremost Media).

Obviously KTM has backed the Australian Junior Motocross Championship again in 2017, how important is it for the brand to get behind an event like this?

It’s really important, KTM is one of the only brands that can support racing from a very, very young age – from the first time a kid gets on a bike, all the way through to when he gets on a 450. We have a competitive model for every age group, so for us it’s really important to get on board and showcase these bikes from a really young age.

It’s not just a case of supporting the event financially and displaying some banners, KTM is providing technical support here for all KTM riders, it’s pretty special to have that sort of facility here at the race track.

It’s a great service, I’ve been over there a little bit today – everyone that comes over is really appreciative of the free labour aspect of what we do. We have fully trained technicians that are at any national level event, whether that be the AORC or any sort of motocross event. They’re top level mechanics, and to have them out here supporting this event is something really special and unique for the parents to be able to interact with. A standard bike really is a good bike, we’re sort of seeing the opposite of that, where people are getting excited over modifications – which is important – but it’s good for them to see first hand from a factory technician the ins and outs of the what they’re trying to achieve.

It must give parents a lot of confidence when buying a KTM that there is this type of support at an event like this where families travel thousands of kilometres from all over the country to attend.

Yeah, it’s definitely handy. We just got a new dealer on board in Horsham – Wimmera Motorcycles – so for them to come as well, meet the families and get a feel of KTM as a brand at an event like this is awesome. We’ve had people travel 30 hours just to be able to get here – there would be people who have driven further than that – they put in such a huge effort, so it’s the least we can do to put on something like this.

Image: Jeremy Hammer (Foremost Media).

KTM has its own team riders, is it crucial pick up emerging talents when they’re young and before they move into the senior ranks?

Yeah, definitely. It’s something KTM is passionate about, and that is junior racing. We’re going further than that more so than ever with the introduction of the KTM Junior Supercross Challenge. To have a junior team really is important for us to really try and massage these kids that really are quite talented into something that whether it be professional motocross or supercross riders, or even get a feel for the inside workings of the brand. It’s really quite cool for them to be part of the team at this kind of event.

You’ve been a regular on the MX Nationals scene for a number of years, what’s your take been on the AJMX so far?

This is the first junior nationals I’ve ever been to, back when I was working at a dealership I did a few days here and there, but never the full week from setup to pack down. To see this kind of event and how it’s all run, it really is a national level event. It’s really well structured, the pit layout is fantastic and the Horsham club is doing a really good job. It’s awesome actually, it’s really cool to see so many people come out.

Awesome, thanks mate.

Yeah, no worries!

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