These are the first photos of the 2014 KTM 450 Rally factory race bike that Marc Coma, Kurt Caselli, and Ruben Faria will ride in the upcoming Dakar Rally in three-months time (factory rider Francisco Lopez will be on the 2013 machine). The 2014 race bike is a completely new machine from the ground up, and will make its racing debut at the OilLibya Rally of Morocco.
With the goal of winning its 13th Dakar in a row, KTM has some stiff competition for this upcoming Dakar, as former-rider Cyril Despres has defected to the Yamaha Racing team, and HRC has recently debuted its brand new 2014 Honda CRF450 Rally race bike as well.
The Morocco Rally represents the KTM factory team’s final tests ahead of the 2014 Dakar Rally, and the race will also decide the 2013 World Rally Champion. Marc Coma is hoping to defend his rally championship title from last season, and currently has a narrow three-point lead over rival Paolo Goncalves of Portugal.
KTM must have a lot of confidence in the 2014 race bike to test it in Morocco with the Championship still on the line, though we imagine the Dakar is still a bigger prize in the Austrian team’s eyes. A&R apologizes for the low-res photos. We’ll post high-resolution images and more details when we find them.
Source: KTM; Photos: Red Bull