By Billy Rainford
It was our final day out here in Southern California. It’s been a really interesting week full of racing, training, and sightseeing. Today, we were taken to the KTM, WP, and Husqvarna North American headquarters in Murietta. Here are a few photos from what ended up being a very enjoyable and informational day.
This is the KTM race shop in Murrieta, California. Yep, ‘The Man’ is in there! As we were standing out here, Jake Weimer road by at the end of a road bicycle ride.
After a quick history lesson on WP by KTM’s Florian Bourget, we walked down the street from KTM to the WP Suspension workshop.
It was really interesting, learning about the progression of the WP air forks.
Working on the bench at WP.
Dyno testing equipment to achieve the most-effective suspension numbers.
So, you want to do your own suspension internals work, do you?
The WP set up is much lighter and doesn’t have the harsh feeling some air fork systems have been accused of.
That’s #16 Zach Osborne’s shock going through some testing.
You’ll also need all these if you have any DIY ideas.
There was some pretty cool stuff behind these race team doors, including some pretty trick springless rear air shock systems.
‘Florian the Pied Piper’ then led us to the vehicles for a quick lunch trip to Chipotle.
Tanner Ward was quick to volunteer himself to ride with Florian in his rental car.
When we returned, a trip into the Husqvarna office and race shop was next.
Pretty much every employee at all of these places looked extremely fit and shaved their cycling legs.
That’s Tanner, Max the Temp, and Claudie Lapointe waiting for Kiska President, Steve Masterson.
What’s Kiska, you ask? I had the same question. You would be surprised at how involved the design company is in the development and look of many of the major products you use every day.
Max brushes up on the company history.
Chris Pomeroy has been with us all week, too, and was also impressed with what we were to learn about Kiska.
We had a choice between delicious cappuccino or espresso.
This is the massive Kiska headquarters in Austria.
Steve points out the chalet at the very top of the mountain that can take 4 hours to climb, but has a record of 1:08. Or you can simply take the cable car. I’m in training to break the record…
Steve was a Harvard professor and gave the most interesting 2-hour instruction we’d ever seen.
Tanner actually commented afterward, “I learned more in those 2 hours than I have the rest of my life combined!”
There were simple yet effective charts and graphs.
We learned what the idea is behind things like that top piece on the KTM front fender. You’d be surprised at what goes into every little detail from the top to the bottom of these bikes.
OK, so the charts and graphs began to get a little more intense. Fortunately, Steve’s explanation made it all crystal clear.
We took a little tour through the Husky race shop and noticed this cool, personalized Christophe Pourcel gas cap.
Frame-down rebuilds are just a normal thing around here.
This trick street bike was just begging to be taken down the highway.
We were left wanting to hear more from Steve. We also toured the KTM race shop but were asked to not take any photos while inside. As we drove away, it was pretty cool to see a high school ball diamond sponsored by a motorcycle company. That’s not something you see everywhere! Thanks for a great day, gang. Your homework is to go check out www.kiska.com.