No other race on earth has such an extensive history of extraordinary stories in some of the most remote places explored with a motorcycle as The Dakar Rally. To celebrate 30 years of Heinz Kinigadner and KTM competing at this incredible event, the KTM Motohallin Mattighofen, Austria is announcing a very special exhibition ‘Legends of the Dakar’ which opens on May 11.
From 50 degrees heat, desert and stones, to freezing cold mountains and challenging ravines, the Dakar Rally is a race of extremes. Having competed at the event for three decades, KTM has enjoyed a rich Dakar history, right from the Heinz Kinigadner days in the 1990‘s, to the most recent victory with Kevin Benavides in January 2023.
The KTM Motohall special exhibition gives visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of Dakar – a race of a million stories. With a spinning compass and limited-service help, Heinz Kinigadner nursed his adapted LC4 Enduro bike to the very next bivouac in a bid to put KTM on the map and realize his dream of a Dakar podium. Little did the two-time Motocross World Champion know at the time that his vision of competing at the event would bring KTM the success it has had today, with 19 Dakar victories since Fabrizio Meoni‘s first win in 2001.
In 2023, after nearly 44 hours of racing, a final stage showdown with only 12 seconds separating first and second place, both KTM riders captivated the eyes of the world.
The ‘Legends of the Dakar’ exhibition tells untold stories and re-visits moments in history of this incredible race, directly from those that have experienced the heat and the cold, as well as the highs and the lows, first hand. With 10 history-making Dakar bikes and numerous artifacts from this notorious race on display, the exhibition brings visitors closer to the action from Paris-Dakar, South America and Saudi Arabia. Years where legends were made, such as Heinz Kinigadner, Fabrizio Meoni, Marc Coma, as well as more recently Matthias Walkner, Toby Price and Kevin Benavides are re-visited to deliver untold stories while reflecting on competing at what is arguably the toughest race on the planet.
“There is no bigger adventure than the Dakar; the momentum and motivation it provided us back in those early years, which proved to be pivotal in the promotion of the KTM name and development of our motorcycles, has never wavered.” – Stefan Pierer, CEO PIERER Mobility AG
“To talk about the history of KTM and the Dakar really makes me a bit proud. Back when I started in 1994, I could not believe the media coverage – it was so much more than I got for my world titles, and I knew it could be good for the brand. While the style and professionalism of racing has changed since then, the fundamentals of the race remain the same. It’s a big adventure.” – Heinz Kinigadner
“There is no other race like it, and no feeling like winning it. I am so proud to have been an Austrian rider, on an Austrian bike with an Austrian sponsor and it is really cool that the KTM Motohall is telling these stories – especially those ones in history that we did not always get to know about in detail.” – Matthias Walkner, 2018 Dakar Winner
“Winning this year‘s Dakar was really the best feeling of my life. And now, to be a part of KTM‘s Legends of the Dakar makes me very proud. I am still overwhelmed, it‘s amazing.” – Kevin Benavides, 2023 Dakar Winner