IMG_8900

DAKAR 2003 | KTM 950 LC8 Factory

I will always bring with me the memory of the day I came across one of the most incredible off-road motorcycles that the motorsport landscape could offer. Was the 3 September 2020 and from there on we would present to the public our book Obiettivo Dakar. Gio Hall would have been our guest of honor and already this was enough to make that day unforgettable. When, with an unparalleled tough face, I asked Gio if by chance it was possible to have his bike on display, his response was immediate and disarming: "if you want to go to Bergamo at Nicoli's and you get it, for me there are no problems, I notice them." And so we did. On the afternoon of the 3 September, this blue beast proudly got out of the van and was settled into its natural environment: on the sand, though not of the desert, but of the shoreline of Marina di Ravenna.

This KTM is an incredible bike: Powerful, high from the ground, Heavy. Imagine a motion of 200 dry kg for over 100 power cv. He demands respect and almost instils fear even just to move it from firm. I dare not imagine what it means to push such a purebred horse to the limit. The project of this bike was born in 2000 and the development of the prototype that you see in action worked hard (Translated: they came to walk even 2.000 km per day!) Fabrizio and Giovanni, followed in every step by the mechanic Bruno Ferrari. The first tests begin in February of 2001 in Tunisia and the definition of the race bike is entrusted to Fabrizio Meoni, always in collaboration with Giovanni Sala. Case more unique than rare, from the indications of the pilots comes the prototype that runs, but not only. Even the road bike, the 950 Adventure, New10, she is the daughter of racing motorcycles and takes advantage of all the directives given by the champions to Austrian engineers.

The 950 Rally in early versions came to develop over 115 horses, but it was preferred to contain its exuberance, to preserve the tires and mousses that did not hold such power over long distances. By regulation the minimum dry weight imposed was of 200 kg, to which should be added the 55 litres of petrol (in addition to mandatory water and various spare parts). So you can imagine how hard it was to drive the LC8 into the desert for hundreds of kilometers every day. Yet both Meoni and Sala with her won numerous stages and Fabrizio led her to success in the Dakar of the 2002.

The top speed was and is stunning: Gio's GPS recorded in the 2003 a tip of 208 km/h in the middle of the desert.

The LC8 engine is a 75° V-twin 942 CC, two-tree with 4 valves for cylinder and carburetor supply. Change to 6 hydraulically controlled clutch gears. The frame is a tingle in steel tubes, while the swingarm is made of aluminium.

Bike: KTM LC8 950 Rally Factory 2003
Engine: 2 75° V-cylinders, 108 horses, 942 CC, 8 Valves, liquid cooling, carburetor power supply
Weight: 200 kg dry weight
Tanks: 55 liters
Saddle height: > 100 cm
Maximum speed: 208 km/h