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KTM’s Employment of Roger DeCoster as U.S. Manager Signals Renewed Commitment

If we are honest, it wasn’t that long ago that KTM was a second tier factory here in the United States when it came to motocross and supercross competition. Although the bikes were good, and successful in Europe, KTM’s refusal to abandon its odd rear suspension system on its motocross/supercross models, and the resulting odd feel to riders most familiar with Japanese machinery, probably impacted its success in the States. Ultimately, KTM did win races, and even U.S. championships, but you suspected there was another level it could reach here. 

If you thought KTM signaled its commitment to world-wide domination of the sport, including in the U.S. market, by its hiring of Stefan Everts to develop its new 350cc machine, and its decision to embrace rear shock linkage, then you won’t be surprised by the hiring of Roger DeCoster.

DeCoster assumes the role of KTM’s U.S. motocross/supercross manager for 2011.  DeCoster is without question the most successful manager of this sort in history, both with factory teams and with his unmatched record at the Motocross of Nations.  Expect KTM to sign new rider talent to work with DeCoster in 2011.

12 Comments

  1. Morpheous says:

    The “european” version of Decoster is, well Decoster (he is from Belgium);-)

  2. burnise says:

    the european version of decoster is an italian dude, he signed with ktm last year and brought on cairoli. Now they are the FIM champs. Plus, Cairoli beating Dungey on a 350 in denver at mxon will help their case!

  3. stratkat says:

    hey Brinskee, the SD is a fantastic machine, what the hell??

  4. JakeR says:

    KTM has always had great bikes… their problem was they didnt handle and their riders werent top guns (except for alessi)
    with deCoster on board as well as the new riders, they are definately gonna be up front. but im still pullin for dungey…
    and seriously… this isnt a streetbike blog. its MX

  5. stinky says:

    Hooray! KTM hasn’t given more than a token effort since McGrath. Sorry they went to a linkage to be Yappish. The Man will be a great spot on the team that never seemed too worried about this market. They own every other off road market. Sorry about the street bikes though. Great machines, lousy price.

  6. mugwump says:

    Dear KTM, Please change your current street dealer policy. While you can by a dirt bike around here at any number of dealer you’d better have a big map to find a street dealer and then they won’t have anything in stock. After having a former dirt and street dealer explain to me why they weren’t carrying street bikes any more I can’t say as I blame them. Please reconsider.

  7. Bogey says:

    It’s not just racing events either. Anytime I’m on any dual-sport ride, it’s a sea of orange (with barely a handful of Husky’s and others). When will Honda et al wake up an produce a competitive dual sport bike that’s street legal in CA?

  8. Brinskee says:

    KTM needs to focus on updating their on-road lineup too. I have a 2006 950SM and had a long discussion about their questionable styling direction and focus this past weekend after riding a 1200 Multistrada. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan, and I absolutely love my 950SM, but it seems that they’ve stalled a bit. No traction with the RC8 racer whatsoever. They sell in dismal numbers. With such angular styling, where do they go from here? The Superduke is just a sad confused machine (with a ridiculously snatchy throttle). The 990 Adv and SMR are good, but lacking in serious power as compared to, well, at least the 1200 Multi. Let’s see some response Katoom! Let’s do something with the bikes other than adding fuel injection. That Multi left me scratching my head… it’s a fantastic bike. Valve adjustments needed at 15,000 miles!! Incredible. My blood might soon change from running orange to running green, white and red…

  9. John says:

    Check out any off road (non-motorcross) or supermoto event, and there is a sea of orange. Can you blame them for concentrating in their core market. One could sat that the yap companies have given as much of a token effort in those areas as KTM has with motorcross.

    Hopefully, the next stop will be a street legal DP bike that doesn’t need the valves checked every 2 weeks of commute time.

  10. Tommy See says:

    Roger DeCoster will help KTM worldwide.
    I am still bitter that they declined Ewan and Charlie.

  11. GregP says:

    The *only* things KTM has going for them is that they have been being delivered with “street” titles for the past several years, and they are still actively producing 2 stroke off road bikes.
    IMO – Japanese bikes are still superior, but there is very limited selection, and if you have to jump through hoops to get it on the road, folks will default to KTM (or Husky or G-G).
    Now, the big question: With RD on board, will KTM dump Allessi?

  12. PeteP says:

    KTM is doing well, while the Japanese manufacturers are licking their economic wounds. KTM is already a powerhouse in enduro and cross-country competition. Go to a race and see a sea of orange.