Report Photos: Ottmar Behrend, Jever Manaus Be elém Fortaleza Report KTM, the Austrian manufacturer of top-quality motorbikes, is always able to wow fans and customers with special motorbike trips and deals. When KTM organized an Adventure Tour to Brazil this February, we went along for the ride. KTM jungle tour in Brazil A KTM goes diving. This waterhole was completely invisible. The bike needed cleaning after its dip. Every Brazilian boy dreams of owning a motorbike. We were greeted with great interest wherever we went. With an area of 8.51 million square kilometers, Brazil has more to offer than just the Rio carnival, beautiful beaches and brilliant soccer players. The biggest country in South America has plenty for bikers to see and experience off the beaten tourist track. KTM Adventure Tours KTM has been organizing Adventure Tours and training sessions at various locations worldwide for a number of years. The tour guides are often topnotch ex-stars of the sporting circuit. It goes without saying that everyone rides a KTM bike. The cost of the adventure package includes use of the bike, fuel, hotel accommodation and all meals – with a knowledgeable guide and nonstop fun and adventures thrown in! A feast for off-road gourmets After landing at 3:00 am, the group immediately set off on an exploratory tour of Rio de Janeiro. The next morning, tour guide Chris Attiger was waiting for us at the Hotel Aldeia dos Ventos (Windmill) in Macaé with a KTM EXC 400 Racing bike for each of the six of us. The hopelessly congested inner-city arteries are typically south American – Rio is a textbook example of unadulterated traffic chaos! But KTM didn’t want to put us through that, so on the second day after our arrival we climbed on our EXC 400 Racing bikes and headed towards the seemingly boundless jungle of the Brazilian outback. For the next five days time stood still, as, with wide eyes, we Europeans discovered the exotic wonders of the rain forest. The great thing about the one-day trips under the leadership of a professional guide was that we didn’t have to worry about organization or carry luggage with us. All we had to think about was riding, and the trips offered something for everyone. All of us – without a single exception – mastered the deep-red laterite tracks that cuts through the steaming jungle as far as the horizon. But it wasn’t all easy riding. There were continual challenges to keep us on our toes, such as fording rivers or traveling through the jungle on narrow, overgrown tracks. As well as testing our concentration skills, the tour proved to be a rigorous trial of our Enduros’ reliability. When not submerged in waterholes, the bikes proved totally reliable. What’s more, as far as we were able to measure, our EXC 400 Racings did not consume any oil at all. All KTM bikes are factory-filled with MOTOREX lubricants and we maintained the chains of our tour bikes every evening with MOTOREX’s CHAIN- LUBE 622 spray. Tracks in the white sand Each of the one-day tours had one thing in common: the sights and experiences were so intense that we had difficulty taking it all in. But when we rode north across the seemingly endless beige sand dunes of Macaé beach (actually between 50 and 70 kilometers) each one of us felt like Steve McQueen in “On Any Sunday”. Brazil is a country that makes any offroad biker’s long-cherished dreams come true. No matter where we went, lunch was always one of the highlights of the day: hearty and varied meals such as the exquisite Churrascos (grilled meat) or hot and spicy bean dishes (complete with afterburn). The natural pools formed by rivers offered an inviting opportunity to bathe, freshen up our sweat-drenched bodies and revive the enthusiasm we needed to tackle the remaining kilometers back to the hotel. The camaraderie of adventure All the participants struck up an immediate rapport. Even though we came from a wide range of professional backgrounds, we all seemed to speak the same language. Each evening, when we arrived back at our simple yet spotless hotel, tired and with aching muscles, we still had plenty to talk about, recounting the day’s events and reliving our experiences from beginning to end. The view of the Atlantic Ocean and a delicious dinner were handsome recompense for the trials, tribulations and countless potholes of the day. BRAZIL 10 11 Brasilia Curitiba Porto Alegre Belo Horizonte Macaé Rio de Janeiro Sao Paulo After dinner, we would very often meet up for a beer or glass of wine in “Willi’s Bar”, where Willi – an expatriate Swiss – was the perfect host until late into the evening. “The real Brazil – the joie de vivre and energy of the people who live here – is addictive”, said one of the participants, reluctantly handing back his hired motorbike at the end of the trip. Well, any traveler will have his or her tales to tell. And even more so if they’ve just been on a KTM Adventure Tour! Like the idea of a trip to Brazil or in search of an adventure? KTM will be running its Brazilian tours on the following dates: August 7 – 14, 2004 August 14 – 21, 2004 December 13 – 20, 2004 Further information can be found at www.ktm.com Toucan Salvador Recife The day trip north up the beach from Macaé was one of the many high spots of an unforgettable tour. Welcome refreshment. With temperatures of 35°C we made the most of any opportunity to cool down – even with all our gear on! After a day packed with adventure, we all looked forward to a reviving shower and dinner back at the hotel.