May 30, 2007 After conquering almost every competition frontier it has attempted, Austrian sport motorcycle manufacturer KTM is to attempt the famous Baja 500 and the Baja 1000 with a new prototype machine based on the LC4 engine, currently the most powerful series production single cylinder engine in the world. The LC4 was released onto the market in early 2007 in the form of the 690 Supermoto, which came through its baptism of fire in the Dakar Rally 2007 by dominating the event. In combination with the stable, extremely light tubular frame of the Rally 690, the 690 Baja combines the advantages of a very light and superbly handling Enduro machine with the stability of a rally machine.
Cyril Despres, winner of the Dakar Rally in 2005 and 2007 and his American team-mate Chris Blais, who has finished on the podium in numerous Baja races, will be riding for KTM together with the experienced American Davis Pearson. All will be riding the new experimental model.
The "Baja 500" on Mexican soil, the "Baja Aragon" in July and the classic "Las Vegas-Reno" are planned as introductory races to get to know the particular demands on the chassis, the engine characteristics and the very special logistics required for these races. Entry into other short European rallies or national cross country races, or even further Baja 690 projects will be considered if the process of development is seen to be successful.