KTM_Kristmas_IMG_9702It takes a gambler to win and the Austrian motorcycle maker KTM took that gamble on the weather last Friday while throwing a holiday party slash track day at its local Pala Raceway. Known locally for its Indian casino, Pala, California and its motocross raceway was the site of KTM’s Christmas gift to owners and fans.

Warding off the falling rain for most of the day, KTM owners had free reign of Pala Raceway’s 200-plus acres, DJ entertainment, product raffles, a look at Team Peterson’s hill climbing team bikes and photos with Santa for the kids and Jager girls for the adult children.

If free t-shirts, open tracks and freestyle shows weren’t enough, KTM had a surprise gift for attending riders and friends, a peek at the maker’s newest motocrosser.

KTM_Kristmas_IMG_9486Mike Alessi was also on hand to show off to the public his ground-breaking KTM 350 SX-F. With an electric starter, rear suspension linkage and fuel injection, the “very mature prototype” KTM has been preparing this all-new motorcycle for possible race application in the 2010 season. Nearly three years in the making, 10-time World Motocross champion Stefan Everts was key in the development and unveiled it to the world at this years EICMA show in Milan. Today, the public got to see the new middleweight with their own eyes!

KTM_Kristmas_IMG_9880Bridging the gap between the often-heavy 450 MXers and the occasionally underpowered 250s, sits this KTM anomaly as an addendum to its lineup instead of a replacement. The new 350 is poised to conquest many races with speed and light weight.

KTM_Kristmas_IMG_9385We left before Ronnie Renner was scheduled to put on a show, when it began to rain. The four hour rush-hour soggy slog home wasn’t nearly as fun as it was to watch the attendees of the KTM Kristmas party hitting the berms and enjoying a free day at the track. Maybe next year we’ll ride too!