The digitally-led 2021 ULTIMATE DUKE RIDER campaign asked riders to show the world why they deserved the title by uploading a maximum of 4 photos or videos on social media and starting your caption or description with “I’m the #UltimateDukeRider because…”
Over 1500 DUKE-riding hopefuls uploaded their entries, showing everything from elbow-dragging track antics to telling epic video stories. But in the end, 10 DUKE riders from all walks of life made the final cut and were asked to meet in Salzburg, Austria.
While many had to navigate international airports, PCR tests, and vaccine certificates in order to board flights, others simply saddled up their own motorcycles and hit the road. One finalist even delayed his engagement party to be a part of it, which perfectly illustrates the dedication shown by DUKE riders.
After jumping many hurdles, the ULTIMATE DUKE RIDERS arrived in Austria on the 9th of August and settled down for the night in preparation for an epic few days on the road that would cover over 1800 km.
The morning of the 10th saw the group head to Mattighofen for a private tour of KTM Motohall, with KTM legend Jeremy McWilliams and Dakar hero Joey Evans in tow. It’s fair to say that the experience blew them away, with both McWilliams and Evans talking the finalists through the finer details of their favourite machines.
The 11th of August saw the finalists saddle up and hit the long road towards the Pannonia-Ring in Hungary. The route would see the finalists traversing some of Europe’s finest mountain passes, aboard a fleet of KTM DUKES. The next day, and under the watchful eye and guidance of DUKE maestro Jeremy McWilliams, the riders headed out on track to learn from the very best. With many finalists having never been on a track before, they quickly got up to speed and were soon pushing respectable lap times.
Another 330 km led them to the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg, where the finalists had the opportunity to mingle with KTM top brass in the VIP area of the KTM Grandstand, watching the best in the world during free practice and qualifying.
Sunday saw the weather being temperamental, with a rain-soaked main race that will go down in the history of Grand Prix racing, spectacularly finished off with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder crossing the line in first place.
The finalists saddled up once again for a 255 km ride back to Mattighofen the following day, bringing a close to an epic week and one that these ULTIMATE DUKE RIDERS will never forget.