Pretty much anyone who's been riding a bike for a decent amount of time would be familiar with performing basic maintenance on their machines. While not everyone is equally skilled when it comes to wrenching on their bikes, it's understood that tackling essentials such as engine oil, brakes, chain maintenance, and fluids is something all riders need to be familiar with. 

Indeed, most road bikes have pretty long service intervals – our engine oil can last upwards of 5,000 miles, while brake pads and fluids can even survive an entire riding season. In the world of racing, these service intervals go out the window, and the old adage of "if it ain't broke don't fix it" is flushed down the drain. If we look at the top level of racing such as the Dakar Rally, teams do everything they can to ensure that their bikes are in tip-top shape after every stage. Few brands take off-road racing, let alone the Dakar Rally, as seriously as KTM.

Toby Price

Team Orange has pretty much built its reputation in the world of racing in the Dakar Rally. With 19 Dakar wins under its belt, it's safe to say that KTM knows a thing or two not just about racing the Dakar Rally, but also keeping its bikes in excellent condition all throughout the race. A recent video uploaded on Red Bull Rally's official YouTube channel gives us a glimpse of just how in-depth KTM works on its bikes in the middle of the desert.

Once Toby Price parks his bike, mechanics go straight to work, wasting no time in making sure the 450 Rally is in pristine condition, ready to tackle the next segment. They strip the bike entirely of its body work, and perform the usual maintenance service we usually do on our road bikes – they change the oil, flush out the coolant, and clean the bike. Riding in the desert means that tiny grains of sand get in all the nooks and crannies, as such, KTM's mechanics don't just clean the bike, they strip it down and clean each individual part thoroughly. The wheels and suspension system are removed, serviced, and cleaned. 

It goes without saying that rally bikes go through quite the beating each and every time they run a race. As such, mechanics replace any damaged part with a brand new one, not just to keep the bike running well but also to keep it looking good. After all, there are lots of videographers and photographers on the starting line, and race bikes – especially those from a brand as esteemed as KTM – need to look their best. In the case of the 450 Rally, it receives a new Akrapovic exhaust, alongside a thorough wipe down of its bodywork. 

One thing that's really impressive is how KTM's mechanics make sure every single detail is dialed down to manufacturer's specifications. The continuous clicking of the torque wrench is an ASMR treat for any motorcycle mechanic both seasoned and novice, and the way each and every part slides into place without the need for much convincing is sure to make us DIY-ers extremely jealous. After all, bikes like the 450 Rally were designed to be as easily serviceable as possible. 

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