Austrian motorcycle maker KTM stakes its reputation on the ability of its off-road motorcycles to tackle the toughest terrain on earth, and it's made a habit of proving these capabilities with both a factory team and a far-reaching privateer support program in the Dakar Rally each year. Up through 2009, that is – KTM has just announced that it's pulling out of next year's event.
Two of the five of Volkswagen Race Touareg TDIs that ran in this year's Dakar Rally took top overall positions in the two marathon. The truck driven Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz led to the finish capturing the first ever overall win for a diesel powered vehicle in this race. The Race Touaregs were powered by 2.5L five cylinder diesel engine that is basically half of the V10 TDI formerly used in the production Touareg. In race trim this engine produces 280 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque.
The Dakar Rally is famous for its unfortunate history of taking the lives of those who dare to take part in the endurance race, and this year's running is no exception. The body of 49-year-old French motorcyclist Pascal Terry has been found after the rider went missing for three days. Race officials had gone searching for Terry after they received word that his Yamaha motorcycle had run out of fuel. Pascal's body was found in the shade near his motorcycle and he reportedly had abundant food and