“I thought, it’s going to drive me crazy if I don’t go back”
The Dakar is one of the most extreme adventures that most people will ever attempt, but it’s fair to say Kyle McCoy isn’t most people. A former American military officer who did four tours in Afghanistan, the 45-year-old took up ultra-marathon running when he left the army. The sport quickly became a passion, with Kyle going all over the world as he became the “Ricky Brabec of ultra-marathons”, in his words. After competing in over 100 long-distance races, he realised they were starting to take a toll on his body and decided to seek another high-octane hobby. The Dakar was a perfect fit; Kyle had already been riding bikes for around a decade, and as a natural endurance athlete he was drawn to one of motorsport’s most arduous tests. With support from the BAS World KTM team, he finished his 2020 debut in 60th place, admitting that the psychological and emotional aspects of conquering the Dakar were a bigger challenge than the physical side of it. In 2023, he returned as the unofficial team captain of an ambitious five-man project: the American Rally Originals, who hoped to become the first bikers from the US to finish in Original by Motul. But of the quintet -Mo Hart, Paul Neff, David Pearson, Jim Pearson and Kyle himself- Mo was the only one to make it all the way. Kyle suffered a fibula fracture at the end of Stage 4 and was promptly sent home to the USA for surgery. Unsurprisingly, given his competitive nature, he has decided that he has unfinished business with the Dakar. In 2024 he returns for a solo attempt at completing Original by Motul, once again with a bike package. In typical Kyle fashion, he will be warming up for the rally by taking part in arguably the world's toughest mountain bike race, La Ruta de los Conquistadores; a three-day, 260-kilometre slog across Costa Rica. That proves at least that he is back on form after the travails of Dakar 2023, and ready to make another attempt at taming the rally's hardest class.
“Last year I had a crash like 400 metres from the end of Stage 4 and ended up fracturing my right fibula. There was a local Saudi guy cheering me on, I looked up for a split second and the wheel went sideways. I picked the bike up and rode it 60 kilometres back to the bivouac, hoping nothing was broken, but when I stepped off I knew it wasn’t good. I knew the bone was fractured. They said, 'You should go home and have a surgery there', so that was it for me. It happened so fast, it was painful. I gave myself three months to decide what to do. And I thought, it's going to drive me crazy if I don’t go back and finish the Original by Motul. Even if only one of us finished last year, it was still an amazing experience, I talk to those guys all the time. It did feel a bit silly because the whole thing was my idea, I rounded everybody up, so I kind of felt responsible for the outcome. I still have that weight on me a little bit.
There wasn't enough interest to put together a real team of us in 2024. We had the most Americans in history last year, 11 in the motorbike class. It’s going to be hard to get back to 11. I’m very lucky that I’m able to do Dakar again. It's addictive, it's hard to give it up. I will say this: 2023 was at least two times as hard as 2020. I’m really looking forward to two things in 2024. The first is the electronic roadbook, because it’s one less thing for me to do at the start line. And I’m really excited about this whole 48h Chrono stage. My view is that it’s just kind of an Original by Motul or a marathon stage on steroids. Everyone will get a taste of our suffering!”
American Rally Originals
KTM 450 RALLY REPLICA
AMERICAN RALLY ORIGINALS
- Marca KTM
- Modelo 450 RALLY REPLICA
- Preparador BAS World KTM
- Asistencia Original by Motul
- Clase Rally 2
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