In keeping with the tradition of getting your readers involved with your publication i thought it would be a good idea to start a ‘readers rides’ section here on NSRMTB. But i am going to put a little twist to the old formula by also doing a little profile on the rider as well. So kicking off the first installment of this new project i chose James Morland and his o so unique KTM APHEX…You, the riders are what makes this sport so awesome and what better way to pay homage to you and the sport than getting your story out there. The KTM APHEX is without a shadow of a doubt on of the most unique and newest bikes out there today. James Morland is a regular on the local SA Downhill scene and also the points leader in both the provincial and national series for 2011. I threw a few questions his way to find out a bit more about the rider who does the APHEX justice.
Pretty unique bike you got there James, how many similar ones have you come across?
I am the first person to start racing the KTM brand on the DH circuit in South Africa. As far as I am aware there is one other currently racing in Cape Town, but it is its first year racing here, so hopefully we will see more Austrian rigs on the hill soon. There are hundreds of KTM XC bikes at the various events country wide, but as you know the DH scene is a smaller one, but growing from race to race.
Why the choice to go with a new brand in DH like KTM, versus choosing from one of the more popular brands currently on the circuit?
KTM have a very proud racing heritage, and while the push bikes and motorbikes are two separate companies I was very intrigued by the brand. The Aphex is incredibly well spec’d, so much so that all I needed to change were the Bars, for a wider pair. Coming from an enduro back round, the name KTM already has a place in my heart and when given the opportunity to ride the APHEX for 2011, I jumped at it. Being part of the brand since its launch is exciting, and I am inspired to continue the growth of KTM in the MTB scene.
You are currently the log leader in the national Veterans class, how long have you been doing DH?
That’s right, I am currently leading the National and Gauteng Vets class in Downhill with one race to go in each series. The first time I ever threw a leg over a Downhill bike was in June 2007 at Whistler bike park in Canada and fell in love immediately. On my return I purchased a Heavy 10 inch travel bike and started to race in 2008, so this is my fourth year racing. Last year I did the Cape Epic, so I hardly rode my DH bike, but I am back with a vengeance this year.
Do you have aspirations to aim towards competing at the master’s world cup?
I would relish the opportunity to compete at the Masters World Cup, that would be a dream come true! Perhaps with the right backing it could be done in the near future.
What is it you would like to see happen with DH in SA for the coming years?
This is a hotly debated topic at the moment. I think to put it simply, I would like to see the sport grow. Grow in terms of participants, coverage and support from the local commissions. In order for Downhill in South Africa to grow we need to get much more coverage, in all forms of media, TV, online, press and print. It would be good to see our National races getting more than 3 minutes coverage on a TV slot, in this short period you cannot do the sport any justice. You guys at NSRMTB are phenomenal at creating awareness for our sport, thank-you! A big thank you must also go out to the people who are prepared to put their money back into DH including my sponsors KTM Bike Industries; Titanium Designs; Adidas Eyewear; Motorex and Maxxis.
There you have it folks, a one of a kind bike ridden by a one of a kind rider. If you would like to see your ride featured in the READERS RIDES section, go to the NSRMTB contact page and send me a mail ( subject: READERS RIDES ) with some pictures of you and your bike and i will reply with some questions to beef up the article.