KTM Racing shifts up with Hino trucks

An awning on the 700 Series FS provides an area for the team to work and rest under.

An awning on the 700 Series FS provides an area for the team to work and rest under.

KTM Racing relies on two Hino trucks to carry its highly tuned road and off-road motorbikes to national championship races, with the smoothness of Hino’s airbag suspension being a clear winner with the motocross team.

KTM Australia General Manager Jeff Leisk said his decision to expand KTM Racing’s fleet with Hino trucks was inspired by the reliability and trouble-free operation of the 500 Series FD 1027 Air the company has used since 2010.

The Perth-based team uses Hino’s heavy duty 700 Series FS 2848 ProShift 16 Air and 300 Series 616 Auto Medium Wheelbase models to service the needs of its racing team.

“It was my decision to use Hino from the outset – I’ve come into contact with the product in the past and it’s always been reliable and performed well,” Mr Leisk said.

“Hino stands out because the trucks tick the right boxes, from airbag suspension to cruise control.

“We’re carrying around expensive race bikes and spare parts across some pretty varied terrain, so we want something that rides smoothly – that’s why we opt for the Hino range fitted with airbag rear suspension.

“The engine performance and driveability is always very good with Hino trucks, and that’s why we’ve added a 300 and 700 Series to our fleet.”

The Hino 700 Series FS 2848 ProShift Air is powered by a 13-litre Hino engine rated at 480Hp fitted with a ZF 16-speed automated manual transmission with an integrated retarder.

The 700 Series FS also offers operators a range of features including a digital radio, DVD player, Bluetooth, heated power mirrors, cruise control and ISRI seats as standard, but Mr Leisk has added a few non-standard options to set his new truck apart.

“We’ve fitted a decked-out, nine-metre body on the back of it so our racing team can attend the national racing events – inside there’s water tanks, compressors, generators… everything we need for a race weekend,” he said.

“There’s an awning that extends out to the side so team members have a large protected area to work and rest under, and both trucks are painted in the full KTM livery – they look fantastic.”

Rounding out the KTM fleet is a Hino 300 Series 616 Auto light duty truck that helps KTM Racing riders and technicians fine-tune their machinery.

“We’ve put a specialised Pantech body on the back of it,” Mr Leisk said.

“It’s used for testing and training during the week, and it’s kitted out with a small workshop in the back so we can make adjustments at the track.”

The Hino 300 Series 616 Auto utilised by KTM Racing benefits from Australia’s most comprehensive safety features on a light duty truck with dual SRS airbags, four-wheel disc brakes, anti-lock brakes, vehicle stability control, traction control and a driver’s suspension seat all as standard.

According to Mr Leisk, the growing needs of KTM Australia’s racing program required new trucks capable of meeting tough deadlines with no room for error.

“Races don’t wait for you if something goes wrong – you have to be there on time, every time,” he said.

“We needed trucks that were reliable, easy to drive and helped our drivers stave off fatigue.

“With Hino’s range of trucks and nationwide dealer and service network, we can rely completely on our equipment and focus on the race.”