Pro Moto XC athlete, 2021 Dakar Rally participant and the first Indian to complete the Africa Eco Race, Ashish Raorane takes the ‘Kunzum Kaiser’ crown by setting the fastest known record time of just 13 minutes and 4 seconds on the KTM 390 Adventure motorcycle. Ashish set the record between Batal and Kunzum La in the Himalayas. Along with Ashish Raorane, 11-time Raid de Himalaya winner, Suresh Rana, was also chasing the Kunzum Kaiser title in his Rally-spec championship car.
World’s Highest Hill Climb Challenge
The road from Batal to Kunzum La is a 12.5 kilometre long perilous stretch of a mountain pass at a high altitude ranging from 4000 metres in Batal to 4551 metres in Kunzum La. The high mountain pass consists of 20 hairpin bends and the average temperature is minus 5 degrees celsius. The low oxygen environment and freezing temperatures take a heavy toll on both man and machine. Littering the treacherous terrain are endless slews of loose gravel & rocks, water-filled potholes and huge mountain cliffs tackling which is unquestionably a formidable challenge.
Race for the Kunzum Kaiser title
11-time Raid De Himalaya champion, Suresh Rana went first to set the pace in the Rally-spec championship car with a great start but trouble brewed closer to turn 18 and the engine broke down possibly due to the damage caused to the engine block and the car was hauled back to base. Though the car Did Not Finish (DNF) the time recorded at turn 18 was 11 minutes and 59 seconds. Ashish Raorane on the KTM 390 Adventure continued to lead the time on every turn pushing the limits of both man and machine. Ashish crossed the finish line at Kunzum La in 13 minutes and 4 seconds, setting the fastest known time record.
Powering Suresh Rana’s car is a 2393cc four-cylinder petrol rally-spec engine that churns out 163.5 Bhp of power and 221 Nm of torque. The Rally-Spec Championship car was also equipped with Rieger specialist off-road suspension and an All-wheel-Drivetrain. Powering the KTM 390 Adventure is a 373.2cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled stock/road-spec motor that belts out 42.9 Bhp of power and 37 Nm of torque. The KTM 390 Adventure features Motorcycle Traction Control, Cornering ABS, OFF-Road ABS and a bi-directional quickshifter.