1 month ago | Words: Andy Wigan | Photos: KTM Images

Set at the breathtaking Platypus Cove property in Amamoor, Queensland, and with the ride being led by Trail Bound Moto, Why We Ride documents a day on two wheels aboard the latest KTM EXC machinery in the company of – and under the guidance of – moto legend, Jeff Leisk. Complete with tree-lined singletrail, technical creek crossings, a fair share of hillclimbs and a mixture of scenic sections with astounding vistas, the ride wound up with a well-earned barbecue and campfire storytelling session to recap the action.

KTM and Swiss 8 first came together at this year’s Finke Desert Race, in which Swiss 8 founder and CEO, Adrian Sutter, and his crew were on location for the high-profile event and met the KTM Racing Team in Alice Springs. From there, the 2022 KTM Enduro ‘Why We Ride’ project was born.

‘A BBQ To Remember’ is Swiss 8’s annual mental health connection campaign, currently taking place between October 11 and November 11, 2021. You can support the cause by entering the raffle at bbqtoremember.com/raffle for your chance to win a remarkable prize worth $180,000, which includes a KTM 350EXC-F!

Swiss 8 is a proactive mental health charity, founded by Australian combat Veterans, and A BBQ To Remember connects millions of Australians with the aim of reducing anxiety, depression and suicide. Ignite change by standing alongside our Veterans and sporting legends Wendell Sailor, Drew Mitchell, Isaac Heeney and Harries Carroll by registering to host A BBQ To Remember.

Adrian Sutter (Swiss 8 Founder & CEO): “With the country just coming out of lockdown, we wanted to offer the ultimate adventure prize that would inspire Aussies to get out and explore this amazing country. And of course, every good adventure ends with mates telling stories around a barbie. My main objective with this campaign is to connect Australians because isolation and social disconnection is the leading cause of anxiety and depression. Covid has forced this on all of us. It’s times like this we need to look to our Defence and Veteran community who have lived through this before and learned valuable lessons. We want to share these lessons with all Aussies and the biggest lesson here is the need to stay connected to our people in order to maintain positive mental health. If we can motivate Australians to connect in a way that is iconic to Australian culture (a BBQ) while finding a strong sense of purpose through helping our Veterans drive this grassroots mental health movement, we are all winning.

“When I returned from Afghanistan then left the military, I had my own mental health rollercoaster ride. I had no education or information on what I was experiencing or how to deal with it. Learning these lessons the hard way, I wanted to make sure future generations had all the resources they needed to maintain a positive headspace and overcome anxiety and depression. This started as a hobby. The catalyst to create a charity and make this my full-time purpose in life came when I lost one of my best mates to suicide, Afghan Veteran Jesse Bird. In the two years following Jesse’s death, I lost another three mates to suicide. While the world wanted to focus on PTSD and a reactive approach to solving the suicide problem, it was my belief that we had to take a proactive approach. Mental ill-health is a human problem, not a Veteran problem. Finding purpose in life, having a healthy routine, and of course staying connected to our tribe is the best way to proactively improve our mental health. This is what Swiss 8 is all about.”

Rosie Lalonde (KTM Group Marketing Manager): “Mental health is a topic that is just not discussed enough, especially with the challenges we have all faced in the past few years. So, when the opportunity came up to support Swiss 8, we jumped at the chance to take action and help spread awareness for their hard work and positive mental health messages. And how best to help them by doing what we do at KTM – getting a group of riders out to experience why we ride, as motorcycling is not only good for the body and the soul, but also a great way to reconnect with your mates. It truly creates a vibe that needs to be felt to be understood and can help combat the stresses of life and the mental health issues that are so hard to discuss. We hope the Why We Ride project inspires others to reach out and reconnect with friends, and support positive mental health activities, like Swiss 8 with their ‘BBQ To Remember’ initiative.”

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