Heinz Kinigadner

FIM Cross-Country Rallies Legend

Born on 28 January 1960 in Uderns, Austria

Tyrol’s Heinz Kinigadner becomes an FIM Legend in 2016. Best remembered for his back to back 250cc Motocross World Championships in 1984 and 1985 and his duels with another FIM legend Jacky Vimond, he was the pioneer who literally pushed KTM into the desert adventure as early as 1992.

In 1989, “Kini” took part in Franco Acerbis’ “Incas Rally” and got bitten by the bug. He went on to tackle the “Road of Africa”, the “Nevada Rally, the “Pharaohs’ Rally” and many more besides. In 1992, he took on the ultimate challenge: the “Dakar”. He took part in seven career “Dakars” but never made it to the finish. “Hard, harder, Kinigadner” always had a hard time finding the right balance between safety and speed. Four mechanical breakdowns and three injuries got the upper hand and knocked him out of contention. Still, in his native Austria these adventures boosted his popularity even more than his exploits in Motocross. A thigh fracture in 2000 ended his career as a rider but not his involvement in racing. By that time he had claimed victories in the “Pharaohs” (1994), the “Paris-Peking”, the “Dubai Rally” (1995, 1996, 1998) and the “Brazil Rally” (1998), as well as in several stages in the “Paris-Dakar” and “Granada-Dakar”.

Kinigadner then became Sports Manager at KTM and has worked with them ever since. Together with his children Hannes and Isabell, he started the “Kini Sport Management GmbH”, selling “Kini” racing clothing on-line. The tragic motocross accident that paralysed his son Hannes prompted him to found “Wings for Life” together with Red Bull’s Dietrich Mateschitz in 2004.