Wings for Life, the research foundation started by KTM’s Heinz Kinigadner and Red Bull’s Dietrich Mateschitz to promote research for a cure for spinal cord injury, is to receive a massive boost from an online eBay auction in which Cyril Despres’ Dakar winning KTM 690 Rally bike is up for grabs.

Kinigadner, former Motocross World Champion and KTM’s Off-road Motorsports Consultant was prompted to create Wings for Life after a tragic motorcycle competition accident left his son paralyzed. The Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation is a privately funded non-profit organization that promotes worldwide research directed at finding a cure for Spinal Cord Injury (SCI).

“When we began to ask for unique auction items we were amazed at what the athletes and companies were more than willing to give. Many have donated their own personal memorabilia and trophies to help the cause,” commented Kinigadner on his efforts to raise items for the auction.

The auction, to be held on eBay March 13-30, offers a unique opportunity for bidders to acquire more than 40 premium items. They include memorabilia from the world of action sports, beautiful artwork and opportunities to purchase a range of once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Leading the list of items up for bid at the first-ever Wings for Life Charity Auction on eBay is David Coulthard’s F1 racing car used in the Silverstone GP in Britain to be auctioned off on March 23. In addition, the next highly sought after item will be the KTM 690 Rally bike ridden by KTM Factory rider Cyril Despres in the 2007 Dakar Rally. This machine, tested in the extreme conditions of the world’s toughest rally, features a single-cylinder 4-stroke motor, 654cc displacement and weighs 357 lbs. Despres won the Dakar Rally in 2005 and 2007 and is ranked among the elite in the sport of rally racing. The bike is expected to attract enthusiastic bidding and raise a significant sum for the Wings for Life auction.

Bidders with a more modest budget who have a passion to acquire some outstanding motorcycle gear will have a chance to bid on Article 22, the autographed leather jacket of KTM factory rider Marc Coma. Coma and Despres not only share their factory rider status with KTM, but are the closest of rivals in the world of top class motorcycle rallying. Coma was set to use the jacket in the 2008 Dakar Rally before the race was cancelled 24-hours from the start due to terrorist threats.

The 2002 125cc Road Racing Rookie of the Year and current Red Bull KTM factory 250cc Road Racing Team member, Mika Kallio, is offering his 2008 racing helmet as an added auction attraction.
Furthermore, motocross enthusiasts will have the opportunity to bid on two other originals: the racing helmet of multi-time World Champion, Stefan Everts and the jersey of Spanish MX1 KTM Factory rider, Jonathan Barragan. Barragan enters the 2008 racing season as the leading MX1 rider on the Italian-based KTM supported team.

The Wings for Life Charity Auction will raise money to benefit the more than 2.7 million people bound to a wheelchair worldwide after suffering a spinal cord injury. Since 2004, the Wings for Life Foundation supports top international scientists working on promising research projects which aim at finding a cure for spinal cord injuries. KTM is proud to support the Wings for Life Charity Auction in which 100% of the proceeds will be directly invested to make further progress in the field of spinal cord injury research.

For more information on the Wings for Life Charity Auction on eBay March 13-30, 2008 and a full list of items offered, please visit: www.wingsforlife.com/ebay

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