The INTENSE range now consists of M3 downhill bike, the ‘epic cross country’ 5.5 EVP, the Spider XVP XC bike, the short travel Tazer VP and the 7.75” mini-downhill/freeride UZZI VPX. Chris Kovarik returns to racing after a nasty MX accident sidelined him for the whole of the 2004 season, and team mate Sabrina Jonnier won the Women’s Downhill World Cup overall for the second time.
Production of the M6 begins with the M6 EVO featuring as a ‘race team only’ bike. The MS-INTENSE factory race team is formed. Kovarik teams up with Claudio Caluori and would later be joined by Vanessa Quin, Mio Suemasa, Matti Lehikoinen, and many others. INTENSE also launched the Socom, a bike that was loved by riders all over the world and that would go on to have cult status.
Markus Stöckl (of MS Racing fame) sets a new world speed record (for a ‘stock’ bike) when he pilots his M6 to 210.4kph on a ski slope in Chile. The record stood until 2017.
The Chain Reaction Cycles INTENSE team of Chris Kovarik, Ruaridh Cunningham, Julien Camellini and Matt Simmonds is formed, with long-time INTENSE team rider Nigel Page as manager.Along with MS Racingthis meant that INTENSE now had two race teams on the World Cup circuit.
Always one step ahead of the competition, Jeff works on a side project – a 29" DH bike, the '2951'. Prototypes work well, but downhill specific components aren't available at the time, so the project is put on hold. The 2951 would eventually reappear eight years later as a prototype M29. INTENSE launch the Uzzi, a 6.5-7.5" travel all-mountain/freeride/mini downhill bike.
The M6 EVO is refined and redeveloped with feedback from World Cup riders such as Chris Kovarik and evolves into the M9. Prototype INTENSE M9 bikes were ridden by the Chain Reaction Cycles team on the World Cup circuit.
After winning the two World Cups in 2010 Emmeline Ragot wins the Women’s Downhill World Championship title in Champery by a staggering 15 seconds riding for the Suspension Centre Team on an INTENSE M9. The year 2011 also marked a significant milestone of INTENSE with the introduction of its first carbon fiber model, the 26” Carbine trail bike. Derived from the aluminum Tracer VP, this innovative model featured 5.5-6 of adjustable travel thorugh a dual travel link, along with a replaceable rear dropout system. This release marked a pivotal shift for INTENSE, signaling a commitment to advancing technology and design.
The year 2012 marked a pivotal phase for INTENSE as an array of carbon frames joined the lineup, initiating a transition where carbon and aluminum coexisted. Amidst this evolution, Alloy continued to play a significant role. The SS2 clinched Dirt magazine’s esteemed 'Product of the Year' in their revered Dirt 100 product guide. Meanwhile, the alloy Tracer 29 garnered stellar reviews, hailed as "the fastest trail bike we have ever ridden." Simultaneously, Kovarik Racing, propelled by Chris Kovarik's retirement from full-time racing in 2010, thrived. In collaboration with Claire Buchar, they established Kovarik Racing in 2011, fully operational by 2012, offering coaching, media services, and hosting events.
Tahnée Seagrave won the Junior World Championships in Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) riding on an INTENSE M9. Tahnée rode on INTENSE bikes for seven years at the start of her career. From 2006 to 2013sherode a series of INTENSE frames, all painted baby blue after her ‘hero’ Vanessa Quin.
As the year draws to a close, the iconic Shaun Palmer makes a triumphant return to INTENSE to lead a new US DH Development Team. Following an intensive six-month selection process, a formidable team of five talented you and junior riders is assembled. Geared up on the newly launched M16 downhill bikes, they are poised for the upcoming season.
After a successful racing career, Bernat Guardia retires and becomes team manager on the reborn INTENSE Factory Racing team. He immediately signs young Aussie rippers Jack Moir and Dean Lucas. That same year, the first carbon M16 appeared.
JS Tuned is launched with an updated Tracer featuring the new Enduro Link. The critical element of JS Tuned is the suspension system that uses two counter-rotating links to connect the front and rear triangles of the bike. Every model in our range would go on to have its own personal and specific JS tune.
Jack Moir takes second place at the Fort William World Cup, and Dean Lucas takes second at the Mont Sainte Anne World Cup. New M29 prototypes are being tested live on the World Cup circuit. The re-designed 155mm travel Carbine is launched.
INTENSE announces its 'Rider Direct' business plan, making World Cup proven bikes available to more riders worldwide. Dean Lucas scores third place at the first World Cup in Croatia. 2018 also sees the launch of the 155mm Tazer, INTENSE's first ever eBike.
Jeff reclaims his spot as CEO. A new team, including SX and MX Champion Ryan Dungey, came on board to restructure the business and refocus the brand. Aaron Gwin sets up the all-new INTENSE Factory Race (IFR) team, marking a new era for the brand. Isabeau Courdurier wins all eight rounds of the Enduro World Series and takes the series title, onboard her INTENSE Tracer, then the Carbine, and then at the final round on a mixed wheel size prototype Tracer.
A turbulent year as Covid-19 turns the world on its head. Amazingly World Cup racing does take place towards the end of the year. It is a pressurized and exhausting schedule of races but Aaron Gwin scores a very welcome fourth place at round 3 in Portugal on a prototype INTENSE M279 downhill bike. INTENSE re-launch and focus support in Europe, the UK and Australia.
The world gets its first look at the all-new Tracer 279 bike. Completely redesigned, the mixed wheel, 170mm enduro bike is the first INTENSE to have Aaron Gwin’s ‘design thumbprint’ on it. Talking of Gwin, with ‘unfinished business,’ Aaron signs a new two-year contract as he and his team further develop the new downhill bike. 2021 also marks the launch of the new 951 Series of bikes from INTENSE, aimed at new riders who want a quality product at a competitive price.