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Etteplan main sponsor of road racing world champion Ulla Kulju

Press release – Published: 05.12.2017 12:02:00

Ulla Kulju, a world champion in disabled road racing, and Etteplan Oyj have entered a co-operation agreement for 2018. The agreement includes sponsorship and work performed by Etteplan’s mechanical engineers to develop the handling characteristics of Kulju’s motorcycle to suit her needs.

Ulla Kulju, a design engineer at Etteplan, credits her initial interest in road racing to a coffee-break chat with her workmates. “I have always liked high-speed sports, and my workmates asked me if I have ever thought about riding a motorcycle. After hesitating for a bit, I said, ‘I could give it a shot, ’ and there was no looking back. I bought a motorbike, and my workmates and I began thinking about what kind of modifications it would need, ” recalls Kulju.

Kulju, who works as a design engineer for Etteplan, was the first woman to participate in the Road Racing World Championships for disabled athletes in May 2017, in Le Mans, France. And she came home a world champion. Kulju has her sights set high for 2018 and plans to take part in many international competitions.

Etteplan supports Kulju both as a sponsor and by developing her motorcycle. Together with Kulju, Etteplan’s engineers have explored, for instance, foot peg and seat solutions for Kulju’s motorcycle, as these are fundamentally different than the ones found on regular motorcycles. The motorcycle development work employs the latest technology – 3D printers. The gears on Kulju’s bike are also operated by hand, unlike on regular motorbikes. The new motorbike will be featured at the MP 18 Motorcycle Show held in Helsinki in early February 2018.

“Since I can’t move my legs, my feet have to be secured to the foot pegs while I’m driving. Tilting the seat while driving is also different, because I have no feeling in my lower extremities, ” says Kulju, providing some insight into the special requirements of her motorbike.

Kulju was paralyzed in a snowboarding accident when she was a teenager and took up road racing in 2015.

Etteplan has signed on as Ulla Kulju’s main sponsor for the 2018 season. “Etteplan wants to support Ulla in her competitive career. Our involvement includes making engineering modifications to Ulla’s motorbike, which fits our brand promise – ‘Engineering with a difference’”, says Outi Torniainen, Etteplan’s Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing.

Kulju’s motto is ‘dream big’ – don’t let adversities stop you. Kulju truly lives up to her motto and is a role model for many. 

Etteplan in brief

Etteplan provides industrial equipment and plant engineering, embedded systems, IoT (Internet of Things), and technical documentation solutions to the world’s leading companies in the manufacturing industry. Our services are geared to improve the competitiveness of our customers' products and engineering processes throughout the product life cycle. The results of Etteplan’s innovative engineering can be seen in numerous industrial solutions and everyday products. In 2016, Etteplan had a turnover of EUR 183.9 million. The company currently has some 2,800 professionals in Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland and China. Etteplan's shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd under the ETTE ticker.