If I had to guess the biggest reason why Honda can't or won't sell the same kinds of street legal offroad bikes as the Europeans it would be warranty. Specifically our EPA mandated emissions parts warranty. Just like your car, those parts have a separate warranty.
KTM and others are EPA small manufacturers. Which means they don't play by the same EPA rules as the big boys. As of 2008 they have to meet the same exhaust requirements. But, AFAIK, they do not have to meet the same emissions parts durability standards.
Plus, as nearly as I can tell, there are no product liability lawyers at KTM. Honda lawyers slather their milk toast dual sports with all manner of warning labels. So imagine those same lawyers at a company selling high performance street legal bikes as "Ready to Race".
That said, there is still no reason why their 250 has to weigh as much as my decade old 640 . Well, I guess there is. They want to be the least common denominator in the dual sport market. They want to sell ten thousand cheap bikes. The Europeans want to sell a thousand expensive bikes.
KTM 640 LC4E
KTM 200 MXC
Grreatdog screwed with this post 11-16-2012 at 06:22 AM