Back in 2016, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer killed the company’s superbike, the RC-8. At the time he said that the uber-powerful superbikes weren’t appropriate for street use.
But a few years later, Pierer said that KTM would build a MotoGP replica 240 HP track-only bike for well-heeled buyers. That didn’t happen, and KTM has stayed on the superbike and supersport sidelines save for its 373cc RC 390.
However, could KTM’s supersport/superbike landscape be changing? The German website Speedweek.com recently spotted a new “track-only” bike in development. The fully-faired machine reportedly houses an 890cc V2 engine housed in a green trellis frame.
According to Speedweek, the bike is being built for track use only. They go on to quote KTM’s Motorsport Director Pit Beirer as saying:
“This is the next product to be built for the racetrack and can be purchased. But the MotoGP replica is not feasible for us at the moment. If you want to build a racing motorcycle as close as possible to the MotoGP version, it costs so much money that no one wants to and can pay for it. If we slim down the replica until it is technically far away from the racing motorcycle, that makes no sense when we are talking about a replica. The MotoGP replica is off the table. We have other priorities. We have so many beautiful ideas… But unfortunately the day only has 24 hours.” – Pit Bierer to Speedweek
So KTM has a prototype supersport machine in the works. And although they say that the bike is being built for track use only, could the company be thinking about a street version? Developing and producing a track-only machine would seem to be an expensive exercise with a limited market. As a public company, would KTM really spend a lot of money developing a machine for track use only?
And what about all the dollars the company has and is spending on its MotoGP program? Their MotoGP machine is becoming competitive and it won 3 rounds last year. With the millions of Euros it spends on the bike’s race program, what is the company’s return on investment?
Yes, race wins get KTM’s name out to the public. But if they don’t have at least one mid/liter-sized sportbike, how will KTM make money off its success? Interesting…
The fact that they are working on an 890cc sportbike “for track use only”, does at least say the Austrian company thinks that a machine of that size could be successful. It will be interesting to see whether the “track use only” bike grows a dash, lights, and a horn in the future.
What do you think about this ride? Would/should KTM produce a street sportbike in this displacement? Let us know in the comments below.