Wednesday, 15 April 2015

KTM to stop manufacturing street-legal superbikes. Says they are too dangerous for public roads.

The new (ok, not so!) motorcycle manufacturer KTM, who has managed to grab the eyeballs of motorcycle enthusiasts in India, just made a statement which might sound heartbreaking to most of us. KTM has officially declared that they will not be making street-legal superbikes anymore. The logic they justify this bitter decision being that these machines have gone too far in the quest of more and more power and now in no way represent practicality. The international motorcycle industrty has just recently seen every major manufacturer bringing out their flagship models with power output crossing the 200bhp mark. This much of power is nowhere close to what any rider would use on the public roads. The practicality has taken a back seat and these monsters are, for sure, can prove to be quite dangerous if unleashed on public roads. Well, all this has been KTM's logic to come up to the decision of stopping the manufacturing of superbikes for public roads.
Stefan Pierer’s shocking announcement came in response to a question regarding KTM’s return to MotoGP in 2016. Here’s the reason for returning to MotoGP:
We’d like to produce a successor to the existing RC8 V-twin… In which case, let’s do the following: We’ll stick to making a Superbike, but only for closed course usage. So it won’t be homologated for sale as a streetbike. Okay? So then to produce that we will take the best prototype development arena available, which is MotoGP. And for the 2016 season there will be new rules introduced when the playing field will be leveled with a standard electronic system, so then KTM can challenge Honda, Yamaha, Ducati, Suzuki and Aprilia on an equal basis. So that’s the concept for development. We’ll call it the RC16 and it will also be available for the normal customer for track days or private use on track, but it won’t any more be homologated for the street. It’ll be a really serious sports and race item for closed course use only.
Just to make sure he was hearing things correctly, Cathcart pressed the KTM CEO and asked if there would be at least a homologated version of this machine? In answer, Pierer again said “No, because we at KTM think that a sportbike with such performance doesn’t have any place on the public roads.” He continues:
But let’s be honest, if your Superbike is reaching 200 horsepower or more, it’s impossible to argue that it belongs on the street. It really doesn’t, anymore. As soon as the RC16 is available for customers we will stop with the RC8. The design is outstanding. I would say it’s still state of the art, and there is nothing else like it. It’s a classic Superbike. But with the increase in safety concerns, I’m afraid bikes like this don’t belong on the street, only on a closed course.
While the enthusiast in all of us could never stop yearning for more such powerful machines coming out, but we couldn't help agreeing to Pierer's logic and reasoning to some extent. What are your thoughts about this? Feel free to share in the comments section below.

1 comment:

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