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KTM is finally bringing its uber-cool 1290 Super Adventure S to the States

KTM is finally bringing its uber-cool 1290 Super Adventure S to the States

CARB documents verify the entry of this cross-continental tourer

The Austrian manufacturer had a superlative field day at the EICMA in 2016 when it broke open the shackles to the 1290 Super Duke R and the 1290 Adventure R T and S models. It brought these blistering bikes onto the shores of America except for the 1290 Adventure S road-focused ADV motorcycle.

For 2018, however, KTM North America will be filling that void as well as they get the stage ready for the 1290 Adventure S. Spotted first on the California Air Resources Board (CARB) filings by our friends at motorcycle.com, KTM have completed homologations to add the ’S’ to the 2018 adventure lineup.

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Looks like Bajaj-KTM are gunning for buying out Ducati.

Looks like Bajaj-KTM are gunning for buying out Ducati.

Volkwagen is on the heels to sell the Italian brand, and everyone is prying.

A week ago, rumours filled the news about Harley-Davidson being the top contenders to buy the luxury two-wheeler Italian marquee from Volkswagen. For no fault of theirs, except for them being owned by VW, Ducati could possibly see a change of hands since the German company is in considerations of selling brands under its portfolio.

Now, there could be a new chapter in Ducati’s history books, courtesy, the Volkswagen Diesel Gate scandal. If reports are to be believed, KTM-Bajaj was approached by the German company to buy out the Italian brand, an initiative taken towards the new financial strategy set out by the company post the Diesel Gate scandal.

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Video: Robbie Maddison Successfully Pulls Off Wave Ride In Tahiti's Teahupoo Waves

Video: Robbie Maddison Successfully Pulls Off Wave Ride In Tahiti’s Teahupoo Waves

Australian daredevil Robbie Maddison pulled off his most audacious stunt yet when he successfully rode massive waves in the island of Tahiti.

For a man who has performed some of the most nerve-wracking stunts in history, riding one of the world’s most treacherous waves in a KTM dirt bike fitted with skis is next to mental. Yet somehow, whether its through force of will or just downright luck, Maddison pulled it off in spectacular fashion, proving once again that when it comes to fearless stunts, the Australian has no peer.

The incredible footage of Maddison’s wave ride was used in his “Pipe Dream” video and it’s really a sight to behold. The editing made it look even more incredible, but you can’t deny Maddison’s steely nerve to attempt a stunt like this in Teahupoo, considered as one of the premier surfing destinations in the world.

The mere suggestion of performing a stunt like this is crazy enough on its own. But Maddison’s an entirely different level of crazy and he proved as much when he somehow rode past the towering waves in his customized KTM dirt bike.

Maddison’s stunt itself is incredible to watch, but what isn’t shown is the intense preparation that goes on leading up to the death-defying ride. According to Maddison himself, this particular stunt took two years of preparation before the actual ride happened in April 2015. Even with all that time to prepare for his sick wave ride, it took Maddison a handful of attempts before finally succeeding in pulling off his amazing derring-do.

The video doesn’t do it enough justice. I’ve never seen anything quite like it and after watching it, I’m confident that a lot of you will share in my sentiments.

Continue reading to read more about Robbie Maddison’s incredible wave stunt ride in Tahiti.

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KTM Gets Rude Welcome During Visit To Gas Gas Headquarters

KTM Gets Rude Welcome During Visit To Gas Gas Headquarters

They say that first impressions last and if that’s true, employees of troubled Gas Gas certainly made quite an impression to KTM officials who visited the company’s headquarters in Gerona, Spain.

A report from enduropro has been making the rounds involving a less-than-traditional greeting officials from KTM received when it paid a visit to Gas Gas headquarters. Instead of the more traditional handshakes and welcome greetings, these employees decided to burn two stacks of tires at the main entrance. It’s a little sophomoric, but not to the point that it crosses any lines of decency.

Well, apparently, the resentment for KTM, which has expressed interest in buying Gas Gas, is real enough that a mannequin was even used to welcome the Austrian brand. The said mannequin, by the way, was displayed hanging from a rope outside one of the buildings windows with an accompanying message that read “This is not your home.”

According to enduropro, such a greeting from Gas Gas employees has happened in the past, particularly to officials of MV Agusta who reportedly went through something similar. It’s not the most civilised way to behave, but you have to give the people behind this a little bit of dap for having a big set of chutzpah to pull something off.

Manners be damned, apparently, and they’re not afraid to make their opinions known, no matter whose feelings end up getting hurt.

Continue reading to read more about Gas Gas’ rude welcome for visiting officials from KTM.

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NHTSA Issues Recall Advisory For The KTM 1290 Super Duke R In The US

NHTSA Issues Recall Advisory For The KTM 1290 Super Duke R In The US

A recall of the 2014 KTM 1290 Super Duke R has been issued in the US by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, following similar recall announcements issued by its counterparts in Canada (Transport Canada) and Australia (Australia Competition & Consumer Commission).

KTM North America announced the recall of 640 bikes for alleged fuel leaks stemming from the bike’s threaded inserts that attach the internal overflow pipe to the fuel tank. Similar to the recalls in Canada, the specific problem lies in irregularities in the coating process of the inserts, which could cause a fuel leak, leading to the increased threat of the entire setup catching fire.

This issue is extremely dangerous for riders, not only for the obvious fire and safety hazard it poses, but also because of the threat of messing up the traction to the rear tires. Should that happen, it could turn into a really dangerous situation for the rider that could lead to serious injuries or worse, death.

Such is the gravity of this problem, which is why KTM North America is highly encouraging owners of the 2014 1290 Super Duke R to have their bikes checked for the potential problem. A notification to affected owners will also be sent out but considering the nature of the problem, it might be in the best interests of the owners to preemptively find out for themselves if their bikes are affected by the defective threaded inserts.

Either way, KTM’s dealerships are already on standby to fix affected units at no cost to the owner. The first step would be to seal the threaded inserts to prevent future fuel leaks, but if there’s already an existing fuel leak, the entire gas tank will be replaced.

Continue reading to read more about KTM North America’s recall of the 2014 1290 Super Duke R.

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KTM To Line Up Two Factory Teams At 2016 Dakar Rally

KTM To Line Up Two Factory Teams At 2016 Dakar Rally

The 2016 Dakar Rally is getting more and more interesting. A day after Husqvarna announced its plan to return to the endurance rally race, its parent company, KTM, dropped its own bombshell, announcing that it will have two factory racing teams lining up at the start of the competition.

The first of the two teams is the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Rally Team, which will be made up of four riders. Serving as team leader will be Dakar veteran Jordi Villadoms, who came in 2nd in the motorcycles class in the 2014 staging of the race. Villadoms will be joined in the team by Toby Price, Sam Sunderland and Matthias Walkner. Noticeable by his absence is Marc Coma, the five-time Dakar champion who, incidentally, is also the defending champ of the motorcycle class. Coma retired from the competition after winning the 2015 race so it appears that KTM has laid the groundwork of transitioning from the Coma era to field a balanced team of grizzled Dakar veterans with young, up-and-coming riders.

That’s exactly the sentiment KTM Racing Department chief Pit Beirer shared when he revealed the team’s plans moving forward. According to Beirer, the team has been planning this transition for the past three years and with the lineup KTM has assembled, Beirer expressed confidence that the team will continue to be a contender well past Coma’s exit from active competition.

A second factory team will also be entered in next year’s race. While the name of this team hasn’t been announced, Beirer did say that it will be made up of Pablo Quintanilla, multiple Enduro world champion Antoine Meo, and female Dakar rider Laia Sanz.

And if that’s not enough, KTM also announced that a satellite team, KTM Warsaw Motorrally, will also compete in the 2016 race. The Polish-based squad will by run Marek Dabrowski with the rider lineup scheduled to be announced soon.

The 2016 Dakar Rally will begin on January 3, 2016 in Lima, Peru and will run until January 16, 2016 at the finish line in Rosario, Argentina.

Continue reading to read more about KTM’s two new factory teams that will compete at the 2016 Dakar Rally.

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KTM Recalls 1290 Super Duke R Due To Potential Fire Leak

KTM Recalls 1290 Super Duke R Due To Potential Fire Leak

KTM has issued a recall of the 2014 1290 Super Duke R over a potential fuel leak that could result in the bike going up in flames. The thought of that happening to customers was enough for the company to issue the recall in various markets where the bikes are sold.

As of now, Transport Canada and the Australia Competition & Consumer Commission have announced the recalls of the bike in their respective markets. No word yet on when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will issue its own recall, but at this point, it’s a question of “when” it’s going to happen as opposed to “if” it’s going to happen.

According to KTM, the problem lies in the bike’s threaded inserts that attach the internal overflow pipe to the fuel tank. Irregularities in the coating process of this material could cause a fuel leak, which increases the threat of the whole contraption catching fire. The ACCC also added that the bike’s internal overflow pipe may not have been completely enclosed in plastic during the manufacturing process, further adding to the already increased risk of a fire breaking out if the leaked fuel comes too close to an ignition source.

KTM has already instructed dealerships in affected markets to make themselves available to inspect affected models and, if deemed necessary, make the needed repairs to fix the issue.

While the NHTSA has yet to announce a recall of the bike in the US market, expect an announcement to be made anytime soon. Issues like this, especially when the word “fire” is being thrown around, is cause for an immediate recall because that’s a pretty big deal for owners of the 1290 Super Duke R.

Continue reading to read more about KTM’s recall of the 2014 1290 Super Duke R.

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KTM Launches Freeride E-SM, No Word Yet On US Arrival

KTM Launches Freeride E-SM, No Word Yet On US Arrival

KTM has officially taken the covers off of the Freeride E-SM electric super motard, adding yet another model to the company’s growing Freeride-E electric family.

The electric super motard is being packaged as an ideal entry-level bike and its arrival gives KTM a new model to throw to young riders who are just breaking into the motorcycle scene. It only weighs just 243 pounds, making it a suitably lightweight machine with the agility and nimbleness of a do-it-all bike. It’s hard to imagine a machine that can provide what KTM has promised with the Freeride E-SM. A small liquid-cooled engine allows it to achieve 15 horsepower on the throttle, although its peak output can go as high as 21.4 horsepower and 31 pound-feet of torque with 17-inch supremo wheels added in for good measure These numbers don’t suggest all-world power, but for what it is and what it stands for - electric super motards aren’t rocket launchers, you know - the Freeride E-SM is expected to earn its way into a lot of garages really soon.

KTM hasn’t released pricing details for the Freeride E-SM so interested buyers might have to wait for the number to come out. That said, whispers within KTM have suggested that a price of about €13,000 is a likely starting point. That’s not yet official so consider it as an educated estimate for now.

Now for the bad news. KTM hasn’t said whether the Freeride E-SM will make it in the US so those who were looking forward to seeing it cross the Atlantic will have to wait for more information on that front. Otherwise, the electric super motard is all set to hit dealerships in Europe no later than May 2015.

Get your finances in order, ladies and gentlemen. You’re potentially looking at a significant purchase this month with the KTM Freeride E-SM.

Continue reading to read more about the KTM Freeride E-SM electric super motard.

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KTM Issues Recall For 690 Series Bikes

KTM Issues Recall For 690 Series Bikes

It doesn’t matter who you are or what your status is in the motorcycle hierarchy, if there’s a problem with one of your models, it’s going to need to get fixed. That’s the position KTM has found itself in. Apparently, a handful of its 2014-2015 690 Series bikes have issues with their rear brake assembly, which is why the Austrian motorcycle brand announced a worldwide recall of these models, effective immediately.

The affected models belong to KTM’s 690 Enduro R and SMC R models and according to the manufacturer, issues with rear brake assembly and the brake rotors could lead to a loss of braking power for the rear system. That’s not a good thing by any stretch of the imagination. It’s the kind of issue that could have catastrophic consequences should it happen to a rider anywhere.

Turns out, a routine testing in the ongoing production of the models revealed that the bike’s rear ABS brake line has the potential of getting damaged by a spring band clamps found on the engine ventilation tube. Should this happen the bike’s entire brake line could become compromised, potentially leading to a complete loss of brake press in the rear assembly. Once that happens, well, you know where this is going.

If that’s not enough, KTM also discovered that some 2014-2015 690 SMC R models were assembled with a shorter spacer for the front wheel. Such a setup poses another safety risk because a certain number of parts, including the rotor, fork, and ABS sensor, could compromise the bike’s front wheel, leading to a complete malfunction of the front ABS system.

Obviously, these are serious issues that need to be addressed as soon as possible. For its part, KTM is already scheduling free repairs at any of its authorized dealers. Customers with affected units will also be notified by the company directly.

Continue reading to read more about KTM’s recall of its 690 Series bikes.

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Is KTM Making A Move To Buy Gas Gas?

Is KTM Making A Move To Buy Gas Gas?

Spanish bike manufacturer Gas Gas is neck deep in trouble and if it doesn’t get the lifeline it needs to survive, there’s a strong likelihood that the company could go under before the year ends, maybe even sooner than that. Fortunately, help may be on the way in the form of KTM.

According to numerous reports, the Austrian bike maker is rumored to be lining up a bid to buy Gas Gas. Nothing has been confirmed yet and the two parties have been silent on announcing any potential deal, but if there’s some weight to this, it’s obviously great news for the Spanish company, which is so far in trouble that it’s already halted production and shut down its R&D division.

Having the financial muscles of KTM not only puts Gas Gas back in business, but it also allows the latter to finally move forward with its business, knowing full well that it finally has the kind of stability it hasn’t had in recent years.

That sad, such a deal understandably puts some pressure on KTM to differentiate Gas Gas and its off-road bikes from two companies it already has that does the same thing: Husqvarna and Husaberg. There’s enough reason to be skeptical about this plan because KTM would in effect have too many chefs cooking the same thing in a kitchen. That’s not a sound business plan, even though the company has found a way to make Husky and Husaberg co-exist.

But I’m not putting anything past KTM anymore. It obviously knows what current climate is in the off-road market and probably understands that adding another brand that competes in that segment still has enough differentiation so as not to cannibalise on its other brands. The important thing right now is Gas Gas’ fate. It would be awesome if KTM steps up to the plate and purchases the company. But if it doesn’t, well, you could just as well pay your last respects to Gas Gas.

Click "continue reading" to read more about rumors of KTM’s possible acquisition of Gas Gas.

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KTM and Husqvarna Bikes Recalled Over Faulty Fork Pistons

KTM and Husqvarna Bikes Recalled Over Faulty Fork Pistons

KTM North America has become the latest motorcycle manufacturer to announce a recall of some of its models, although this time, KTM’s recall also covers a handful of Husqvarna motorcycles. All in all, the recall, which involves a potential problem in the bikes’ fork pistons, affects 2,864 KTM bikes to go with 457 Husqvarna models, all of which fall under the 2015 model year.

The recall doesn’t affect just one specific model, either. According to KTM, bikes with displacements ranging from 125cc to 450cc, including two-stroke bikes between 125cc and 300cc and their four-stroke counterparts with engines ranging from 250cc and 450cc, are all affected by the recall.

Apparently, the affected bikes have problems with the pistons inside the forks, which could become stuck and potentially cause a malfunction of the bikes’ suspension system and, well, we all know what’s going to happen after that. In other words, it won’t be pretty. Not the least bit.

Fortunately, no incidents have been reported so far but that doesn’t mean owners should take this recall lightly. KTM has already advised its riders to get in touch with their local dealerships so the problem can be fixed as soon as possible.

As always, the manufacturer will cover all the expenses from the recall should their be a need to have any of the parts fixed. Don’t be hard-headed, now. If you think your KTM or Husqvarna model is affected by this recall, do the smart thing and have it checked.

Click past the jump to read more about the KTM and Husqvarna recalls.

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KTM Edges Out BMW, Sells Record 158,760 Motorcycles in 2014

KTM Edges Out BMW, Sells Record 158,760 Motorcycles in 2014

If there was ever any doubt about KTM’s status as the biggest motorcycle brand in Europe, the Austrian brand answered it emphatically in 2014 by selling a record 158,760 bikes for the year. Not only is that a record number for KTM, but it was also enough to hold of BMW Motorrad’s own record-setting sales year in 2014. Take that, BMW!

Ironically, Team Orange’s performance for the year was aided by Husqvarna’s own sales figures even if said contribution to KTM’s bottom line could be described as minimal at best. But hey, Husky likely gave KTM the sales it needed to keep its former parent company in line. KTM also got some boost in sales from its Indian operations, thanks in large part to minority partner Bajaj. The Indian market has proven to be a boon of good fortune for the Austrian brand, especially its small displacement bikes like the RC and Duke models, which incidentally are being manufactured in the country.

For the year, KTM’s sales growth increased by an impressive 28.2 percent with revenue also going up to 20.7 percent for the year at €864.6 million ($967.6 million). Likewise, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) are expected to reach as much as €75 million ($84.4 million). The company’s impressive sales numbers from 2014 could be attributed to a strong second half of the year, one that saw KTM overtake BMW’s sales numbers thanks to the aforementioned reasons above.

In fact, the two brands were neck-and-neck in the first half of the year in terms of sales with KTM’s 70,469 units trailing only BMW’s 70,978 units sold. But just like in 2013 and 2012, KTM relied on a late push to eclipse BMW’s numbers yet again.

If the company’s recent history is to be taken as a meaningful trend of things to come, then you can expect to continue pushing to become bigger and better than ever before.

That should bode well for the Austrian brand as it embarks on what could be a landmark 2015. At this point, it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep these guys from breaking records so might as well cheer them on to bigger success moving forward.

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Marc Coma Wins 2015 Dakar Rally

Marc Coma Wins 2015 Dakar Rally

The 2015 Dakar Rally ended up becoming one of the most eventful races in recent memory. It pretty much had everything, from tremendous highs and awful lows. In the end, though, it was Marc Coma who came out on top, taking home his fifth Dakar Rally championship in the motorcycle segment and moving him one away from tying Stephane Peterhansel’s all-time mark of six Dakar Rally titles. Oh, and Coma’s fifth title also puts him in a tie with rival Cyril Despres. That’s good for him, at least as far as bragging rights are concerned.

Coma’s fifth Dakar title would’ve been more impressive if it wasn’t for the team he was riding for, KTM. The Austrian bike maker recorded its 14th straight Dakar Rally title, an incredible achievement no matter which way you slice it.

Both the rider and his team should be proud of this result, not only because it asserted their dominance over the world’s most treacherous off-road rally but also because it showed how much room there is for other competitors to improve before they can even come close to competing against Coma and KTM. That’s not to say that there wasn’t any competition throughout the race. In fact, Honda’s Joan Barreda actually led the overall standings for a significant part of the race, only to see his lead disappear after his CRF450 Rally succumbed to electrical damage in one of the later stages of the race. If that didn’t happen, we’d probably be singing a different tune by now.

But things happen at the Dakar Rally. That’s why it’s called the most difficult racing series in the world. Heck, just a little over half of the 420 competitors managed to finish the race. But Coma and KTM soldiered on, taking home the title and ensuring that every other motorcycle team in the race has another year to lament over what it needs to do to take out Coma and KTM’s reign at the Dakar Rally.

Click past the jump to read more about Marc Coma’s fifth Dakar Rally title.

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KTM 530 EXC café racer project by Roland Sands

KTM 530 EXC café racer project by Roland Sands

Take a look at this radical ride and try to find any similarities with a KTM 530 EXC. Now that’s a challenge! But the comparison is justified by the fact that Roland Sands actually created this café racer out of the respective Austrian bike. The tuner actually brought in clip-ons and dual-colored KTM wheels (not seen in this picture) as well as a tank cover that is built from scratch. The reason for that is to retain the original tank and so keep the center of gravity low, which is what makes the bike so easy to live with on a daily basis.

Although it may look like a finished project, this is actually work in progress over at Roland Sands Design. But it looks great; in fact this thing looks just like a 1960s KTM café racer would have looked if the company would have ever made those.

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Leak: 2010 KTM Freeride eBikes

Leak: 2010 KTM Freeride eBikes

Although the Austrians from KTM have tried to keep a low profile in what their all-new Freeride electric motorcycles are concerned, German magazine Das Motorrad published the first leaked pictures of the much-awaited KTMs. Damn, why can’t we feel sorry about this?

Expected to retail for approximately $13,500 (or just under €10,000), both bikes rely on 30bhp and 33lb/ft of torque while weighing in at 198.4lbs. Hmm, that cannot be impressive. At least the 2.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack is capable to keep the good stuff coming for around 1.5-hours.

One a supermoto and the other an enduro, both bikes feature what appears to be a tubular steel frame.

This pretty much blows KTM’s element of surprise, but at least we can see the Austrian company entering confidently into a totally new segment mainly dominated by Zero Motorcycles in the United States.

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KTM 125 Stunt & Race concept bikes for beginners

KTM 125 Stunt & Race concept bikes for beginners

The Austrians from KTM have directed their innovative minds to creating two 125cc concept bikes that will meet the demands of riders who are just starting out and yet not benefit of more than 15 horsepower so that they can be ridden legally starting the age of 16. They named the two bikes KTM 125 Race concept and KTM 125 Stunt concept and we have to say that both look more than decent for the category. Press release is attached after the jump.

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Amazing KTM Concept Motorbike

Amazing KTM Concept Motorbike

If concept bikes are supposed to be windows of the future, this thing here is a veritable glass wall. Created by British designer Matt Williams, the “KTM Motorbike” not only offers a great view over design brilliancy, but also has the innovation factor to back it up. Featuring a hub-center steering system which eliminates dive under braking, this KTM concept should handle like a superbike, while the steering angle is much more generous than on classic motorcycles.

Although it is supposed to be built around a small frame and powered by a KTM V-Twin engine, we simply cannot get over the aggressive looks of this concept and the cruiser-like riding position that it offers. If we’re right, if made, this motorcycle will offer the best of both worlds: superbike performance and cruiser comfort. Ouch, that will surely change some things in the motorcycle industry.

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KTM offers Limited Champion's Edition models to celebrate 160+ World Championship titles

KTM offers Limited Champion’s Edition models to celebrate 160+ World Championship titles

Having won more than 160 World Championship titles over the past 35 years, KTM feels the need to celebrate with the launch of a limited Champion’s Edition motorcycle series that involves the new 250 XC-FW, 450 XC-W, 450 EXC and 530 EXC models.

Standing out thanks to a fresh, new and racy look, the bikes are greater performers than their 2009 model year siblings and will start being available on June 1 at KTM dealerships across the country.

They don’t mention how many units of each model will be made so we can’t
figure how “limited” the bikes are so there might just be enough for everyone.

Press release after the break.

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KTM postpones Venom production

KTM postpones Venom production

The Austrian manufacturer KTM announced that their Venom project has been put on hold for as long as it takes to make a success out of the RC8 superbike. A naked superbike, the Venom was first unveiled at the 2005 EICMA Show in Milan and was supposed to go into production as a 2009 model year. Thomas Kuttruf, Public Relations Manager at KTM, told MCN why this won’t happen so soon:

“The bike is standing in Kiska’s (Gerald Kiska, the man behind the design company responsible for the look of all KTMs) office, but is currently a no-go for production.

With the Venom project we had the idea to make a naked superbike, we still think this idea is worth following and the project is not stopped, but it is a bit on hold.

“The clear priority for us at the moment and the clear idea from the Stefan Pierer was to say ‘guys, before we have a naked superbike, we must have a successful real superbike.’

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KTM announces production for competition electric motorcycle

KTM announces production for competition electric motorcycle

KTM announced to have successfully created a fully functional electric enduro prototype which will go into production within two years. The project saw financial support of the Austrian government and meets the strict “Ready to Race” requirements of the highly demanding maker.

Relying on lithium ion batteries that withstand 40 minutes of exploitation in race conditions and loads in one full hour, the future KTM develops 29.5lb/ft without polluting a bit. Also, the prototype loses significant weight due to the lack of a gas tank, exhaust, clutch and other musts of the internal combustion engine, reaching a total of 17 kg for the battery pack and the electric motor.

Although bikes pollute less than cars the Zero Emissions Motorcycle project directs our thoughts towards racing in populated centers as the future racing bikes are less polluting than a horse on a racecourse.

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