Good news for KTM and MotoGP fans! KTM CEO Mr. Stefan Pierer has finally announced that the orange Austrian bike maker plans to enter the MotoGP World Championship’s Premier Class in 2017. KTM happens to be the latest entrant to the championship series, after Aprilia and Suzuki announced their plans and have also commenced work on the project. KTM will enter the world championship with a brand new V4 prototype that will be called the ‘RC16’. The RC16 is scheduled to be revealed sometime in 2015, while KTM will spend an additional year for development of the machine.
While Pierer hopes that the RC16 will be ready for the race teams by 2017, the CEO did not rule out the possibility of a wild card entry in 2016. The RC16 is a perpetual successor to the ageing RC8 and is a purpose built track focused bike not intended for road use. The RC16 will be powered by a 1000cc, V4 engine (corresponding with 2016 MotoGP rules) and will feature a tubular frame like on the Moto3 racer. Much like other KTM motorcycles, the RC16 will also use WP Suspension, which is currently adopted on its Moto2 racers. Though primarily for GP teams, KTM will offer the purpose-built R16 to serious recreational riders who will be able to purchase the bike only for track use.
KTM may sell up to 100 RC16 bikes a year that are priced from 1,50,000-2,00,000 Euros (Rs. 1.22–1.63 crores) each; but won’t be the same specifications as the GP prototypes. Pierer also announced that KTM does not plan to enter a full factory team, instead will follow its current model in the Moto3 class of supplying the machines to race teams. Speaking of the rider that could become a part of the 2017 KTM MotoGP project, Honda rider Stefan Bradl from Germany is said to be a name to certainly not dismiss. Germany is a main market for KTM, while Stefan’s experience from Honda will only add to the team. We expect KTM Austria to make an official announcement with complete details very soon.