KTM has been making some interesting moves as of late, moves which have us all sorts of excited for what 2017 looks like for the Austrian brand. All signs point to a new engine that should be quite a doozy.
Once a pending share deal goes through, KTM will be the only privately held major motorcycle manufacturer. But the interesting stuff arrives when you look at their 2015 annual report, which not only shows massive gains in both revenue and employment, but also this lovely little statement:
“...development of a new motorcycle platform based on a revolutionary 2-cylinder engine design, which will make a substantial contribution toward opening up new market segments.”
Now, we’ve told you before about an expected new twin engine, which we’re told will power a new sport naked and new mid-sized adventure bike—at least to start. But to call out its “revolutionary nature” in a document like this, alongside a list of only a few other highlights from the R&D department, makes me think they may have something truly special. Maybe we see a sister version come back in Husqvarna clothing as a new Nuda 900?
The closest thing these new KTMs (the current popular guess is an 890) would likely compare to might be the Monster/Hypermotard 821. Those are powered by a L-Twin and make 115 horsepower and 65 pound-feet of torque, and tip the scales at about 450 pounds.
Let’s hope the Katoom figures out a way to bring a little more power or, better yet, a little less weight. Add in some cornering traction control and the rest of the electronics pack from the 1290 Super Duke R, and you have yourself a real thing.
I got lots of angry emails about my lack of love for the current adventure bike offerings but, with the new Honda Africa Twin, a new Yamaha FZ-07 based adventure bike, and a new KTM mid-sized adventure bike - it looks like at least a few people agree with me.
2017 is going to be a great year for new motorcycles.