Following on the heels of an announcement by Honda that it is developing a production MotoGP race bike for sale to teams beginning with the 2014 season, KTM has announced that a production version of its Moto3 250 GP race bike will be sold to willing teams beginning next year at a price of approximately 35,000 British pounds. Honda apparently already sells a Moto3 racer, at a price we reported much earlier. The full factory version of this bike is currently leading the Moto3 championship. The production spec bike will lack some of the most trick features, including the top drawer Brembo brakes and WP suspension, and a 13,500 RPM redline will be imposed (as opposed to the 14,000 RPM on the current factory bike).
Both Honda and KTM recognize the fundamental problem faced by Grand Prix racing at the moment. That problem is cost of participation. Kawasaki and Suzuki have left Moto GP for this reason, and the number of prototype bikes on the grid is limited by the fact that only Honda, Yamaha and Ducati currently participate at this level (in the MotoGP class, at least).
The balancing act that must be undertaken lies between development of exotic technology that might trickle down to production machines in the future and the desire for broader participation by factories smaller than the behemoth’s, such as Honda.
Take a look at this excellent article by Kevin Cameron for an insightful discussion of this dilemma and the future of Grand Prix racing.