MotorcycleDaily.com – Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

KTM Moto3 Production Racer Will be Available for Purchase Next Year; Along With Honda, Signals Trend?

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.

15 Comments

  1. Rebecca Barker says:

    I would love to buy one of these bikes in Australia for the 2013 season for my 15 year old son but after talking to KTM Australia today it doesn’t look like we will be able to buy them. This saddens me as now my son is racing a 1996 model Honda RS125gp against kids on Honda Moto3 bikes and lapping 2 seconds of there lap records, just think where he could go if KTM Australia would back a Kid in road racing.

    Report this comment

  2. MotoChris says:

    Yes, and the trend is that MotoGP has become a watered-down shadow of its former self. Before, they were unobtainium prototypes. Now, they are production based. No thanks

    Report this comment

  3. Pat Walker says:

    jordan – MotoGP SUCKS…no hardware parity

    The prototype class is not designed for hardware parity. It’s a class where engineers push the envelope and corporate pride is on the line. It’s previous class the 500 GP’s brought us bikes like the NR500. Let us hardware junkies have one class that does not look like some showroom bike parade. I love the close racing of flat track and the former 125 class and the new 250 class. But I also appreciate seeing the trickest bikes engineers can design going around the track even if they are separated by 20 seconds.

    Report this comment

  4. Frank says:

    Rather have an Aprilia 250, 2 stroke, Cheap, fun as hell and can be made street legal in some states.

    Report this comment

  5. Vrooom says:

    I’d forgotten how small the rake and trail is on these things. I’ll bet that thing is fun as hell around a track, even if practically useless for the road (yeah I know, not intended to operate there).

    Report this comment

  6. Chris says:

    “13,500 RPM redline will be imposed (as opposed to the 14,000 RPM on the current factory bike).”

    Lesser brakes and suspension… And then limiting power too? Fuller grids, but less competition…??

    Report this comment

  7. rg500gamma says:

    You absolutely must be joking. A fairly recent TZ or RS 250 with spares goes for what? Hardly this much. Yes, it’s used, but so what – it will totally slay the KTM, maintenance is a breeze (better be as a 2 stroke) and these guys really make torque. I rode one expecting a little sewing machine on crystal meth and was surprised. I thought a fairly stock RS 250 would not hold a candle engine-wise to my heavily tuned RG570, but its midrange was impressive. I was afraid of the bike as it was my friend’s and I was unfamiliar with its handling, but a couple of laps on the Autobahn course and I was having a lot of fun, so long as I didn’t drop below 8000 RPM…

    Report this comment

    • John Tuttle says:

      “these guys really make torque”

      It surprises me that they would even be able to sell a machine that rarely makes torque. In order to go, you need torque at the wheel. Torque at the wheel equates to engine power divided by wheel rpm. Engine power equates to engine torque multiplied by engine rpm. So without engine torque, there is no power, no wheel torque, and no acceleration. So, if it rarely makes torque, then it rarely goes at all. You would think that it would be difficult for anyone to sell a motorcycle that rarely makes torque.

      Report this comment

      • bikerrandy says:

        Torque is for acceleration. Rpms is for top speed. Back in the 60′s I remember watching a 50cc Suzuki GP bike w/12 speeds constantly upshifting or down shifting. It had little torque but it still went over 100 mph.

        Report this comment

    • Davis says:

      You might want to compare the KTM 4-Stroke to the 125 2-Strokes it replaced.

      Report this comment

      • Vrooom says:

        Davis is correct, expecting a 250 4 stroke to make as much power as a 250 2 stroke is wishful thinking. Moreover, this series won’t allow a 250 2 stroke, so it’s moot.

        Report this comment

  8. JordanAFM505 says:

    I still wonder why we are looked down so much at. By we, I mean, the Ninja 250R riders in clubs all over the country. I race a 325lb machine with a scant 31.5HP. But I have been able to race for 4 seasons on a very tight budget.
    Sure I have a tricked out Ninja 250R, but it STILL is a 250…but yes on trackdays I can RAIL around MOST average guys riding BMW S1000RRs or Ducati 1098s, because those bikes don’t allow the rider with average skills to go fast.

    Why is Moto3 and Moto2 better racing to watch? Light bikes, tight rules, even hardware parity. MotoGP SUCKS…no hardware parity, and why would a small racer company want to enter? Right when they think of doing so, Dorna up and changes the rules…

    I PRAY, that MotoGP because a FULL CRT class. Hardware parity, tire parity, team parity, and like 40 bikes on the grid. You can still have prototype chasis and suspension, but please lock down the motor and electronics to a reasonable level! Otherwise the class will totally die anyway. It’s pretty much a dead duck as it is!

    Report this comment

    • MGNorge says:

      I am of the other view, that MotoGP is the premier class and locking down anything is not what that class is. I want to see what developing technologies can bring. I want to see what the best minds can come up with and if in one year that means brand X is way out front then the next year the others will need to push harder. If the current business model has a hard time supporting such racing now then maybe it should be revamped, not dumb down the bikes.

      Report this comment

  9. ReflexTowing says:

    That is obviously not cheap for a consumer, but what a nice piece of kit! Is it even possible for a regular joe to pick one of these up? I bet they would be a blast for trackdays – at least those with deep pockets!

    Very cool.

    Report this comment