Although in recent years we have witnessed the proliferation of electronics, ultra grippy tires and active suspension, the good old internal combustion engine remains is still to this day the very heart of the sport, the element that really spawns those emotions that only motorcycles can give. Perhaps someday electric motors will rule the world, but you can be sure that for some years to come the traditional combustion engine will keep its spot at the center of the stage, and in the meantime it will continue its technological evolution to become lighter, cleaner, more efficient more durable and even more silent.
Among the manufacturers that have recently shown great vitality on this front there is also KTM. In recent years the Austrian house never stopped churning out new models combining them with a continuous evolution of the engines, a policy that has been rightly rewarded by the excellent results on the marketplace. Peter Gorbach, head of engine development of the Mattighofen-based house, recently spoke of the latest KTM products in an interesting interview released by the official KTM blog, which we present here in its entirety:
Peter, the Super Duke has many different kinds of models. People might be confused about whether they need a 125, 200, 390 or a 690. What would you advise?
It depends, because they cater for different groups. The 125 would suit those going for a learner licence or those in some countries that do not need specifically a motorcycling licence. The 200 and 390 obviously offer more output in line with the bigger displacement and give more options for those wanting to go faster. I would say the 200 is perfect for those in the city and can reach up to 100kph. For slightly longer distances then I’d go for the 390. It is ideal for the open road and if you need to overtake other vehicles.
Slovenian freestyler Rok Bagoros has a brand new toy to play with: after stunning the international crowds on the KTM Duke 125, the skillful 22 years old has now recived from personal sponsor KTM a special 690 Duke stunt factory bike that will soon become part of his show. All Rok needs to do now is get acquainted with the new machine: take a look at the video above and at the photo gallery to see him in action on th new machine.
“There’s a BIG difference between the two bikes - Mr.Bagoros said - The bike has five times more power then the Duke 125 and any mistake can result in a crash, as I’ve already discovered. The bike has amazing power but I’m slowly getting it under control. I have to remember that this is my first big stunt bike and so I have to learn how to handle the extra power and convert it into spectacular tricks that will be fun to do and thrilling for the fans.”
The move doesn’t mean that the 125 Duke is now going to collect dust in Rok’s garage: the talented stunt rider will in fact use both bikes in his show to make it more exciting, more noisy and more spectacular than ever. His new 690 Duke was especially tuned for stunt riding at the KTM headquarters in Mattighofen, Austria, and comes with a number of special features that you can read after the jump.
Young Slovenian stuntman Rok Bagoros, testimonial and ambassador for KTM, has given yet another startling demonstration of its skills at the recent MotoXpo in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Its outstanding performance has been documented in an official video and a few pics that have been released by the man himself, who also provided his own thoughts on what he did not hesitate to define as its best show ever.
“My hands were hurting like hell and body was beaten, but I’ just couldn’t stop. When I thought: man that’s enough I can’t do it anymore, people just continued to cheer and with so many people wanting more, you really can’t say no! I didn’t and all I can say now is that this was my best show ever and for sure I can’t wait to do it again.”
“Kuala Lumpur is a fantastic city - Bagoros continued - with great people, food, relax atmosphere. The only thing I couldn’t cope with was the damn heat and humidity. It was quite a big change coming from Central Europe, where spring is slowly arriving to full summer temperatures of Kuala Lumpur. It also felt fantastic to jump on my KTM Duke 125 and burned some Sava rubbers after short winter break’”.
Austrian manufacturer KTM is at the 2011 EICMA with its range of models for the year 2012. Initially KTM made a name for itself by making succesful off-road motorcycles (see their unprecedented success in both MX1 and MX2 World Championships this year) and in recent years they begun building motorcycles for road use as well: their 2012 line-up includes motorcycles for all surfaces, a fact that further underlines the commitment and passion of this brand for high performing sporty bikes.
Following the unveiling of the 125 Duke last year (yet another outstanding success, by the way) KTM returns to the EICMA to launch the renewed 690 Duke, powered by a single cylinder engine delivering 70 hp and 96 Nm (51 lbs/ft) of torque and featuring a new ABS system. Then there is the new 200 Duke, a small 26 hp model that maintains the typical user friendliness of the 125cc version. Then we have the Freeride E, a new zero emission and super silent motorcycle developed by KTM. However, there is also a version of the Freeride with a 350 cc version, super light and off-road ready.
Apart from these 4 new models, the old ones are also in Milan with some revamped version: 690 SMC R and 690 Enduro R have been completely revised in order to increase power delivery. The 990 SMR as well has been updated with a new ABS system, while the 990 Super Duke R received a new saddle for a passenger and - consequently - the road legal licensing for that.
View the full KTM line-up at the 2011 EICMA photo gallery
Spicing up the KTM 125 Duke is easy with the PowerParts accessories available. The bike, which is having plenty of success among younger riders in Europe, now gets its own PowerParts series like all the other KTM models. Below we have a few examples of what’s available from KTM Power parts for the 125 Duke, but it’s not an exhaustive list so we recommend popping onto the KTM Powerparts website to check out the full catalogue.
The 125 Duke gets new brake levers which don’t brake on falling, an alarm system with Plug&Play immobilizer and remote control. It comes with a three-year battery but you’ll need the installation kit, too. A new “illumination” kit is available with LED lights and while it’s cool to have one, it’s also handy when night riding.
New rear sprockets and chains are available for better performance and more robust riding. There is plenty of “ready to race” technology in many of the components that, while pricey, gives the 125 Duke a perfect race going setup. Those are matched with racing decals and plastics with Funky, Chrome and Race lines available. They’re easy to assemble and also protect the original parts from scratching.
Off the track and onto the street, the KTM Powerparts catalogue for the KTM 125 Duke also offers a full range of Street accessories for urban riders, and Offroad accessories for those getting dirty on the weekends in professional enduro and dirt bike competition. Check out the KTM Powerparts page for the Duke 125 catalogue.
Wouldn’t it be great to be sixteen again and beg your parents for a motorcyle, with the great littleKTM 125 Duke on the top of your wishlist?
Obviously you wouldn’t want to hand them KTM’s “Ready to Race” slogan and you’d have to keep that ready for fun attitude under check, nor show them this video of stunter Rok Bagoros, testing out in his own personal way, his new Duke at KTM’s Mattighofen headquarters. Just tell them it’s got only 15hp, and it’s made in India, they should fall for that.
As the Honda CBR250R takes on the Kawasaki Ninja 250 in the small cylinder sportbike category, KTM has decided to enter the fray as well. According to president Stefan Pierer, a KTM 250 Duke is being developed which could even be ready in 18 months’ time. The 125 Duke looks set to be a popular model as it received plenty of interest when it was released recently, and the 250 would offer the same product in a slightly bigger category.
Pierer says: “We’re working on a single-cylinder model from 250 to 300cc with four valves and twin overhead camshaft. The dimensions won’t vary much from the 125cc.” That last comment meaning a bigger engine could be fitted to the new 125 Duke model.
While KTM has 250cc models in its line-up, this will continue the new urban, naked plaything from the KTM in a departure from the hardcore, dirtbike models. The news comes as Bajaj announces a greater stake in the company so we’ll be waiting on extra information as to production details in the future.
We’ll be bringing you more live pics from EICMA as get them, but here is a look at the 2011 KTM range which includes the KTM 1190 RC8 R, the 990 SMT ABS, the 990 Adventure Dakar, the 350 EXC-F Factory, the 125 Duke and the RC8 R Track. Some of these appeared at the Intermot show in Cologne last month while the others make for a complete range of KTM at the 2010 EICMA Milan show.
The KTM 1190 RC8 R for 2011 has a hot new look making it more aggressive and racing-style. White and orange have never looked so good together. Other than that the RC8 R gets new crankshaft, dual-plug ignition which increases power to 175 hp, updated fuel injection, and new suspension components to improve handling. The RC8 R Track is basically the race version of this bike with racing exhaust and fairings.
The 990 Adventure Dakar gets the same 115 hp engine as the Adventure R but utilises the components of the standard 990 Adventure. We get fancy new blue and orange livery, ABS brakes and a suede seat about as comfortable as you can get on these purpose-built bikes. It’s a limited edition KTM made to celebrate the company’s 30 years in the Dakar rally.
In this huge gallery we finally bring you all the pics from KTM’s new models presented at the 2010 Intermot show in Cologne. The new kid (literally) on the block is the KTM 125 Duke, which most likely already has 16-year-olds around the world wanting one. Some families are going to be in for a tough Christmas wish list this year.
After the hype surrounding that model, the new KTM RC8 track bike with 180 hp was also shown. The KTM 1190 RC8 R Track is an impressive ready-to-race performance-oriented bike with 123 Nm of torque and (probably) a dry weight of less than the 182 kg of the road version. It’s the first KTM that can go straight from production line to track and is homologated to FIM Superstock regulations.
Not only that, the 1190 RC8 R Track is very sexy - it’s got lovely clean lines, and the white fairing is quite spectacular. The third model presented was the new KTM 990 SM-T with ABS. The other technical characteristics of 115 hp and 193 kg dry weight remain unchanged. Check out all three in the big gallery below.
With the preview look at the 2011 KTM 125 Duke we mentioned how good it would be to be 16 again to have this kind of option on the motorcycle market - many of us would have pulled the ladies with this one, we’re certain. It might only have 15 hp (required for younger riders) but it looks so damn good that we’ll forgive it anything. What we really love about this bike is that KTM hasn’t held back just because it’s for young people.
The KTM 125 Duke looks good and has some sturdy components from Powerparts such that this is one well-accesorised 125cc model. It’s got WP forks, wavy brake discs matched with radial brake calipers, an aluminium swingarm and other cool bits and pieces like graphics, bodywork and frame sliders.
Generally we’d be expecting a cost that would price some people out of the market, but the joint venture KTM-Bajaj might mean we can get KTM build quality and branding at a more affordable price. In which case if I have kids, I’m buying this for them. It’s hard to make a prediction on this one, but we’re expecting to see a number of the little KTM 125 Dukes around the traps soon. Video after the jump.