Coming soon to a showroom near you: KTM RC16

1000cc of fire-breathing KTM V4… for the road. What’s not to like?

The RC8 has bowed out of the KTM line-up and chief Stefan Pierer has made it clear that there won’t be a road-going large capacity sports bike to replace it, which is a shame. Such a shame that there were times when we wondered what it could look like if he were to change his view. So when Kardesign was asked by Motorrad magazine to come up with a road-legal rendering of the V4 race bike, we jumped at the chance to visualize it.

KTM 1190 RC8R is the last big KTM sportsbike we’re likely to see… or is it?
A road-going version of the RC16 MotoGP bike would go down a treat, we’d imagine

KTM’s 2017 MotoGP entry has been welcome in a class dominated by Japan and Italy since forever, and goes some way to adding to the diversity of the grid which has been bolstered by the likes of Suzuki and Aprilia in recent years. The Austrian firm’s RC16 competition machine means we still get to see a large capacity KTM sportsbike in action and technology gained from the series will eventually trickle down to their road bikes. While KTM have ruled out a full-on, road-ready RC8 successor, they have already revealed plans to offer a limited 100-bike run of a 240bhp version of their MotoGP bike for diehard trackday fans in possession of the expected €100,00 – €120,000 price tag.

A road-going version of the RC16 MotoGP machine? Yes please.

The idea holds water. While Pierer believes there is little future for ultra-fast 200bhp sports bikes on the roads, a track-only version of the RC16 fits perfectly with their ‘Ready to Race’ motto. Without the hurdles of Euro 4 and other road-going concessions, KTM can give customers a true taste of the MotoGP experience for the bargain price of a small terraced house in Peterborough.

However, Motorrad magazine and Kardesign are secretly hoping that KTM will eventually bow to public pressure and throw on some mirrors, lights, silencers and a number plate, possibly with a more road-friendly 220bhp – slightly down on the expected track-ready 240bhp version. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility either: Wheels, brakes and WP forks could come from the Superduke 1290 to reduce costs, though we’d still like to see extensive use of carbon fibre in the bodywork, along with that beautiful swingarm. We’d like to think KTM have had a fair bit of practice making trellis frames in the most cost-efficient manner to help bring the price down into Ducati Desmosedici/Panigale Superleggera territory so fingers crossed for a sub-£40k road-legal RC16…

More in the latest issue of Motorrad magazine

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