Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM is getting more and and more serious about building a full range of road bikes which could even include a cruiser.
KTM has long been a renowned dirt bike manufacturer, but the past few years have seen a shift in emphasis to road bikes. Street bikes now represent 60% of their sales.
According to recent interviews with CEO Stefan Pierer the road bikes that may be considered include:
- 800cc and 500cc twin-cylinder models;
- 800cc adventure bike;
- 800cc Super Duke;
- a new RC8; and
- a power cruiser.
Stefan says road bikes are where the major growth is for their company, but they still have a strong foothold in dirt bikes.
“We are number one in Europe, but my vision is to overtake Kawasaki and Suzuki in the next five or six years, and that means to get perceived as a full-range sportsbike manufacturer,” he says.
The return of the RC8 sportsbike would probably coincide with KTM’s entry into the MotoGP class next year with the RC16 after success in Moto3.
The company also plans to make a limited-edition track-only version of the RC16 with more than 250 horsepower, following the success off the limited-edition Honda RC213V-S.
“Within the next three years the dealers will get a very nice range,” he says.
Stefan also says Husqvarna, which is now owned by a KTM board member, will share engines with KTM.
The Husky 2017 road bike line-up will include 125cc and 390cc roadsters, followed by the 701 supermoto and the Svartpilen scrambler.
“There are some rumours that we are already working on a big power cruiser based on a Husqvarna concept, too,” Stefan says.
While he didn’t confirm a cruiser in the mix, he says, “Never say never”.