KTM enters the Isle of Man TT

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KTM_Isle_Of_Man_TT.jpgFor the first time ever, a KTM will be raced at the Isle of Man TT. Redline Motorcycles is entering a single KTM RC8 R in this year’s Superbike, Superstock and Senior TT races. The move marks a gradual escalation in KTM’s road racing activities, it’s currently fielding RC8 R’s in Germany’s IDM series and scuttle butt has it they could even run them in a couple SBK rounds this year. James Edmeades will be the rider.

In other news, a Honda CBR600RR with a fancy frame Moto2 bike from England’s FTR will also be entered in the historic race. Its rider will be Ollie Linsdell, who’s father, Steve was the last person to lap the island on a GP bike, which he did in 2007 aboard a 500cc two-stroke Paton.

IOM TT

  • Scott

    If KTM decided to put the race ready to test in WSBK, they flatly would be back of packers based on the current lump

    Aprillia debut was amazing, & KTM would not come close to the first year accomplishment even with a Mad Max piloting

  • http://www.damiengaudet.com damien

    based on the wsbk test they’d probably beat Yamaha.

    ok, maybe not, but i’d love to see KTM in the series though, cool bike.

  • rantyrant

    Ok, so the RC8R is supposed to be a nice piece of kit, and it’s always good to see another manufacturer in the TT, or any race series…

    …but c’mon KTM, step it up! Your bikes are expensive/pointy/bright, and your slogan is ‘Ready to Race’,, yet you completely pussed-out on WSBK, and got trounced by a debut from a company specializing in mid-life crisis long-way-round bikes,, aaand to top it all off, your off-road bikes have just ‘updated’ to the chassis specs of any Japanese bike from 10 years ago…

    So hows about changing that ‘Ready to Race’ slogan? Or maybe just write it in Hindi once the Bajaj buyout happens so I can’t understand the irony anymore… sigh.

  • http://setthemfree.tumblr.com Sasha Pave

    @rantyrant, while I appreciate your rantyrant, there are many things KTM is doing right in the US market.

    - Cutting into BMW’s adventure bike market (the 990 surpasses the GS in nearly every category).

    - One of the most loved model line-ups for dirt bikes, even with the reduced model varieties.

    - Continued Enduro dominance. Continued Rallye dominance.

    - The only Non-Japanese dirt bike brand in the US that has an extensive dealer network and aftermarket support.

    And while KTM may not have the best machinery for superbike, you’ve gotta give them credit for a great machine. It’s probably the most competitive market in all of motorcycling so you can’t expect dominance right out of the gate.

    I think it’s time for them to ditch their “Ready to Race” tagline and offer more street bikes. The SMT is a welcome step into the casual touring old-fart market: http://i.imgur.com/zej9m.jpg

    I’m not sure what you mean about the ’09 chassis for dirt, it’s received rave reviews in all the magazines, especially in the comparison tests I’ve read. Plus it’s steel and you can bend it back :)

    -Sasha

    • rantyrant

      My rantyrant was one of disappointment. I know the workings of the company and I’ve seen the potential they have, but keep falling short of time and time again… Truthfully I’d love to see them get it right. so…

      -The Adventure may out perform the GS range, but the GSs sell like hot cakes worldwide and the Adventures sit in dealerships. Design, marketing, passing on the long way round? blame any.

      -Recently owned a KTM dirt bike, and didn’t have a bad experience with it. Good dealer network, easy aftermarket stuff like you say, (bit overpriced mind you) but I’ve had a much better time with blue and red bikes, so I’m switching back.

      -Enduro and Rally dominance not so tough when you comprise 90% of the field.. Would actually extend my kudos to them for their efforts in the Dakar, but they seem to be running from that now as well.

      -I do give them credit for the debut RC8 effort in such a competitive segment, it is a ton of fun to ride, and it’s really cool how close it looks to the concept bike. But BMW just did the same thing (more or less) and came up with a rocketship, no excuses needed.

      -Love the SMT, one of their best ideas in a while even if it doesn’t fit the slogan. Nothing bad to say about it except for the price, don’t even mind the ancient powerplant.

      -What I mean about the dated MX chassis is that they’ve finally updated to a linkage setup this year, only after Everts took over the program (great idea) and talked some sense into them.

      I still hold out hope for KTM, but I fear that with the company struggling like they are, and an Indian majority stake eminent, the product will suffer and enthusiasts will continue to be disappointed as the company tries to scramble for cash…:-(

  • http://setthemfree.tumblr.com Sasha Pave

    @rantyrant, you make some good points, especially with marketing and brand. KTM hasn’t outgrown their dirt-only image in the US market quite yet. Your mention of the 990 exemplifies this. Although it’s superior to a GS, you’re right, they’re sitting in showrooms. Putting FI and ABS on it was a good decision, however BMW does a far superior job of touting the GS Adv as a serious off-road machine, when in reality it’s just a jacked-up street bike with bling. The KTM was designed from the ground-up as a dakar contender.

    Although KTM did give the PDS rear suspension a good go, I agree with you that it’s a good idea to ditch it in favor of multi-link. Ironic that finally everyone seems happy with the 2009 PDS (compared to earlier models), it’s still shy of perfect even with the fantastic forks and reconfigured steel main section.

    All good points made. And I’m with you, I want to see KTM make it in the US, as well as BMW. More brands competing = more choices for us!