KTM has joined Honda in producing a standard production version of its Moto3 race machine, for sale to racers in local series around the world. The machine was presented to the press at the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring on Saturday night by KTM's head of motorsport Pit Beirer, the former MX racer telling the media that the bike will be very similar in spec to the factory bikes being raced by Sandro Cortese, Danny Kent and Zulfahmi Khairuddin.
The difference in horsepower is minimal, according to KTM, just 2 HP separating the production machine from the factory bike. The real difference will be in the running gear: where KTM's factory bike is fitted with top of the line WP Suspension and Brembo brakes, the GPR production racer has to make do with lower spec equipment. The factory bike also makes much greater use of much more expensive carbon fiber and titanium for various components. The production racer will be identical to the machine to be used by the Red Bull Rookies from 2013 onwards, providing a logical path for young riders to progress along in their career.
KTM also announced that Kalex is to be the sole independent chassis manufacturer allowed to supply chassis for KTM machines. The two factories had already cooperated very closely this year, and the fact that the facilities of the two companies were just 300km apart had simplified working together greatly. The degree of cooperation went so far as to provide access to technical data, and assistance with the electronics and exhaust systems of the bike, data that is otherwise kept highly confidential
KTM's GPR production racer is to cost 45,000 euros, making it considerably more expensive than the base version of Honda's NSF250R. But the introduction of competition to Honda's Moto3 racer is very welcome, both at the Grand Prix as well as the national level. The introduction of the NSF250R had led to fears that Honda could come to dominate the class in the same way that Aprilia did during the 125cc era, one of the reasons for actually dropping the two strokes. The high-end machinery being raced at the Grand Prix level and by the elite national championship riders will soon trickle down to lower levels and poorer teams, and with a rev limit already in place, the bikes should be relatively competitive for some time to come.
That trickle-down effect is something which has been missing from the Moto2 class: the 600cc four-stroke series has not taken off outside of the Grand Prix level and in Spain. The reason for that is simple: national series have no interest in racing Moto2 machines, as it competes directly with the Supersport class. And where national importers and distributors are willing to put money into supporting race teams riding their bikes, they have no interested in sponsoring Moto2 teams. For Moto3, there is no such conflict, as the class does not compete with a production class, but merely replaces the old 125cc two-stroke class.
Below is the press release launching the KTM Moto3 GPR racer:
KTM MOTO3 RACE BIKE GOES INTO PRODUCTION
KTM’s Moto3 program has developed into a real success story in less than a year and while Sandro Cortese fights for the World Championship title, the Austrian manufacturer is about to present both the customer sports bike for the coming season and the machine being used for the Red Bull Rookies MotoGP Cup.
There was a span of just seven months between the presentation of the Moto3 engine with the pure KTM DNA in October 2011 at Hangar 7 in Salzburg, Austria, and the first victory by German racer Cortese in Rd. 3 of the Moto3 GP in Estoril, Portugal. At the same time this was clearly not a product that came about by coincidence but was a result of careful planning and the performance delivered by the five KTM riders and the four KALEX-KTM riders in Moto3.
Up to now, Cortese has been on the podium in six of seven races. He has been the fastest in qualifying three times and has emerged as the biggest rival of world championship leader Maverick Vinales. Cortese is in second place by only the smallest points margin, followed by Luis Salom in third. The young Spaniard has scored three podium places and was twice fourth to clearly illustrate the competitiveness of the KALEX-KTM package.
Based on these consistently solid results the number of riders on KTM driven
machines (currently nine) is to be further increased in 2013. This ensures that in the future, customer teams and up-and-coming riders can also profit from the development of both the production bike and the Red Bull Rookies MotoGP Cup bike, both of which are direct descendants of the KTM GP motorcycle.
Stefan Pierer (KTM CEO) underlines the importance for the motorsports brand KTM to be established as a force to be reckoned with in Moto3: KTM’s knowhow all comes together in the Moto3 Grand Prix motorcycle. It involves proven technology from both offroad and road racing motor sports. Internally there has been an intensive knowhow transfer between R&D, Motorsport and the series development. The KTM commitment is also consistent with our idea of youth development and being focused on small cc capacity sports motorcycles. Last but not least, the Moto3 project again illustrates 100% KTM’s core message “Ready to Race” at all levels.
Pit Beirer (KTM Head of Motorsports): “Following a real ‘holeshot’ start to the season we have now firmly established ourselves as one of the major players in the new Moto3 class, which is more than a positive development for us. Sandro Cortese finds himself fighting for the world title and thanks to the efforts of four other KTM riders and the four KALEX-KTM riders, the chances for the team and constructors’ standings are also very good. In 2013 we want to increase the power of Orange in the Moto3 World Championship. There will be an addition of four KTM Moto3 bikes, KALEX however stays our exclusive partner with their own chassis development and will be supplied with engines. They also want to lift their contingent of bikes by another two. We would also be very pleased if other teams and riders were on the grid for next season’s World Championship riding the KTM production racer. Continuing to support and to supply the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup with four-stroke KTM Moto3 bikes has never come into question. With Danny Kent and Luis Salom, both former Red Bull Rookies, this closes the circle and once again illustrates the successful concepts of the series and our engagement in the support of young talent!”
Wolfgang Felber (Head of KTM Customer Motor Racing): "The basis of the production racer and the Red Bull Rookies Bike is almost no different from our M32 Grand Prix motorcycle (M32 stands for Moto3 2012). The GP bike is only adjusted to suit the existing Moto3 regulations i.e. it runs on the prescribed Dell’Orto electronic unit, revs at a maximum of 14000 revolutions and has an Akrapovic exhaust system that allows 115 dB. OZ magnesium wheels, a factory braking system from Brembo with two brake disks and factory suspension from WP save additional weight and increase performance – but these are basically parts that anyone can use to upgrade the production racer.
KTM Moto3 250 GPR (Production Racer 2013)
Engine: Single cylinder, liquid cooled / 4-stroke / DOHC
Displacement / Bore x Stroke: 249,5 ccm / 81 x 48,5 mm
Performance: min. 37 kW at 13.000 rpm
Engine speed: max. 13.500 rpm
Front Suspension: WP / DM 45 mm, RCMA3548
Rear Suspension: WP / adjust. length, hydraulic preload
Brakes front/rear: Brembo Radial caliper, 290 / 190 mm single disc
Rims front/rear: OZ Forged Aluminium 2,5 x 17 / 3,5 x 17
Tires front/rear: Dunlop 95/70-17 / 115/70-17
Silencer: Akrapovic Full Titanium System (max. 108 dB)
Frame: Tubular steel with adjust. headstock and swing arm pivot
Dry weight/tank capacity: approx. 83 kg / approx. 11 l
GP125 (geometry, ergonomics, aerodynamic, components)
MOTOGP-MOTOR (Layout cylinder head and throttle body)
RC8 R SBK (electronics, frame knowhow, material/machining)
MX (lubrication system, gear box, clutch, kinematics valve train)
WP Suspension, WP Radiator & WP Rahmenbau
KISKA Industrial Design
PANKL Racing Systems
Orders open: 01.07.2012
Orders close: 01.10.2012 for season 2013
Delivery: February 2013
Price: 45,000 EUR (excl. VAT.)
KTM Moto3 250 RBR (Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup 2013)
Technical data: similar to KTM Moto3 250 GPR
Scheduled: 30 bikes