KTM RC16 is the MotoGP Test Machine for Building RC2017
KTM is coming to MotoGP, the top sport in motorcycling, in 2017 with the KTM RC16 machine. Since the beginning of 2016 the company has invested a lot of time and energy in preparing themselves for their official participation in 2017 MotoGP season. KTM is an Austrian manufacturer who has won many world championships title in different categories like Dakar Rally, Moto3, MXGP and others. The company’s tagline “Ready to Race” makes it obvious for the company to enter MotoGP and prove the competitiveness of their machines.
KTM RC16 Tests and Test Riders
The preparations of entering 2017 MotoGP season actually started in 2015. As per, Stefan Pierer, CEO of the KTM group , the company made the decision to enter MotoGP almost 2 and a half years ago. 60% of all the KTM bikes sold are road bikes. So it makes absolute sense that they participate in the top road racing event i.e. MotoGP.
In 2016, KTM signed up Mika Kallio, Alex Hofmann and Randy de Puniet to be their official test riders for the KTM RC16. Till now the KTM RC16 has seen 10 tests on different tracks like Misano, Jerez, Austria, and 7 others. Karel Abraham, the ex-MotoGP rider tested the KTM RC16 in Misano. The current Moto2 rider and the 2016 title contender, Thomas (Tom) Luthi took the orange factory’s RC16 for a spin on the Italian track Misano. Randy de Puniet, went out on the KTM RC16 in Brno and was very happy with the machine. KTM has taken the RC16 to different tracks with different riders. This has helped them gather feedback on different elements to improve on and also understand the overall competitiveness of the machine.
KTM RC16 Specifications
KTM RC16 would be using a 90° V4 engine housed in a steel trellis frame for the race specification machine. The KTM CEO did reveal that the engine is already making around 270 horsepower. The bike is using a seamless gearbox, developed in conjunction with X-Trac.
When Mika Kallio first rode the KTM RC16 in 2016, he was happy as he felt the basis was there with and the lap times were competitive. In the Austria GP test, KTM got a chance to compare their bike with the other factory bikes. Mika Kallio and Tom Luthi managed to put the KTM RC16 within 2.5 seconds of Andrea Ionne’s top Ducati. Now isn’t that commendable, without recent data to build a MotoGP machine, KTM has still managed this.
KTM MotoGP Riders for 2017
KTM has signed the Tech3 Yamaha riders Pol Espargo and Bradley Smith for the 2017 MotoGP season. They will be riding the KTM RC2017 machine in the next season. Only time can tell how successful the tests have been for KTM. And, how well KTM will manage to build the bike to compete with the other MotoGP machines.
Let’s wait until the first and the only night race on the MotoGP calendar, the QatarGP to start.