As the off-road market continues its tailspin, Austria’s KTM is hedging its bets with a continued surge in its street motorcycle category. Its on-road push began with the liter-size V-Twins in the Adventure, Super Duke, and Supermoto bikes, followed most recently by the RC8 superbike.
Now we hear word that the Austrian manufacturer will soon enter the supersport class. A prototype is already completed, according to Hubert Trunkenpolz, KTM’s managing director of sales and marketing.
“Development is finished,” said Trunkenpolz in the October, 2008 edition of Dealernews.
“Now we just have to bring it into production. I think you’ll see it at the latest in two years’ time at the American dealers.”
Trunkenpolz said KTM is courting a younger market with this new supersport contender. “We’ve analyzed the target groups – going to the skater parks and places like that in an effort to understand what their desires are,” he said in Dealernews. “We want to get young people really excited about getting on motorcycles.”
KTM also indicates that the new bike will be priced affordably, which is a challenge with the current dollar-to-Euro ratio. KTM also needs to ramp up its dealer network to cater to the street market, saying that not all of its off-road-biased dealers will be receiving the expanding street lineup.
The supersport class is notoriously difficult to crack, made even tougher by the category’s price sensitivity. It will be interesting to see what KTM reveals and how competitive it can be on price.