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KTM RC16 MotoGP Is Out on the Track, Testing

KTM's MotoGP project enters a new stage, as the C16 prototype heads to the track and real-life testing begins. The new Mattighofen V4 machine was filmed during its debut at the Austrian Reb Bull Ring, formerly known as the A1-Ring, in Zeltweg.
KTM RC16 4 photos
At the helm is for now Alex Hofmann, a highly-experienced Austrian rider with MotoGP and World Superbike expertise. He is the first to put the new KTM bike through its paces, while his colleague Mika Kallio will help refine the race characteristics throughout the remaining year ahead of the comeback.

There are still only a few things that can be said about the KTM RC16, as the Austrian maker is rather secretive. The machine does look a bit similar to Honda's RC213V MotoGP bike, but not quite. Plus, it's easy to understand that underneath the fairings, the generic V4 architecture of the engine is the only thing these two have in common.

KTM is known to use a steel trellis frame, whereas Honda uses an aluminium twin-spar design. As for the swingarm, KTM's unit does look similar to what Tokyo uses, with the fuel tank tucked under the seat and other premier class constructive solutions implemented into the build.

Mattighofen declared earlier that the bike would use WP suspensions, as KTM owns the performance parts supplier and developing racing parts is much easier when done in-house. It looks like the brakes are standard MotoGP Brembo units, with carbon discs.A derived "civil" bike is also expected, but how about Red Bull's implication
KTM sacked the street-legal RC8 project and has said that the odds of delivering a 200hp road-going machine soon are slim to none. Still, the Austrian manufacturer admitted that the RC16 would also serve as a platform for a production racer intended for privateer teams.

The bike will most likely be a detuned version of the RC16 and will not be homologated for road use. Still, as the high-end sport bike niche seems to become more populated with racer-derived street-legal bikes, we still hope that an RC8 successor will arrive.

As for the Red Bull decals on the development bikes, it will be interesting to see if it will also be part of the final livery for KTM in 2017. Red Bull is also an Austrian company that owns the former A1-Ring circuit (now named the Red Bull Ring), and which is also heavily involved in MotoGP.

In fact, rumors have it that the Red Bull Ring also plans to become a part of the MotoGP calendar. Will they become KTM's title sponsor? Odds are they might, but only time will tell.


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