Will Someone Please Make the KTM CR8?

KTM CR8 by Mirco Sapio 12 photos
Photo: Mirco Sapio
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The KTM RC8 was not the strong seller we hoped it would become after Mattighofen introduced it in 2008. The bike was a real beast, with its 1,148 cc v-twin that produced 151 hp at first, and 173 horsepower in its bored-out later version.
It did not kill the competition from the likes of Yamaha, Kawasaki or other superbike manufacturers, but it was clearly a worthy opponent. Fun to ride around the track, road-legal RC8 machines were prized possessions, and the small numbers KTM manufactured made them even more exclusive.

Still, the RC8 did not take flight as some dreamed, and was recently sacked, with the KTM CEO Stefan Pierer adding that the Austrian manufacturer will most likely refrain from building 200 hp bikes for street use, and envisages track-only machines.

In the absence of any news about firm plans for these bikes, we were thrilled to see KTM revising their position regarding MotoGP. Around one year after the moment when Pierer said that the poor return of investment in the premier class makes KTM ignore any plans involving racing in MotoGP, House Mattighofen announced they were back with a bang, becoming a full-factory entry for 2017.

The same occasion was used to shed some light on the superbike class. Pit Beirer declared that the MotoGP program was going according to plans and that the knowledge accumulated will also be very useful in developing a liter-class motorcycle for racing teams.

Something tells us that we might just see a road-legal KTM superbike derived from the MotoGP V4, possibly in the vein of the Honda RC213V-S. Until then, however, we just cannot ignore the possibilities creative minds envisage for the existing RC8 machines.

We showed you a short 3D rendered video of Mirco Sapio's CR8 project, with the lettering standing for Cafe Racing, but now the Italian designer has readied a set of neat photos of the model.

Radical to the bone, the KTM CR8 is not for the faint of heart. Exclusive and dedicated only to bold riders, the CR8 is entirely oblivious to pillion passengers, and we love that. And we know we're nowhere near the only guys who believe that superbikes are a rider-only affair and passengers have no business aboard such machines. The KTM CR8 leaves no room for discussions, and we say "Good!"

The CR8 packs massive amounts of evil character while boasting simplicity and a darkened sense of beauty. If someone with solid experience in product design and structural strength teamed with some carbon fiber experts, we guess that the KTM CR8 could become real. Until then we can only gasp at these great renderings.
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