Pass the Popcorn

The big difference between current MotoGP and WSB racing is that MotoGP racing is limited to 800cc bikes, while World Superbike runs literbikes.  The reason for the MotoGP switch to 800cc bikes was that the literbikes were just too powerful and dangerous…or some such nonsense…for MotoGP racing.

Well, a few weeks ago, Dorna MotoGP boss Carmelo Ezpeleta said on Spanish TV that he wants MotoGP to return to literbikes for the 2012 season.  Which means essentially that MotoGP and WSB would more or less be conducting the same races.

Well, this put WSB boss Paolo Flammini’s panties in a wad.  he doesn’t like the idea one bit, and he’s said so to the Italian motorcycling news web site (in Italian).  He also says,

I repeat what I said earlier: we have had assurances from the FIM President Vito Ippolito that this regulation would not be approved…We are ready to take whatever action is necessary to defend the contract we have with the FIM, which, let us not forget, also covers the 600cc class based on production bikes.

So, Ezpeleta says he wants literbikes, and Flammini says he can’t have them.

I expect someone is going to be deeply disappointed, but only after some hideously interminable court proceedings in Barcelona, Rome, and/or Brussels.

KTM Slashes Prices

For the 2010 model year, KTM announced a while ago that they would undertake a “strategic price realignment” to make their bikes more competitive in the US marketplace.  That’s probably a wise move, considering that KTMs, while nice bikes, have always been very pricey.  But the announcement didn’t give us much of an idea of what “strategic price realignment” meant to the Austrians.  Now we know.

2010 KTM RC8
2010 KTM RC8

First up is theKTM RC8, the base-model superbike with the 1190cc V-Twin engine.  The price for this bike has been slashed by $3,000, with a new MSRP of $16,498.

The RC8’s 1148cc V-Twin mill pumps out 155HP at 10,000RPM and 88.5 lb-ft of torque at 8,000RPM.  Without fuel, the ready-to-race weight is 405 lbs.

2010 KTM RC8 R
2010 KTM RC8 R

But, maybe you’re one of those lusty, gusty fellows who needs a bit more power.  If so, the RC8 R, with it’s 170HP , 1195cc V-Twin, and upgraded components, has also been priced significantly lower, at 19,998.  They’ve got red Bull and Akraprovic special edition models, at slightly north of $23k, but the R model is now superbike ready, at a bit less of a superbike price.

All of the other KTM models, including the popular–but agonizingly ugly–990 Adventure also see similar price cuts.

2010 KTM 990 Adventure
2010 KTM 990 Adventure

Aaaaaugh!  My eyes!  My eyes!  The pain!

I’m sure uglier motorcycles have been seen out on the road.  But not by reliable observers.

I hear it’s quite popular among the well-to-do adventure biker set, though.