Common Tread

Video: Inside KTM's MotoGP test lab

Oct 27, 2016

With its race debut little more than two weeks away, KTM is giving us a glimpse of its MotoGP bike, starting with the heart of the matter: the engine.

KTM apparently plans a series of videos on the development of the RC16, which will run full-time in MotoGP in 2017 with current Tech 3 Yamaha racers Pol Espargaró and Bradley Smith as the riders. But first, KTM will compete next month at the season-ending MotoGP round in Valencia, with a wildcard ride by lead test rider Mika Kallio.

In the video, we see the engine being run through a simulation of a race at Mugello.

We can see the engine is a 90-degree V-four. No surprise there. It has the sound of a "screamer" firing order, rather than a "big bang" staggered firing order. Presumably, we will get more glimpses of the complete bike itself in subsequent videos, since this one is labeled "Chapter One."

Beyond that, the video reminds us just how high-tech this MotoGP business is. The test run in the lab in the hills of northern Austria doesn't look much like the secret engine development I'm used to hearing about in the garage on Lemmy Mountain.  I didn't see grease under a single fingernail and nobody threw a wrench or uttered a swear word.

With four brands winning at least one race this year in MotoGP, let's hope the KTM gang can overcome their lack of earthiness and bring a fifth competitive marque to the mix in 2017. The more the merrier.