KTM has been noticed testing a duo of latest fashions powered by its established LC8c parallel-twin engine and it seems to be like they’re destined to turn out to be a part of the rising GasGas vary.
It was solely final yr that GasGas, which turned a part of the KTM household in 2019 when it was purchased by Pierer Mobility, stepped into the streetbike market with the launch of the SM 700 supermoto and ES 700 enduro mannequin, however plans are already in place to develop the corporate’s street-focused vary. Like Husqvarna, GasGas will probably be utilizing current KTM platforms, wrapped in distinct styling and tweaked to discover a area of interest of their very own available in the market.
In 2023, GasGas will get its personal staff in MotoGP, utilizing rebranded KTM RC16s and with a duo of Spanish riders within the type of Pol Espargaró and Augusto Fernández, and the corporate has confirmed that being current on the high stage of racing is a part of a push for recognition as a streetbike model.
On the staff launch, board member Hubert Trunkenpolz stated: “If you wish to create consciousness for a motorbike model, then MotoGP is the fitting platform. It’s the place you attain the most individuals globally and the place we are able to make GasGas identified and make the GasGas model extra well-liked. If we additionally look to the GasGas model values, then it’s younger and vibrant and it’s clear that MotoGP with its demographics can be the fitting platform for us. Having two Spanish riders with our outdated pal Pol and with a rookie—Augusto—I believe it’s a good match. Sooner or later the GasGas vary will probably be enlarged and expanded with road bikes and MotoGP is making ready the bottom for these merchandise that can come yr by yr.”
The 2 bikes noticed on take a look at at KTM’s facility completely match the GasGas plan. One is a supermoto, the opposite an enduro, each based mostly on current KTM components together with the LC8c engine. It’s the prevailing engine, not the closely redesigned model anticipated to be launched within the upcoming 990 Duke come 2024, which implies the brand new GasGas fashions will probably be both 799cc or 889cc (KTM makes each capacities, and so they’re visually similar). Provided that the present GasGas vary already consists of the SM 700 and ES 700, each based mostly on KTM’s 690 single-cylinder engine, it’s seemingly that the agency will use the 889cc twins within the new fashions together with the names SM 900 and ES 900.
Mechanically, the enduro-style ES 900 prototype makes use of the chassis and engine from the KTM 890 Journey R, together with the identical WP Xplor suspension. The variations come within the type of new bodywork, with aspect panels that mimic the motocross-inspired shapes used on the ES 700, though the ES 900 seems to be considerably broader because of the parallel-twin engine and the belly-mounted gas tank from the 890 Journey R.
If the ES 900 is predicated on the 890 Journey R, it ought to come as little shock that the supermoto-style SM 900 prototype spied on take a look at borrows parts from the KTM 890 Duke R. It options the Duke’s 17-inch alloy wheels, WP Apex suspension, and conventionally positioned gas tank, however the prototype’s tail and seat come from the 890 Journey for a extra convincing supermoto stance. Just like the enduro prototype, the SM 900 additionally has new aspect panels flanking the radiator, once more utilizing shapes much like different GasGas fashions.
Each the ES 900 and SM 900 prototypes characteristic headlights much like the design used on the ES 700 and SM 700, with a trapezoid form. The bikes on take a look at lacked the cowling round these lights and the high-mounted entrance mudguards, however the decrease fringe of the headlight seems to be formed to go well with a excessive, motocross-style fender.
Given GasGas’s MotoGP enterprise this yr it’s seemingly the agency’s deal with road fashions will get extra consideration throughout 2023, but it surely’s been Pierer’s plan ever since taking on the model. As way back as 2019, instantly after shopping for GasGas, Pierer Mobility’s investor presentation paperwork included plans for GasGas road fashions from 250cc to 800cc (this was earlier than the LC8c twin was expanded to 889cc), together with bare and journey bikes.