KTM to Stick with Steel Frame and WP Suspension

Hafizh Syahrin on the KTM RC16 at Qatar 2019 - Photo credit MotoGP.com
  • The KTM RC16 uses a steel trellis frame and WP suspension.

  • Which is a departure from the MotoGP norm of aluminium spars and Öhlins.

  • When asked if they will make a switch, KTM motorsport boss said no.

Much has been said about KTM and their performance (or lack of) in MotoGP. Most pointed to their use of the steel trellis frame and WP suspension on the RC16, instead of the perennial aluminium spars and Öhlins suspension.

It may seem that the Austrian giant is going nowhere to the casual observer, but truth is, the RC16 is undergoing development at a breakneck pace.

It started out with a “screamer” engine (all cylinders firing in equally spaced sequence) in 2017. But by 2018, it was revised to the “big bang” configuration (all cylinders fired quickly in a short space), together with a counter-rotating crankshaft.

KTM motorsport manager, Pit Beirer told Simon Crafar of MotoGP.com that they’ve come far within the last two years. In fact, the RC16 put in Marc Marquez’s 2017 lap times at a number of tracks last year.

The whole MotoGP class is developing like crazy, every makes steps forward. But if you told me five years ago KTM would make a machine on year after Marquez almost at the same speed, I wouldn’t believe. But we did it.”

When asked if they will stop using the steel trellis frame and WP suspension, “That’s not an option,” said Beirer.

“It’s brought us success in every single discipline, so we will stick to this because we have the widest knowledge around this material we are using.”

Indeed, the frame/WP combination has allowed KTM to be competitive, succeed, even dominate racing series from enduro to Moto2.

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Wahid's lust for motorcycles was spurred on by his late-Dad's love for his Lambretta on which he courted, married his mother, and took baby Wahid riding on it. He has since worked in the motorcycle and automotive industry for many years, before taking up riding courses and testing many, many motorcycles since becoming a motojournalist. Wahid likes to see things differently. What can you say about a guy who sees a road safety message in AC/DC's "Highway to Hell."


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