No More Superbikes for KTM – CEO Says They’re Too Dangerous For Public Roads

There’s a headline you won’t enjoy reading, especially if you’re a fan of KTM and their underrated 1190 RC8. KTM CEO and President Stefan Pierer has stated in no uncertain terms that he believes as a producer of sportsbikes, KTM has a serious responsibility to their customers regarding safety and that therefore means saving you from yourself.

That statement was made in an interview conducted by legendary motorcycle journalist Alan Cathcart and published in CycleNews magazine. The interview is quite an interesting and lengthy read and was spread out over two issues, but it’s the second part of the discussion that’s a real eye opener.

Stefan Pierer’s shocking announcement came in response to a question regarding KTM’s return to MotoGP in 2016. Here’s the reason for returning to MotoGP:

We’d like to produce a successor to the existing RC8 V-twin… In which case, let’s do the following: We’ll stick to making a Superbike, but only for closed course usage. So it won’t be homologated for sale as a streetbike. Okay? So then to produce that we will take the best prototype development arena available, which is MotoGP. And for the 2016 season there will be new rules introduced when the playing field will be leveled with a standard electronic system, so then KTM can challenge Honda, Yamaha, Ducati, Suzuki and Aprilia on an equal basis. So that’s the concept for development. We’ll call it the RC16 and it will also be available for the normal customer for track days or private use on track, but it won’t any more be homologated for the street. It’ll be a really serious sports and race item for closed course use only.

Just to make sure he was hearing things correctly, Cathcart pressed the KTM CEO and asked if there would be at least a homologated version of this machine? In answer, Pierer again said “No, because we at KTM think that a sportbike with such performance doesn’t have any place on the public roads.”

No More Superbikes for KTM - CEO Says They're Too Dangerous For Public Roads

The KTM RC 8 R will be discontinued soon and will not be replaced because it’s apparently too dangerous for public roads.

He goes on to say the following:

But let’s be honest, if your Superbike is reaching 200 horsepower or more, it’s impossible to argue that it belongs on the street. It really doesn’t, anymore.

As soon as the RC16 is available for customers we will stop with the RC8. The design is outstanding. I would say it’s still state of the art, and there is nothing else like it. It’s a classic Superbike. But with the increase in safety concerns, I’m afraid bikes like this don’t belong on the street, only on a closed course.

So is Stefan Pierer just another CEO completely out of touch with reality and condemning KTM to a future of mediocrity? That’s a difficult argument to make, as Pierer has presided over KTM for a number of years now and its current success is no doubt in large part due to his leadership. He also stated that part of his reasoning is fear of European politicians who would ban motorcycles outright if they could. So in effect, his decision is perhaps one designed to avoid the issues from the 90’s where governments almost intervened to stop the top speed wars.

But it’s also a huge cop-out. KTM’s most powerful bike on sale is the 1290 Super Duke R which produces 177 hp (The 1190 RC 8 R makes 172 hp but weighs 5 kg less). That sort of power has been available in motorcycles since the Hayabusa was released over 15 years ago and the Suzuki certainly had none of the electronic aids that the Duke does such as traction control, lean-sensitive traction control, ABS and various engine modes when it was first released. So why is it now all of a sudden too dangerous for the public?

Secondly, does this dangerous amount of horsepower also encompass other types of bikes like sports tourers? Say, the 1290 Super Adventure which delivers 160 hp and was only just released? Or are motorcycles only dangerous if they’ve got sportsbike fairings?

We can understand being cautious of politicians and their desire to interfere, but to leave a motorcycle company who’s motto is ‘Ready to Race’ without a flagship sportsbike you can ride on the road? Does not compute.

Stefan Pierer, KTM CEO and Fun Police Officer

Stefan Pierer, KTM CEO and Fun Police Officer


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  • Guest

    So Im assuming they are going to can the 1290 Superduke as well , I cant imagine it has any less horsepower than the RC8 , or not enough to be any less dangerous on the road …..

    • But the 1290 sells better… Money more important than ‘safety’?

  • mark

    Stupidity when they are still going to make the 1290 Superduke …….

  • Dario Dee

    With all the electronic system 200hp is not serious at all…
    S1000 RR is a great bike to ride, not dangerous at all, Besides you can without problem kill yourself on a 35hp Virago.

    So again mr Pierer please proceed with what you do best and give the poeple the bikes they want.

    • Well said. Any bike that can reach 100kph/60mph is capable of killing a rider.

      • Robotra

        Any bike capable of wandering into incoming traffic can kill a rider.

  • Scott Aspden

    ..its age related.. KTM needs new young and hungry boss please…

  • Cup_of_STFU

    Ignorance is bliss

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  • Mike Trivisonno

    If your capable of putting the required technology into it to give the owner the control of all that power, why not do that. Its chicken shit to just put a blanket over it and say they are to dangerous. Or maybe the bike just sucks! My Hayabusa was way to powerful for the streets but it didn’t mean it should be banned. I am still alive and never go a ticket on it. Some of the responsibility is up to the owner as well..

    • Bruce Campbell

      So you had an extremely powerful bike capable of 300+kph but never used it. Whats the point? Bragging rights?

      • zeanomourph .

        So you went 300+kph on a public road. Whats the point? Bragging rights?

      • Nathan Johnson

        There are other uses for that much power… Say, overtaking, going to the race track, etc. Sometimes it’s just nice to know that power is there, even if you never need it.

        • Bruce Campbell

          Be serious. Overtaking doesn’t require 180bhp+, even to do it quickly.

          • Nathan Johnson

            No, but it makes it quicker & you don’t have to use as higher speed so it’s safer & easier.

            I also note you conveniently decided to forget that I mentioned that a lot of people take their road bikes to the track too…

          • Bruce Campbell

            I’m aware of track days – I’m one of them that do it. Most don’t, so its a nice angle but wrong. Nor does a ‘Busa make a trackday more enjoyable than the average Supersports or less.

  • Charles Gorr

    Question will you still have a off road line available in the states for the personal rider

  • boinkz572

    really? THAT DANGEROUS? hahahahahaha i think more about crappy sales!

  • Ahmed Gadir


  • Speak again

    I respect this decision.

  • John

    That is a sad choice made by ktm. That bike is a work of art, as well as a fine tuned machine. I believe it’s called natural selection when people die before there time. Don’t blame it on a sport bike. There are a million other ways it could happen. This choice will not protect people from inevitability.

  • Nathan Biesemeier

    Everyone talking like the bike sucks when they the vast majority don’t have the talent to push the RC 8 R anywhere near its limits. I respect the decision and agree.

    • You probably couldn’t buy a motorcycle in the western world that you can’t push to its limits on the road legally. Even a Ninja 300 can hit over 100mph. Should they just stop selling motorcycles altogether?

      • Piglet2010

        I took my TW200 out for a top speed run on the local freeway to see what it would do. I did not break any laws.

    • ObamaReally Suucks

      Blow us

  • Andre

    Problem is most superbike race formulas require you to use a bike homologated for street use. So other than moto GP it leaves a very small market.

  • Ja merritt

    Just like owning a Lamborghini really fast most who own it can’t push it to its limit but the enthusiast still has to have it
    It’s all about respecting your machine and not riding outside your limits

  • glpage

    This is part of the attitude that government has to save us from ourselves. I didn’t realize I belong to the government. In fact, I thought government was supposed to work for us. To all the idiots who have this notion they need to protect me from myself, go stuff yourselves.

  • Guest

    Oh boy oh boy. This is going to be very interesting. Offlate a lot of Euro fanboys have been complaining of how Honda and Yamaha have technologies on their GP bikes not available to the general public, despite knowing very well that its a prototype race series. Now i want to see how they will defend KTM’s decision to do the same.

  • Paul Sutton

    Personally, I think it’s a very sensible decision, and change of approach.

    For years, motorcycles have been making incremental power gains towards ever-higher numbers. Left unchecked by sensibility, there will be no end to power outputs in the future. And let’s not kid ourselves, while bikes are incorporating more electronic aids and better design characteristics to make them more “controllable and safe”, nothing is being done (nor can be done) to curb our enthusiasm to twist the throttle to its fullest at any given moment. This is after-all why we ride bikes it’s it? It’s a thrill.

    Trouble is, too big a thrill will eventually kill you, and probably a few innocent bystanders too.

    In the year 2050, would a 400 hp street bike capable of 380 km/h, be any more useful to any street rider than what we have today? I’ll stick my neck out and say: “Most definitely not!”

    The 0-100km/h times for high end street bikes have platued at a tenth or two around 3 seconds for decades now, and electronic traction control works almost constantly on bikes with high torque figures to limit wheel slippage under harsh acceleration, when being ridden by enthusiastic riders. This effectively means that the bike’s electronics are intervening to bring power and torque characteristics DOWN to a level that can be utilised within the laws of physics. The only way to exploit more traction (for acceleration, stopping, and cornering ability) is to develop stickier tyres or stickier roads. Both of which are in constant development, but make slow progress, and even with significantly high performance levels, would do little or nothing to increase safety surrounding other road hazards. Once performance levels are risen its human nature to use that extra performance even when not necessary (think about following distance, as an example: given better brakes, the following driver or rider, will tend to believe he needs less stopping distance and will therefor reduce his following distance), so added performance is almost instantly nullified by human behaviour.

    Effectively, modern bikes can make more power than can be transmitted to the riding surface, and are therefore effectively over-powered at legal (safe) speeds. The purpose of greater power is greater acceleration at HIGH (illegal) speeds, and to create higher top-speeds. Both of which are prohibited on the public road systems for very good safety reasons.

    Adding more icing to the cake, isn’t going to give you more cake. But it might give you diabetes!

    My point is this: the only riders who want to buy a street bike that can exceed the highest speed limits of the road systems by nearly triple, are the same people who have blatant disregard for authority, common sense, and any sense of self-preservation or respect for the lives of others. Not to mention a dire lack of understanding of the wide range of ways to enjoy motorcycling safely – which don’t involve riding at ridiculously fast speeds. And I’m saying this as someone who has himself often foolishly ridden at stupefying speeds on the road. I get the appeal of it! Sometimes riding motorbikes just turns each of us into idiots.

    Perhaps I’m being too harsh though. Not all riders deliberately set out to ride like pillocks. But we all tend to at some point be drawn into the hype surrounding the performance figures of motorised vehicles. Top-speed (or maximum horsepower) is the most defining performance characteristic of any motor vehicle and is a great selling point. But it is by no means the only factor one should consider when considering the all-round performance and joys of motorcycling.

    If, however, a rider wishes to explore the limits of top-speed performance, no amount of debate will be able to justify the need to do so on public streets, which are shared by motorists of all ages, levels of driving ability, and lack of situational awareness – avoidable or not. Who among us would not be completely suddenly surprised, while driving at highway speeds, if we looked in the mirror and saw another vehicle travelling at a relative approach speed of 200km per hour?! Now imagine you’re a tired lorry driver with limited rear and side view, or a pensioner on your monthly road trip to visit your grand-kids.

    Of course the wise-arses reading this will at this point attempt to argue that their reflexes are so sharp and that they are so talented that they can avoid all problems caused by such eventualities, and that furthermore, old people should be taken off the roads, blah, blah, blah! You bore me.

    Well, sorry, but you’re just wrong. Your granny can drive on the roads as long as she is legally competent to do so. The laws of the roads – including speed limits and factors amounting to situational awareness – are designed so that a very broad range of people can safely use the roads. This permits freedom of movement for individuals and works towards ensuring a free trading economy. …there is a much bigger picture than what you might think.

    And even if you took all the people over 60 years of age off the roads, you would still have young, inexperienced and unpredictable drivers to contend with, not to mention other erratic speed-maniacs like yourself, animals (real ones), oil-slicks, unexpected poor visibility, etc. Just take a look at any compilation video of motorcycle accidents on YouTube and I’m certain you’ll see my point very quickly.

    AND, to those who would still disagree, the point needs to be made, that you are not as talented as you think you are! I can say so confidently because talent, by definition, involves a superior understanding and execution of a particular skill, and anybody talented enough to competently pilot a 200+ hp motorcycle to its full performance would instantly recognise that doing so on public streets is a very bad idea for numerous reasons. The proof is in the fact that very few MotoGP riders ride motorbikes on the street in their personal capacity. They keep their high performance riding to the track. Some are not even ALLOWED to ride street bikes, due to fear from team sponsors that they are more likely to injure themselves on the road than on the track!

    The performance of motorbikes has increased, but human beings haven’t become significantly more talented. We’re still governed by our natural reaction times (which are measured in tenth of a second, whereas performance-testing and electronic safety devices such as ABS and traction control, are measured in thousandths of a second!), and limits of situational awareness. Until such time as motorbikes completely control themselves electronically, we’re stuck with our poor human reflexes and mediocre senses. And who would buy a bike that did all the joyful work for you anyway?

    Instead, let’s look at what we’re really achieving from top-end figures. Sales. It’s as simple as that.

    Oh, you just bought a bike that can do 322 km/h? Well, I just bought one that can go 1km/h faster (on paper …according to the manufacturers). Yay, I’m the winner!

    So what?! I’ve just rationalised that, for all my efforts, when I crash, all I’ll have achieved is that I’ll probably hit something solid at 1 km/h quicker than you.

    Anybody who knows anything about the ENJOYMENT of motorcycling will tell you that 99.99% of the fun comes from the riding you’ll do at reasonable speeds. It’s how the bike accelerates, how it handles the contours of the road, how it delivers its power, the sound of the engine, the way it banks into and out of corners, the feeling you get when you hear your girlfriend squealing with hysterical giggles behind you as you lift the bike out of a cambered corner. (By my experience, you can’t hear a damn thing happening behind you over 200 km/h for all the wind noise, which is as pleasant as sticking your head out a window while a tornado rips your house to pieces!

    To all the riders who like to post YouTube videos of their top-end escapades, and to those who so often get it wrong, I say for god’s sake, you’ve proved how big your balls are! Now grow some brains!

    So is there a place for monstrous 400hp, 380km/h sport-bikes in the world? Hell yes!

    …on the race track. But nowhere else.

    Many people struggle to understand the appeal …no, the NEED that some people have to test their limits and those of their machines at maximum speeds. I’m have no trouble understanding this need. I completely get that this must be satisfied somehow, and racing is the science and art of doing just that. In the world of racing, we are at war with ourselves and the limits of nature. In the real world, it’s truer to say that we are simply trying to get from point A to point B quickly and safely – racing doesn’t (shouldn’t) come into it.

    Greater power and speed inherently equates to greater risk. On the streets this risk is managed to acceptable standards – which are compromised by a huge variety of variability and unpredictability. The race-track however caters for a situation in which as much variability and unpredictability as possible is eliminated or reduced, thereby allowing for a greater safety-envelope for pushing the specific limits of speed.

    The rider who speeds on the roads, demonstrates an inherent and obvious lack of understanding of this principal, and I think it is for this reason that it is stated above that: “KTM has a serious responsibility to their customers regarding safety and that therefore means saving you from yourself.”

    All the company is doing is acknowledging that dead customers are poor customers. And that in a world where people are becoming more demanding of safety standard, they don’t want to be associated with products that lead to a higher rate of injury – or even merely no increase in safety through continued development.

    There is no need to create situations whereby carelessness and ignorance, in the interest of having fun, results in injury or death. We have perfectly viable forums for exploring the limits of speed, in which we reduce the liabilities to a minimum. I think KTM’s approach is therefore not regression at all, but rather progress! What company will ultimately succeed if they continue to produce products which push further and further into the likelihood of causing injury or death?

    In recent decades, we’ve seen smoking all but banned, we’ve seen a movement to more active lifestyles, healthier foods, etc. Can you still smoke if you want to? Big Mac anyone? Sure! But do so at your own risk, and do so without infringing on other’s rights to not have to go down with you as a result of your risky behaviour.

    Furthermore, you have alternatives too, and you can choose exactly how and when you add risk to your well-being. The choice to be having in risky ways is not being taken away from you at all – one has to live a little after all, don’t you? Instead risk is simply being supplemented with much safer alternatives and a whole lot of opportunities for education regarding the broader picture, or enjoyment and development of activities in safer yet still increasingly satisfying ways.

    Isn’t it time that motorists and motorcyclists start receiving the same level of choice regarding their desire to seek risk when it suites them?

    To finalise this discussion, I’ll make mention to two sports which could almost not be further apart from one another: Skateboarding, and Formula 1.

    When I was growing up, skateboarding was an underground sport. In the 80’s and 90’s equipment was available, albeit scarcely in most places. Skate parks were largely things of mythology, and skaters had no choice but to skate on public roads and car parks, making their own ramps and grazing their knees and elbows (sometimes breaking bones, and suffering concussions) on hard concrete – places from which they were frequently chased away by adults hurling scathing remarks.

    We were regarded as rebels, even “thugs”, teenagers, with no motorised form of transport, and nothing better to do with our time than to make noise, destroy public property, and inconvenience the neighbourhood by risking life and limb to have a degenerative form of fun.

    Today however, you can readily buy entry-level skate equipment that would have been the envy of all but the most well-equipped skaters of a couple of decades ago. We can get this from supermarkets, sport stores, and online. There are even stores and brands which specialise in the development, production and sales of such component equipment. Moreover, safety equipment is regarded as imperative, and no retailer will sell a skateboard to a newbie rider before instilling the need for appropriate safety equipment (while concurrently generating additional sales revenue too!).

    The infrastructure has changed too. Skate parks and public areas for skaters are easily accessible, and the sport has grown into a movement which is now seen as healthy from a physical, mental, social and standpoint, and is engaged upon by people of all walks of life, age, race, and gender – all because at some point, the decision was made to innovate and transform the sport from a dodgy, underground, thrill-seeking, risk-taking pass-time, into an activity which can be done and enjoyed by almost anyone, at any level, and in safer circumstances. Consequently, we as the public, have access to better equipment, a far, far greater variety of skating styles, specialised equipment, much more rapid development of technology, many means of expressing ourselves through the sport, and a LOT more fun! And we can do so more safely and with nearly no resistance from the community!

    We now see men in their 40’s long-boarding in public parks with their pre-teen and teenage sons and daughters.

    Furthermore, as a result of more people engaging in the sport, the standards of what is humanly possible at the competitive level have been lifted to unimaginable heights, and the sport now attracts huge sponsorships from brands looking to capitalise on the entertainment value of seeing athletes perform feats which seem to defy our collective imagination even today, let alone 20 years ago!

    By offering safer forums for these activities, and a wider entry-level point to consumers, skateboarding has exploded into a world-wide sporting, fashion and lifestyle culture – making lots of money for entrepreneurs, and providing huge thrills for countless people.

    On the other end of the spectrum, we can also see relevant restructuring in the high-performance world of Formula 1, which employs highly stringent safety measures, despite the extreme nature of the sport.

    For decades, F1 cars have topped out on most circuits at somewhere in the region of 320 km/h. (Different circuits require different car set-ups, and handling capabilities, so the top-speed of a formula one car can vary from 280 km/h to about 350 km/h, but this depends on the circuit. So on a given day, most cars will see top-speeds in a narrow band of only about 10 -15 km/h.)

    Despite what must be the most competitive and high-stakes technological development arena outside of international military war, F1 cars have not seen increases in top-speeds of 50% within a decade or two, despite this being quite technologically possible. Their top speeds have stayed relatively even, and the reason for this is that rule-makers, have been working just as hard as developers to chip away at the advances that engineers are constantly making. Where one innovation gives a significant increase in performance, rules are changed to counter that advantage to a reasonable amount, either directly – by banning certain innovations – or indirectly, by governing other mechanisms which have trade-off effects. The result is not a sport which sees technology standing still, or performances becoming less spectacular, but instead it is one which sees constant (if not increased) rate of innovation and development, to produce better overall performance, while at the same time ensuring acceptable levels of safe practice, and a very highly competitive spectacle, which attracts hundreds of millions of spectators and billions of dollars of sponsorship and investments – not to mention the fringe benefits of a lot of subsequent racing technology being passed down to Joe-public when he buys a new family sedan a few years later.

    So despite the apparent intention of the rule-makers to suck the joy from the sport by keeping cars limited to speeds not much higher than 320km/h, the sport still enjoys huge success and appeal. The march of technology never slows, and despite the cars not exhibiting the top-speeds that they could, teams are still breaking circuit lap records year on year. In fact, with certain aerodynamic packages and correct gearing, any formula one car from the last 20 years could easily break the 400km/h mark!

    But the sport is not about whose car can drive at the highest top-speed. We have a different forum for that – and land speed record competitors and drag racers, can make even F1 top-speeds look like the performances of cart horses.

    The forum of Formula 1 is however, about who can drive the QUICKEST. And that means testing to see who has the better acceleration, better breaking, better corning abilities. Care must also be durable, efficient, and reliable. All of which takes place at sub-maximal speeds! And often the winner of the race is not the car with the highest top-speed, or the one that makes the most horse-power, but the one which could get around the corners the quickest.

    So, as such, motorcyclists need to start to realise that whether they are on the roads or on the tracks – a hell of a lot of the joy and the performance of the machine they are riding lies not in how fast it can go, but how the entire mechanical package can be used either for the pursuit of enjoyment (that would imply not injuring or killing yourself or anyone else), or for racing, depending on the given environment and opportunities.

    So I think that with the steady development of motorcycle technology, most road motorcyclists, given our own innate limitations on talent, upon giving it some thought, will find that capping the power output of the road-bike to a maximum of say, 200 hp, will be quite sufficient for continuing to discover an endless varieties of ways of enjoying motorcycling in the future.

    For those who have that need to push the limits of speed and performance to the maximum, the race track still exists. Track days have taken off in popularity in the past 10 or 15 years, and will probably flourish even further as more riders and manufacturers adopt a positive and more responsible approach to riding and the development of their products. Mark my words, this activity has already started undergoing the same boom that activities like skateboarding has seen, and we are about to see that the following decades will bring unimaginable race-track experiences and possibilities to thrill-seeking consumers – safely!

    I therefore take my hat off to KTM and to Stefan Pierer if this is in fact the direction they want to go. And I hope they do. It speaks to foresight and industry innovation, and it can only be good for everybody at all levels of the game.

    • Stuart Cross

      what about people who want a high performance bike, that is still street legal to ride to the track? We can’t all afford multiple bikes, but like to be able to put the race key in when its suitable

      • RyYYZ

        I would say that the vast majority of people are as incapable of using all the performance of an open-class sportbike on the race track as they are on the street. Fun to wind out on the long straights, but no faster (and likely slower) than smaller displacement bikes in the corners. Still, it’s not my place to tell someone else what they want. Maybe they want to hoon down the straights and scare themselves on corner entries. Maybe they want to take it drag racing. Maybe they just like having the bragging rights of having the fastest street bike, even though the differences in performance between current open class sport bikes are minimal, and mostly only apparent at speeds that no sensible person should be doing on the street.

        Personally, I would not likely be much faster around any but the fastest, most wide open race tracks on a open-class bike than I would be on a 600. My corner entry speeds would likely be lower. I’d probably have more fun flogging something like a Yamaha R3, Ninja 300, or CBR300 around a race track than I would even a 600 super sport. A lot of guys I know who have a lot more race track experience than me, on a variety of bikes from 125s up to the latest, fastest open class bikes, have said the very same thing.

      • vinc

        I owned a superbike that I used both on street and track and I believe its purely impossible to ride around the streets respecting the limits. If you think you can, you never owned one. You are right we can’t all afford multiple bikes but if you go to track with your bike you should be able to afford a crash without insurances which is cheaper when you have a dedicated track bike or you rent one.

    • Bruce Wayne

      WTF… you put me to sleep.

    • Phyl O Butoyi

      I dont even do the speed limit in a car thats less than 180bhp, why would I do it on a bike? Call it disregard for the law, I just want to enjoy my life and hard earned money the way I want. I will leave money for my funeral but I will go out alone and happy. I regret pressing “show more” on my 4″ screen, that was too long.

    • Wayne M.

      A brilliant and well thought out comment, however, you have failed to acknowledge the hypocrisy of KTM within the decision and the blanket statements made my the CEO about the danger of riders and riding.

      What you say about the performance increments and human ability is somewhat true but how can you possibly justify with the same breath the potential of the 1290 SuperDuke..? Surely, if someone were to crash at 160mph on a SuperDuke he would suffer the same fate as his counterpart who crashed at 180mph on an RC8 . When have you ever heard of a rider crash at 160mph say “thank god I was only doing 160… 180 would have killed me”?

      What I am trying to get across is that the discontinuation of the RC8 is nothing to do with a top speed argument. Going 1mph faster really does not make the difference to the vast majority of riders (why would the FireBlade be so popular after all these years of trailing behind Busa’s, s1000RR’s and R1’s if that were he case). The discontinuation of the RC8 has everything to do with financials and marketing as (I’m sorry to have to break it to you) Stefan’s excuse is extremely poor. Consenting adults have the right to make their own decisions about what their right hand does in the exact same way that they can choose to put a cigarette in their mouth or their foot on the pedal.

      Risk is involved in every aspect of life. Constant mothering and pampering does not help raise a strong man.

      Also, there is nothing to stop KTM making a Super sport bike that has less power and more ‘ride-able’ (by way of technological advancements which are deemed street legal and even safe than the raw super bike of old. It’s now 2017 and Honda just released the new Fireblade. While critics will say its under-powered Honda will say it is more user friendly and ride-able. What is to stop KTM following suit and producing a faired version of the 1290 Super Duke with an outstanding electronic package to add to rider safety and ease of use (as they already have a fantastic base for an engine, they could pour the money into R&D of electrics). If they can make a Super naked why can they not make a Super sport?

      Stefan has basically just turned KTM into the Green Party of motorcycling. We all know it’s right and extremely important but nobody cares as we’ll probably be dead before we reap the benefits (quite likely after throwing our 1290 Super Dukes down the road at 160…

  • Dave Fox

    What a bellend.

  • Klio

    Only one word: ASHOLE!!!

  • Shaun Roberts

    lol. that’s a cop out. why not admit they are losing money on the superbikes because the japanese brands could still kick your ass anytime of the day. and it’s a lot cheaper!!!

    • thewolfchild

      I think you hit the nail square on the head, KTM is known mostly for dirt bikes. The RC8-R sure looks nice and is apparently a great bike, but I bet it’s not selling enough. Everyone looking for super-sport bikes is buying either Japanese or Italian. If it doesn’t, then stop making it. But don’t make up such a stupid, silly, bullshit excuse in place of a simple explanation. This idiot has made a fool of himself and his company, as well as insulted his customers and riders everywhere. Jackass.

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  • TIGZ

    What a god damn idiot. Fire him!

    • john

      I love the Rc8 i gonna buy one this guy is an idiot,Ktm make new model you wii lose customers.

  • connor

    my frame twisted from a 20mph crash on my duke i think its due to build quality

  • GPH

    Er, How about us bikers that wanna ride normally on the road but use the same bike on the Track for say, track days? That means you would be banning super bikes because they are dangerous for the track too.. So lets ban Moto GP and WSB. Bikers generally kill themselves an not other people. Its my life let me live to the full how I want to please! Jeeez, the Universe is 13.9 Billion Years Old. I’m here for around 100. it’s such a small amount of time and I am not impacting the development of the universe at all! .ga.

  • Walter

    What a crock of bull easy to fix stop buying any KTM product see how quickly the attitude will change

  • Pat Mcglinn

    Can this Prick even ride? He obviously doesn’t know what he is talking about! They should strive to develop the bike even further

    and in doing so, give it even more horsepower! He should be appointed head of the rocking horse division and leave the rocket bike section alone!

  • ObamaReally Suucks

    Stefan Pierer,,,,,open mouth insert foot.

    Liberal thinking at it’s stupid-est

  • Tradmark

    I live in the middle
    Of nowhere. We ride fast, real fast. I dont apologize and its safer than riding at 40 in a big city. I wonder why he doesnt advocate an 80 mph speed limiter on all bikes. Infact, if one of you tools that agree with him would chime in and explain why any bike should go over 80 with your mindset please pipe up. Hell, lets just make everything safe and limit all vehicles to 50 mph

  • patrickmcswain

    Stefan needs to cut back on his estrogen shots.

  • Friskypotpie

    Probably bc they cant make a superbike that will turn out enough profit for them, just a way out without admitting it…

  • Jeff Gilleran

    I guess since I have a social security #, that also means I am owned by the Govt. I never will own my home, or property (they are taxed and can easily be taken by the same Govt if I don’t pay those taxes no matter what I paid for them) so nobody is really Free. We are losing more and more freedom every day, making us slaves to the grind and forget the concept of land of opportunity. Why? Because the Govt has made it so you have to struggle to make it there. Lobbyists are sure to only get the finest corrupt officials to be sure competition is stifled. In the case of saving us from ourselves? Let US determine if its not something we can handle!

  • Bruce Wayne

    We should be thanking companies like KTM for doing their part at weeding out the stupid from the gene pool.

  • shadrock

    stereotypical weak ass brainwashed euorothink, tsk tsk ktm we need less nanny state bullshit not more

  • john

    This guy should be fire ,the RC8 is a beautful bike you just lost a customer stupid move.

  • Matterafact

    Coward idiot or hypocrit
    No sports bike Yet you make a extremely powerful supernaked bike.

  • Tivook

    Sounds like he’s afraid of politicians while acting like a politician himself.

    Bottom line: he’s a politician in disguise.

  • Bruce Wayne

    Someone should inform him that the very act of riding a motorcycle is dangerous. White socialist European what more can you say?

  • Phyl O Butoyi

    I am working towards a liter bike, I will over speed, I will not die on it, it will be the first bike I ride and I will use it to train for a license. Just getting it as my first bike is breaking rider laws muahahahahaha truthfully I might die, but it would be my choice, not like sickness or age or some thief.

  • Organ Donor

    lol…anyone who doesn’t agree is very ignorant.

    it really IS unsafe to be riding 200+ Hp sportbike on public roads…too many idiots that could cause you harm and most probably death. A 600cc will get you into enough safety issues, let alone something like this.

    IMO, it’s a respectable move. You should be riding something like this on the track anyway.

  • darren636

    Simply doesn’t make any sense.

    The big naked ktm’s are incredibly fast bikes. Hooligan bikes and are more than capable of killing you in first gear.

    The rc8 would be still on sale if it was profitable.

  • G

    One word DUCATI….
    Thats why it’s being discontinued

  • Ramza Gaming

    well then fuck you too Sefan…

  • Me

    Translated. ” We believe the never ending avalanche of lawsuits covering everything from overheated coffee at the drive through,to comic cons that dont live up to expectations, is spreading to motorcycle manufacturers. There for, me being a forward thinking CEO that wants to save my company the money lost in endless litigation by customers that are chasing a quick buck. Ha ha ha, look at me, im smarter that those baboons and ducati and kawasaki”.

  • Scott Hammond

    Is KTM, about to make another “Long Way Round” epic mistake? That’s the question that many KTM fans may be asking themselves after a recent interview with KTM CEO Stephan Pierer by Motorcycle News. In the interview, Pierer states that KTM will cease production of its excellent and underrated RC8 Superbike once its successor, a V-4 track only superbike to be called the RC16 is ready for production.

    Pierer was quoted as saying, “We’d like to produce a successor to the existing RC8 V-twin… In which case, let’s do the following: We’ll stick to making a Superbike, but only for closed course usage. So it won’t be homologated for sale as a street bike. So then to produce that we will take the best prototype development arena available, which is MotoGP. And for the 2016 season there will be new rules introduced when the playing field will be leveled with a standard electronic system, so then KTM can challenge Honda, Yamaha, Ducati, Suzuki and Aprilia on an equal basis. So that’s the concept for development. We’ll call it the RC16 and it will also be available for the normal customer for track days or private use on track, but it won’t any more be homologated for the street. It’ll be a really serious sports and race item for closed course use only.”

    Pierer further added, “As soon as the RC16 is available for customers we will stop with the RC8. The design is outstanding. I would say it’s still state of the art, and there is nothing else like it. It’s a classic Superbike. But with the increase in safety concerns, I’m afraid bikes like this don’t belong on the street, only on a closed course.” “…if your Superbike is reaching 200 horsepower or more, it’s impossible to argue that it belongs on the street. It really doesn’t, anymore.”

    I’m surprised and upset at Mr. Pierer’s statements, particularly his intimation that high powered motorcycles have no place on the street. Frankly, his statement doesn’t even make sense. KTM’s 1190 RC8 produces 172 horsepower while its naked 1190 Super Duke R produces 177 horsepower or 5 horses more than their superbike (note: the RC8 weighs 5 pounds less). If power is really the issue why is KTM still producing the Super Duke R? Shouldn’t it too be eliminated from KTM’s street bike lineup?

    Now that I’ve said I don’t agree with KTM in this instance, It’s no secret that I am something of a KTM fan-boy. I love their machines and KTM has proven its engineering and racing prowess winning world championships on the pavement and off road. So I’m left wondering what KTM is really thinking. They are going to spend the money to compete in MotoGP, the highest level of motorcycle road racing to hone their product and skills. But once they have achieved their goals, they won’t let their main customers, the core of their success, have the opportunity to ride and experience their new machine except on a closed circuit? Is KTM forgetting that many of their customers do not have access to, or the means, to get to closed circuits. Are they forgetting that their customers may not be willing, nor have the funds to pay for track days each time they want to ride?

    Once again, as with the Long Way Round, I am astonished at KTM’s lack of foresight and clarity. A KTM branded V4 superbike might be just the thing that KTM needs to gain a Ducati like level of credibility on the street. While the engineering knowledge gained in MotoGP may be good for the overall brand, in the US, KTM still suffers from a “it’s only a dirt bike company” mentality. Bring on a world class superbike, and that mentality could be significantly changed.

    KTM 1190 RC8 KTM Super Duke R
    So KTM, I beg of you, please do not repeat your “Long Way Round” fiasco by not offering your excellent bikes to people who want them. You have an excellent brand and use the tag line “Ready To Race” extensively as a mainstay of your corporate thinking. If you keep this up, you might want to change your tag line to “Ready To Be Average”. Please KTM, don’t bar us from the door like you did Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman…again.

  • David Bana

    The other manufacturers are making these 200hp give or take so why can’t KTM. Just make it like their other bikes give us everything and price it well and people will buy, make a mid range cc engine and tune one from the r models and we will be happy. We will buy it over the bimmers because of the engine alone. But the money isn’t in S
    Superbikes its in nakeds and tourers. He won’t say that so we have this. Maybe one day