KTM has long been known for potent 125cc racing sportbikes, but they’ve traditionally sung the high-pitched wail of a 2-stroke. The Austrian manufacturer has released a completely new concept of the one-two-five in Milan, Italy centered on a new 4-stroke mill.
The KTM 125 Project is said to be the start of a full series of new small-bore machines targeted at young riders. So far, KTM has introduced prototypes of a naked bike in Stunt and Race versions, but claims that the Project will extend into the adventure, supermoto and superbike realms as well. The naked bike is designed to be street-legal and takes styling cues from the Duke and RC8 lines. At the heart is a 15-horsepower engine using dual overhead cams and a 4-valve arrangement. The water-cooled lump was designed in-house and is fed by fuel injection. The exhaust exits front left and then wraps to the right side of the motor and around the back. In the Stunt version we see the pipe dropping below the swingarm pivot for a tidy, low-slung muffler where the Race version has an upswept can between the swingarm and stinger tail section.
A trellis frame suspends the engine as a stressed member, all of which is exposed through the lack of extensive bodywork. A small fairing on the fuel tank is about all with the Stunt version offering a headlight assembly and miniscule scoops over the engine cases. The Race concept looks to have a front numberplate. WP suspension components grace both ends along with Brembo brakes and wave rotors attached to cast wheels. The front uses a radial-mounted, four-piston caliper which promises to be impressive considering the bikes’ probable low weight.
KTM continues to expand its street lineup with attractive models for young riders – a smart move for creating life-long customers.