Japan defeats the world...until now? I don't understand

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2/12/2019 6:19 AM

Not long ago in old man years, KTM was not taken seriously by the mx community. Now, conventional wisdom is that KTM is light years ahead of every brand competing in AMA racing.
Are the Big 4 simply investing elsewhere in their products? Everyone has an opinion or preference, but is it possible that the bikes we have grown up on are fading?

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2/12/2019 6:28 AM

KTM cares about dirt bikes. Japan cares about as much as you care about putting the toilet lid down.

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2/12/2019 6:31 AM

I think the potential is there for KTM dominance to be broken with them now competing in MotoGP and the time, resources & finance that will be neeeded.

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Now a member of the Orange brigade

2/12/2019 6:39 AM

KTM has done a remarkable job hiring the right people to bring their equipment competitive with the Japanese brands, and the right athletes to reverse the stigma attached to the brand. However, they are not "light years ahead" of any brand in anything except weight and Napoleonic fans.

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2/12/2019 6:44 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/12/2019 6:44 AM

KTM is a much smaller company with a more-narrow focus compared to Kawi (who also has Kawi Heavy Industries), Honda (Cars, etc) and Yamaha who have everything from audio equipment to snowmobiles.

Since KTM is smaller it can innovate more quickly and without the cost that would be incurred by the Big 4.

So, right now, it makes sense if KTM is ahead of the curve.

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2/12/2019 6:48 AM

KTM started winning world mx titles in the 70s. They just had a stigma here plus not having the best premier class bike for SX until fairly recently being the reason they never took off here until now.

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2/12/2019 6:48 AM

MXA bashed on KTM for decades to build a more "American" mx bike. Eventually, someone listened, hired the right people, built a solid program and are continuously updating and improving their bikes.

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2/12/2019 6:55 AM

The statement that KTM is light years ahead of the competition is just a crazy comment. Take the YZ 250 and 450 right now. You can change the mapping on your personnel cell phone, and the suspension is the best in the industry. So how is KTM light years ahead of Yamaha?

Also, as someone else mentioned, the Jap brands are into way more than just focusing on motocross bike. Yamaha has snowmobiles, wave runners, sport bikes, and the whole Star brand cruisers.

Point is, they are not light years ahead of the others.

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2/12/2019 6:57 AM

KTM may be alot smaller than the Japanese manufactures. but their main focus is on bikes.
Don't forget they get a shitload of money invested from the other Austrian company , REDBULL ?

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2/12/2019 6:59 AM

Deutsche Qualität

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2/12/2019 7:02 AM

I am not stating they are "light years ahead". Echoing commentsI have read here from people I assume are racing. I have been riding KTM's for 20 years, woods racing. Had a yz250f, a few RMZ's.
The linkage debate, the handling characteristics etc were real obviously.

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2/12/2019 7:06 AM

I have heard KTMs factory bikes are the best.. but After trying lots of new standard MX bikes, I dont think the KTMs are better than the Japanese bikes. I still prefer the japanese bikes.

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2/12/2019 7:11 AM

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2/12/2019 7:12 AM

WCRider wrote:

Deutsche Qualität

österreich Qualitat

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Don’t piss off the old people - the older they get the less “life in prison” is a deterrent for them!

2020.5 KTM 450 SXF FE
2006 KX250

2/12/2019 7:13 AM

Freakazoid wrote:

I have heard KTMs factory bikes are the best.. but After trying lots of new standard MX bikes, I dont think the KTMs are better than the Japanese bikes. I still prefer the japanese bikes.

That's great to hear, the reason for me posting this was to understand if the blame being put on the new Kawi, the "pig" YZ, and the "outdated" RMZ has merit. Toss the CRF on as well. I just find it amazing.

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2/12/2019 7:15 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/12/2019 7:16 AM

The YZ is definitely a pig, but I like it so much more than my Husky. Husky still a good bike though, much better than my last Suzuki.

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2/12/2019 7:16 AM

I look at KTM as a racing company that builds motorcycles, more than a motorcycle company that goes racing.

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2/12/2019 7:16 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/12/2019 7:17 AM

I think the band wagon effect (affect??) has a lot to do with it also. You see it in a lot of different industries / products. Its one I have never joined personally.

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2/12/2019 7:52 AM

The single biggest difference between KTM and the others is that KTM is so much more agile in terms of making product improvements/changes year over year.

The big Japanese companies are much more linear. They already know what the product is going to look like 2, 3, 4, 5 years from now. They have some limited capacity to make last minute changes that have little impact to production (ECU maps, sprocket sizes, offset, etc.) but anything that would be considered a major change to the product has to undergo such a lengthy process to put into production that you may not see those improvements until the next model year.

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2/12/2019 8:11 AM

I support KTM because they’ve put so much effort into the MX community by building, developing, and manufacturing bikes. It’s great seeing them dominate the GPs and I loved that they wanted to have a presence in the U.S. They got Roger on board who got Dungey on board, and they got what they wanted: Some premier big boy titles in the U.S.

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2/12/2019 8:20 AM

Motorcycles are what KTM does and they care about. The other companies are international conglomerates with larger financial interests. When youre building hundred million dollar ships and trains (Kawasaki), the dirtbike seems pretty insignificant.

Think about this, when was the last time anyone saw Mr. Honda/Yamaha at a supercross race? Photo

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2/12/2019 8:29 AM

Yes, Mr Pierer knows what he‘s doing!

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2/12/2019 8:33 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/12/2019 8:33 AM

Me 2004: ktms suck. Bahaha. They stand for Kant take much! NERD.

Me today: Photo
NERD?

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GP740
Since 1987

2/12/2019 8:36 AM

WCRider wrote:

Deutsche Qualität

Although it's close to the border and a lot of germans work there, it‘s an austrian company.

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2/12/2019 9:09 AM

WCRider wrote:

Deutsche Qualität

#434 wrote:

Although it's close to the border and a lot of germans work there, it‘s an austrian company.

Basically the same thing. Look at Hitler laughing

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2/12/2019 9:35 AM

KTM essentially ONLY does motorcycles.

Motivates you a lot when that's your only thing.

The big 4 are so diverse - and very likely breaking EVEN on motorcycles - such that bean counters say just maintain. The entire industry is asking HOW do we get back to higher sales. No one knows - because a lot has been tried.
On paper - dirtbikes are same price they have always been to purchase (inflation adjusted) - so that can't be it.



I would also argue that while on paper the ktm is best (it sort have always been) it's arguably NOT the best for most people.


I mean just imagine what california was like - high school teams, race nights every night of the week - large regional series - good paychecks. Large numbers meant great industry around that - parts support - local race support, shop involvement etc.

But without the numbers - none of this can exist. I think KTM has the offroad segment completely dominated which really helps their sales numbers vs the Japanese too. So their involvement in each segment is higher than the others.



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2/12/2019 9:37 AM

WCRider wrote:

Deutsche Qualität

#434 wrote:

Although it's close to the border and a lot of germans work there, it‘s an austrian company.

WCRider wrote:

Basically the same thing. Look at Hitler laughing

ANSCHLUSS! ??

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2/12/2019 9:45 AM

Ktm is small potatoes compared to Honda and Suzuki...kawasaki and yamaha follows behind in the grand scheme of things- far behind!

As a company kawasaki is the smaller brand in whole. By Japanese standards they are probably not even in the top 25 companies in Japan. Ktm wouldnt even be in the top 100.

In the motorcycle industry things change quite drastically, but to answer your question yes the japanese brands invest elsewhere.

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2/12/2019 11:15 AM

Can we keep things in perspective please?!

“KTM is light years ahead”

Jeez I read some shit on this forum.

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The above may be fact or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting. I am not sure, you have no chance.

2/12/2019 11:16 AM

dutch_rider wrote:

KTM may be alot smaller than the Japanese manufactures. but their main focus is on bikes.
Don't forget they get a shitload of money invested from the other Austrian company , REDBULL ?

True, without Red Bull they would be struggling imho

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Current rides: 2020 CRF450RWE and 2019 TC300
Occasional ride for VMX: 1985 CR500RF
Adventure/Road bike: CRF1000L