KTM’s 2020 150XC-W… WITH TPI?
In mid 2017, at the international launch for KTM’s first fuel-injected two-strokes in Austria, we asked KTM’s long-time R&D department guru, Barny Plazotta, to divulge what was in the pipeline for KTM/Husky’s two-stroke off-road line-up. More specifically, we pressed him about when the TPI (Transfer Port Injection) technology would be fitted to KTM/Husky’s cross-country and/or motocross models and/or the two brands’ high-revving smaller-capacity two-stroke machines, the 125 and 150cc.
As always, Plazotta’s response was forthright: “Our plan has always been to introduce this new system successfully on the 250 and 300cc enduro bikes, and then develop it for the smaller-capacity bikes – for our 125 and 150cc models. Following that, we will look at adapting the technology to the cross-country and motocross models. Also, as we transition from carb to TPI models, there will come a point when it does not make commercial sense for companies to continue producing small numbers of carburetors. And in the USA, there is a push (under their ‘Red Sticker’ regulations for competition bikes) to get rid of carbs altogether. So, in the next three to four years, I think fuel injection is inevitable for these other two-stroke models.” Plazotta went on to explain.
Well, that three- to four-year timeframe may have just be fast-tracked because we’re hearing rumours out of Europe that a fuel-injected 150XC-W has not only been spotted on KTM test loops, but that it’s also expected to appear as part of KTM’s much-updated 2020-model enduro range, to be unveiled in mid 2019.
KTM Australia could not be drawn to comment about the rumours of the all-new fuel-injected 150cc two-stroke, and it’s not clear whether the introduction of the TPI technology to smaller-capacity two-stroke would allow it to meet the new Euro5 regulations and therefore be eligible for road registration. But for all those two-stroke fans out there, it’s a tantalising proposition. And if the recent sales of KTM’s 250 and 300cc TPI models are anything to go by, the world’s first fuel-injection 150cc production off-road competition motorcycle is likely to sell like hotcakes.