KTM could have big bang ready 'in three months'

"Now comes the point, where of course you take the next step and [a 'big bang' engine] has to be considered again"
KTM could have big bang ready 'in three months'

KTM engine designer Kurt Trieb has revealed that it would take just three months to get a 'big bang' version of the RC16 MotoGP engine ready for use.

The Austrian manufacturer, starting its first full MotoGP season, is the only company running a conventional even-firing 'screamer' after Honda made the 'big bang' switch this winter.

Trieb explained that KTM are continuing to experiment with different amounts of crankshaft inertia, such as changing the weight of the flywheel, to try and perfect the power delivery.

"If the grip is low and when it comes to getting out of the corners, we have problems," Trieb told Speedweek.com.

"We have tried different crankshaft moments of inertia... it has not been successful so far. We will once again work in this direction and look to find a solution."

But if solutions are not found, Trieb is considering switching to an uneven firing 'big bang' version of the V4 powerplant, which should help tame a bike that Pol Espargaro described as something of a 'wild bull'.

"We chose the 'screamer' because it is a simple, light and reliable engine," Trieb said. "I think this was not a bad decision, because we ran smoothly and without any major construction issues.

"Now comes the point, where of course you take the next step and this ['big bang'] concept has to be considered again.

"You would need new crankshafts and new camshafts."

And how long would it take to go from deciding on a 'big bang' and having it on track?

"Three months, I guess."

As well new internal components, big bang engines generate greater vibrations and loads, forcing a beefier design. There is also a loss of outright performance, relative to the screamer.

Trieb hinted that a decision on KTM's engine direction could be made after trying new parts at next month's Jerez post-race test.

Espargaro and Bradley Smith finished 16th and 17th in last weekend's Qatar season-opener.

Espargaro was 33.6s from race winner Maverick Vinales and just over four-seconds from scoring a world championship point.

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