KTM Working On Auto Gearbox And… Onboard Sound Monitors?

Motorcycle R&D used to be about horsepower and better braking, but with those problems mostly figured out, the OEMs are now pursuing ideas long-ignored… or just plain going down rabbit trails. For evidence, see the KTM video above.

That clip isn’t a spy shot; it’s an official teaser from KTM, showing two-time World Enduro champion Johnny Aubert behind the bars of the new AMT prototype at the Erzergrodeo hard enduro race. Look closely, and you’ll see there’s no clutch lever; this is a twist-and-go bike. KTM posted the following details on the YouTube video description:

Something very special took on the iconic Iron Giant.

The new, innovative KTM AMT made its debut with enduro legend Johhny Aubert steering the bike up the formidable Iron Road Prologue at the Red Bull Erzbergrodeo.

New technology is on the way! Hit the link to get exclusive access: https://www.ktm.com/nicetry

Follow that link, and you see a teaser that KTM is bringing out something new on September 24. Considering what we see in the video, plus the fact that BMW’s R1300 GS is expected to get the twist-and-go Automated Shift Assistant as an option this year, it seems the new tech is obviously going to be an automatic gearbox, probably optional on a new 1390 Adventure model.

But wait, there’s more! Not only is KTM teasing a new twist-and-go throttle, the company is also apparently working on a new system of onboard microphones, to monitor the bike’s noise output in real time!

What? Why?

Ben Purvis over at Cycle World uncovered patent drawings that show this system.


As he explains it, this is a way to deal with rising noise emissions laws, which are encroaching across Europe. While here in North America many bikers see loud pipes as a way of life, they are actually considered as part of the Euro-series emissions laws and bikes are increasingly choked down as a result. With this noise monitoring system, riders could see their output as they travel, in case they get to an area with strict noise laws, helping them avoid a ticket from automated cameras. Wild, but that’s the future of motorized transportation…

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