2024 GasGas ES 900 and SM 900
KTM has been spotted testing a duo of new models powered by its established LC8c parallel-twin engine and it looks like they’re destined to become part of the growing GasGas range.
It was only last year that GasGas, which became part of the KTM family in 2019 when it was bought by Pierer Mobility, stepped into the streetbike market with the launch of the SM 700 supermoto and ES 700 enduro model, but plans are already in place to expand the company’s street-focused range. Like Husqvarna, GasGas will be using existing KTM platforms, wrapped in distinct styling and tweaked to find a niche of their own in the market.
In 2023, GasGas gets its own team in MotoGP, using rebranded KTM RC16s and with a duo of Spanish riders in the form of Pol Espargaró and Augusto Fernández, and the company has confirmed that being present at the top level of racing is part of a push for recognition as a streetbike brand.
At the team launch, board member Hubert Trunkenpolz said: “If you want to create awareness for a motorcycle brand, then MotoGP is the right platform. It’s where you reach the most people globally and where we can make GasGas known and make the GasGas brand more popular. If we also look to the GasGas brand values, then it’s young and vibrant and it’s clear that MotoGP with its demographics is also the right platform for us. Having two Spanish riders with our old friend Pol and with a rookie—Augusto—I think it is a perfect fit. In the future the GasGas range will be enlarged and expanded with street motorcycles and MotoGP is preparing the ground for these products that will come year by year.”
The two bikes spotted on test at KTM’s facility perfectly fit the GasGas plan. One is a supermoto, the other an enduro, both based on existing KTM parts including the LC8c engine. It’s the existing engine, not the heavily redesigned version expected to be launched in the upcoming 990 Duke come 2024, which means the new GasGas models will be either 799cc or 889cc (KTM makes both capacities, and they’re visually identical). Given that the current GasGas range already includes the SM 700 and ES 700, both based on KTM’s 690 single-cylinder engine, it’s likely that the firm will use the 889cc twins in the new models along with the names SM 900 and ES 900.
Mechanically, the enduro-style ES 900 prototype uses the chassis and engine from the KTM 890 Adventure R, including the same WP Xplor suspension. The differences come in the form of new bodywork, with side panels that mimic the motocross-inspired shapes used on the ES 700, although the ES 900 looks substantially broader thanks to the parallel-twin engine and the belly-mounted fuel tank from the 890 Adventure R.
If the ES 900 is based on the 890 Adventure R, it should come as little surprise that the supermoto-style SM 900 prototype spied on test borrows components from the KTM 890 Duke R. It features the Duke’s 17-inch alloy wheels, WP Apex suspension, and conventionally positioned fuel tank, but the prototype’s tail and seat come from the 890 Adventure for a more convincing supermoto stance. Like the enduro prototype, the SM 900 also has new side panels flanking the radiator, again using shapes similar to other GasGas models.
Both the ES 900 and SM 900 prototypes feature headlights similar to the design used on the ES 700 and SM 700, with a trapezoid shape. The bikes on test lacked the cowling around those lights and the high-mounted front mudguards, but the lower edge of the headlight appears to be shaped to suit a high, motocross-style fender.
Given GasGas’s MotoGP venture this year it’s likely the firm’s focus on street models will get more attention during 2023, but it’s been Pierer’s plan ever since taking over the brand. As long ago as 2019, immediately after buying GasGas, Pierer Mobility’s investor presentation documents included plans for GasGas street models from 250cc to 800cc (this was before the LC8c twin was expanded to 889cc), including naked and adventure bikes.
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