Husqvarna Enters Moto3 with Rebadged KTM Bike

11/21/2013 @ 3:04 pm, by David Emmett16 COMMENTS

Husqvarna Enters Moto3 with Rebadged KTM Bike husqvarna moto3 race bike 635x368

A day after the provisional entry lists for the Grand Prix classes were released by the FIM, and there’s one change already. Today, Husqvarna announced that they would be joining the Moto3 world championship, and fielding a factory team.

The Red Bull Husqvarna Factory Racing team will be run by Aki Ajo, and have Danny Kent as rider. Furthermore, Husqvarna will also be providing support for Niklas Ajo in the Avant Tecno team.

The announcement that Husqvarna is racing in Moto3 does not mean a brand new bike will be entered. The Husqvarna will be a rebadged KTM, run under a similar arrangement as Gilera and Derbi in the 250cc and 125cc classes, which were really just rebadged Aprilias. Danny Kent’s Moto3 bike will be a factory KTM with a Husqvarna badge on the tank.

That KTM would use such an arrangement is not unusual: Pierer Industries, the majority stakeholder in KTM, is also 100% owner of Husqvarna, having acquired the brand earlier this year. Husqvarna off-road bikes are currently being produced in KTM’s factory in Mattighofen, Austria.

The entry of Husqvarna into Moto3 is very much a return, rather than a new entry. The Swedish brand known for its motocross and other off-road machinery raced in the 250cc class in the mid-Sixties, scoring points with Kent Andersson in 1966.

That bike was a single cylinder two stroke built around a modified motocross engine. They also raced in the 500cc class, with another Swede, Bo Granath at the controls. That bike was a 500cc two-stroke twin in a Seeley frame. For a little more background on the subject, pleas read an article on Motoworld.es.

Below is the press release from Husqvarna on their entry in Moto3:

HUSQVARNA MOTORCYCLES ENTER 2014 MOTO3 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

THE OFFICIAL TEAM WILL BE NAMED RED BULL HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING AND DIRECTED BY TEAM MANAGER AKI AJO. OFFICIAL TEAM RIDER WILL BE BRITAIN’S DANNY KENT.

Husqvarna Motorcycles is pleased to announce their participation in the 2014 Moto3 World Championship, which starts in Doha, Qatar on March 23. The official team will be named Red Bull Husqvarna Factory Racing and directed by team manager Aki Ajo. Official team rider will be Britain’s Danny Kent.

Under the watchful eye of experienced former racer Aki Ajo, who has enjoyed a long and successful career in motorsport racing and team management, Danny Kent will challenge for the Moto3 World Championship title. A second Husqvarna will be ridden by the promising young rider Niklas Ajo from Finland. Stepping into Grand Prix Road Racing in 2014, Husqvarna Motorcycle’s will begin an exciting new racing chapter.

The Moto3 class was introduced in 2012, replacing the 125cc two-stroke category. The class highlights up-and-coming young talent and is a proving ground for racers aiming to progress into Moto2 and eventually into the main MotoGP class. Machinery is restricted to single-cylinder 250cc four-stroke engines. The minimum total weight for motorcycle and rider is 148 kg (326 lb.). Riders in the Moto3 class cannot be older than 28 years.

Stefan Pierer, KTM AG CEO: “Running Husqvarna in the Moto3 World Championship will bring considerable interest to both the category and the brand. With its history of 110 years the Husqvarna brand is highly known throughout the world of racing. The Moto3 stage will give a further boost to grow Husqvarna stronger than ever. We’re looking forward to see great competition next year. ”

Pit Beirer, head of Husqvarna Motorsport: “After our strong commitment to offroad competition, entering the Moto3 World Championship is a new milestone in the history of Husqvarna. With the full support of Mr. Pierer and the Husqvarna Motorcycles Board of Directors, we are extremely excited about this new project. We will bring the best people and all the necessary energies together to give the project the success it deserves. Danny Kent will be our official factory rider, with Niklas Ajo our official support rider. Both hugely talented young racers, we are looking forward to the start of Husqvarna’s new journey into Grand Prix Road Racing.”

Source: Husqvarna

Comment:

  1. SkidLid says:

    While this may be a return, this is ridiculous given their current offerings.

  2. michael uhlarik says:

    In other news, Mahindra (ex-Malagutti) Moto3 team orders a Husky-badged KTM to race in 2014. It seems that European legacy brands are being inspired by the amazing versatility of the GM “J” platform in the eighties. Is it a Cadillac, Pontiac, Buick or Chevrolet?

  3. Jimbo says:

    Does this mean they are going to build street bikes again?! Doesn’t make much sense otherwise since they aren’t gonna continue making the bimmer based street bikes.

  4. JW says:

    This is a great move for a brand that has survived a long time and I am sure KTM will make many contributions. They don’t have to make street bikes to race the brand in motogp. There are dirt bike riders who love to watch motogp.

    I am sure Rossi fans will purchase an outboard boat motor made by yamaha over a honda outboard.

  5. Jaybond says:

    This could potentially be a signal that Husqvarna could have a Moto3 inspired road bike or some kind of new on-road sportbike models in the near future, which is not a bad thing and very much welcomed to add more variety in the entry level sportbike class. On the other hand, Aprilia should have done something with the Gilera & Derbi brands especially for the entry level sportbike market (rather than just left them making scooters)..

  6. BBQdog says:

    Seems that after just 2 seasons they have already messed the Moto3 class up. Being a big fan of this class the old days of the last years of the 125c class are returning. One brand dominated, Aprilia’s re-badged as Derbi and Gilera. I would love a Moto3 class with Yamaha, Kawasaki, Triumph and many more (Ducati?). At the moment it is just a open Spanish cup on KTM’s .
    (got both an Aprilia and a KTM in my garage, so no, I don’t hate them ;-)

  7. Highsider says:

    “Pit Beirer, head of Husqvarna Motorsport”. hahaha, too funny. Let’s just hope KTM learns quickly motorcycle buyers do not want rebadged motorcycles. Kids did when buying Derbi’s or Gilerás, but no grown up wants to. Ask Kawasaki about the KLV1000

  8. Tom says:

    The reason for the rebadging is, as i heard: for next season there is a rule which says engines of a manufacturer have to be randomly assigned (alotted) to each rider of the same manufacturer. So, for KTM, to maintain the possibility to develop the engine during the season, they are going to rename some of their bikes. Now they can choose which teams they want to support/push for the championsship in particular (the factory team, for example) without having to support every customer team with the newest parts. In case Honda gets stronger next season (i think they will), this would be a good strategy.

  9. Tom says:

    Could be also that the rule already exists, Gilera/Derbi/Aprilia were mentioned…
    badass Photoshop by the way

  10. BBQdog says:

    “badass Photoshop by the way”

    That’s called ‘humor’ dear Tom :-)

  11. BBQdog says:

    Overread the ‘ass’ in badass :-)

  12. smiler says:

    Seems Dorna have now taken it upon themselves to promote and announce national Spanishj championships on the MotoGp site as well.
    http://www.motogp.com/en/news/2014/cev+repsol+jerez+qp

    Amazing, MotoGp is “supposed” to be an international championship…..apparently not.

  13. z1000 says:

    I don´t care what nationality the riders are, even if the whole field was spanish. Its about the riders skills, and after all they ar all people with different characters (compare Dani, JL, MM, bautista…) so it really does not matter what flag is displayed next to the riders name…. Would not make me want to watch the races more likely if there were riders from all different countries fighting for the championsships…

  14. bucksboy says:

    ‘Badge engineering’ has generally failed in the past, and I can’t see current or prospective Husqvarna customers being impressed by a KTM Moto3 bike with a Husqvarna paint scheme. As for the idea that this is a way round the random engine assignment rule, supposing KTM give the ‘quick’ engine to Husqvarna (to limit access), which then starts beating the KTMs – is that progress, from KTM’s point of view?

  15. bucksboy says:

    I wonder if they’ll sign Ana Carrasco? She hasn’t got a seat at the moment, which is a shame (and a setback for lady racers if there are none next year). She has steadily improved all season, and narrowly missed getting 6th in Valencia (she came 8th).