It looks like Europe’s new Euro4 emissions standard has claimed its first victim (if you don’t count the exhaust pipe on the Ducati 959 Panigale), as neither KTM nor Husqvarna will be producing their 125cc two-stroke enduro models for 2017, and the foreseeable future afterwards.
The move is a euros and cents decision, and a slightly complicated one at that, but it boils down to the fact that making the small-displacement smokers meet the more stringent Euro4 emissions requirements was financially prohibitive.
To understand the situation more fully though, first you have to understand that KTM and Husqvarna sell their 125cc two-stroke enduro models primarily in Europe – most notably in France, Italy, and Spain.
In Europe, these enduro models are homologated for use on public roads, which is what in turn catches them under the Euro4 emissions law. Unfortunately, the volume sold in these countries doesn’t justify making the small enduros Euro4-compliant.
The situation is worsened for KTM and Husqvarna, as the 125cc two-stroke models provide a good entry point into the brand for younger riders, and like in the tobacco industry, the goal in motorcycling is to get them while they’re young.
To bridge the gap, it sounds like KTM and Husqvarna will offer the current enduro model in a non-homologated form. This means that there will be a 125cc two-stroke off-road only model that will also have all the necessary lights you would find on your typical enduro model, minus the license plate holder.
You would be hard-pressed to understand why someone would buy that bike, when the MX model sits right next to it (presumably for cheaper), but that’s the situation unfolding in the European Union.
For Americans, this should sound all too familiar, since we can’t legally plate a two-stroke anything to save our lives, and what defines an “enduro” model is somewhat nebulous to begin with.
As such, we doubt this will have too many implications for things on this side of the pond.