The latest from Kramer Motorcycles is yet another evolution of the GP2 890, this time with more power, full electronics, and revised aerodynamics. MO's very own Road Test Editor, Troy Siahaan, who piloted the original GP2 prototype with the KTM 790 Duke engine, is currently in Brno at the bike's press intro and will give his full review in the days to come.
If you’ve been following me on social media at all in 2020 (I’m @motrizzle, in case you’re wondering), you’ve probably noticed my feed is littered with pics of a certain orange motorcycle. It’s not that common for a single bike to dominate my feed considering the different number of bikes I get to ride (pre-pandemic, anyway). But this one is different. Both literally and figuratively. The Lightfighter electric superbike plays such a dominant role in my feed because I have a personal stake in it. I helped develop it. And now, for version 2.0, a physical object built around my feedback would be the proof in the pudding to determine whether I have any idea what I’m talking about.
Motorcycling is a niche activity, with sportbikes comprising a small niche within it. Track-only sportbikes make up such a miniscule niche within a niche within a niche that they’re almost not worth talking about. Until one so cool comes along that we’re forced to pay attention. The Kramer HKR-EVO2R is such a machine. This is its story.
Recently, Alpinestars threw open the doors at Willow Springs Raceway for a day of motorcycle-focused fun. With the famed Big Track open to all comers – many who were experiencing a closed course environment for the first time – it was hard for the attendees not to have a good time. All of this, however, begs the question: What’s in it for Alpinestars? Yes, we were all wearing gear made by the apparel company (and if we didn’t have any, it was loaned to us), but this wasn’t an introduction where we were to experience a new piece of protective riding gear. The point was, it seems, to simply have fun riding motorcycles with friends. Oh, and hopefully create some new fans of track riding. You see, some of the first time track riders were name-brand Alpinestars-sponsored athletes in other disciplines. You know, influencers who have the means to preach the racetrack riding gospel and hopefully get more people interested in riding motorcycles.
Every year Motorcycle.com gets invited to the press introductions for several new motorcycles – it’s the biggest perk of our job, and the reason all of us have stuck around as long as we have! The cycle goes like this: at the end of one year or the beginning of the next, manufacturers talk a big game about a new model launch, and/or the internet goes wild with social media rumors and opinions about a new bike. In turn we, the media, can’t wait to be the first to throw a leg over said bike to see what the fuss is about. Sometimes the motorcycle in question is a dud, other times it exceeds beyond our wildest dreams. Then you get the rare model that didn’t get much fanfare but turns out to be unexpectedly awesome.
If there’s one thing the motorcycling community is full of it’s opinions. Ask 10 people what they think is the best tire and you’ll get 10 different answers. Same goes for oil, exhaust pipes, and heck, motorcycles themselves. Despite this, I think we can all agree: starting your own motorcycle company is not a great idea. Thankfully, Markus Kramer never got that memo. Well, he did, he just didn’t care – and, to me, the world is better off for it.
Markus Kramer said it so nonchalantly when I asked him. “Three months ago,” he said. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, so I asked in a different way. “You mean to tell me this motorcycle didn’t exist four months ago?” Again, the response was simple. “Yep.” Markus isn’t a man of many words, but that’s when I knew this ride aboard the GP2 Prototype from Kramer Motorcycles was going to be different. I shouldn’t have been surprised. Back when KTM’s 790 Duke was first announced, I knocked on Joe Karvonen’s social media door, asking the sole importer for Kramer Motorcycles USA whether the 790 Twin engine would make its way into a Kramer.