If KTM sees an innovation working in racing motorcycles, it is quickly introduced to new production bikes. KTM engineers build everything in-house so the CAD system they deploy needs to keep up with an incredible pace of design and simulation.
If you don’t know these names, you’ve been missing out on some great international motorcycle racing. From the the UK, South Africa, Italy, and The Netherlands, respectively, these champions and their teams have won more than 270 world championship titles, including 16 victories at the grueling, sun-baked Dakar Rally.
And they’ve done it all sitting atop bikes designed by KTM, a PTC customer.
Based in Austria, KTM is Europe's largest manufacturer of motorsports vehicles. The company focuses on sport-oriented motorcycles, underscoring its “READY TO RACE” philosophy. In short, KTM’s mission is to produce motorcycles with exacting standards of excellence.
“We are driven by constant innovation, week after week, race after race,” says Philipp Habsburg, head of research and development at KTM. “Furthermore, if we see that an innovation works in our racing motorcycles, we quickly introduce it into our production bikes — from our high-performing naked bikes to our children’s motocross lines. Everything we make is based on product excellence and the engineering behind it.”
Unlike many other manufacturers, KTM engineers everything in-house. That includes the engine, chassis, suspension elements and lots of other parts. Habsburg says that kind of control helps the company optimize every part of the bike, maximizing performance.
The innovation machine at KTM stays revved all the time, says company designer Olaf Seger. “Every model that we release integrates the best of our engineering when we release it. But we never feel we’ve crossed the finish line. Our teams are continuing to dream up the next round of improvements all the time.”
With Creo, that’s not a problem. “We can quickly take any design and easily modify it,” he says. “We can design, simulate, optimize, and modify every aspect of the complete bike in Creo, and this can all be done in just a few hours, compared with the weeks and months it took previously.”
Take the 2013 KTM 690 DUKE. It was the most cutting-edge series production single-cylinder bike of that time. It featured a precision chassis with a wealth of outstanding components that made every ride on the 690 DUKE unforgettable.
The new KTM 690 DUKE features an improved motor and a multitude of highly modern driver assistance systems as well as technical features like TFT display, ride by wire and supermoto mode – ensuring maximum fun during your ride.
As KTM expands its product range, it expands its engineering team. In fact, today the company employs more than 487 designers and engineers.
That’s all good news for KTM, especially since the company uses Creo and is avoiding many of the growing pains other product developers encounter. “With Creo’s flexible modeling approach, everyone can take existing designs and make modifications to improve performance,” says Olaf Seger. “New designers can leverage existing parts, even when the original designer is unavailable.”
One of KTM’s secrets to engineering success is its approach to design technology. It is one of the only developers that has standardized on one CAD system for both engine and chassis design. Habsburg says that having the complete 3D model in one format means the teams can work together to optimize their results.
“For example, the team developing the engine is looking for maximum power, they’re looking for maximum air intake, and they want large vents,” he says. “But the chassis design team is looking for minimum wind resistance, so they want a small smooth surface.” Using the same design software, the two teams work more efficiently and find the best overall solutions.”
The KTM 690 DUKE is full of those solutions: top-notch performance, minimal internal friction, high fuel economy (61mpg, 26Km/l), 73hp, and 74 NM of torque. The bike is light too, with a weight of only 327.4 pounds (148.5kg). For the riders, that means sharp handling and punchy performance.
Beyond design and simulation, the KTM team uses several other PTC products across its whole product development process to encourage teamwork, concurrent engineering, and sharing of designs. Windchill manages the processes, concurrent engineering, and workflow across design and engineering. Non-CAD users like manufacturing, marketing, and QA can view models and drawings instantly with Creo visualization capabilities.
“PTC’s products help ensure all key team members can access and use the most current designs” says Habsburg.
The KTM 690 DUKE has been an instant hit, with sales numbers higher than the most optimistic KTM estimate. Check out these results:
- Developed in record time, just 22 months from first concept to start of production, a 15% reduction in time-to-market compared to the previous generation.
- Lightest weight in it class, with the most powerful engine.
- Highest fuel efficiency in its class, with a 10% improvement in fuel consumption compared to the previous generation.
- New heights of comfort with an all new counterbalance, seat, and frame design.
“Design and engineering at KTM are better because of PTC and their products,” says Habsburg. “The PTC technology has grown right with us to support our needs, helping us reduce time-to-market by 15% in this year’s model range alone.”
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