The future world of off-road motorcycles promises to be both interesting and surprising. The onslaught of gadgetry is slow to trickle down to our sport due to the nature of dirt bikes and their necessity for robustness.
In some ways the knobby-tire world is a decade or so behind sportbike technology. The speed lobby has long adopted things like electric starters, fuel injection and twin-spar aluminum frames. If we are to use that as a model for projected progress, then that gives us a good yardstick with which to measure the future.
Although there will be an industry standard in product sophistication in the years to come, one or more makes will stand out from the crowd. KTM comes to mind since it manufactures bikes that are often cutting-edge, if not a trifle quixotic. Come with us as we look ahead.
The Next 10
The end of the next decade will yield detail changes that are already visible on the horizon. Expect obvious progress in the form of E-start, EFI and joice clutches. Not so obvious differences might be the use of the engine as a stressed member of the frame and the integration of the airbox, both traits present in the BMW G450X Enduro. Wheels and rims will likely continue as they are, but the material composition will probably change. This will be connected to the expanded use of tubeless tires and foam inserts, though their superiority to tubes isn’t yet clear.