KTM’s expected reverse-crank engine will not be seen until after the summer break, according to sources close to the team.
Although it has not been officially admitted, the backward-spinning crank in the otherwise similar V4 engine was the biggest difference in Mika Kallio’s “2018 prototype” that he rode to tenth place at the previous round at Jerez, beating both of the regular riders.
The Austrian factory has always been coy with technical details, but it is known that the first version of their engine was as heretical as the use of a steel-tube frame and White Power suspension, spinning in the same direction as the wheels when all the rivals spin the crank backwards. (Honda were relative late-comers to this practice.)
The gyroscopic results of crank spin confer different advantages, but the common belief is that a reverse-spin crank improves mechanical grip on corner exit.
By Michael Scott