By Troy Siahaan
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.
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Since you’ve probably never heard of Kramer Motorcycles, the four-year-old German company is headed by Markus Kramer, a former KTM employee who decided to go rogue and build his own motorcycles (more on him in a separate story). Specifically, he builds race-ready, track-only (as in not road legal) sportbikes powered by KTM engines, wrapped in bespoke frames of his design, with WP suspension components suited to each specific customer. Building a track-only sportbike is a niche within a niche, and one partially filling the gap KTM itself no longer chooses to participate in (that’s sportbikes, in case you couldn’t guess, the RC390 notwithstanding).
After enough pestering from me, Karvonen finally admitted there was something in the works but swore me to secrecy. As it turned out, the grand plan was all centered around the Barber Vintage Festival. Kramer would unveil a new motorcycle – the GP2, powered by the 790 Twin – and thanks to my constant pestering, Kramer and Karvonen gave me the green light to ride it. See? The squeaky wheel gets …read more