KTM’s RC390 has to be one of the more keenly awaited motorcycles of 2014. This faired KTM is based on the same platform as the 390 Duke and will share the engine too. However, so that the engine is better suited to its new role, there will be some differences in state of tune.
The RC is expected to get altered final drive ratios and ECU tweaks. This will alter power delivery character to suit the RC’s sports bike role. So, expect a more linear power delivery with a sacrifice in mid-range response. Top speed should not be more than the Duke’s impressive 162kph true speed recorded by us during testing, as the RC will focus on quicker acceleration and has to make up for the eight extra kilos that it has to pull, over the Duke. The power figure is expected to remain close to 43.5bhp.
As reported earlier, the RC’s chassis will have sharper rake for quicker steering, and less trail, with a wheelbase that’s 27mm shorter to improve turn in and flickability of the bike. Despite donning a full fairing, the 178.5mm ground clearance expected on the new bike is more than on the 390 Duke. The seat height is higher too, at 820mm. Apart from this, the RC will have stiffer suspension setup, with 25mm less travel in front. The RC promises to be a hard-nosed sportsbike that will enthrall track riders, although you can expect comfort and its on-street and in-traffic abilities to be somewhat compromised.
KTM’s RC390 will slip into Probiking showrooms across India in the second half of 2014, before the festive season, priced at a marginal premium over the Duke 390.