The fully faired sport motorcycle trend is a relatively recent phenomenon. Yamaha were the first to deliver a purpose-built small-capacity sport bike in the form of the R15 a few years ago and then Honda gave us the CBR 250R and then 150. However, KTM have probably given us the first set of bikes that are genuine sport bikes that make no pretension to wanting to be put to commuter use. Here’s our take on the RC 390 and the 200
Story: Aninda Sardar and Piyush Sonsale
Photography: Sanjay Raikar
We knew they were two of the most awaited motorcycles of the year and we knew several hundred motorcycle enthusiasts were eagerly waiting for them to arrive on Indian shores. Some even speculated if these would be just faired versions of the 200 Duke and 390, but, no, they weren’t. When we first rode the KTM RC 200 and 390 around the streets of Modena and around the Circuit de Modena last year, we came back impressed. Impressed by how a subtle alteration by the manufacturer (essentially a marginally sharper rake) had differentiated the RC 200 from the 200 Duke and the RC 390 from the 390 Duke. Back home, we waited for a while to get our hands on these two lovely machines to see if they would be any different from what we had tasted on Italian roads. Fortunately, barring some very minor differences, there’s not much to distinguish between the Indian RCs and their Italian counterparts. And, as in Italy, opinion will be divided on which of these two makes more sense for the buyer. At Bike India, we believe that despite their similar appeal, the RC 200 and the RC 390 are not meant for the same kind of person. Even in our office, opinion is divided as to which of the two makes more sense. I instinctively like the smaller of the two motorcycles more while Piyush likes the more powerful 390 a few shades over the RC 200.