Ready to Race

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

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KTM RC 200, RC 390 Launch Next Month

KTM RC

KTM India will launch the RC series on September 9.

Marketed under the brand’s ‘Supersport’ category, the RC 200 and RC 390 will mark the arrival of the first fully-faired sportsbikes and will surely whip up a storm in the compact performance sports segment.

Essentially a Duke in racing avatar, the RC continues with top-notch cycle parts like the trellis frame, 300mm front and 230mm rear disc, and WP suspension, but also adds a full fairing, a new 10-litre fuel tank, projector headlamp setup, lower clip-on handlebars and revised foot-peg positions to further aid the rider in exploiting the most of the machine on track, as well as on the road of course. The rear seat is present, but at first glance, it appears to be a cowl. The RC 200 and RC 390, though identical in mechanicals and parts, will sport completely different graphics on the fairing, easily distinguishing one from the other.

The RC 200 will pack the 199.5cc four-valve single-cylinder motor with 25.5 PS at 10,000 RPM and 19.50 Nm at 8,000 RPM. It will weigh in at just 137.5 kg dry! The RC 200 is expected to have ABS as standard, so the price will be in the region of Rs 1.80 lakh (on road, Pune). We are yet to confirm if ABS is optional.

The RC 390 brings the larger 373.2cc four-valve single-cylinder motor with 43.5 PS at 9,000 RPM with 35 Nm coming in at 7,000 RPM. The 390 will weigh just 147 kg dry. With standard ABS, the RC 390 should retail for about Rs 2.30 lakh.

We will have to wait for the day of the launch in a few weeks time to find out exactly how much they will cost. However, rest assured that the bikes and their KTM Power Parts, including the Akrapovic exhaust system, are ready for launch and you won’t have to wait for too long to lay your hands on them!

Story: Jim Gorde

KTM RC

KTM RC models in India soon

KTM RC India web

KTM thrilled many with their RC200 and RC390 sport models when they first showcased them. Now though, the website update would mean that they will be in India sooner than we expected.

KTM RC200 India web

The KTM India website states that the RC200 and RC390 are ‘coming soon to India’. This means that the launch is likely to take place in the first half of 2014, rather than the latter half as we first expected. The bikes will roll out of Bajaj’s Chakan facility and are expected to carry price tags only slightly higher than their respective Duke siblings.KTM RC390 India web

Both bikes retain the same engine specifications as the Duke line, but feature parts and bodywork specifically made for the RC line. Thus, you get a four-valve, liquid cooled single cylinder motor: 199.5cc and 25 PS in the RC200 and 373.2cc and 43.5 PS in the RC390. The tank capacity is only marginally lower at approximately 10 litres usable. The dry weights for the RC200 and RC390 are 137.5 kg and 147 kg respectively.

The RC line will offer a much sportier riding position than the Duke line and come packing full fairings, aggressive styling and what is sure to be nimble handling. The RC line is the first derivative of their Moto3 program. However, expect performance to be thrilling while being offered in a package which lasts longer and brings higher levels of refinement and durability. For the uninitiated, KTM’s track bike and Moto3 contender, the RC250R, makes 50 PS at 13,000 rpm from a 249.5cc single. The bike weighs only 83 kg. That’s a power-to-weight ratio of 602 PS/tonne!

KTM RC250R Moto3

We expect Bajaj to showcase the KTM RC200 and RC390 at the upcoming Auto Expo. The response they generate will in all probability decide the time of launch, and it looks set to be sooner rather than later already.

KTM RC390 India 2 web

See more of what you can expect from these bikes in this video:

 

Story: Jim Gorde