KTM's new RC390

130kg and 38bhp. Road bike version coming soon

Posted: 15 July 2013
by Visordown News
KTM's new RC390

THIS is the first sight of KTM’s new RC390 – the fully-faired offspring of the 390 Duke which is set to be launched in road-going form later this year.

You’ll have spotted it’s a race bike at the moment. That’s because it’s been revealed as the new standard bike for the ADAC Junior Cup feeder series. However, there’s no question that it’s the forthcoming road bike, merely stripped of its lights, plates and road-legal exhausts.

KTM boss Stefan Pierer said: “We developed a pure GP racing machine for the Moto3 World Championship. In contrast, the RC 390 Cup is based on a series model project. Both of these two projects were given the highest priority because the development of lower displacement, high quality street bikes are among our core activities. The new KTM RC 390, which will be available for sale in 2014 will meet a big demand for affordable, quality sport bikes for the lower displacement class.”

Powered by the Duke’s 375cc single, which makes 43bhp at 9500rpm, the bike also shares its frame, brakes, swingarm and forks – with WP supplying the suspension at both ends. But low clip-ons, rearsets and a full, RC8-style fairing mean this has the potential to be a sort of spiritual successor to machines like the RGV250 and KR-1S; an entry-level sports bike that has the sort of low weight and nimble handling to give much more expensive and powerful machines a run for their money as soon as a few bends appear in the road. OK, a four-stroke single might not have the same race-bred appeal as a two-stroke twin, but the link between this bike and KTM’s Moto3 racer is sure to be pushed to help solve that problem.  As it’s likely to just slip into the new “A2” licence class – although, like the Duke 390, it may need a couple of bhp knocked off via a different injection map to sneak under the A2 power-to-weight limit – the KTM promises to be the sportiest machine that many new riders will be able to aspire to.

Speaking of weight, the new RC will be far lighter than its rivals. The Duke 390 is just 139kg, and the fairing isn’t likely to add more than a handful of kg to that. Its 850mm seat height out to make it usable for new and shorter riders too.

Initially, the bike was even expected to be called the ‘Moto3’ – that was the codename it was developed under and that the project was originally called when it was announced to dealers. KTM even gained a trademark on the name, but now it seems that the RC390 tag is more likely to be used for the road-going version as well as the race bike presented here.

Given that the Duke 390, complete with ABS, will set you back £4500 in the UK, there’s hope that the RC390 will come in at or around £5k. That would put it directly up against the likes of Honda’s CBR500R (47bhp, 180kg, £4950 with ABS as standard) and Kawasaki’s Ninja 300 (39bhp, 172kg, £5199 with ABS, £4799 without).

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Discuss this story

OH please!!!! a 690 version needed

Posted: 16/07/2013 at 11:16

Personally I think they are doing the right thing with the 390 and the next evolution will be a 690 as there are a lot of riders who would prefer a smaller capacity... as there is no new 400cc bikes out there being produced... if they bring it in at 5k it would be a great alternative to the 2 bikes from Japan...

Posted: 16/07/2013 at 12:41

if the price is correct, this thing would sell by the 000's.
what a bike, for the real world!! sweet mamma. the best bike released in long time.

Posted: 16/07/2013 at 13:58

IF it costs under £5k, which is not unreasonable given the donor sells for £4500 (although reading another story here it seems it sells in India for only £2k!!), it will be very tempting to those after a non litre sports bike. Supersports are way too expensive to make much sense but a 690 one of these, oh yes!

Posted: 16/07/2013 at 14:25

Wonder if they will directly sell a track based version like they do with the RC8 ??

Posted: 16/07/2013 at 22:14

Yeah looks great and a 850mm seat height "ought" to make it usable for shorter basketball players :s

Posted: 17/07/2013 at 01:13

Awesome looking bike and should be terrific. But this article is very misleading because the seat height is totally retarded. 850mm "ought to make it usable for new and shorter riders" my a$s. No doubt 850mm being useable for shorter riders was in the brief they agreed with KTM but in fact this seat is relatively high. This gives it the same problem as all other bikes loosely in this genre! Surely a bike like this with relatively low power and light weight will appeal to, and be most useful for, light weight riders. A high proportion of light weight riders have smaller physiques. Thats to say nothing of the developing markets they should be trying to crack with this thing due to lower costs, but I think they've blown that. So we're left with it's true orientation - Not for a wide range of riders at all.. Squarely targeted are the Moto3 aspiration the design brief obviously started with! Fine for me because Im tall and can ride whatever I like but Im getting very sick of manufacturers that wont cater to all the short riders that I know! For the record Mr Motorcycle Manufacturer, short riders need a 720mm seat height in the HIGH position - with after market seats that can take it LOWER - And they want the decent configurations to go with it, i.e. not some lame 250 cruiser just because they're shorter - they want the options of proper sexy sportsbikes and nakeds - with real power and cool looks to go with it! The naked 390 at least has an 800mm seat but that suits 5ft 6".. Any idea what % of humans are less than that? Just the bulk of the planet! No wonder the bike market is so small.. Its because manufacturers are so damn arrogant - From the way they design youd swear we were supposed to grow to fit their bikes!

Posted: 17/07/2013 at 07:35


Posted: 17/07/2013 at 11:39

Well said Major. For all of my motorcycling life since 1996 I have wanted a KTM and have often told the dealer that if they made one that you don't need a ladder to get on, I would buy it. Looking at the gap between the top of the back wheel and the bottom of the seat I cannot see any reason for having such a high seat height. OK you can climb up to it with a ladder, but when you stop at lights, you need to put one foot down. They havent thought of that, obviously.

Posted: 17/07/2013 at 12:50

MajorDrama -

Firstly, remember this is a race bike. It's unlikely to share an identical seat with the road bike.

Secondly, man up. I'm a relatively short rider (5'5" with short legs) and would have no problem with an 850mm seat height. The only thing stopping short riders riding tall bikes is their lack of confidence.

Posted: 17/07/2013 at 13:28

I totally agree with the major,at last someone who understands the problems of shorter legged riders. I am 5feet 9" but only a 28" leg so allways had trouble with high seat hieghts.For the record i have been riding bikes for 30 years and i do not agree with [donteatpeople].Anything that encourages new blood into motorcycling is a good thing,so machines that are user friendly ie low seat hieghts and stylish looking ,can only help promote motorcycling.Besides dont look cool a stool on the back of your sportsbike.

Posted: 18/07/2013 at 15:33

The KTM 390 Duke does sell in India at about £2000.

Here's the coverage from the launch event :-

The Dukes have taken India by storm, and this one is expected to take the stakes sky-high. Bajaj and KTM are cashing in on some very good offerings.

Posted: 18/07/2013 at 18:35

I reckon the seat height of the road version will be 810 - 820 mm they have jacked up the rear on the racer,love it but would want the 690 engine,

Posted: 29/07/2013 at 21:35

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