Head of the KTM RC8's Engine Design: Andreas Bilek

“The RC8 shares only the gears from the LC8. We started with a list of common parts to make the project quicker and reduce costs, but at the end of the day only the forgings for the gears remained the same, the rest is totally new.

The RC8 has a dry sump with an integrated oil tank, it makes the engine smaller and less complicated. The block is designed so that the oil tank is at the front while the transmission at the rear so the motor is symmetrical. It is very balanced down the centre line, which makes it stronger.

Although we targeted the engine at 180bhp as its design limit, the RC8 will only have 155bhp, we are keeping something in reserve for the future! And it will only lose about 1.5% in the drive train, it should have close to 150bhp at the rear wheel.

To ride the RC8 will feel a revvy V-twin, its track designed and revs are essential on track. It revs high because it is a short stroke engine, something we are used to in our motocross engines.

People ask about the engine’s name. The 1190 is a marketing number, it is designed for 1200, it needs to be for World Superbike racing. WSB is one of our key strategies in the ‘ready to race’ philosophy. We need to win on Sunday, sell on Monday. We have tried to do a common development with motorsports. We have one eye on the road and always one on the racetrack. KTM is ready to race.

And the motor is reliable, we have done a lot of testing. I reckon we have blown up about 50 engines testing them. When this happens you have two guys, a laughing guy and a weeping one. The laughing guy is happy because they have found a mistake, the weeping one needs to know what it is! Our hardest test is a dyno test, it is very aggressive. If you rode like this you would have to fill up every 40 minutes, but we have a continuous fuel supply. It runs 150 hours like this in 15 hour daily portions. You couldn’t do this in real life! The engine has proved very strong, it is not very stressed at 155bhp.

I am very proud of our new RC8 motor. If you are fair the new engine with oil tanks, pipes, fixing etc is the same weight as the old LC8 engine, but if you don’t include the oil tank the old engine is 58kg and the new one 63kg. It is magic, a lot of experience has gone into the engine, and money.”