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This KTM RC8 Super 1290 mash up has us wanting more

What if KTM revived its RC8 sportsbike using the engine and technology from the Super Duke 1290? You'd probably get something like this...

KTM RC8 Super 1290

Having previously run social media posts asking you which dearly departed motorcycle you’d like to see revived, we can see the discontinued KTM RC8 sportsbike may be gone but definitely not forgotten.

However, with a little imagination and skills in the engineering department, one enthusiast from the Netherlands has run with the idea that it wouldn’t be such a stretch for the company to revisit its short-lived but fondly-remembered fully-faired sportsbike.

A little history first, the KTM RC8 was launched in 2008 as the firm’s first attempt at taking on well established sportsbikes from rivals Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki, both on the road and on track in the WorldSBK Championship.

The latter never materialised after regulation changes moved the goalposts to far to make the 1200cc engine competitive enough but the RC8 nonetheless won praise from journalists for his rideability, performance and comfort on the road, plus a loyal customer following.

However, the RC8 never quite fitted into KTM’s future plans with the firm shifting its focus back to prototype racing in MotoGP, prioritising smaller displacement models and preferring to perfect its naked Duke ranges.

As such, the RC8 fell by the wayside and tears were shed… but what if the RC8 could be revived with the technology and power showcased by KTM’s current flagship, the 1290 Super Duke R?

That’s the question Dutch builder 99999Daan has attempted to answer with this mash up of an RC8 frame using the 1290’s engine and electronics.

It’s certainly a bold effort, not least because he’s had to squeeze a larger engine into a smaller motorcycle and, by his own claims, he’s not an engineer.

We’ll have to give him benefit of the doubt as to how it actually rides, but the level of detail he has employed to produce a modern interpretation of the sportsbike deserves applause (you’ll notice he’s adopted the Beast’s scalpel headlights in place of the unusual stacked one-piece RC8 originals).

Under the skin it has had a big technology upgrade with cornering ABS, traction control, ride-by-wire, cruise control and ride modes, while he has used CAD software to create new aluminium triple trees in order to retro-fit the larger WP forks. Check out the video he produced that gives you an idea of the effort he’s gone to in order to create this KTM RC8 1290 R.

It’s definitely got us thinking just what KTM could come up with if it was willing to have another go at the sportsbike market with the kit it has right now…