New Bikes

Sneaky peek at MotoGP-inspired KTM RC390… or is it a RC490?

The 2021 KTM RC makes its first appearance in production form... but will it come with the same 390cc engine or get an upgrade to the new 490cc platform?

You’ll need to squint and use some imagination but you can just about make out the final production version for the upcoming new KTM RC supersports bike.
 
Replacing the sole remaining member of KTM’s slender sportsbike range following the demise of the RC8, the Yamaha R3-rivalling RC was recently spotted for the first time on the road earlier this month sporting a more angular front-end more in-keeping with the KTM range.
 
While this shot doesn’t give a huge amount more away, one can see a more aggressive profile and a fresh livery that apes the firm’s increasingly successful MotoGP-effort with orange and blue set to mark it out from the crowd.

KTM RC 390 vs Yamaha R3 Review Back-to-Back Test | Bike Comparison Review

 
What we are still waiting to know, however, is what’s lurking underneath the skin - hence why we’re calling it the ‘RC’ for now.
 
On one hand, the current model with a 390cc engine does meet Euro5 standards following a recent update suggesting its good to soldier on, but on the other it’s known KTM is working on a fresh ‘490’ line-up that should supercede the ‘390’ models.
 
However, it’s unclear whether the RC is being primed to be the first in line to receive this, or whether it could form the basis of another warmer offering at another time.

 
What new KTM models are coming in 2021?

Then again, with so many engine platforms in development at KTM right now, we could  hold out for anything from a RC490 up to an RC1290… but we probably won’t get our wish.
 
Indeed, as you can see, another ‘leak’ from a KTM presentation has revealed a small trove of information, including the appearance of a new Husqvarna E-Pilen electric motorcycle and a tiny glimpse of the new RC.
 
It also reveals KTM will plug the gap vacated by the recent upgrade from 790cc to a 890cc range with a new 750cc engine developed in conjunction with CFMoto.
 
The Chinese marque has made big noises about its close working relationship with KTM but it hasn’t struck much relevance outside of the local market where it already offers a selection of re-developed platforms. 
 
However, this new engine is expected to be offered worldwide and perhaps not just on KTM machinery.
 
Indeed, 2021 will likely see the ambitious CFMoto CLX 700 range go on sale as its first dedicated attempt to crack the European market. Revealed at EICMA last year, the 692cc models will be offered in three distinct styles - Heritage, Sport and Adventure - that set sights on the likes of the Yamaha MT-07, Kawasaki Z650 and upcoming Triumph Trident. 
 

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