KTM 1190 RC8 (2008 - present)

Manufacturer
Category
Price
£13009
Available from
2008
Stunning looking, great handling, and with a peppy V-twin engine.
Gearbox isn't very good.

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Overall Review

A brilliant bike, it corners like nothing I have ever ridden and I had an 06 R6 before this. It is a shame it suffers from minor glitches but these don't detract from the whole package. It also generates much more interest than any Japanese model - even non bikers notice 'how fast it looks'

Strengths

Chassis, balance, steering and looks are all superb. It is a special machine and high quality shows in all its components, it comes with a lot of the trick parts that you would add to your bike as standard. The computer has a massive amount of information and can be switched between road and race modes with a button on the left clip.

Weaknesses

The gearbox is uncultured and agrigultural & throttle action can take a while to acclimatise to as it has an instantaneous response - apparantly this is a trait of KTM bikes. Upgrades, accessories and parts are not as widespread as Japanese models and those that are available come at a premium.

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Submitted by r1fle on Tue, 05/07/2011 - 19:02

Overall Review

piss poor production techniques and amazing after sales "couldn't give a shit" attitude all the way up to the importer let it down way way too much!! not worth the hassle buy a Ducati I wish I had I will never buy another KTM!

Strengths

Handles like a dream, loads of torque, fantastic brakes, rare, roomy and comfortable looks amazing

Weaknesses

Lousy ex tractor gearbox, leaking seals that constantly need replacing, oil leaks, poor paint, badly designed engine pistons are too thin and trap in the bores hence a (non official lets keep it quiet recall) recall to chuck some new pistons in never mind the damage done!!

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Overall Review

It's made for fast B roads, carrying lots of speed at big lean angles. Go enjoy.

Strengths

The 2011 RC8R has bags of personality and a power delivery that is immediate and very usable on the road. More torque than the competition below 7000rpm by a big margin. Yes it's a bit lumpy at times but hey its a big twin and not a sewing machine. You don't need traction control either! It's roomy and offers excellent comfort for a sports bike. It's made for real sized people. The seat looks terrible but I've done a day in the saddle with no problems. The instruments are fantastic and overall the bike is a stunning piece of design. It looks fast just sitting still.

Weaknesses

First up, fit the soft throttle cam, it needs it. Not much underseat storage really, so buy the wedge shaped KTM tail bag! Mirrors are useless. Quick shifter would help the gearbox which can be a little notchy at times. Initial front brake feel is soft but has lots of power once you get into it. Some EBC HH pads would sharpen the action up. This bike isn't made for commuting so avoid. Spend time tweeking the suspension - soft is the way to go unless you are doing a track day. Don't be blinded by the attraction of big horsepower and electronic aids offered elsewhere, the KTM is a class act!

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Submitted by VeeT on Mon, 06/01/2014 - 15:02

Overall Review

Fantastic value if bought on the right deal, truly sublime handling, real world useable engine, reliable, very comfortable for a sportsbike, some minor niggles from new, but all cheaply & easily sorted. Backed up by an active, helpful uk forum. For me the best new bike I’ve owned for quite some time (even after 2 years of ownership) and for less than the cost of a second-hand Ducati.

Strengths

Sublime handling, Quality component parts, Comfortable, Reliable & useable engine, V-Twin torque & power, Sounds amazing with after market exhaust.

Weaknesses

Not set-up at it's best from new - often leading users to criticise gearbox & fuelling. Some dealers don't offer the level of service you might expect. Some may like more gadgets.

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Overall Review

Stand out from the rest. Wop wop!

Strengths

Character, exclusivity, V-Twin torque, stunning styling (shrinking violets need not apply), Brembo brakes and Marchesini wheels. Ergonomically adjustable, mainly ridden by over the hill, tall, weighty blokes, but skinny minny's also manage to sling a leg over (it's the only thing they can these days).

Weaknesses

Your mates will think you insane to buy one, but will secretly envy you. Early RC8's can be lumpy below 30mph, plenty of cheap fixes for this. Most will of been modified for this in some way. The most effective, is to stay out of town and head for the hills, enjoying the wave of torque the engine delivers. Suspension is harsh for the roads, unless it's billiard smooth, get it set up for £50 to notice a difference. Stay away from rippled back roads.

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Overall Review

This mini-review is in line with my experience of this superbike. Specifications on exact power and chassis feel are available from professional bike magazines. My previous bike was a Japanese I-4. The bike is what you would expect from a flagship model. KTM has done a commendable job by incorporating a beautiful engine with a well sorted chassis alongwith stunning concept looks. Ergonomically, especially for taller people, this bike is great for a sports bike. Better ergonomics does help with handling. The chassis and suspension allows to make turn-to-turn transitions smoothly and quickly. The bike is light and has great weight distribution. The gearbox issues that I have read about on previous bikes are not true for the 2012 model. The gearbox is a bit light touch and needs getting used to. I use this as weekend ride and love it for what it is. I believe with better seats, it can effectively be used as a sports tourer as well. All in all, it is a point and squirt machine gun for the roads. As with anything, just try and not over-do it past your capabilities.

Strengths

I come from a background of I4 engines and the V2 engine on this monster has been a revelation. Twist the throttle and the front wants to go up in most gears. I love the pure rumbling grunt of the engine. The ergonomics of this bike is comfortable for a sports bike. Gearbox on the 2012 model is fine. The brakes have good feel and bite when required. Wherever I've stopped for a break in riding, people have come up and admired the bike. I feel this is one of the few bikes that looks like the concept the designer originally imagined. It looks stunning in the flesh and there is a rarity factor.

Weaknesses

The seat is a bit hard for longer rides. The engine character takes some getting used to. Fine throttle control is required as compared to my previous Japanese I4 Below 3000rpm, the bike is a little vibey. The mirrors are useless and I need to lift my elbows to see. As compared to the current crop of superbikes, not much electronic aids which some might see as a disadvantage (I don't). This might mean it might not be for those who like to push it to the extreme and still be protected a bit by the electronics. This monster will bite. The pillion riding position is not that comfortable.

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Overall Review

i have upgraded my 2008 bike a fair bit, but an awesome piece of kit, hopefully take it to a track day, as its a serious track tool, but on the country road its epic and some tight corners can be taken at serious speeds. use power pilt 3 tyres on it, which give tons of feedback and grip, have been great in the recent frosty cold weather heat up quickly. recommend anyone to try this bike or buy one, prices falling so a real bargain. and complete head turner. definetly get the bikes suspensions properly setup, makes it even better that it is already.

Strengths

1.in my opinion better looking than most ducatis- very striking and ageless 2.Best Brembo brakes i've came across 3. Engine is stunning, my bike done 17k miles and never went wrong 4. rarely use brakes, the engine braking is enough to scrub speed off for approaching corners. 5. Handling and cornering, is something else, just tips in. I have had my bike professionally setup, makes all the difference ERS racing at Knockhill did my setup £99 best money i ever spent

Weaknesses

1. throttle very snatchy and very much on and off,- have fitted a throttle upgrade kit, which has improved it alot. 2. love going out on my bike in all weathers, but really its not an allweather bike, when roads are wet and salty, bike gets covered and really needs cleaned, also kicks up a load a road crap, meaning your leathers or textiles get covered in dirt. 3.can only get about 120 miles out a tank thats not opening the throttle, so its not really an go and explore,type of bike, you need to know where petrol stations are, but apart from these minor points, its an awesome bike

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Overall Review

Very disappointing I love the bike and wish it was always as good as its best days, when nothing goes wrong leaks or F1 faults etc I want to love it but its too unreliable for me

Strengths

Handling 10/10, sounds great, still draws admiring looks and styling looks good after 6 years

Weaknesses

Gearbox is junk. oil and water leaks regularly I am on first name turns with the KTM service department from all the faults and I get to ride their lousy single cylinder test bikes or if im lucky a superduke

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