KTM RC8 R (2009 - present)

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More power, better handling and a working gearbox.

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Lank47's picture
Submitted by Lank47 on Mon, 06/01/2014 - 18:09

Overall Review

I'm very biased as I've only owned and mainly ridden KTM street bikes; previously owned 690SM and 990SD. I absolutely love KTM's for their top notch handling and the RC8R is no different. Have ridden my buddies Ducati 1098S and Aprilia RSV4 FACTORY APRC SE and they sure do fly but feel very top heavy and uncomfortable. Both will kill the RC8R with power/speed but the feeling and confidence you get on the RC8R is second to none!! I have to battle the Duc and Ape to corner but if you just think corner on the RC8R you will. For the first couple of rides I started corners too early but now I dive in late. The looks are just amazing, mainly because Orange is my favorite color, but the lines are incomparable to any other bike. It POPS! I really like how it fits my tall lanky frame without knee pain. The Duc and Ape kill my knees in a matter of minutes. The 2012 model apparently sorted out issues from previous builds, so I’ve heard as I haven’t ridden previous models, and I can't really find anything bad to say about the quality. No false neutrals or spotty engagement at lower speeds. It's spot on for me!


Lots-o-Power and Torque. Fantastic handling with great weight distribution; can fling it into the corners like a supermoto. Seat and rearsets are adjustable for taller riders. I'm 6'3" & don't feel cramped even on longer rides; 3 hours/210 miles is my longest w/no complaints from my knees. Style Style Style! I get noticed! A lot! White and Orange just POPS! Instrument Panel. Like seeing how my riding style impacts MPG in real time. Haven't done a track day but when I do I'm sure I'll love the engine mapping for race fuel and lap timer.


You would expect a little more technology. No traction/wheelie control or slipper clutch. I don't mind this as I'm not a big fan of rider aids and the ECU management system actually works as advertised. Tall gears. Hitting top speed, 177 mph so far, takes a little more time than I'd like but I've heard that if you do the 520 gear conversion you'll be golden. Style, I get noticed. Yes it's a pro but also a con due to cops. Odometer. Trip2 shows more miles than the OD? Could be a pro but since I am not sure which one is accurate it’s a tossup. Temp can get high putting around town.

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