The most awaited motorcycle of 2014 has finally been showcased in the form of a racing spec bike. Yes, the RC 390 covers have been lifted for the 2014 ADAC Junior Cup, which is powered by KTM. The bike was showcased at the Moto GP event in Germany at the Sachsen ring circuit. KTM says that the production version will roll out in 2014 and give the masses an affordable, quality sport bike for lower displacement motorcycles.
At first glance, the KTM RC 390 does not look awe-inspiring. The nose down, tail up has been achieved. The new tank, the visible clip-ons are here for racetrack handling and feedback. Yet again, the motorcycle has been put on diet and it is all visible. The super thin seats, the vanished tailpiece, an aluminum/titanium Akraprovic exhaust have been adopted. Headlights have disappeared. All the parts which are shown the bin have given a whopping reduction of 9 kgs to the already super light dry weight of the Duke 390.
Rear set adjustable foot pegs are part of the new ergonomic package on the KTM EC 390. The tall windscreen, fairing panels and the huge engine belly fairing are here for reducing drag. Seat height has been increased by 50 mm. Fuel tank capacity has been reduced by 1.5-litres. The steering head angle has been increased by 1.5-degrees in the process. ABS has been omitted, this is what the pictures tell us.
On the specification side, it is very clear that the engine has been de-tuned to produce 38 BHP. We assume that this move is part of racing regulations and not to forget, fewer than 40 horsepower bikes have a special place in European markets. Hardware comes from the naked Duke 390 that is on sale in India. Radial brakes, Metzeler tyres, USD front suspension and rear monoshock by WP will be tuned for maximum attack and feedback.
However, coming to the platform which Bajaj-KTM has kept in mind. The motorcycles were made to set fire to the racetrack and roads which shows how versatile the platform is. Recently, we had a short stint on the Duke 390 (full review coming soon) and were very impressed. We are holding our horses for testing the new Duke. On the other hand, this shows the magnitude of what a successful partnership and more important “platforms” can do wonders for a company. The three naked motorcycles which came out of the Chakan plant are all ready to get fairings slapped on to them with minor changes to the ECU and gearing. They are all ready to burn the racetrack.
Expect RC series of Dukes (200 and 390) to come to Indian shores after the financial year ends. Pricing? With the track record speaking for itself, expect Bajaj Auto to give enthusiasts mouth watering prices. These full faired KTM RC bikes are bound to create fury in the Indian motorcycling market and give nightmares to competitors who in fact have the legacy of creating racing motorcycles but are pretending to sleep.