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2014 KTM RC390 Photos and Specs Leak Ahead of Official EICMA Unveil

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KTM’s Canadian website published photos and specifications (which you can read below) for the 2014 RC390 single-cylinder sport bike that is set for an official unveil in Milan this November.

With a claimed 43 hp and just 318 pounds dry weight, this should be quite an entertaining little machine.

We have already tested the 390 Duke, which shares some of the engine and chassis elements, as we understand it. We will have more, of course, after the official unveiling next month. Here is the information from the Canadian website:

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TELESCOPIC FORK

The KTM RC 390 high-quality upside-down fork from WP Suspension has the same 43 mm outer tube diameter as the RC8 R – in other words, real racing equipment that guarantees highest levels of stability and precision.

FRAME

Visually similar to the lightweight and approved Duke steel trellis frame, the orange painted frame has been modified to better fit the supersport ergonomics and dynamics. The increase of the steering head angle to 66,5 degrees results in a shorter trail, shorter wheelbase and increased ground clearance. All these modifications release the complete racing potential of the RC and guarantee quick, agile and playful handling.

INSTRUMENT

The 100% digital LCD display has everything you could expect from a state of the art KTM motorcycle, including engaged gear, fuel gauge and service reminder information. Just like supersport racing machines an RPM alert indicates when is the best moment for shifting up.

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SWING ARM

The light alloy swingarm with directly linked WP shock absorber excels by providing extreme torsional stiffness and outstanding tracking stability.

WIND SHIELD

The advanced design wind shield in combination with the aerodynamic optimized motorcycle front ensure incredible wind protection for rider’s chest and arms.

SEAT

The two-part seat offers first class supersport ergonomics with perfect support for rider and pillion. With a seat height of 820mm it enables the rider to have a secure stance whilst also being high enough for sporty use and real big-bike feeling.

FUEL TANK

A brand new steel fuel tank with 9,5l capacity (including 1,5l reserve) has been developed for the RC, perfectly matching the supersport style and vehicle design, together with rider ergonomics. Thanks to the economic engine the RC achieves impressive efficiency even when ridden hard for a considerable distance.

HANDLE BAR

Brand new clip on handlebars and switches contribe to a sporty and aggressive riding position combined with advanced control.

WHEELS

Equally lightweight as stable, the 17in orange painted cast light alloy wheels are fitted with grippy Metzeler tyres – 110 mm wide at the front and an impressive 150 mm at the rear. The tyres impress with tremendous grip in both wet and dry conditions, as well as providing supreme durability.

STANDARD ABS

ABS is equipped as standard on every RC 390, ensuring maximum safe on any road condition. When taking the RC to the racetrack ABS is of course disengageable.

SILENCER

The compact underbelly, three-chamber silencer is positioned close to the bike’s overall centre of gravity. This aids the centralisation of mass and prevents accidental contact with the rider’s and passenger’s legs.

A2 LICENSE

With a power/weight ratio of 0.2kW/kg RC390 is right at the limit of the new A2 driver´s license, making the new KTM RC390 the sportiest option for A2 riders.

THIN TAIL

Fitting perfectly into the pure racing look the number plate holder rounds KTM’s high performance bike off.

BODYWORK

The brand new bodywork, footrests and pedals not only provide a unique supersport look but also help the RC to master extreme cornering by allowing a greater leaning angle.

INTEGRATED BLINKERS

As a special feature the RC incorporates blinkers into mirrors structure, which not just looks very sporty but also contributes to the perfect aerodynamics.

HEADLIGHT

Brand new twin headlight opens a new direction for KTM style and perfectly matches with the racing supersport look of the RC.

ENGINE

The state-of-the-art, liquid cooled, single-cylinder four-stroke 375ccm engine with twin overhead camshafts, four valves and electronic fuel injection, already equipped in the Duke 390 provides outstanding power and thanks to the balancer shaft, delivers the highest level of smoothness. Because of the KTM-typical compact design with stacked transmission shafts the engine has an unbelievable low weight of 36kg. Combine that with technical details like a forged piston, Nikasil-cylinder-coating and forced feed lubrication with power-promoting body-evacuation and you get an engine which provides a remarkable 44hp. The engine is equipped with an electric starter powered by a 12V/6Ah battery.

TRIPLE CLAMPS

The brand new forged aluminum triple clamps are eye-catchers and together with the clip on handlebars guarantee a pure supersport racing feeling.

PILLION RIDE SEAT

In order to make no compromises in terms of supersport look the KTM engineers integrated the pillion seat into the bodywork lines so that it looks like a real racing bike tail, but ensuring excellent comfort for the passenger.

BRAKES

KTM developed in cooperation with Brembo a powerful and easy to control brake-system which allows the rider to be always in control of the RC. A four piston radially bolted caliper in combination with a single brake disk (300mm diameter) in the front and a single piston floating caliper with a single brake disk (230mm diameter) for the rear wheel guarantee excellent braking response even under the most extreme conditions.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

ENGINE

Design 1-cylinder 4-stroke engine, water-cooled
Displacement 373.2 cm³
Bore 89 mm
Stroke 60 mm
Performance 32 kW (43 hp)
Starting aid Electric starter
Transmission 6 speed, claw shifted
Engine lubrication Forced oil lubrication with 2 Eaton pumps
Primary gear ratio 30:80
Secondary gear ratio 15:45
Cooling system Liquid cooling system, continuous circulation of cooling liquid with water pump
Clutch Wet multi-disc clutch / mechanically operated
Ignition system Contactless, controlled, fully electronic ignition system with digital ignition timing adjustment

CHASSIS

Frame Tubular space frame made from steel, powder-coated
Fork WP Suspension Up Side Down
Shock absorber WP Monoshock
Suspension travel front 125 mm
Suspension travel rear 150 mm
Brake system Front Disc brake with four-pot brake caliper
Brake system Rear Disc brake with one-pot brake caliper, floating brake discs
Brake discs – diameter Front 300 mm
Brake discs – diameter Rear 230 mm
Chain 5/8 x 1/4” X‑Ring
Steering head angle 66.5°
Wheel base 1,340±15 mm
Ground clearance (unloaded) 178.5 mm
Seat height (unloaded) 820 mm
Total fuel tank capacity approx. 10 l
Unleaded premium fuel (95 RON)
Weight without fuel approx. 147 kg

74 Comments

  1. Ty says:

    No removable sub-frame? Oops.

  2. Ty says:

    I like it. I would like the 690 version even more. The deal killer for me is the time consuming repairs of a non-removable sub-frame after an off track excursion. Why any manufacturer would kick out a bike (that will surely end up on the track in decent numbers) without a removable sub-frame is beyond me.

  3. Brad Snyder says:

    if its as much fun as my FZR400 was back in the day….I might have to rub some aspercreme
    on my knees and buy one…..

  4. Hot Dog says:

    If I could only unload 40 pounds and 40 years, then we could make beautiful music together.

    • jake says:

      Good point. So many people obsessed with the weight of bikes, would be better served if they put the same emphasis on their own weight, esp. here in the States. A heavy bike with a light rider probably beats a light bike with a fat rider.

  5. Don Fraser says:

    Kaw needs to offer an R version of the EX300, just like Triumph, better suspension and brakes for a little more money. You can’t kill that motor.

  6. Hair says:

    The 390 Husaberg had great power. Very smooth from one end to the other. This motor is not quite as over square as the berg was. I would bet that this would be a fun and solid bike for anyone who has a younger rider or who wants a smaller platform that can still preform.

  7. Jeremy in TX says:

    How ironic that this bike has a beak and the 1290 Adventure does not.

    That is a pretty impressive list of components. I imagine it is going to have to be fairly expensive.

  8. Terpinator says:

    It’s great to see KTM come out with a small displacement motorcycle with higher end components. Hopefully it will sell well and other companies will see that there is a market for these types of products.

    MD, has there been any more information/rumors about the KTM adventure bike based on the same frame/engine? That is the motorcycle I’m waiting for…

  9. Bones says:

    So can we have some KTMs that aren’t orange…please?

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      BLASPHEMER!

      • Bones says:

        Seriously, one has to wonder how many potential customers KTM loses because they offer such limited color options. I pass on orange.

        • halfbaked says:

          You can’t be serious.

        • Dave says:

          About the same as Kawasaki loses on Green, Honda on Red, Yamaha and Suzuki in Blue?

          KTM makes a few alternate colors (White and Black Duke 690) but for the most part, they are an enthusiast only brand so that’s why we see a lot of their signature orange. Frankly, when they’ve done alt colors (old grey Duke), they wind up looking pretty bad. They know their customers and they know that really good products make them like the color they happen to be (Kawasaki Green = great example).

          • Bones says:

            Kawasaki/green and Honda/red and Ducati/red and Yamaha/blue, yes, but the difference is you can buy lots of non-green Kawis and non-red Hondas and non-red Ducatis and non-blue Yamahas. You can’t buy a KTM that isn’t orange somewhere (frame, fenders, fairing…) which is fine if you like great performing bikes featuring orange parts. Ride what you like.

          • Dave says:

            Buying the wrong thing to get the right color still leaves you with the wrong thing. None of the other companies make bikes quite like KTM’s (especially this and the mini-Dukes). KTM’s primary business is still dirt bikes, where the Orange is very important to their brand. They are developing their road market but it’s still very small (how often do we read about difficulty finding a KTM dealer). They’re sticking with their known strengths, even if it alienates some.

          • Bones says:

            …ride what you like.

      • Stratkat says:

        … if only Ducati made something in blue, then id buy one!

  10. sl says:

    I hope this catches on. I have no urge to go 160mph down the straight of my local track, but still want a focused bike. I could see a trackday session devoted to a bunch of these things. Seems like you could use a 450 motocross engine as a powerplant. Even use a 250 motocross engine. I would love to see multiple manufacturers join in. I hope this Katoom catches on.

  11. todder says:

    Wonder if Aprilia will come out with something larger than 125 to compete with this. Hope the ktm is at least priced under the yamaha fz09.

  12. TimC says:

    This bike is seriously tempting me to move back to the motorcycling mecca that is the Bay Area.

    • Yoyodyne says:

      +1, I used to live slightly north of there (in Healdsburg), it is a fantastic area to ride a motorcycle.

  13. KTMRyder says:

    As a track day rider and racer of an SV650 I’d love to see a 650-700cc version with all the good parts.
    Good suspension, brakes and almost ready for the track .
    About 85-90 hp at the rear wheel and under 350 pounds and I’d be at the dealer ready to buy !
    Sadly not that many will, that’s why the SV remains so popular in the lightweight class.

    • Dave says:

      Never saw a KTM 690 Duke or a Ducati Monster 696? Both are close to those figures but down a few horsepower.

  14. Gronde says:

    I like this bike ! If the price is not too sky-high, I will seriously consider this machine for my next “fun” motorcycle.

  15. markjenn says:

    10 liters = 2.6 gallons of fuel. Some MX bikes have more. I know this bike isn’t targeted for touring, but come on KTM…. give it a little more fuel and open up some possibilities to do more than take a rip around the block. New bikes these days seem to just get more and more specialized and less and less versatile.

    • Gary says:

      There has to be something wrong with that fuel capacity listing. That tank surely holds more than 2.6 gal. if not, someone at KTM is a few cans shy of a six-pack.

  16. Norm G. says:

    re: “A2 LICENSE With a power/weight ratio of 0.2kW/kg RC390 is right at the limit of the new A2 driver´s license, making the new KTM RC390 the sportiest option for A2 riders.”

    institute tiered licensing in CONUS and we’ll be all set. if it weren’t for the “gub’ment” being distracted by bigger fish, that lil’ range rover stunt in NY might just see us slapped with that.

  17. tori zimbalis says:

    KTM keeps creating these niche market wonders and very focused I must say….a scaled down RC8R! albeit a single… Its truly a shame that the big Jap companies cant play at this level….the Ninja 300 is just ok and then there’s Honda is shooting for the newbies with new low rev engines(wow?)…

    I do confess to being a sport bike guy…not into the current naked bikes with high bars and poor wind management….FZ9 ?

    I’m 49 6`0 200lb and ride my 08 CBR 1k and RC51 everyday…give me the low bars and the hard seat anyday…I’d love to see a RC690 V twin alongside the 390 in the showrooms

    come on Honda give us something good !!

    • allworld says:

      “love to see a RC690 V twin alongside the 390 in the showrooms”
      Me too, although I am a Triumph guy and love the Daytona 675, but……….

  18. Norm G. says:

    observe the visual “synergy” between the 10-spoke wheels and the judicious use of trellis. :) i wonder if other European factories will start to employ this kind of construction…? oh wait.

  19. frank says:

    Very nice looking bike…and unlike 250’s-300’s, a motor that is suitable for highway speeds here in California. Nice KTM.

    • Dave says:

      I bet the Ninja 300 is at least as good at highway speeds being a twin. I hope this EU design fits westerners, the N300 is a nonstarter for anyone over 6’1″ (or longer inseams).

    • Stone996e says:

      I have had no trouble at highway speed (80-85mph) on both my 2008 250 ninja and my 2013 300 ninja. Both are spectacular small bikes.

      • TimC says:

        Exactly, I did just fine on my EX250 out there. Topped out about 105 indicated so probably 98 or something.

        • MGNorge says:

          While I agree that a good 250 can do some duty at freeway speeds it is not what most riders would call a relaxing ride. Wringing a 250’s neck for a long time gets tiring and there’s not a great amount of steam left for passing and such. A 300 makes it only slightly better. So while they can be pressed into service most will look a bit higher up the ladder when doing lots of freeway riding.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Being a twin, I’d agree with these guys and wager the the Ninja 300 would be adequate at highway speeds despite never having ridden one. In fact, I doubt the KTM would make that much more peak hp on the Dyno, though it probably makes significantly more torque through the low and midrange than the little Ninja.

      Having ridden the 250, however, there isn’t quite enough reserve power there for 80mph+ freeway work. It can do it, but a little more get-out-of-the-way-now power is needed at elevated speeds to avoid hood ornamentation where I live.

  20. carl says:

    YEHHHAAAAAA, after selling my ZX14 something more comfortable for my old bones and replacing it with a Victory CCT, definitely will be going down to the local KTM dealership to have a look at this ride just to buzz around town.

  21. mickey says:

    I’ll admit I’m not a sport bike guy ( not a crusier guy either) but I enjoy reading all the comments on refreshing style. To a non aficionado all sport bikes look exactly the same..low in the front end, high in the back end, little thin seats, rear pad no one would want to sit on, angular bodywork and under slung exhaust … of course there are exceptions but for the most part this KTM looks exactly like any other sport bike to me. The headlights do remind me of 3CPO’s eyes lol.

    Anyhow it looks like an awesome first sport bike for a High School kid and much racier and faster than the CL 77 HondaI had my senior year.

  22. Jack says:

    The Japanese are being left in the dust!

    • Motowarrior says:

      Unless you care about sales and profitability, as manufacturers inevitably must.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Probably ought to wait for the price before determining if anyone is getting left in the dust. KTM may be playing in a completely different sandbox than the Ninja 300. Reading the copy, I’d say they are angling for an entirely different buyer than a Ninja 300 or CBR300.

      • jake says:

        The Japanese market to a whole different clientele than KTM. The Japanese make competent, reliable, good value bikes. They choose to not make aspirational, exotic bikes which people ooh and ahh at. It’s all about brand identification. A brand can’t be all things to all people. You have to choose your market, and that means the loss of another market.

        The Japanese make slightly above average bikes for average people with average means and average standards. KTM makes bikes for affluent people, people with high standards, or people with an overriding sense of elitism. Everyone wants, aspires to, a pin up girl but how many wind up marrying one? Very few. You make more money selling Accords over Ferraris; you make more selling average and mundane than elite and aspirational. It’s a much bigger market cause, at the end of the day, most of us happen to be average.

        The Japanese chose the best market for themselves. Even though they get less oohs and ahhs, they walk home with a fatter wallet.

  23. DorsoDoug says:

    250 -> 300 -> 390… Small bikes trend larger???

  24. allworld says:

    Well no one should be questioning KTM’s drive to build competitive street bikes. I would think they will sell a few of these. It really is a great choice for new riders as well as seasoned riders. This is the type of bike Aprilia, Ducati, MV, and Triumph should be selling. Now if EBR along with HERO would get onboard so would I.

  25. Agent55 says:

    Overall just excited KTM is actually building it. Styling seems just OK, and not thrilled they tried to hide fact that it’s just a Duke 390 swingarm by adding that silly shroud on top of it.

  26. Motorhead says:

    It’s the best time ever to be in the market for a motorcycle. RC390, FZ-09…can it get any better?

    • Motowarrior says:

      I couldn’t agree more. From all of the new BMWs at one end of the scale, to all of the smaller, affordable Hondas at the other, we have incredible choices in all price ranges. Think I go out now and buy a Grom and an R1200GS!

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Agreed. Choice has never been so difficult. There are some truly great bikes on the market right now with personalities running the gambit from practical to insane.

  27. denny says:

    Canadian page? Really? It would surprise me greatly that KRM (part od dirt bikes) would have such a hope in country of ice.

  28. Jim says:

    Wow, that is the only ugly KTM I have ever seen.

    • denny says:

      If you are used to looking years at Japanese (stale) styling, them this may look ugly. To me it looks progressive.

      • denny says:

        Actually, this is one of very few which does not follow of late trend of super-fugly integrated shapeless headlights. Way to go KTM!

  29. Gary says:

    Looks like the Kawasaki Ninja 300 is going to have a very short reign!

    • xlayn says:

      What’s the performance difference between this machine and the already existent duke?
      How’s that the duke did not already finish the Ninja 300 reign if no more performance (which was already good to the duke if I’m not wrong) and probably the price of the racier version it’s higher..

    • xlayn says:

      On other news, you keep pushing refresh on this page all day right? (just like me)

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        RSS feed. Google it if you don’t know what it is, pick your plugin of choice, set it up, and then don’t worry about having to keep hitting the refresh button ever again to see the latest comments and articles.

    • SecaKid says:

      Shorter riders will buy the Ninja.