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KTM Announces Limited Edition, Track-Only RC 8C Sport Bike

It has been a while since KTM offered a larger displacement sport bike, but earlier today it announced the RC 8C track-only sport bike powered by the 889cc twin found in the 890 Duke R. This is a very high-end machine that will retail for $38,999. The components, as you might expect, are top drawer (described in the following press release).

The RC 8C is limited to 100 units worldwide. If you want one, note the 7:00 a.m. PDT ordering window that opens on July 22. Here is the press release from KTM, followed by a video:

MURRIETA, Calif. – Rolling out of pit lane and directly onto the starting grid, KTM North America, Inc. is excited to introduce the KTM RC 8C, a limited production track-only motorcycle built to satisfy the apex-slaying needs of orange-bleeding track warriors. Dedicated to putting in fast lap times with unmatched, hyper-focused precision, the KTM RC 8C is undeniably READY TO RACE! 

The KTM RC 8C is a purpose-built, lightweight racing prototype which uses the familiar LC8c engine from the KTM 890 DUKE R in a bespoke, track-ready chassis, bristling with high-end racing componentry. In essence, the KTM RC 8C allows customers the opportunity to own a machine that is as close to a Factory race bike as possible – without the drawbacks of needing a specialist race team to maintain it. 

Engineered to be 100% ready for the track, the KTM RC 8C is a completely hand-built machine, powered by a high-torque production engine to allow for easy maintenance.

Under the lightweight, KTM RC16-inspired carbon-Kevlar reinforced GRP bodywork lies a 128 Hp, 889 cc LC8c, DOHC, 8-valve, parallel-twin engine, bolted into a dedicated 25CrMo4 steel tubular frame, augmented by a selection of WP Pro Components at either end. 

Upfront, a hand-built 43 mm WP APEX PRO 7543 closed cartridge fork made from high quality, lightweight material is used. Developed with the experience gained from KTM Factory Racing efforts across a number of international championships, the suspension is assembled in the same department that builds and maintains the suspension of the KTM RC16, guaranteeing the best performance for race-oriented motorcyclists and professional racers. The fork also boasts zero hydraulic stroke limitation, meaning riders can continually control the damping properties. 

A WP APEX PRO 7746 shock with preload adjuster takes charge of matters at the rear, and can be easily adjusted to suit all riders, and almost any situation by means of separate high and low-speed compression and rebound settings.

Being a focused track-only motorcycle, every detail is dedicated to race craft. From the quick-release tank and body panels, to the lightweight Dymag wheels and Pirelli SC1 race slicks, the KTM RC 8C makes its intentions known. 

Maximum braking performance is taken care of by Brembo race-spec equipment, with Brembo Stylema front brake calipers grabbing 290 mm fully floating brake discs with aluminum rotors fastened by titanium screws, and for the rear, there is a Brembo two piston caliper with a 230 mm fully floating disc mounted directly on the hub. 

The KTM RC 8C is also fitted with a Brembo 19RCS CORSA CORTA radial master cylinder, which features a host of innovations, with many of the technical features drawn directly from the master cylinders used in MotoGP™. The most significant being that riders are able to tailor the “bite point” exactly where they want it, with an easily accessible selector on the top of the master cylinder itself. 

Ensuring data is collected and collated, the KTM RC 8C makes use of the AIM MXS 1.2 RACE dashboard and data logger with integrated GPS function. All information is displayed via a 5” TFT display with integrated data recording, which is continually logged and can be analyzed in AIM Race Studio. 

Key points of the KTM RC 8C:

  • Limited to only 100 units worldwide 
  • Hand-built exclusively for track use
  • 128 Hp, 140 kg / 308 lb dry weight, near 1:1 power/weight ratio
  • Dedicated racing exhaust with Akrapovič titanium muffler
  • Dedicated air box and racing air filter
  • Bespoke tubular frame made with 25CrMo4 steel
  • WP APEX PRO components fork and rear shock
  • Race-spec Brembo brake components 
  • Ultra-light aluminum Dymag wheels
  • MSRP: $38,999 USD 

Alongside the KTM RC 8C itself, customers also have the opportunity to join the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing test team at a one-off customer event. Limited to only 25 customers, the exclusive event will give you a once in a lifetime opportunity to ride with the likes of Dani Pedrosa and Mika Kallio, as they give you tips during a full day at Circuito de Jerez. All those purchasing this KTM RC 8C racetrack experience will also receive the KTM RC 8C racetrack package.

The KTM RC 8C race track package includes:

  • Extra set of Dymag wheels (front and rear)  
  • Extra set of front and rear brake discs 
  • Front and rear paddock stands 
  • Tire warmers 
  • KTM Race carpet 

The exclusive KTM RC 8C will be available for pre-order at beginning July 22, 2021 at 7 a.m. PDT.


  1. Jimmy209 says:

    I love this bike. I wish I could get one of these for the streets. Way above my skill set but beautiful sound. I went to East Bay Ace in Concord a couple years ago and they had an RC8 with the sweetest sounding exhaust I have ever heard on a twin. Absolutely loved it! and yes a hyosung 650 is probably above my skill set too….

  2. Jim says:

    Quick, where is that box of tissues?

  3. Rickman says:

    They actually should include a huge trophy with it. Makes it even more convenient for owner as he/she won’t need to endure the struggle of racing, just set it by bike and brag how you won it.

  4. Buzz W says:

    The Milk Crate Brigade will be bashing their keyboards to bits over this one.

  5. jimmihaffa says:

    Doesn’t KTM have a VW/Porsche connection? Could they not make those bolt on winglets retractable a la Porsche 911? Grumble grumble…it’s still a cool bike.

    • RBS says:

      I believe that you are thinking of Ducati, which is owned by the Audi/VW/Porsche group.

      KTM is half owned by the Indian company Bajaj.

  6. Jeremy says:

    They should have run 180’s front and rear for better handling.

    This is a Kramer GP2R, no?

    • Dave says:

      That is what I read in another article, that this is being made on contract by Kramer. The bodywork looks like it’s unique to this version.

      Some are finding it easy to balk at the price but I don’t think it’s “cheap” to prep a sportbike for the track, especially if choosing top-notch stuff. This thing must be fun to ride.

      • Jeremy says:

        When I saw the pic of that rear linkage, I had to pull up pictures of both bikes to compare them side by side. The tubing for the frame might have have a slightly larger OD on the KTM, but it is hard to tell for sure from the pictures I could find. Might just look that way because it is bright orange vs black. The trellis layout looks exactly the same, though, as does the swingarm.

        The bike is very light and hand-built, the two most expensive things you could ever add to a motorcycle. But I have seen people get GSX-R750s down to 375 lbs wet with not too much effort or money: all street stuff removed, lightweight plastics, exhaust, and wheels basically gets you there. That would still be a good deal heavier than this KTM, but then the 750 makes more power in stock trim. I think you could equalize performance pretty easily.

  7. Dino says:

    No centerstand?
    No dice..

  8. Donk says:

    This is a wicked cool bike. Not for everyone, not even for me but I bet it’s not long before they’re bringing more than the $39,000. buy in. Not crazy money when you look at what some of the retail prices are on bikes.

  9. Marcus says:

    7:00 AM Pacific time tomorrow, guys. Be ready.

  10. Jeffrey says:

    Lol!! I love the inane comments! Especially the “pound for pound” value of a Harley! Sarcasm at it’s best.
    I can see the 2023 street legal version coming…..

  11. Tom R says:

    Those antennae on the front are going to get snapped off by walking around it a bit too closely in the garage.

    And what is the distinction between “bespoke” and “dedicated”?

    • motorhead says:

      Bespoke means custom built, one-off. Dedicated on the other hand I believe means the air box is just a dedicated air box, and no longer available to hold a snack or reading glasses.

  12. mickey says:

    That’s a lotta orange

  13. Roadrash1 says:

    What’s next? Triumph motocross machines?

  14. Tom R says:

    They had me at Tire warmers, then went over the top with the KTM Race carpet.

  15. Lawrence says:

    $39K!!!! For that money you could have a Harley CVO Street Glide! On a price-per-pound basis a much better deal!

  16. Motoman says:

    There you go Mick. If you complain about this one you are a lost cause.

    • todd says:

      I guess he could swap the license plate from his XR onto it. Maybe a street version is in the cards for next year.

    • Mick says:

      I have no problem with it.

      Now make a street bike with 80 to 90 horsepower at the same weight or less. They can even ditch all the bodywork and electronics. Handlebar mounts on the top tripleclamp please.

      Is that really too much to ask for? Why do so many people think that is unreasonable? And why will it never happen?

      • L. Ron Jeremy says:

        Yeah! And paint it red!

      • DeltaZulu says:

        Mick: You should design, manufacture and sell your own. Oh, make sure it costs under $10K.

        • Mick says:

          I have no interest in a budget bike.

          Premium bike, 80 to 90hp, low weight.

          Why is that too much to ask?

      • Dave says:

        There is some speculation that this is a re-skinned Kramer GP2. They make a version with the single cylinder 690 engine. It’s lighter. Neither are road legal.

        And yes, it really is too much to ask for. The bike you desire is a dirt bike. If you’re ok with riding a super moto, there are already choices that are close enough.

        • Mick says:

          Mine is a 2003. I will need a new one at some time. Isn’t this supposed to be the future were everything is better for everyone?

          My bike is well under 300 pounds. It makes a really torquey 60hp and it is a nineteen year old version of a 21 year old bike. It even has a luggage rack and a rear fender. To say that I am unimpressed, considering the state of everything else, with my own personal market is a serious understatement.

          BTW, my engine has never been apart in all this time. It is factory stock save for a fair bit of tuning changes. Intake and exhaust systems, among very few other things, are non-standard.

          • todd says:

            I see multiple places that the XR650R is 317 pounds. That’s only 12 pounds less than my (2018) Duke, much of my extra mass can be found in the full perimeter trellis frame vs Honda’s single cradle frame. I still think a bike with 21% more power while only being 4% heavier and likely handling much better is an upgrade, wouldn’t you? Sounds like manufacturers made something close but people didn’t buy enough of them. Even KTM has been abandoning the “lighter is better” philosophy in selling bikes.

          • Dave says:

            Depends on who you consider to be “everyone”. If there were robust demand for the bike you’re describing and it were practical enough to make, the makers would go after it I think.

            What exactly is your bike?

  17. tom.g says:

    Who exactly is KTM appealing to with this bike at $40k?
    I am not sure but I can think of alot of reasons to spend $25k on a bike with more power the same electronics (unfortunately more weight) and better reliability.

    • fred says:

      Racers. Track-day enthusiasts. Seems pretty obvious from the specs. FWIW, only the “well-heeled” need apply.

      Depending on which part of the article is correct, it looks like they are only building either 100 or 800 units. S/b easy to sell 100, and 800 probably is reachable.

    • Mick says:

      Who on earth would drop that kind of money on a CVO Street Glide?

      It’s not much money in the car world. What does a Corvette cost? The racey one. Us motorcycle guys are so used to getting our stuff so cheap.

  18. L. Ron Jeremy says:

    What racing series is this race bike going to dominate?

  19. randy says:

    if Yamaha ever does a R9 it will be affordable and KTM will never be able to match its value. Come on Yamaha, bring it on.

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