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KTM Announces 2022 RC 390

KTM’s RC 390 has undergone a major redesign for the 2022 model year. The lightweight single will now feature plenty of big bike tech.

In addition to sophisticated electronic rider aids (described in the following press release), the new RC 390 features significant weight reduction (the new wheels, alone, save 7.5 pounds). Fully adjustable suspension is standard. KTM says the bike will be available in U.S. dealers next March.

Here is the press release from KTM:

MURRIETA, Calif. – KTM North America, Inc. is excited to announce that the highly anticipated all-new KTM RC 390 is ready to roll out of pit lane and onto the starting grid in 2022.

The KTM RC 390 has been a staple Supersport model in the KTM range since 2014, filling the sport bike gap in KTM’s lineup for a number of years. Now boasting Grand Prix-inspired design, a true race-derived chassis and high-end electronics previously unseen in the small displacement Supersport segment, the new generation RC 390 charges out of pitlane with real-world and race-winning intentions.

The most immediately obvious update across the board is the Grand Prix-inspired styling, which sees almost every panel being redesigned, boasting race-inspired lines and two new colorways that clearly define the sporty character of this motorcycle. 

This redesign has also been purposely done to not only give the RC 390 a striking visual presence but to optimize aerodynamics due to its now higher top speeds, thanks in part to a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) design process. 

This new design has also optimized wind and weather protection, with enhanced heat management by using a combination of inner and outer body panels to direct airflow away from the rider.

The rear bodywork has been reduced as much as possible for a more aggressive profile, but also to show off as much of the redesigned steel trellis subframe as possible.    As a true sport bike, special care has been taken in improving overall ergonomics. The knee area is now ergonomically developed to allow for easier, more fluid rider movement—being as narrow as possible with the largest possible contact area. 

An all-new two-part cockpit and windscreen holder makes use of a cast aluminum upper area and a lower composite part that secures the headlight, while a larger 3.6 gallon (13.7 liter) fuel tank has been added for improved day-to-day riding comfort and fuel range. 

The new bodywork is easily removable, with a reduced number of screws being used as well as a redesigned mounting system. This makes swapping out the street-legal bodywork for race-ready panels more practical. However, the most notable updates to the KTM RC 390 can be found underneath the new bodywork. 

The 2022 KTM RC 390 was developed with a focus on weight saving, particularly throughout the chassis. An all-new wheel design accounts for 7.5 lbs (3.4 kg) of unsprung weight saving over the previous generation, while the newByBre braking system saves an impressive 2.11 lbs (960 g). The frame, too, has undergone the knife with a massive 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg) of savings. 

The suspension has also undergone a major refresh, with adjustable open cartridge WP APEX upside-down front forks, featuring 30 clicks of compression adjustment on the left and 30 clicks for rebound on the right.   The class-topping KTM RC 390 is fitted with a WP APEX rear shock absorber, which offers pre-load adjustment and five clicks of rebound settings.

The KTM RC 390 is powered by a state-of-the-art, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder four-stroke engine with twin overhead camshafts, four valves and electronic fuel injection. For 2022, it delivers more torque compared to previous models thanks to a new airbox design. New engine mapping can also be thanked for the increased torque and overall rideability.  

From an electronic standpoint, the new generation KTM RC 390 sets the benchmark for the small displacement Supersport segment with a selection of rider aids typically available only on bigger motorcycles. These features include namely SUPERMOTO ABS, Lean-Angle Sensitive Cornering ABS and Cornering MTC, as well as the optional Quickshifter+. 

KTM MY RIDE can now also be added to the KTM RC 390 through the new TFT color display, which allows riders to access important information at a glance, with the added flexibility of being able to tailor the display to show exactly what data they want to see. The display also automatically adapts its brightness to ambient light.

As a package, the 2022 KTM RC 390 promises to bring more READY TO RACE into the realm of Supersport with real, race-bred ability and technology to match.   The new generation KTM RC 390 will be available in dealers beginning March 2022.   Complete 2022 KTM RC 390 information is available at www.ktm.com

11 Comments

  1. Dave says:

    Very cool. It seems to have improved performance as well as being more streetable. Seems like a great little bike.

    It also appears to have a removable subframe, which was a knock against the old one for track riders.

  2. Grover says:

    The bars look high enough even for a “mature” rider to endure. Looks like a neat package and sensibly priced.

  3. Lower hp bikes seem intrinsically better handling because they don’t tax tires/suspension/chassis as much and don’t have the same capability to frighten their riders.

    And while the oft-repeated refrain “it’s more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow” may be true; it is equally true that riding a fast bike fast is even more fun.

    Except for embarrassing folks on faster bikes of course LOL

  4. YellowDuck says:

    For clarity, suspension is not “fully adjustable” in that the rear shock seems to have no compression damping adjustment, at least according to the press release.

    I like this a lot, and would be even more interested if a track only version were offered.

  5. todd says:

    I wonder how much I can get a set of those wheels for? They might bolt right up to the 690 forks. I understand that the 690 wheels are lighter than the 390 wheels but that role may have swapped. This is a pretty impressive bike.

  6. Hurrah for single cylinder sport bikes. This is the most exciting single cylinder sport bike since the Yamaha 600. I am probably wrong but I think single cylinder bikes are intrinsically better handling bikes.

    • Mick says:

      I wonder if the NCCR will ever see the light of day. The Swedish firm is doing the Ducati Supermono thing to the Rotax Helicon engine, last seen in Eric Buell Racing bikes. This time they are removing the front cylinder and adding a balance rod under that location. The bikes should be in the upper 500cc range.

      And don’t look now but Buell may be making a comeback with a full line of bikes as well. The past is repeating itself all over the place.

      For my part, I will pass on any bike with ABS and traction control system that has a default that I probably won’t like and cannot set. Particularly on a bike with fewer than 100 horsepower. If I can’t set the bike to my liking, I don’t really own it. So I won’t buy it in the first place.

      • fred says:

        “For my part, I will pass on any bike.” There you go, Mick. Fixed it for you, and you can just copy and paste it into the comments section of any bike article. Cheers!

        • Mick says:

          Thanks Fred!

          I guess I have had a dim view of the street bike industry for last couple, three decades or so. The last one that I bought new was a 916 in 1994 for Christmas. Since then I have been waiting for a twin with about 75 to 80% as much power and weight. Unfortunately anything with that much power is sold as a budget bike. So they end up being too heavy.

          I have purchased a number of dirt bikes however. I was very happy to buy a KTM 300XC in 2017 after they made an all new counter balanced engine. I’d buy one of the new fuel injected two strokes, but the one that I rode kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. Perhaps after a few more tweaks they’ll get it sorted. For now my carbureted bike, well, carburets better. It’s all about getting the right throttle slide.

          • fred says:

            You’re welcome!

            As long as you’re still riding, it doesn’t really matter what the industry does. I haven’t bought a new bike since 2008, when I bought 4. Unlike you, I am quite impressed with how the motorcycle industry has tried to build bikes that people want.
            Personally, I don’t have the time and energy needed to wear out all the bikes I already have. My current stable should last me another 10-15 years, maybe 20. By that point, I may be gone, or just too worn out to ride anymore.