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KTM Reworks RC 8C Track Weapon for 2023 (with video)

Just one year after its introduction, KTM has significantly re-engineered its RC 8C race track weapon. Is it the ultimate “track day special?” Ducati, among others, would argue that point.

Nevertheless, with a claimed dry weight of 313 pounds, more horsepower and torque from the 889cc parallel-twin engine (output last year was a claimed 128 horsepower), and a new 12,000 rpm redline, this new bike is a tempting option for track day junkies with plenty of disposable income. MSRP is $39,599 U.S.

Here is the press release from KTM, followed by a video:

MURRIETA, Calif., October 25, 2022 – Fast and competitive riders spoke and KTM listened. The KTM RC 8C, a purposeful, hand-built, and specific ‘tool’ for the track was created last year and for 2023, KTM North America, Inc. is excited to announce that the company has reset the dials. The new model has been overhauled and the spec sheet has been held to the grindstone for an even sharper ‘READY TO RACE’ profile.

The second generation of the KTM RC 8C required much more than a fresh coat of paint and a tweak to the aero package. As motorcyclists and racers quickly embraced the concept, KTM once more got excited about raising performance thresholds. The result is that the 2023 version boasts a radically evolved LC8c engine, molded specifically for the circuit, upgraded electronic features, even more weight-saving solutions and a raft of high-end components that ensure the bike’s competitiveness.

Performance, durability and all-out capability: these were the central priorities for the dedicated KTM R&D crew for the 2023 KTM RC 8C. The increases to maximum power and torque and the 12,000 RPM rev ceiling were achieved by mods like the installation of new, lighter titanium valves and conrods, as well as two piston rings (to refine the oscillating masses), higher compression ratios, a bigger throttle body and a bolstered fuel pump/pressure. Increasing the clutch preload, removing the top balancer, and adjusting the crankcase balancer shaft have delivered durability gains, and an additional PANKL oil cooler helps with thermal stability.

The 2023 KTM RC 8C’s dry weight has been optimized to just 313 lb (142 kg) and with the superb agility of the CrMo4 steel frame gives a prototype vibe to successfully attack the inside lines against any superbike. Measures such as the brand-new titanium Akrapovic exhaust system have helped the slimming, while the ultra-light feel has been enhanced by new settings from the very latest configurations of WP PRO COMPONENTS suspension. The WP APEX PRO fork and shock are now softer; elevating comfort, contact and confidence.

Working again with Krämer Motorcycles for fabrication, the 2023 KTM RC 8C is now one of the company’s clearest racing expressions: full of capability and intent. Whether a rider is the next Brad Binder seeking training mileage or the next Red Bull MotoGP rookie on the path to Grand Prix stardom, the refined electronics mean that any setting of traction control, mapping and engine braking can fettle the 2023 KTM RC 8C to match the level of ability (or ambition). The race bike can be primed in a number of ways; from the adjustable steering head to the offset of the CNC-machine triple clamps, the throttle response and degree of bite from the unbeatable Brembo Stylema calipers and RCS19 Corsa Corta master cylinder.

A revamped dashboard with GPS data-logger will flash-up the lap-record attempts while the KTM RC16 derived handlebar switches put the rider’s left thumb in full control while the left foot hammers through the reverse pattern of the race QUICKSHIFTER+.

For the final reminder that the 2023 KTM RC 8C is for racers and born from a company with racing at its very soul, the use of winglets and aerodynamics is a direct correlation to the successful MotoGP™ program where the KTM RC16 has won seven Grands Prix in only six years of presence on the premier class grid. Downforce and efficiency under braking and acceleration are some of the gains. If rivals and observers are quick enough to catch the 2023 iteration of the KTM RC 8C, then they can only be impressed by the menacing black shade, which speaks ‘speed’ and ‘exclusivity’.

To get your machine’s wheels rolling in the best and quickest way, the official ‘handover’ of the 2023 KTM RC 8C will be toasted with an ultra-special track day for 30 customers at the Circuito Ricardo Tormo in Valencia on April 26, 2023 Select, first-come, first-served places can be secured with former Grand Prix riders offering track tuition and a full KTM and WP Suspension technical crew on hand to dial-in the configuration of the new bike to the 14-corner Grand Prix venue. Once in Spain, accommodation, food and bike transportation logistics from Austria to Spain and then to local dealers is all taken care of. This is the full factory racer experience! For more details click HERE.

2023 KTM RC 8C technical highlights

// MSRP: $39,599 USD

// Revised LC8c DOHC inline twin cylinder engine with titanium components and increased power and torque

// Adjustable throttle response, traction/launch/anti-wheelie control and engine braking adjustment

// New titanium Akrapovic exhaust system helping contribute to light 313 lb (142 kg) dry weight

// Fresh WP PRO COMPONENTS hardware and new settings for optimized feel and stability at higher performance levels

// High quality Brembo brake system Stylema and Corsa Costa master cylinder

// Racing parts: Rims, chain, carbon front fender, CNC triple clamp, handlebar switches, new AIM tacho dashboard, race gearbox shifting patten, air box and air filter and parts prone to crash damage can be quickly replaced

// KTM RC16-derived aerodynamics and razor shape black graphics with distinctive orange frame

// Pirelli Diablo racing tires

Only 200 editions of the 2023 KTM RC 8C will be made. Each model will come with a special serial number stamped onto the triple clamp. Orders can be made only through the dedicated page on


  1. Litho says:

    Agree with the rest. Aside from those fugly winglets, nice looking bit of unobtanium.

  2. jason says:

    I read last night that these bikes (all 200 of them) sold out online in less than 3 minutes…

    • richard says:

      2 hrs 20 minutes ..straight from KTM

    • Mick says:

      I wonder how many are going to collectors and how many are going to run free.

      It’s kind of sad to see a fairly unique offering in such a limited number just sit around in some collection.

      I kind of feel that way about one of my YZs. I haven’t ridden dirt bike in NH for two years. I’ve iced and supermotoed one of them, but the other just sits.

  3. Mick says:

    I looked around a little. But so far I have failed to find any data on road race bike sales figures. Back in the day maybe you would hear about updates to TZs or RSs or whatever. But suddenly here in the regular moto press are race bikes.

    Are they making a comeback? I know very little about the general goings on in road racing. Is this wishful thinking by the manufacturers? Suddenly two track day bike appear in the press just in time for a mull before Christmas. The prices are basically in the buck per displacement ballpark too.

    The Italians preferring a Hercule Poirot thang while the Austrians going for the full on walrus kitty.

    Maybe that’s what the kids are into now days.

    • johnnie says:

      Well, I guess there is a solid market for this bike; I just went to check out the ordering stuff and all 200 units are already spoke for. I must admit, I really love this piece of kit!

      As a guy that doesn’t ride on the street, I love when manufacturers sell bikes for my purpose. Unfortunately, the way most road race organisations’ rules are structured you can only race bikes that are also sold for road legal purposes. I don’t think I would be able to race this bike with either of the clubs with which I race. I always feel like this is a shame because purpose built GP bikes are so much better than bikes that are built for the street. Once you ride a proper race bike you realize how lazy your track prepped R6 or CBR actually is!

  4. mike d says:

    $39,599 U.S. 😮 Really?

  5. TMR says:

    Just in time for Halloween.

  6. TMR says:

    Those “wings” are painfully silly. Just looking at them makes me want to find my hacksaw.

  7. VLJ says:

    Weighs nothing. Parallel Twin. Plenty of HP, but not stoopid HP. High-quality componentry. Built by KTM. Costs a fortune. Ultra-exclusive. Corksniffing cognoscenti only need apply.


    …the Mickcycle.

    • Nick says:

      Nah; too many strokes.

      • VLJ says:

        Maybe not, though, because when Mick was describing his perfect bike awhile ago, it was a very lightweight Parallel Twin that made about 80 hp. Money was no object. In fact, he seemed to take a perverse pride in wanting to have to spend more money on it, presumably to keep the riffraff out.

        This sounds very much like that bike.

        • Mick says:

          A premium bike with 80 to 90hp and low wet weight. Bikes with more power are less fun to ride as street bikes, in my opinion.

          Premium because you don’t have to replace the suspension and brakes, among other thing like lighter wheels.

          This bike is interesting because it exists. But it’s not my thing. I don’t do track days. I feel that road race tracks are too automotive based. I’m a woods guy. I like lots of corners that are close together. Corsica baby!

          A street bike with lights and no plastic and wings (Gack), and the bracketry to hang it, could weigh less. But while you can buy a 200+hp street bike. A light weight one is just too dangerous for little Joey.

          I wonder if you get the track stands and tire warmers with it. That would be a nice touch.

    • Motoman says:

      Holy Crap. That didn’t even dawn on me. I know it’s not a two-stroke but it would sure seem to tick all his boxes otherwise.

      Mick, where you at?

    • todd says:

      I’m sorry, did we all miss the fact that this is not a street legal bike? Mick is asking for this bike but with a plate, lights and mirrors.

      • Motoman says:

        Seriously Todd? If he can’t handle getting the bike street legal, he doesn’t deserve it… 🙂

        • todd says:

          In California, at least, if the bike wasn’t street legal from the manufacturer, you are not allowed to ever use it on the street.

          • Jeremy says:

            In Colorado, all a motorcycle needs to get registered is a leftside handlebar mirror, headlight, horn, and tail/brake light. Two stroke, four stroke, doesn’t matter.

    • bty says:

      Besides those FUGLY wing things, it looks good.

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