KTM introduces the RC 8C track-only sportbike!

After years of avoiding the sportbike segment, KTM is back! KTM just took the wraps off the long-rumoured RC 8C, a middleweight sporter aimed at track-only use. It will be produced in super-limited numbers (a run of 100 machines), and will sell for $43,999 MSRP in Canada.

Familiar foundation

The RC 8C is based on a familiar engine—the liquid-cooled parallel twin from the 890 series. In this configuration, the DOHC 8-valve LC8c engine makes 128 horsepower. There’s a race exhaust with Akrapovic titanium muffler, as well as model-specific airbox and a race-style air filter.

The 128-horse engine combined with a 140-kg dry weight puts this bike’s power-to-weight ratio at almost 1:1.

Wait, is this just a KTM 890 Duke with some new bodywork and a few go-fast upgrades? No—KTM says the RC 8C has “a dedicated 25CrMo4 steel tubular frame,” covered with “KTM RC16-inspired carbon-Kevlar reinforced GRP bodywork.” Very nice indeed, and KTM says it’s “a completely hand-built machine.” In theory, that should make for high build quality.

Although it’s not a Duke with new clothes, according to Asphalt & Rubber, keen racebike fans might recognize the bike. Underneath that bodywork, this machine is basically the same as a Kramer GP2 890R track bike, says A&R.

No big deal, the RC 8C still looks fun, and it’s loaded with high-end components. Suspension comes from WP, as you’d expect, with Apex Pro 7543 closed cartridge forks, and Apex Pro 7746 shock. KTM says “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 has “boasts zero hydraulic stroke limitation, meaning riders can continually control the damping properties.” The shock comes with preload adjustment, and separate high- and low-speed compression and rebound adjustability.

Braking comes from Brembo: Stylema calipers up front, with 290 mm floating aluminum rotors, with titanium screws and a Brembo 19RCS Corsa Corta radial master cylinder. KTM says this “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.”

The rear brake uses a Brembo two-piston caliper and hub-mounted 230 mm fully floating disc, which should be more than enough to get the job done.

Aluminum Dymag wheels come standard, with Pirelli SC1 race slicks. The RC 8C has quick-release bodywork and fuel tank, for ease of track maintenance.

Along with race-spec hard parts, the RC 8C also comes with high-end race-bred electronics. The machine comes with AIM MXS 1.2 RACE dash as standard, with data logger and integrated GPS. There’s a 5-inch TFT display with integrated data recording. Riders can use AIM Race Studio to then analyze that logged data.

Although there’s currently no CSBK class for this bike, it will perhaps fit into Twins classes in other series. Photo: KTM

Other bits

KTM also offers a race parts package for the RC 8C, including extra Dymag wheels, extra brake discs, front and rear paddock stands, tire warms, and a KTM Race carpet.

For the ultimate experience, owners can pony up for the full factory race team experience:

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.

If a CMGer actually signs up for that, please let us know how it goes! Otherwise, head here for more details, or to pre-order on July 22.


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