KTM is not afraid of anything, and above all of coming to face the most demanding machines in their territories. We knew the builder as formidable on the sand and pebble tracks; it will now be necessary to reckon with him on the track itself. With its hyper angular plastic, a very large hypersport twin, and unlimited provocation, the new RC8 directly challenges the Ducati 1098 on its ground..
This RC8 has been around for a few years – and since the proto presented in 2005, Katoche has remained surprisingly true to the basic design, a surprising mix of billhooks in the fairing, taut lines and sharp angles. Only the twin has changed, from 999 to 1,149 cc (not understand why they call it 1190 …). It must also be said that between the presentation of the prototype and this final version, the Superbike regulations have changed, allowing 1200 twins to be aligned; and the Austrian factory is keen to go and tease the best teams in the world in this championship.
155 horses for less than 200 kg all full facts. Figures that this new hypersport need not be ashamed of. Certainly, it returns a handful of horses to the Ducati 1098 (and typed donf in its R version), and a good ladle to the overpowered Japanese … But barely 2 years ago, that would have made it the reference SBK twins. And let’s not throw the stone too early: This is KTM’s first foray between the vibrators (except for the 125 and 250 GP), and this sportswoman still announces figures that position it in the top of its segment.
For this engine, the engine manufacturers started with the standard twin-cylinder and completely revised it to make a new super light boiler (it weighs barely 64 kg), equipped with Keihin electronic injection with butterflies (one per cylinder) 52mm, an altimeter compensation system, new 4-valve cylinder heads, two balancing arms and dry sump lubrication.
You’ve noticed that the exhaust is neatly concealed … under the engine, like on Buells. While the Japanese are breaking their heads with increasingly bizarre shapes and positions that change each year (under the pretext of optimizing the distribution of masses), KTM places this element truly in the center of the chassis (well, below) by balancing the center of gravity.
Considering the potted shape of the car, they were right to stash it down there.
Now everyone knows that power without a good chassis is useless; and KTM has been mastering the subject for a while – all that remains is to prove its skills on the track. Under the fairing tested and optimized in the wind tunnel, they created a new truss frame in chrome molybdenum steel, with tubes of different dimensions. This allows to obtain a light unit (barely 7.5 kg), rigid, and resistant.
The double swingarm made of anodized molded components is one of the very characteristic elements of the RC8’s chassis. First in terms of design, and KTM has done what is necessary to allow it to offer top-notch traction and stability. Small detail: the axle supports designed to allow a very quick change of wheels (Hmmm, that doesn’t smell a little Endurance, does that?!?).
As usual at Katoche, the suspensions are WP – 43 mm inverted fork, steering damper and single shock absorber, adjustable from anywhere.
Braking is entrusted to Brembo, and that’s good. Totally radial, with 320mm tracks and 4 piston monobloc calipers with 4 pads. At the rear, we find 220 mm with 2 piston caliper.
Everything modern and efficient, which can also be found on the top machines of the moment; but with less than 200 kilos to carry, the RC8 will shake up all that a bit. Especially since as standard, the machine is designed to best adapt to the rider and his requirements: the half-handlebars, the footrests, and the seat height are adjustable. We can’t wait to see what happens – To be followed closely in the 2008 French Superbike championship then certainly in the world for 2009.
M.B – Photo credits :
Friedl P. – Schedl R. – Freeman G. – Mitterbauer H.
What you must remember
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Model marketed in
0 to 100: 3 s
sup 280 km / h
The technical aspect
KTM RC8 1190 2009
- Tank: 16.5 liters
- Wheelbase: 1,430 mm
- Dry weight: 188 kg
- Train before
- final by chain
- Rear axle
(103 x 69 mm)
at 10,000 rpm
at 8000 rpm