From a manufacturer fabled for their adventure machines, comes a track tool designed to give the latest crop of liter class super bikes a run for their money. Following the super sharp design language the company's bikes are known for, it looks gorgeous.Take the tail section for instance- clean short and sharp.
And the over-square bore/stroke ratio-ed engine is a v-twin unit producing 152 hp of power and 120 nm of torque. Not much, you might say, especially compared to the near 200 bhp power outputs of the latest generation inline-four Japanese bikes and the stunning Ducati 1199. But as the most experienced of racers will tell you, its not how much power you have, its all about how much power is usable and completely under the control of your right wrist. That said, the KTM delivers its power in very linear way. It v-twin helps it to pick up pace from a low rev speed. But its over-square design also helps it to deliver its goodies in plenty higher up the rev range. The Ducati 1199 Panigale also has a v-twin, but that is a completely different motor and loves a lot more revs on board then on the KTM. The Ducati engine even revs more like an inline-four then the v-twin that it is.
It engine, in a bored out form, has also been employed in KTM's 1290 Super Duke R concept.
The first concept of the bike appeared in 2005, powered by the Super Duke 999 cc (61.0 cu in) v-twin. The displacement was increased to 1,148 cc (70.1 cu in) for the production version. The bike features a steel trellis frame with a cast aluminium seat subframe. The suspension uses high-end inverted forks and an alloy, double-sided swingarm manufactured by WP, a KTM subsidiary. The bike comes in three colors, the traditional KTM orange and a white and black version.
The RC8 R was delivered to the United States in 2010 with more track-oriented features than the standard RC8. Engine displacement increased to 1,195 cc (72.9 cu in) with a higher compression ratio of 13.5:1. In addition, titanium intake valves and a low-friction DLC treatment on its camshafts’ finger followers help the engine produce 170hp at 10,250RPM and 90.7ft-lbs of torque at 8,000RPM.
The RC8 R's WP suspension includes a 43mm inverted fork at the front end, with a titanium-aluminum-nitride coating on its sliders. A high-end shock supports the bike’s rear, and its piston rod is also finished with the titanium-aluminum-nitride low-stiction coating. The fork has three modes of adjustment (compression damping, rebound damping and spring preload), while the shock separates the compression damping into high and low speed circuits and has ride-height adjustability. An adjustable steering damper completes the suspension. The RC8 R offers many adjustments not found on other superbikes. In addition to the suspension, the rider can adjust many other parts on the bike including the front brake lever, the rear brake pedal, the clutch lever, the handlebars, the shifter, the footpegs, and the seat/subframe height. Essentially, the adjustable options allow the RC8 R to accommodate riders of various sizes.
At the launch of the RC8 superbike KTM announced it will race in the RC8 in the FIM Superstock championship in 2008. KTM's two year plan is to get the bike regularly on the podium in superstock before moving up to the Superbike World Championship. For 2009 the KTM RC8 Super Cup has been running as a one make support class at selected rounds of the British Superbike Championship, and in 2010 Redline KTM are competing in the newly formed BSB Evo class with rider James Edmeades.