Skip to content

KTM RC8 Sports Motorbike Review

Find By Make/Model

1 of 28
KTM RC8R - styled to be different, made to please
Click to enlarge
Previous image Next image

MCN overall verdict rating is 5

Unashamedly a circuit-based blaster that will need a road-rider to be fully aware of what he is about to buy if it’s to be used on the road. From the competition-biased WP suspension to the 170bhp engine and the lightweight Marchesini wheels in between, the KTM RC8R cries out for corners to be taken at speed. Although it doesn’t need to be ridden hard to appreciate it. But when it is given its head the rewards are, possibly, the same as narcotics. KTM RC8-R in a sentence: styled to be different; made to please.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The same LC8 engine as used on the current crop of large capacity KTM machines (990SM, RC8 etc) but with capacity increase to 1195cc and additional tuning work (new cams and timing, compression hike and so on). It’s a bloody gutsy lump down below and matched with an impressive amount of top end drive. What is the driving force is the linear torque output that makes riding the KTM RC8R as easy as opening the throttle. Sticky gearbox problems aren’t, thankfully, inherited from the RC8, thanks to new gear selector mechanism and revised gear cluster dogs. Comes with road or track throttle tubes: road version has a chamfered cam to smoothe out low rpm throttle delivery by reducing amount of throttle cable pull for a given amount of turn.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Increased trail figure (97mm total figure) over the RC8 makes the KTM RC8R a stable bike through long sweepers but still a quick steering, nimble tool through the twists. Front and rear suspension is race quality and has suitable adjustment (high and low speed compression adjustment at the rear) to dial in the bike to suit anyone and all road/track conditions – settings found under the seat.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

WP suspension as a product doesn’t have the brand name and desirability of Ohlins when really it should have – the suspension on the RC8R is belting. Marchesini forged wheels are par for the course on a grade-A superbike as are the Brembo Monobloc race-spec brakes. But its other areas that will tickle your fancy: adjustable footrests, levers, handlebars, subframe position and rear ride height are all there and easy to achieve. Compare and buy products for the KTM RC8R in the MCN Shop.

KTM RC8R (2009-2010)

Detail Value
New price £14,995
Dealer used prices
£5,890 (2009) - £7,000 (2010)
Private used prices
£5,300 (2009) - £6,300 (2010)
  View full used price info
Engine size 1195 cc
Power 159.34 bhp
Top speed 169.55 mph
Insurance group 17 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4
Value rating is 3 rating is 3

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

No complaints whatsoever on the way the bike is built and finished. As said, the gearbox issues that affected early RC8 models has been resolved, and on our test bike no major fuelling problems (still a slight flutter around 3500-4000rpm for noise emissions). There is a lot of forum traffic on the subject of engine reliability but KTM reckons it is now on top of past issues.

Value

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3

Blimey: £14,995 – a lot of wedge in anyone’s book. For the performance and components that adorn the bike then maybe the price is justified when comparing to Ducati’s Ohlins shod 1198S at £16,495 – which the KTM RC8R has the edge over. Find a KTM RC8R for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 17 of 17

Compare motorcycle insurance quotes now

Model History

2008: All-new KTM RC8 sportsbike introduced
2009: UK introduction of RC8R – a tuned, race-ready machine

Other Versions

At present the RC8R is a stand alone model

Specifications

Top speed 169.55 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 10.77 secs
Max power 159.34 bhp
Max torque 88.42 ft-lb
Weight 182 kg
Seat height 805 mm
Fuel capacity 16.5 litres
Average fuel consumption mpg
Tank range miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 17 of 17
Engine size 1195 cc
Engine specification Liquid-cooled, 75° V-twin four-stroke. Six gears
Frame Tubular steel trellis
Front suspension adjustment Fully-adjustable
Rear suspension adjustment Fully-adjustable
Front brakes 2 x 320 disc with 4-piston calipers
Rear brake 220mm disc with two-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

See all KTM RC8 motorcycles for sale

KTM
RC8

1 miles

£11,750

KTM
RC8

5204 miles

£5,994

KTM
RC8

1250 miles

£5,750

KTM
RC8

9786 miles

£9,499

KTM
RC8

13198 miles

£5,200

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(3 reviews)

  • RC8R Owner - Australia

    clivefrench

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    After a rotten honeymoon with a 09/R1, I traded it in for a RC8R. It was all I needed to restore my faith in bikes. It is uncatchable around the any bend on our very fast rides, powerful stoppers, stays on line and looks good just standing still. Always a crowd puller in a sea of Ducs. Only two complaints - an occasional false neutral which could be 'cos the bike is still tight and too light a throttle spring which cannot be fixed. Can't wait to start my track days.

    21 April 2010

  • Track-tested RC8R

    foggie996

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I'm not a racer but recently had opportunity to test an RC8R at Donington. It has very light and rapid steering and drops into corners swiftly but smoothly without any instability - a bit un-nerving at first but quickly got used to it. On the second lap I was getting my knee down without trying and was extremely confident in the bike - even relaxed and knee-down through Goddards. The power is plentiful and smoooooooth just wind on the throttle and she flies really hard and deceptively fast. The seating position is comfy and surprisingly spacious - I'm 6' and felt right at home- not cramped like the 09'blade. By the end of the session I was having a great time and wanted to take it home with me and my R1 - KTM said no - dammit!

    30 July 2009

  • tested RC8 and RC8R

    powerj

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I had a go on a RC8 in 2008 when they were first launched . Only did 5miles and took it back --poor gearbox and down on power compared to a Jap 4 . Recently tried a RC8R --what a difference , lots of power , amazing handling , better than a 1098 ( not tried a 1198s yet) . All i need now is to sell my 2008 zx10r

    15 April 2009

Page

Discuss this

Add your comment

There are currently no comments

Most popular

Rate my bike

Related News