KTM RC8R (2011-on) Review

Published: 02 December 2010

"More power, better fuelling with the same stunning looks and responsive handling"

KTM RC8R

"More power, better fuelling with the same stunning looks and responsive handling"

  • At a glance
  • 1195cc  -  175 bhp
  • 29 mpg  -  106 miles range
  • Medium seat height (805mm)
  • £13,499

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

KTM have listened to the criticism of poor fuelling and harsh throttle response and come up with a heavily revised package for 2011. More power, better fuelling with the same stunning looks and responsive handling. No electronic rider aids make it rewarding and engaging to ride either on or off the track.

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

Because it’s the ‘R’ model it’s loaded with top of the range components ranging from Marchesini wheels, Brembo brakes and WP suspension. This combines to give a plush yet highly responsive riding experience. Footrests, seat height and handlebars are also adjustable to suit. Manoeuvrability of a 600 with close to 1000cc power.

 

Engine 4 out of 5

New twin spark technology (two spark plugs per cylinder) give better fuelling and improved cam timing which makes power delivery smooth. Heavier flywheel helps in this area too. KTM are claiming 175bhp at the crank and because it’s a v-twin it’s still easy to ride and deceptively fast. 

 

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

The styling and quality of finish on the latest KTM’s is impressive. The RC8R engine is KTM’s base engine which is proven to be reliable although currently untested in this new more powerful guise.

 

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

£12,695 remains a lot of money for any bike, but the RC8R represents Superbike exotica at around the same price you’ll pay for a 1000cc Japanese four. Stunning to look at and packed with high quality components it’s a genuine alternative to an 1198, RSV4 or S1000RR. Find a KTM RC8R for sale.

Insurance group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

Compared to it’s 1000cc and 1200cc rivals the KTM is devoid of any electronic rider aids. Due to the sweet chassis and refined power characteristics the KTM doesn’t need rider aids but it’s in a market where they are becoming ever more prominent and sophisticated. Compare and buy parts for the KTM RC8R in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

3 owners have reviewed their KTM RC8R (2011-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

As great to ride as it is to look at

04 November 2011 by pumpkinescobar

I hired a 2011 RC8R for a trackday at Snetterton recently and thought I'd share a few comments. When I first pulled out of the pits I couldn't believe I was riding a twin, it was so smooth and the power delivery wasn't lumpy at all. I've honestly... Read more never felt more at home on a bike, even though I'm 6'3" it was comfortable and roomy. Despite the fact it was raining most of the day the RC gave me the confidence to push harder and harder with each lap. It didn't put a foot wrong and even when I messed things up (slight lockup of the back when I changed down a gear too many), it never felt out of control. It's probably not as quick as a Jap IL4 in a straight line, but it's got so much grunt out of the corners you'll be having too much fun to care. My only gripe about it is the gearbox, I'm used to a slick and smooth Honda, but this was clunky and at times a little frustrating. It's probably just the case that I needed to get used to it, but I found myself wishing for a quickshifter. In summary, stunning to look at, stunning to ride, bags of personality and it makes you feel special. What more do you want in a bike? I'm saving up already.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

This is the bike

02 August 2011 by chriswren

OK, if you can only have one bike this is it, it is that good. I love this bike cause it is just so easy to ride, it is like a sexy Fireblade twin. It just feels nice to ride and own and happy to pile on the miles. 5 track days and 3000 fun... Read more miles since April with many more lined up. Comparing this to other recent bikes Fireblade, 999s, MV Agusta F4, 1198 this is the one that I have kept and abused. Might not be the fastest on paper but I am faster on it, I feel confident to push it further than the others and I get a great deal of feedback and know I don't have to worry about what it is going to do. Some may question why I have rated equipment as 5/5, when it doesn't have all the latest gadgets, well it has everything it needs to be a great bike. If your in the market for a supersports for fast road, track and loading up with luggage then this is the bike. The only thing I don't recommend it for is going two's up.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

King Twin

12 July 2011 by James525

Superb twin, power everywhere, no trick gadgets, just predictable handling. I replaced a ZX10-R 2008 with this and the technology gap was so wide I couldn't believe the enhancements. My riding improved, my abilities improved. Race parts, race... Read more performance - high recommended. In line 4 converted to the Twin King!

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 3 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2011
Year discontinued -
New price £13,499
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 175 bhp
Max torque 94 ft-lb
Top speed 186 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 29 mpg
Tank range 106 miles
Specification
Engine size 1195cc
Engine type 2 cylinder 75 degree four stroke 6 gears
Frame type Chromium-Molybdenium trellis
Fuel capacity 16.5 litres
Seat height 805mm
Bike weight 184kg
Front suspension WP 43mm upside down forks
Rear suspension WP rear suspension 4014VP
Front brake Brembo four piston calliper – 2 x 320mm discs
Rear brake Brembo twin piston calliper
Front tyre size 120/70 ZR 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 ZR 17

History & Versions

Model history

KTM RC8 launched 2008.
KTM RC8R launched 2009.
Updated RC8R launched in 2011.

Other versions

KTM RC8 - lower spec version.

Photo Gallery

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