KTM RC 390 (2022 - on) Review


  • Lighter chassis parts and improve feel boost performance
  • Racy styling
  • Surprisingly versatile

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £200
Power: 44 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.4 in / 824 mm)
Weight: Low (342 lbs / 155 kg)

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Big numbers rule with sportsbike street-cred. The A2-compliant KTM RC 390 middleweight sportsbike changes that with its peppy, 44bhp single cylinder motor, housed in a sharp 155kg lightweight chassis, supplying big fun and surprising pace on both road and track.

Taking on the challenges of the narrow, twisty, and very bumpy roads of the hills above the Ferrari home of Maranello at speed, doesn’t faze the RC 390 one bit.

Even round the tight and demanding Auto di Modena, the KTM copes brilliantly. It kills the myth that you need massive power to generate fun, thrills and speed. Think back to the days of LCs keeping up and beating much bigger capacity rivals and you can understand why the 390 cuts the mustard as well as it does.

Riding the 2022 KTM RC390 on track with knee down

Despite its budget price of £5500 (estimated - the final price hasn't been announced) suggesting otherwise, there’s a quality feel to the Austrian bike. This is not a low spec bit of kit you need to make excuses for. Real attention to detail in its design, and high-spec components make it feel much more expensive and accomplished.

Lighter wheels boost agility, and increased frame flex gives more feel. Riding one is essential to realise just how capable it is. The spec sheet doesn’t tell enough of the story.

This bike’s a real winner in its class, thanks to the quality of its components and electronic package which supplies cornering ABS and traction control. Its rivals can’t match it on both performance and value

Riding the KTM RC390 on the road

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Steering superbly, and with little persuasion, holding a line is a remarkably intuitive event for the precise and agile middleweight.

Suspension quality matches this handling virtue, the WP Apex equipment providing great support, and compliance at both ends – even over knackered Italian roads and flat out on track. Tweaking is easy thanks to accessible adjusters, which lets you fine tune the ride to suit you best.

The Continental ContiSport rubber works well, though its feedback on the edge takes time to fully appreciate. In saying that, polished Italian roads and superhot track temperatures made the task trickier. Over here on grippier routes and in cooler climes, they’ll give you all you need.

No such allowances need to be made when it comes to the brilliant brakes. Both power and feel deserve high scores, with the ByBre calipers challenged less by the KTM’s low 155 kilo weight.

The 2022 KTM RC 390 gets a larger fuel tank for a longer range

Roomier than the previous model thanks to the adjustable bars sitting 10mm further forward, only taller riders might feel their comfort compromised thanks to the relatively high footrests.

It’s not a massive issue and the trade off is huge ground clearance which lower pegs would reduce. The 824mm seat height means most will get their feet on the ground, and though the fairing gives the impression it could only protect midgets, it offers enough protection at a sustained 100mph.

Touring is definitely a possibility on the KTM RC 390, though we can’t vouch for all-day seat comfort just yet.


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Giving the impression it could be the 390’s weak spot, the 373cc single cylinder, Euro-5 compliant motor, with its torque-improving 40% bigger airbox, has way more potency than its configuration and capacity suggest.

OK, the 44bhp maximum it produces when you rev it to 9000rpm doesn’t supply instant stimulation, but its punch and flexibility are useful tools to good progress. Spinning it harder isn’t essential, but the extra pull it gives when you do, make it worthwhile.

It’s not always smooth when caned, and there’s some chattering unless you use lower gears at town speeds. Even so, it revs keenly, fuels perfectly, and delivers spirited pace on demand, helped by the slick quickshifter.

Never intimidating to use, even very hard, the motor’s one of the key reasons the RC feels so friendly and accessible. There’s really involving and rewarding feel from keeping it on song. And thanks to the massive capability of the chassis, using all it’s got feels safe and secure.

Tucked in on the 2022 KTM RC 390 riding at speed on the road

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
3 out of 5 (3/5)

KTMs do have a less than perfect reputation for full reliability, and niggly issues aren’t unknown. Overall though, with its race-proven motor, and classy looking equipment, on the whole you should expect the KTM RC 390 to get you to your destination without any major trauma.

The single-cylinder engine on the KTM RC 390 is now Euro5 compliant

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
5 out of 5 (5/5)

With a spec and level of quality the KTM RC 390 has, it’s expected £5500 asking price when it goes on sale early next year, puts it well ahead of its immediate rivals.

Kawasaki’s Ninja 400, Yamaha’s R3, and Honda’s CBR500R models offer A2 licence-holders alternative options. But they just can’t match the KTM’s equipment levels.

A front end view of the KTM RC 390 showing its headlight


5 out of 5 (5/5)

Build quality and finish look strong and durable, and the TFT dash offers extra class. Suspension control is class-leading, but it’s the electronics package which includes a three-axis IMU to give cornering ABS and traction control that sets the KTM apart.

A view of the top of the KTM RC 390


Engine size 373cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 4v, single
Frame type Tubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity 13.7 litres
Seat height 824mm
Bike weight 155kg
Front suspension 43mm WP forks, adjustable compression and rebound damping
Rear suspension Single WP shock, adjustable preload and rebound damping
Front brake 1 x 320mm disc with four piston Bybre caliper. Cornering ABS
Rear brake 230mm disc with single piston Bybre caliper. Cornering ABS
Front tyre size 110/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 150/60 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax £55
Annual service cost £200
New price -
Used price -
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 44 bhp
Max torque 27 ft-lb
Top speed 110 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range -

Model history & versions

Model history

Originally brought to the market in 2014, the 2017 KTM RC 390 was the first significant upgrade with its ride by wire influenced electronics, and higher overall equipment level.

Other versions


Owners' reviews for the KTM RC390 (2022 - on)

2 owners have reviewed their KTM RC390 (2022 - 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.

Review your KTM RC390 (2022 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Engine: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Equipment: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £200
4 out of 5
20 May 2024 by jimmy Kay

Year: 2023

As an experienced rider coming back to bikes the only thing that lets this bike down is the lack of power, I understand it is to meet A2 requirements but overall, an extra few ponies would just bring the extra urgency this bike really needs.Handling is superb, brakes are great and it looks fantastic in person - get it away from other KTMs, look at it on its own - a really pretty bike. Great deals to be had make this an absolute bargain.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Lovely suspension for UK roads, nimble small bike handling but over-all a big bike feel in terms of touch and comfort.I was suspicious of the single rotor - but the brakes are great at road pace. A bigger rider (like me) will test it on track.

Engine 3 out of 5

Whilst understanding the market this is aimed at a little extra power would have really polished this package off.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Misting screen within first 20 miles :-(Otherwise all good so far

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

got a deal on a year old model, nearly £1K off and very competitive APR - a lot of bike for the money,

Equipment 5 out of 5

great equipment package for the price.

5 out of 5 A great joy to ride.
04 April 2023 by Olivier

Year: 2022

Annual servicing cost: £200

5 out of 5 for shit eating grins and fun factor. The best handling motorcycle I have ever ridden. It’s just barrels of fun.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

It’s a hoot to ride. Stops brilliantly even with my 14 stone onboard.

Engine 5 out of 5

It’s a single 373 cc motorcycle producing 44 bhp. It’s not a litre superbike. Pulls well but tends to chug at low rpm. Use the gearbox.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Not had it long enough. Has quality kit but also some agricultural bits.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

First service was an eye watering 200 quid which I thought very expensive.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Great spec. Dash does show some moisture though.

Buying experience: Good experience from Premierbikes.

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