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.
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.
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.
£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.
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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.