Track-only KTM RC 8C goes on a diet and gains more power for 2023

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KTM are aiming for faster lap times and greater control with their 2023 KTM RC 8C, which boasts seven more horsepower, upgraded electronics, and more weight-saving solutions.

The track-only sportsbike is powered by the engine from the 890 Duke R, and has received internal upgrades including titanium valves and a higher compression ratio.

As before, KTM joined forces with Krämer Motorcycles for fabrication, who also produce their own GP2-R using the same engine, which is eligible to compete in the British GP2 championship.

In addition to titanium valves, the 889cc parallel twin has also been fitted with titanium conrods as well as two piston rings to refine the oscillating masses and higher compression ratios.

Combined with a larger 48mm throttle body and a bolstered fuel pump and higher fuel pressure, KTM say the 2023 version produces 135bhp at 11,000rpm with maximum torque of 72.3lbft at 8250rpm. The engine redlines at 12,000rpm.

Both the cylinder head ports, and the combustion chamber are machined while a redesigned airbox and twin filter is said to maximise throttle response and engine breathability, too.  

Added engine durability has been achieved by increasing the clutch preload, removing the top balancer, and adjusting the crankcase balancer shaft, while an extra Pankl oil cooler helps to keep things at the right operating temperatures.

Power is transmitted to the rear wheel via a slipper clutch and a six-speed gearbox. KTM also say a rider can effectively pull the clutch lever with just a little finger on the move too, but this is less important when you discover the inclusion of a quickshifter.

Away from the motor, Dymag aluminium forged 17in rims contact the track via Pirelli Diablo Superbike slicks. You get a 120 at the front and a 180 at the rear, which can then be upgraded to a 200.

The use of titanium continues with the Akrapovic race exhaust too, which features a carbon silencer cap and, when combined, the weight-saving measures result in a dry-weight of just 142kg.

Damping comes from fully adjustable 43mm upside-down, WP Apex Pro 7543 closed cartridge forks at the front while the WP Apex 7746 shock brings up the rear – also compression, rebound and length adjustable.

Elsewhere, the rider also gets adjustable handlebars and foot pegs while the steering head and triple clamp offset can be altered to allow for faster turn-ins. That all important track data can also be stored via the 5-inch TFT, AIM MXS 1.2 race dashboard, too.

Even the 16-litre fuel tank has racing in mind as it is integrated into the rear subframe for better weight distribution. The tank itself can also be quickly drained via a ‘click’ on the fuel line to allow accurate fuel use measurements, which is important for racing.

Just 200 RC 8C models will be produced which will retail at £34,999, For more information visit

KTM RC 8C offers an orange slice of the GP action

First published July 20, 2021 by Jordan Gibbons

KTM have taken their ‘ready to race’ motto to a whole new level with the RC 8C – a carbon-kevlar clad racing machine powered by the engine from the 890 Duke R naked.

Developed with Krämer Motorcycles, as well as the KTM Factory Racing team, the RC 8C is designed to be out-of-the-box fast and give amateurs the GP experience, without a pit crew behind you to do all the work.

Every element has been designed with trackdays and racing in mind, from the quick-release body work to the bespoke crash protection.

A rear view of the KTM RC 8C

At the heart of the bike is the 899cc parallel twin from the 890 Duke R, which puts out 126bhp and 74.5lb.ft of torque. There’s a new air intake for improved throttle response and a custom exhaust (with quiet baffle if needed) but other than that, the motor is stock to make servicing simple.

The engine sits inside a hand built steel frame, itself wrapped in GP-inspired bodywork complete with aerodynamic wings. Chassis components are top-notch including Dymag UP7X forged alloy wheels, Pirelli Diablo Superbike slicks, fully adjustable WP Apex Pro 7543 forks and an Apex Pro 7746 shock. It comes with racing-spec Brembo brakes including the 19RCS Corsa Corta master cylinder that allows riders to tailor their exact bite point, just like on a GP machine.

The bike ships with AIM MXS 1.2 Race electronics that give access to more data than you can imagine – both through the 5in dash and when hooked up to your laptop.

So what’s the price of all this loveliness? We can’t soften this so we’ll just say it: £30,999 plus extra for the ‘Race’ and ‘Trackday’ packages, which are TBC. KTM are only making 100 of the new model and if you were hoping to get your hands on one you’re probably out of luck as they sold out in just five minutes!

Watch MCN’s KTM 890 Duke R video review below: