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KTM RC390R: 'Ultimate A2-licence bike almost worth the money'

Published: 07 August 2018

KTM’s £7699 RC390R is the ultimate A2-spec bike – if any new riders have the cash to ride one, says MCN Road Tester Bruce Dunn.

"Based on the popular 44bhp single-cylinder race rep, the R is the homologation special version of the stock £5199 road bike and has been graced with a number of chassis and suspension upgrades in order to make the bike more competitive Supersport 300 racing.

"Although as the engine remains completely standard, the R model is still completely A2-licence compatible and road legal. The Austrian factory will be making just 250 to meet FIM homologation requirements, of which just 35 are expected to come to the UK.

"The R model features top-spec fully adjustable WP suspension which has been purpose built for the RC390R and new forks and shock allow the bike to be ridden more aggressively in order to maximize corner speed on track.

KTM RC390R

"The range and quality of damping is excellent, and everything is completely adjustable to suit all conditions and types of track.

"Another chassis change to benefit racers is the addition of clip-on handlebars. Whereas the standard bike has bars that slot straight into a cast top yoke, the R has traditional clip-ons, which clamp onto the fork legs and sit beneath an attractive new machined yoke.

"It was a blast when we tested it at Salzburgring. It carries loads of corner speed and trail-braking is easy. The suspension is impressive and the bike remains settled and able to achieve impressive rates of turn until it's time to pick up the throttle.

"There’s no getting away from the fact that the RC390R is much better, offering superior ride quality and adjustability, added to the exclusivity that will no doubt be something for collectors, as it stands the RC390R will only be available in limited numbers in the UK, which is just as well, considering the price."

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