IMS Motorcycle Choice Award
Seen it all before? Well with that in mind, we setout to bring you only the very best or should we say the “Ultimate” from the 28th annual International Motorcycle Show.
Yes, we have shifted through the “has been” and the obvious in order to serve you, our discerning readers, the interesting and the “what’s hot” from the 13-city motorcycle extravaganza.
Our choice award in the category of "Superbike" goes to the 2009 KTM 1190 RC8. Austrian based KTM has broken new ground, by entering a new market segment, with the ambitious launch of the striking 1190 RC8. The sleek angular look of the RC8 reminds me not only of the F-117 stealth ground attack aircraft but also of what it can do so impalpably. Early intelligence reports validate that this machine is truly quality-crafted for the track/race minded rider… similarly as KTM has so consistently done for their off-road customers.
Although headquartered closer to the German border, influence for the RC8 appears to be of more Italian descent. The new 1148cc 75-degree V-twin engine (Aprilia 60 and Ducati 90-degree V-twin) produces 153 hp and 89 lb-ft of usable linear power: effectively delivering the power to the ground. The super-light chromium-molybdenum trellis frame together with adaptable ergonomics, adjustable WP suspension and claimed record-low “ready to race” weight, position the RC8 to be a less-demanding to ride competitor near the very top of the class.
Other interesting features include the compact multifunction display, advanced motor management, mirror-integrated turn signals, stealthy under-slung exhaust and class-standard Brembo brakes. Early reports of gear-selector idiosyncrasies have been addressed with a new shifting star. An extensive laundry list of KTM Power Parts from racing exhaust to carbon fiber everything provides racers with many upgrade options.
For 2009, the limited-edition KTM 1190 RC8 will only be available through the KTM Priority Delivery Deposit Program. To purchase the limited-edition 2009 KTM 1190 RC8 visit your local KTM dealer to put down your deposit. Appearently, the program is only available through December 31, 2008. MSRP is $19,498.