News 2011 KTM RC8 R | Preview

2011 KTM RC8 R | Preview

2011 KTM Superbike

Although known for their accomplishments in the realm of off-road, KTM has created an impressive stable of road going motorcycles as well.

The big bore KTM bikes all use the signature 75-degree V-twin powerplant, giving the Austrian motorcycles the linear, smooth power delivery inherent with a V-twin configuration and a distinct exhaust note on par with the Ducati.

The 2011 KTM superbike mount is the RC8 R. The bike stands out with its bright orange powder-coated chromoly tubular trellis frame, which utilizes the engine as a stress member.

The RC8 R 1190 is rated at 1195cc displacement with the 105mmx69mm Bore/stroke engine producing 175 horsepower (5 more over 2010) and 93.7 ft-lbs of torque (compared to 90.7 ft-lbs over last year).

The KTM crankshaft has updated mass distribution for smoother performance and the new dual spark plug ignition improves combustion. The camshafts are designed to allow valve adjustments suited to racing modifications, increasing the range of tuning. Revised fuel mapping is designed to work with the new engine mods.

For 2011 KTM has redesigned the six-speed gearbox for smoother, more precise gear changes married to a new shift linkage for better feel. An anti-hopping clutch provides smooth downshift on corner entry, matching rear wheel speed to engine revs to keep the rear tire in contact with the pavement.

The RC8 R is fitted with fully adjustable 43mm USD WP forks (inner tubes are coated with TiAIN to reduce stiction and provide smooth travel). The fully adjustable WP rear shock also has the TiAIN coating to deliver smooth action through the full range of travel of the shock. The shock provides 12mm of ride height adjustment to tailor to the rider.

Naturally KTM chooses industry leading Brembo brake components for the RC8 R. The front calipers are monobloc radially mounted units that provide for precise grab with minimal vibration at race speeds under severe loads. Wheels are superlight, forged 17 Marchesini spoke units fitted with Dunlop Sportmax SportMart motorcycle tires.

All accents on the 2011 KTM RC8 R reflect attention to detail, from the stainless steel “underfloor” silencer with heat-coated header pipe to the trick carbon front fender. From the cockpit the CNC machined triple clamp augments the compact dash panel. Bodywork has a distinctive wedged design flow and is finished in stylish new graphics.

The RC8 R superbike has a wide range of adjustability that allows the rider to tailor the bike to their individual size, shape, and desires, starting with two handlebar and footpeg settings while the rear subframe allows for a range of seat heights. The clutch and brake levers are adjustment, as are the rear brake pedal and shift lever.

Rear stand spools and quick change license plate and turn signal assemblies make conversion to a track day machine an easy operation. Dry weight of the RC8 R is 401.2 pounds, making it an extremely light and maneuverable motorcycle. The KTM superbike package is topped off with an electronically coded key as theft deterrent.

The MSRP is not yet published but the 2011 1190 RC8 R will be available in January.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

Harley-Davidson Tremont Shoes Review: Urban Motorcycle Footwear

In the on-going debate over how much protection is enough, the correct answer for each of us comes from within. Some riders would never...

2021 Langen Two Stroke First Look: Street-Legal V-Twin!

If you thought we’d never see another street-legal two-stroke sportbike, you’re not alone. There hasn’t been a full-size two-stroke motorcycle for the street in...

2021 Indian Springfield Lineup First Look (5 Fast Facts)

There are two motorcycles in the 2021 Indian Springfield lineup, with the standard Springfield focused on longer-distance touring, and the Springfield Dark Horse pulling...

2021 BMW R 18 Review (19 Fast Facts on the First Edition)

Over a year after its concept debut, the 2021 BMW R 18 has made its way to production. Much has been written about its...

2021 Honda CRF450R Review (12 First Ride Fast Facts from Glen Helen)

The 2021 Honda CRF450R is all-new for 2021. The entirely new chassis, bodywork, exhaust, and hydraulic clutch highlight the changes to the CRF450R. Add to...

Arai Spoiler EX2 for the Corsair-X Helmet First Look

The Arai Corsair-X is the Japanese company’s flagship helmet and intended for riders of the highest performance motorcycle. MotoGP racers Maverick Viñales of Monster...