News 2015 KTM RC 390 Preview | Arrives Stateside in March

2015 KTM RC 390 Preview | Arrives Stateside in March

2015 KTM RC 390

Launched at the 2013 EICMA motorcycle show in Italy, the KTM RC 390 was only slated for the European market. But this all changed Tuesday when the Austrian “Ready to Race” brand reported the RC 390 would arrive in America beginning in March 2015.

The bike, which was launched this past weekend in Italy, will make its stateside debut at the Long Beach International Motorcycle Show in November.

For motorcycle-racing fans, the RC 390 is nothing new. The race version of the bike is currently being used in the German ADAC Junior Cup – a known nurturing series for future Grand Prix racers (Moto3, Moto2, MotoGP).

For the American sport bike fan, though, the bike is relatively unknown. What exactly is it? A sport bike version of KTM’s 390 Duke, which, along with the RC 125 and RC 200, are top sellers in Europe.

The RC 390 will be an immediate threat to the two bikes currently dominating the entry-level sport bike market – the Kawasaki Ninja 300 and the Honda CBR300R.

The RC 390 weights just under 322 lbs., and its 375cc, liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine produces 44 horsepower. Though the Euro-spec numbers, nothing should change when the bike arrives in America. This makes the RC 390 about 10-horsepower more powerful than the Ninja 300, and about 14 more than the CBR300R.

The KTM’s engine is loaded with race technology, including a four-valve cylinder head with DLC coated finger followers, fuel injection, and a dry sump lubrication with dual scavenger pumps. The bike also features a three-way catalytic converter, helping to keep the environment clean.

As for the chassis, the lightweight trellis frame is combined with WP suspension components and a Brembo braking system that includes disengagable ABS. Highlights of the chassis include 43mm upside forks, a 300mm front-disc brake, and racing-sized 110/70ZR17 front and 150/60ZR17 tires.

The RC 390, which like the 390 Duke is built by Baja Auto Ltd. in Indian, which owns a small share of KTM,  also features racing-styled fairings for an aggressive look.

KTM has not released a price as of this writing, but expect it to be around $6,000 – closer to the MSRP of the Honda CBR500R ($6,299). Following are the highlights and specs for the KTM RC 390 (courtesy of KTM):

2015 KTM RC390 Engine:

With a maximum output of 32 kW (44 hp) at 9,500 rpm and a maximum torque of 35 Nm (25.81 ft/lbs) at 7,250 rpm, the liquid-cooled short-stroke engine combines an instantaneous power delivery with great refinement while also delivering a fantastic and lightning-quick response all the way to the red line – the perfect combination for lively racing performance, paired with 100-percent everyday real-world practicality.

In all this, the compact power pack weighs just under 80 lbs., supplying the RC 390 with the best power-to-weight ratio of its class. In addition, the engine benefits from technical delicacies like its four-valve cylinder head, forged piston, DLC coated aluminum followers, forced-feed lubrication with scavenger pumps, three-way catalyst and vertically stacked transmission shafts.

2015 KTM RC390 Chassis:

To create perfect conditions for limitless cornering fun on back roads and race tracks, the engineers gave the new RC 390 an ultra lightweight trellis frame, a diecast alloy swingarm, top quality suspension components made by WP Suspension and further premium components.

Last but not least, the large ground clearance, the slim outline and the sticky tires allow impressive lean angles. This makes the RC 390 perfect for all young and young-at-heart bikers for whom supersport riding enjoyment is the measure of all things.

2015 KTM RC390 Brakes & Wheels:

Developed by KTM in close cooperation with Brembo, this powerful and user friendly braking system ensures undiluted riding enjoyment as well as high safety levels. Breaking away from the competition, KTM underscores its uncompromising commitment to safety with a state-of-the-art ABS as standard in this class as well. The safety package is rounded off with sticky sport tires in ample dimensions on cast aluminum wheels in a ten-spoke design.

2015 KTM RC390 Equipment:

Besides the superior chassis and suspension, the RC 390’s comprehensive high-tech equipment sets new standards in its class. Examples are the fully equipped multi-functional dashboard, the projection headlights and the stainless steel exhaust system with three-chamber silencer and three-way catalyst.

2015 KTM RC390 Bodywork:

Despite the aerodynamic full fairing, the bodywork is distinguished by cleverly combined assemblies and a minimalist, functional style that does not block the view to essential technical components. At the same time, the rider benefits from a well thought-out ergonomic layout for an aggressive riding position that still allows enough freedom of movement to perfect the interaction between rider and machine. Quick shifts of weight, required by a committed riding style in a labyrinth of turns after turn, are easily accomplished on the agile RC 390. The bodywork’s large contact patches support optimum control and transmit some crystal clear feedback from chassis and suspension.

2015 KTM RC 390 Specs:

  • Engine: Single cylinder, 4-stroke 375 cc
  • Bore/Stroke: 89/60 mm
  • Power: 44 hp (32 kW) @ 9,500 rpm; 25.81 ft/lbs of torque (35 Nm) @ 7,250 rpm
  • Compression Ratio: 1:12.5
  • Starter: Electric starter/12V, 8 Ah
  • Transmission: 6 gears
  • EFI: Bosch EFI (throttle body 46 mm)
  • Valve System: 4 V/DOHC
  • Lubrication: Wet sump
  • Engine Oil: Motorex Formula 4T
  • Cooling: Liquid cooling
  • Clutch: Wet multi-disc clutch, mechanically operated Bosch EMS
  • Frame: Steel trellis frame, powder coated Steel
  • Handlebar: Clip-on handlebar
  • Suspension: Front – WP-USD 43mm forks; rear – WP-Monoshock
  • Wheel travel (F/R): 4.9/5.9 inches (125/150 mm)
  • Brakes: Front – Four piston, radially bolted caliper, brake disc 300 mm; Rear – Single piston, floating caliper, brake disc 230 mm
  • ABS (standard): Bosch 9MB Two Channel
  • Wheels: Cast aluminum wheels 3.00 x 17″ front; 4.00 x 17”rear
  • Tires: 110/70 ZR 17 front; 150/60 ZR 17 rear
  • Chain: X-Ring 5/8 x 1/4″
  • Exhaust: Stainless steel silencer with regulated catalytic converter 66.5°
  • Wheelbase: 52.75” (1340 +/-15 mm)
  • Ground Clearance: 7” (178.5 mm)
  • Seat Height: 32.2” (820 mm)
  • Gas Capacity: approx. 2.64 gallons (10 liters)
  • Weight: approx. 321.8 lbs (147 kg) (dry weight)

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.

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