Oh my goodness, look what we’ve got here. It’s the race bike we’ve been begging KTM to build for years. The the KTM RC 8C and it’s a real dreamboat. It’s been built ‘ready to race’ in partnership with Krämer Motorcycles, around the 890 Duke R engine, but with a dedicated track-focused chassis, Dymag wheels, quick release bodywork, a full-factory AIM dash and datalogger, an Akrapovič exhaust and plenty more.
You can tell a lot of thought has gone into making this bike the perfect track bike, and not just because of its performance figures (we’ll get to them shortly). The GRP Carbon-Kevlar reinforced fairings are all ‘quick-release’ and so are the Dymag wheels.
Out the crate, the KTM RC 8C comes with crash protection because, let’s face it, crashing’s a necessary evil when you’re trying to find the limit on track; the kids at KTM obviously know that! And when they say crash protection, they don’t just mean a couple of mushrooms hanging out the fairings. There are crash pads on the frame, forks and swingarm. There’s integrated crash protection behind the footpegs. You get protection on the rear of the swingarm and on both sides of the fuel tank. That’s nearly every base covered. I bet I know someone that could write one off though. Guilty!
And for the trackday icing on the cake, the KTM RC 8C comes with a full-factory AIM MXS 1.2 RACE dashboard with an integrated GPS datalogger. If that doesn’t give you wood, I don’t know what will. It’s controlled by a 5” TFT display that can be fully personalised. Once you’ve downloaded AIM Race Studio you can analyse track speed, track position, lap times, throttle position, RPM, gear, acceleration and deceleration. It’ll also give you all your engine stats like water temp, battery voltage, ECU mode and oil pressure.
The engine in the KTM RC 8C is the exact same torquey little motor in the 890 Duke R. They haven’t really done anything to the engine internally (don’t fix it if it’s not broken), but it does have a new intake and exhaust. It’s got a brand new airbox and filter, developed by Twin Air, which maximises the ram-air effect and throttle response. The new stainless steel exhaust, built by Krämer Motorcycles, has a sexy Titanium Akrapovič end-can hanging off it.
The 889cc LC8 engine makes 128bhp and 101Nm of torque. That might not seem staggeringly powerful, but weighing only 140kg, it’ll certainly shift.
Chassis and suspenders
Yep, it’s WP suspension all round, as you might expect, and it is of course fully adjustable. The WP APEX PRO 7543 close cartridge forks have been developed for racing, and racing alone. The design means rebound and compression damping can be easily adjusted at the top of the fork legs.
The WP APEX PRO shock is also as adjustable as you’d expect with preload, high and low speed compression and rebound damping all able to be faffed with.
In fact KTM have built a shed load of adjustability into the RC 8C. As well as the adjustable suspension, the steering head angle is adjustable, as is the fork offset, the seat height and the front brake lever.
Which leads me onto the brakes. Surprise, surprise, the RC 8C comes with the best callipers in the business, Brembo Stylemas with 290mm fully-floating discs. You get a two pot Brembo calliper on the back, too. And let’s not overlook the Brembo 19RCS CORSA CORTA radial master cylinder. It’s adjustable and, according to KTM “features a host of innovations and technical solutions adopted directly from MotoGP”. Well lar-de-dar!
MotoGP nerds will also like the aero wings, and no-doubt the fuel tank, too. Rather than being where a fuel tank normally is, the RC 8C has a 16litre fuel cell integrated into the seat unit. The lower the fuel, the better, and by stashing the fuel under the seat, they’ve got it lovely and low. Very MotoGP. It’s also got a dry-break connector, so you can drain the fuel after every session/race to help you measure your precise fuel consumption per lap. Every little helps.
The frame is made out of lightweight, ultra-stiff ChroMoly steel and designed specifically for the track.
Where do I sign?
Well if you’ve got £30,999, KTM will sell you an RC 8C; if you’re quick. Because they’re only making 100 of them. They’ll be available for pre-order from 22nd July 2021 at 3pm UK time. And I’m guessing they’ll be sold out very soon after.
If you’re loaded and you want the full on KTM MotoGP experience, there’s also the opportunity to join the Red Bull Factory Racing test team at a one off event at Jerez. But you’ll have to be double quick for that; there are only 25 places on the day. Just imagine, you’d be able to show Dani Pedrosa and Mika Kallio the way round on your new RC 8C.
Production bike or prototype?
It’s not a full on production bike, of course it’s not. With only 100 units worldwide, it’s not even close. And that’s a real shame, because I really like the sound of this new weapon. But with any prototype, there’s always an element of planning for the future. And if you ask me, KTM are putting far too much into their many racing projects, not to have an out-an-out sportsbike in full production. Knowing KTM, this might just be the test bed for a production based superbike in the near future. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
In the meantime, if anyone out there manages to get hold of a KTM RC 8C, can we be mates?