It’s a motorcycle that doesn’t need much of an introduction, to be honest. From riders to tik tokers, it managed to find a fan in almost every Indian and if you aren’t aware, here’s a little history lesson. Back in 2014, KTM had already set the Indian market ablaze with the launch of its rather aggressive track/road machine. Despite its committed ergonomics and glaring drawback, the KTM RC 390 went on to dominate its competitors. Not only did its brutal power delivery chew through anything the competition had to offer but, it had quite the appetite for corners.
However, after seven years of dominance and successfully creating a cult following, the Austrian manufacturer decided its time their little race machine could use an update. It was about time they upped their game and showed the competition who these corners belonged, especially since some of the competition is in-house from its siblings. Allow me to elaborate. You see, the RC 390 is such a thoroughbred machine that the only thing that could beat it was its sibling, the Duke 390.
Not only did the Duke 390 see more frequent updates and improvements over its faired counterpart, but it also improved upon all of the RC 390’s shortcomings whilst still living up to its “Ready To Race” mantra. As it stands, the pyromaniacs at KTM are all set to scorch the Indian automotive market with the launch of their latest iteration of the RC390.
The new KTM RC390 now features a full LED headlamp unit and LED DRL’s instead of the old twin projector setup. Aesthetically the KTM has never had difficulty capturing the hearts and cameras of most Indian buyers. KTM has also improved their ergonomics by offering clip-on handlebars that feature up to 10 mm of height adjustment, hoping that this would create a more personalized riding experience without losing out on overall comfort. The seat now improves over its predecessor by making it thicker for better comfort and changing the outer material with something more weather friendly.
The RC390 produced 43 BHP of power and 35 Nm of torque out of its 373cc single-cylinder motor. Additionally, KTM has revised their engine mapping, added a larger airbox along with a ride by wire system and a new exhaust with an aluminum muffler and stainless steel headers that promises to deliver a throatier symphony.
KTM has introduced other changes like a bigger 13.7-litre fuel tank, larger folding mirrors and a TFT screen for the instrument cluster. KTM has also added new electronic aids such as traction control, cornering abs, a quick-shifter, integration with KTM’s my ride app and a Supermoto ABS mode. Though these wouldn’t be a segment-first (Thanks to its siblings), these are still valuable additions to the RC390’s inventory of goodies.
The new RC390 also features an all-new suspension system with 43 mm WP Apex open cartridge USD forks with 30 clicks of compression and rebound to play with and a revised frame that’s now 1.5 kgs lighter than before. KTM has also made tweaks to the braking system, which now features a 320mm disc in the front and a 230mm disc at the rear for improved braking whilst managing to shed 960 grams of weight. Regarding weight loss, the new wheel design works to cut off 3.4 kgs of unsprung mass to aid its already agile nature.
The KTM RC390 is a motorcycle with many potentials evident to any rider when they go around their first corner. That being said that its poor ergonomic setup for the road was just as prominent and seemed to be the only complaint riders seemed to have. If KTM can manage to overcome its ergonomic challenges whilst keeping its pricing as competitive as their known for, there’s very little that could get in the way of its success streak.