News/ Others/ 990 RC R Prototype Sets Course For KTM's Atonement

990 RC R Prototype Sets Course For KTM's Atonement

Almost 10 years back, KTM’s headman Stefan Pierer pulled the plug on the RC8 - KTM’s only road-legal superbike to grace the streets. Ironically, the firm took this decision because they started believing that litre-class road-legal superbikes have become too powerful for street use and hence, lethal. Such a gentleman move by a bikemaker renowned for some of the meanest machines on the planet, displacement barred, came out as a surprise. The RC8 became elusive and sort of a mystical figure in the motorcycling circles but the demand for a powerful KTM sportbike has never faded. The only motorcycle that came to bridging that wide gaping hole was the limited-edition, track-only RC 8C. But now, KTM is planning to atone for their ‘sin’ as the Austrian bikemaker has announced the production of a new 990 RC R sportbike by unveiling its prototype.

Early 2025 is when we will see its production-spec, pretty face accompanied by a more hardcore track edition. Motorsport fans might be familiar with the strides that KTM is making in the premier class of MotoGP, egging fans even more to manifest a road-legal sportbike by KTM. The 990 RC R, as the name suggests, will be based on the 990 Duke. We can expect a peak power output of 126hp from the LC8c twin of the street naked. The press release by KTM also mentions that for the racer in you, the RC R will also get a six-speed transmission that can be reversed to a race-shift pattern as standard. The steel frame has been engineered for dynamic performance, with increased weight bias towards the front end. It features a dedicated steering head angle of 25 degrees and offset for enhanced steering responsiveness. Beefed-up stiffness gives the right feel and stability under acceleration on bumpy roads or on racetracks while also maintaining agility, especially at low speeds. A diecast aluminum subframe contributes to the ride.

If there were any lingering doubts about the bike's intended purpose, the minimal modifications required for the transition to the KTM 990 RC R TRACK edition should indisputably reinforce its racing pedigree. The prototype will make appearances as a wildcard entry in non-point scoring outings across select European Supersport series’, igniting anticipation among fans.

This is what Riaan Neveling, Head of KTM Global Marketing had to say: “The KTM 990 RC R is a groundbreaking innovation for those who live for the thrill of cornering. It's for those who lean close to the road, almost brushing their knees, and then push the limits, dragging elbow to the tarmac on the racetrack. This bike offers power and prestige without the exorbitant price tag.”

TopGear Magazine June 2024