Wednesday, February 11, 2009

KTM RC8 R riding impression


2009 KTM RC8 R: 170 horsepower, killer looks, ready to race right now!

Pics: Fast Bikes

The guys at Fast Bikes recently had the opportunity to ride the brand-new KTM RC8 R at the Portimao circuit in Portugal. Here are some excerpts from what they have to say about the bike:

The 2009 R-model RC8 has many changes over the 2009 RC8, including new pistons, an orange painted frame (instead of the older model’s black) and a super delicious black-white-orange colour scheme. In response to feedback from owners and journalists, KTM have paid a great deal of attention to fine-tuning the bike’s fuel injection system and making the six-speed gearbox slicker and smoother. A new oil cooler has also been added to optimise engine cooling in extreme conditions.

While the basic RC8 makes around 155bhp and 120Nm of torque, the R-model packs 170 horsepower at 10,250rpm and 123Nm of torque at 8,000rpm. The compression ratio has also been increased from 12.5:1 to 13.5:1. The light and strong chrome-molybdenum lattice frame remains as before, as does the aluminium swingarm.


This is one Austrian you don't want to mess with...

The Brembo brakes on the RC8 R are just wonderful – we must thank KTM for choosing these brakes! The twin 320mm discs at front, with their radial-mount four-piston callipers are just wonderfully efficient, while the reworked gearbox smooth and precise – no more missed shifts, ever. The RC8 R’s engine isn’t exactly very smooth, but the vibes are almost charming – we like the engine’s character – and there is plenty of torque from low down in the rev range. We think KTM have done a good job of optimising the RC8’s fuel injection system and the bike now works much better, especially at lower revs.

Coming to the suspension, the RC8 R’s WP 43mm USD fork worked very well on the glassy-smooth surface of the Portimao circuit. The fork offers multi-adjustable compression and rebound damping, so most riders should be able to find a setting that works for them. The KTM's fully adjustable rear shock also offers ride height adjustment, which, again, is a good thing.

The RC8 R has a spacious riding position and its adjustable foot and hand controls allow you to tweak the ergonomics to suit your requirements. You can also choose between ‘road’ and ‘race’ modes on the bike, with the instrument panel’s display changing accordingly. The digital panel’s contrast setting even changes automatically to adjust to the ambient brightness.

So, who exactly is the RC8 R meant for? We would say it’s primarily for those who would sacrifice comfort for a heavy dose of all-out performance. As you would expect, the bike’s ergonomics are more suited to the track rather than the street, but then you wouldn’t buy a KTM RC8 R to go touring on anyway…

Visit the Fast Bikes website here for the full article

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