The KTM RC 390 will make heads turn while you clock triple digit speed on open roads or preferably on a race track, where it will feel at home.
Priced at Rs 2,37,790 (on-road, Mumbai), there is nothing at this price point which comes close to the RC 390 offering on par or even close performance, says Faisal Ali Khan of MotorBeam.com.
Rewriting every rule in the book for selling performance bikes in India, the partially Indian-owned KTM is no stranger to accolades and fanaticism from bike enthusiasts in the country. The overwhelming success of the Duke 200 and 390 paved the way for more bike makers to bring in performance products in the country while KTM's affordability factor is matched by none. With the new RC 390 supersport launched late last year, the Austrian bike maker is offering the ultimate track tool that is fast and sharp with outlandish performance lurking behind the new fairing. Does the KTM RC 390 live up to its orange heritage? We find out.
Spot one even from miles away and you know this quirky looking, angular bike with exposed bits is a KTM; such is the impact of the quintessential design of the RC 390. There is absolutely nothing in the market that comes close to the design that the RC 390 possesses which also wins the supersport extra brownie points. The styling is far from understated and everything you see right here from the projector headlamps, exposed Trellis frame to the high tail section commands attention.
The RC 390 has been built with a keen eye and the super sharp angular styling coupled with a white paint job and orange wheels leave a lasting impression on the viewer. The pillion seat demands a special mention that has been ergonomically placed with added cushioning to resemble a cowl. The underbelly exhaust cover though leaves a bit to be desired in terms of finishing. The tyre hugger and sari guard could have also been chucked on the RC 390 in favour of a more clean appearance.
The instrument cluster has been carried over from other KTMs. The tachometer continues to be small so you are better off relying on intuition or going with the sound, instead of looking at the tachometer that is more of a distraction. We would have liked the option of low beam to be on at all times on the KTM RC 390, especially since the bike comes with LED DRL lookalike parking lights, something Kawasaki has been providing on all its bikes.
Coming to the power output, the KTM RC 390 is powered by the extremely capable 373.2cc single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine with fuel injection that belts out a whopping 43.5 PS of power and 35 Nm of torque, paired to a 6-speed gearbox. Performance levels are spot on and there is very little to complain about on that front. The full-faired KTM does the 0-100 km/hr run in 5.68 seconds (5.61 seconds on the Duke 390) despite the added 12 kgs of weight. Power is in abundance in the mid and top range while the top speed recorded on the speedometer stands at 179 km/hr.
That being said, the KTM RC 390 does come with its set of niggles. It is not the ideal bike for city rides amidst stop-and-go traffic with engine overheating issues that still prevail and you also get vibrations that are felt strongly on the foot pegs at higher RPMs. Rider comfort has been compromised in favour of a stiffer suspension set-up in a bid to attain enhanced riding dynamics. Nonetheless, the superlative performance is more than satisfactory, with the RC 390 being super fun around the corners and the sticky Metzeler tyres ensure superior grip at all times. You also get ABS as standard with front and rear discs that keep stopping power in check.
The KTM RC 390 is certainly one of the most feisty bikes around in terms of raw performance; couple that with a stellar price tag and you have a winner at all costs. However, one needs to remember that the RC 390 isn't for everyone. Neither are the looks neutral nor is the performance sedative. What you do get is a supersport bike that will make heads turn while you clock triple digit speed on open roads or preferably on a race track, where it will feel at home.
Priced at Rs 2,37,790 (on-road, Mumbai), there is nothing at this price point which comes close to the RC 390 offering on par or even close performance.