KTM RC 8C – First Look

KTM RC 8C – First Look


As sharp as it gets, the KTM RC 8C is ready to rock some lap records in 2023.

We love a bit of exclusivity here at SBI, and there’s hardly anything on the market that screams “special” like the KTM RC 8C.

Bought out at the beginning of this year, the RC 8C has already come under the microscope by KTM and their German commercial and technical partners, Kramer, to create an even sharper track tool.

KTM RC 8C – First Look

Limited to just 200 examples worldwide, the RC 8C will set you back a handsome $39,599 and it’s more than just a lick of paint for 2023.

Resplendent in stunning matte black bodywork that offsets the orange tubular steel frame perfectly, the RC 8C uses a revised version of the 889 cc, eight-valve, parallel twin-cylinder motor that was originally developed for the 890 Duke R. New titanium conrods, inlet and exhaust valves, a higher compression ratio, new airbox and new two-ring pistons have been fitted, and a new titanium exhaust from Akrapovic saves a claimed 2.2 pounds.

Throttle bodies have been increased in diameter from 46 mm to 48 mm, and the clutch — complete with increased clutch preload and harder springs — is now smaller and lighter with an aim for better lubrication and cooling.

As for the chassis itself, you’ve still got the bones of tubular steel present, as is the steering head that can be moved by one degree in each direction. The swingarm remains unchanged but the suspension itself has been revised. Running a WP APEX PRO 7643 closed cartridge 43 mm fork and WP APEX PRO 7746 shock, KTM and WP have made the base settings softer to allow for more pitch under braking and to have a more compliant ride over rough track surfaces.

KTM RC 8C – First Look

The fork, running with rebound on the right fork leg and compression on the left leg, is the lightest fork WP makes and is designed purely for racing. Paired with the WP APEX PRO 7117 steering damper that can be adjusted up to 30 clicks, you’ve got some very sharp tools at your disposal.

Hauling the RC 8C is a similarly high-spec braking system. Brembo provides the exquisite Brembo 19RCS Corsa Corta master cylinder with three-way adjustable for different bite points, with Brembo Stylema four-piston calipers clamping down in twin 290 mm Moto Master discs. A two-piston Brembo caliper clamping a 230 mm disc takes care of the back-end duties.

The electronics consist of two throttle maps (PW1 for full house power and PW2 for softer throttle settings), while traction control has nine different settings. The engine brake control comes in two stages, there’s an up-and-down quick shifter, a revamped dashboard with GPS data-logger, and the dash handlebar switches are now taken straight from Brad Binder’s RC16 MotoGP weapon.

Finally, the aero has been tweaked to give more downforce for better braking and acceleration stability.

KTM RC 8C – First Look

Now, if you’re in the market for an RC 8C, you better be quick. There are only 200 and KTM will be hosting a special track day at the Valencia MotoGP circuit, in which select first-come, first-served customers will get the chance to ride their new bike on track while being tutored by former (unnamed) MotoGP racers. Once in Spain, accommodation, food, and bike transportation logistics from Austria to Spain and then to local dealers are all taken care of.

Sounds almost too good to be true, right? This is one of those rare occasions where the truth outshines fiction.


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