India has the most number of two wheelers in the world and Biking in India has been growing at an alarming rate over the past few years, so there are more and more two wheelers being added to the roads every day, and this meant that manufacturers had to step up their game too by launching newer and better models. Over the last few years, our consumers have seen quite a few new motorcycle manufacturers enter the Indian market and they have taken a liking to a few of them, and at the top of this list is Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM.
Bajaj motorcycles bought a small stake in KTM way back in November of 2007 and have now increased their stake in the motorcycle manufacturer, because they discovered that the Indian consumers had taken a liking to the motorcycles made by KTM. KTM launched the Duke 200 in India, back in 2012 and found it to be an instant hit with the crowd because of its streetfighter style design and impressive handling and performance figures, and this was just at the time when the Indian two wheeler scene was just warming up to low capacity, high-performance motorcycles.
Truth be told, the motorcycles from KTM played a huge part in getting many Indians into the performance biking scene, so after the success of the 200 Duke, KTM went one step ahead and launched the KTM Duke 390. The Duke 390 is a motorcycle which offered mind-numbing performance for the price it was offered at, and this made it the perfect choice for the bikers who were looking for a performance motorcycle which allowed them to do loads at a low price.
The Duke 200 and Duke 390 had put KTM up high on the goodwill list of Indian bikers, and so when KTM announced that they would be launching faired versions of the Duke 200 and Duke 390, we could literally feel performance biking enthusiasts across the country leaping in joy and anticipation, and they were all right, it was a motorcycle to be anticipated, it really is that good.
KTM launched the RC 390 in India on the 9th of September, 2014 and has definitely been racking up the bookings ever since. This was the most awaited motorcycle launch of the year 2014, and it turns out that, the KTM RC 390 really was worth all the hype and hullabaloo it had generated.
A majority of the hype generated by the RC 390 was not because it was offering additional performance when compared to the Duke 390, but because of its design features and handling capabilities, and here in this post, we intend to bring to our readers all the details of the motorcycle coupled with detailed pictures of the motorcycle to give our readers an insight into the looks offered by the motorcycle. The KTM RC 390 is a fully faired, low capacity, high performance motorcycle from the KTM stable that ticks all the boxes of a performance biking enthusiast’s requirement in India.
Describing the design of the KTM RC 390 is a bit harder than I thought, because we have never seen a motorcycle like this before in our country. Yes, we do have faired motorcycles, but none of them look as aggressive as the RC 390. Up front, the RC 390 features twin projector headlamps with LED daytime running lights in the shape of a whisker right below them. The headlamp housing sits within a Half mask which is covered by a raked out windscreen. Also defining the design at the front is, the superbike style, mirror mounted turn indicators, which is a first in this segment and one can also see the WP upside-down fork shock absorber neatly holding the short and smug looking front tire hugging mudguard.
Move on to the side of the motorcycle, and it almost looks like a 600cc segment faired motorcycle, as the designers at KTM have not skipped on any of the details which would make the motorcycle look better. The design is not only aesthetically pleasing but is also functional. The fairing neatly integrates the radiator and other liquid cooling system components and also the underbelly exhaust system looks like it is part of the fairing itself! Another major part of the side profile of the motorcycle is, the Trellis frame painted in the signature bright orange color, KTM is known for. The trellis frame contributes to the design of the motorcycle more than any other single component. At the rear, the turn indicators and registration number plate are mounted on a nice looking bracket and the tail lamp is full LED too.
Rider comfort and convenience too is taken care of, by the KTM RC 390. Up front it features a fully digital instrument cluster exactly like that on the Duke 390, but the handle bar is different. While the Duke 390 had a handle bar, the RC 390 gets triple clamp mounted, clip-on handles. The seating on the RC 390 is unlike any other motorcycle ever launched in India before. The pillion seat has been designed in such a way that it does not look like it exists. To a person who does not know this, the RC 390 looks like a single seater motorcycle, but the fact is that the rear seat is shaped like it is a part of the body of the motorcycle and has a textured finish on it that makes it look like a cowl from a distance.
The KTM RC 390 was expected to be one of the best handling motorcycles before it was launched, and boy does it not disappoint here. It definitely is one of the most fun to ride motorcycles out there today, and definitely the best in the segment. The riding posture on the RC 390 is very aggressive, as the rider footpegs have been set back and this coupled with the slightly slant clip-on handle bars gives the rider a posture in which, cornering and scraping the knees on every corner will not be an issue at all. This motorcycle is definitely a corner carver, but there is a downside to this as well, while this position is good for track days, it can sometimes get quite uncomfortable during commutes in traffic.
The RC 390 is powered by the same engine which also powers the duke 390. It is a 373.2cc, single cylinder, liquid cooled, DOHC engine, which has a maximum power output of 43.5 PS and 35 Nm of max torque. The transmission duties are handled by a 6-speed sequential gearbox, and the gear ratios have been rearranged to suit track riding conditions. This engine is capable of taking the RC 390 from 0-100 in under 5 seconds, which is really quick! The speed however can be tamed easily, thanks to the Bybre sourced, ABS equipped brakes.
At Rs. 2.05 Lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) the KTM RC 390 is the only motorcycle on-sale in India today, which offers astonishing performance at such a low-price point, and for this reason, it has got the thumbs-up from thousands of motorcycling enthusiasts, us included!
To read more on KTM RC 390, Click here
Also see – KTM RC 200 & KTM RC 390 launched in India
See more pictures of KTM RC 390: