Significant Updates For the Baby Sports Bikesby Harry Fisher, on LISTEN 03:47
KTM’s RC390 and RC125 have always punched well above their weight. Now, for 2022, both bikes receive significant upgrades, gaining new chassis and shedding a lot of weight along the way. Revised styling and, on the RC390, a full suite of electronics.
2022 KTM RC Models Raise the Bar
KTM has revealed details of the latest RC390and RC125 models and there’s a lot to talk about. They’ve always punched above their weight and now they are better than ever, with a lot of weight shaved off, MotoGP-inspired styling and, on the RC390, a full suite of electronics.
Holding it all up is a brand new chassis, incorporating a new, stiffer, frame, subframe and super-lightweight wheels and tyres to sharpen up the already impressive handling.
The new frame saves 1.5kg and the wheels a whopping 3.4kg of unsprung weight, while the ByBre brake calipers have lost about a kilogram in total. Almost everything on the bike has been on a diet, with even the foot pegs and handlebars being lighter.
The bodywork is all-new as well. Clearly inspired by the KTM MotoGP bikes in its lines and graphics, the fairing sports a headlight that resembles those fitted to other models in the KTM range. Designed using CFD processes, it is claimed to be more aerodynamic and now easier to remove and refit thanks to new fasteners and clips.
Uprated WP APEX suspension is fitted front and rear on both bikes. On the RC125, the front forks have been re-tuned for a sportier feel while the RC390 gets upside-down front forks which are fully adjustable for compression and rebound while the rear shock comes with pre-load adjustment and five-click rebound settings.
The biggest headache for manufacturers at the moment is conforming to the latest Euro5 emissions regulations without strangling the engines. Both new models continue with water-cooled, single-cylinder engines, featuring twin camshafts, four valves and electronic fuel injection. While power remains the same, torque has risen slightly.
The real talking point, however, is the electronics suite fitted to the RC390. Not to put it too finely, the RC390 will become the most technologically sophisticated bikes in its class, with systems normally found on much larger and more expensive models. Expect an ABS system that can be turned to Supermoto mode, which disables the rear wheel ABS allowing the rear wheel to slide entering corners while keeping it active at the front, while at the same time, rear wheel lift-up detection is disabled allowing the rear wheel to lift up while keeping front brake pressure on until front wheel slip is detected, at which point ABS will intervene.
There is also cornering traction control and an optional quick-shifter. Coordinating all this is a new TFT dash, which is customisable to give you the information you want. it is also fully connectivity-activated to your smart phone.
In short, this is the most sophisticated sub-500cc bike on the planet.
If there was ever any doubt that small could not only be beautiful but also brilliant as either a learner-friendly bike with big bike looks or a surprisingly fast and completely competent mini super bike.
For more information, head to the official KTM website here