Moto2-Inspired Chassis with 889cc Twin-Cylinder LC8 Engineby Harry Fisher, on
There are many KTM fans out there who lament the disappearance of the RC8 superbike from KTM’s catalogue. Now, KTM has revealed the track-only RC 8C model, using a chassis based on the Moto2 chassis from 2019 and the LC8 parallel twin engine from the 890 Duke R. 140bhp and 308lbs, suspended by WP APEX PRO suspension will give sparkling performance and razor-sharp handling, reigned in by race-spec brembo brake calipers. Does it signal a return to road-legal superbikes for the Austrian firm?
Moto2-Chassis’ed RC 8C For Track Only!
While KTM has been playing in the naked super sports bike market recently with the 890 and 1290 Super Duke models, there are many people who lament the disappearance of the RC8 superbike, as uncompromising as it was.
Well, now it seems as if that disappointment has been partly eased with the launch of the limited edition RC 8C. It is a track-only machine but could it form the basis of a return to the faired sports bike arena?
Excellent Power-To-Weight Ratio
The RC 8C has been inspired by the 2019 Moto2 chassis and uses the LC8 parallel twin engine from the 890 Duke R. In this guise, the engine produces 128bhp and that, when fitted in a chassis that gives an overall weight of 308lbs, gives it an impressive power-to-weight ratio that, along with razor-sharp handling, should enable owners to keep up with more powerful ‘competitors’ at track days.
You’ll have to be quick, however, as only 100 examples are to be built. No pricing has been revealed but don’t expect it to be cheap.
While track-only models are in vogue at the moment - Yamaha’s R6 is now track-only, as are Aprilia’s Trofeo versions of the RS660 and RSV4 - fans of the old RC8 might be a bit frustrated that the RC 8C is not the long-awaited road-legal model they have been waiting for.
Is KTM Planning a Road-Legal Superbike?
However, given that the Moto2 chassis was designed around the Triumph 765 triple-cylinder engine, it would have taken quite a bit of work to modify it for the LC8 parallel twin and you have to wonder if KTM would have gone to all that trouble simply for a limited production model. The appearance of the the new Yamaha R7, using the engine out of the MT-07, is pointing the way to a new breed of super sport road-going models. Can KTM resist the temptation to follow suit with an 890 Duke R-engined model for mainstream consumption?
Why not go the whole hog and bring out a Duke 1290R-engined superbike? Given that the RC8 was built to enable KTM to enter World Superbike racing - which came to nothing following to rule changes - is it out of the question for the Austrian company to build on its MotoGP success and bring out a superbike? Only time will tell what KTM’s intentions are.