You Want a KTM Superbike? It Might Just Be Coming

Spy shots reveal new faired sports bike in development

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After the excitement around the track-only KTM RC 8C came disappointment that the Austrian manufacturer wasn’t making a road-going version. That may be about to change.

KTM Spotted Testing a Road-Going Version of the Track-Only RC 8C

You Want a KTM Superbike? It Might Just Be Coming
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KTM RC 8C
Track-only, limited to 100 units: left a lot of KTM fans frustrated

If there’s one class of motorcycling that KTM has ignored since the demise of the RC8of 2008 - 2015, it is the faired sports bike class. It’s easy to see their logic: such bikes are uncompromising in many ways and not everyone can ride them to their full potential, whereas naked sports bike, such as the 1290 Super Duke are far more accessible, if no less potent.

Nevertheless, when KTM recently announced the track-only RC 8C, an 890R engine in a bespoke chassis and limited to 100 examples, there were general cries of anguish that KTM hadn’t returned to the road-going sports bike arena.

You Want a KTM Superbike? It Might Just Be Coming
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KTM 1190 RC8
KTM’s first superbike, last seen in 2015. Since then, there’s been only naked sports bikes from Austria

Well, all that might be about to change, if spy shots published on German website Motorrad are to be believed. While we can’t publish the shots, you can head there yourself to look at them and we can give you the salient details here.

It appears that, while the new model won’t be as bespoke as the RC 8C, neither will it be an 890 Duke with some body panels slapped on. The frame and swing arm look similar to the 890 Duke but has been beefed up, while stopping short of the Moto2-inspired frame of the RC 8C, which would have been too expensive to replicate in series production.

You Want a KTM Superbike? It Might Just Be Coming
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KTM 890 Duke R
Likely to be the basis for the new model

Looking closer, the radiator seems to be larger behind the fairing panels, which are finished in matt black which make it difficult, but not impossible to define the final shape, if they are representative of that. The handlebars look to be higher than you might expect on a sports bike, suggesting a riding position more akin to the Ducati Supersport 950. But all this could be simply putting a fairing on an 890 Duke to assess airflow and cooling before nailing down the final appearance. The headlight looks like it is the twin units that were seen on the RC125 and RC390 a generation ago.

You Want a KTM Superbike? It Might Just Be Coming
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KTM RC390
Test mule uses headlights from this bike. We hope they change for the production model

For now, all we have to go on is these spy shots and neither is there likely to be anything more at EICMA as KTM, surprisingly, will not be there. But, as this will be a highly anticipated model, don’t expect KTM to delay too long in announcing its arrival.

Harry Fisher
Harry Fisher
Motorcycling Contributor
Born and raised in England, he has lived in South Africa with his family since 2002. Harry has owned examples of Triumph, Norton, BSA, MV Agusta, Honda, BMW, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Kawasaki and Moto Morini motorcycles. He regrets selling all of them.  Read full bio
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