Just 100 customers will get their hands on the most track-focussed KTM production bike yet – the RC 8C.
KTM has been promising a no-holds-barred, track-only GP replica for years, having made the decision that road-going superbikes are too fast when the original RC8 was discontinued. Originally, the plan was to sell a limited run of RC16 MotoGP machines, but instead the company has created this Duke 890-powered lightweight that offers Moto2 levels of performance and handling.
Strictly speaking, the bike isn’t a pure KTM. Its roots lie in the Kramer GP2-R 890, created a couple of years ago by former KTM engineers and sold in small numbers as a pure trackday machine. Already made in close cooperation with KTM, the project has been brought in house with a partnership between Kramer and KTM, adding new, RC16 MotoGP-inspired bodywork to the Kramer-designed trellis frame and tuned Duke 890 engine.
The idea is that the bike can offer customers a near-GP riding experience without the hassle of maintaining a real race bike.
The RC16-inspired bodywork is made of Kevlar-reinforced GRP, complete with the obligatory winglets and featuring quick-release fasteners for ease of access. Sensibly, like the Kramer it’s based on, the RC 8C gets crash bungs bolted onto purpose-made brackets on the frame to help save the expensive bits in the event that ambition gets the better of talent, with similar protection on the swingarm and forks.
Speaking of suspension, it’s from WP and features APEX PRO 7543 forks and an APEX PRO 7746 shock, all fully-adjustable and with a wider range of settings available than you’ll find on most road-going bikes. Dymag provides the wheels, with 120/70R17 and 180/60R17 slicks as standard and the option of upping the rear to a 200/55R17.
The Kramer-derived frame is made of chromoly steel, with an adjustable steering head angle and a short, 1400mm wheelbase. Brakes are Brembo Stylemas, with twin 290mm front discs and a single 230mm rear, along with an adjustable Brembo radial master cylinder with ‘normal’, ‘sport’ and ‘race’ positions that mechanically alter the response and bite point. In ‘dry’ state, the bike weighs in at 140kg.
The ‘tank’ between your knees is actually just bodywork over the airbox, with the fuel instead stored in the seat unit – a self-supporting component that does away with the need for a subframe.
Up front, the airbox itself is purpose-made for the RC 8C, working in harmony with the Akrapovic exhaust and fresh electronic mapping to extract 128hp from the 899cc LC8c parallel twin used in the 890 Duke R. It’s fed fresh air from a nose intake that mimics the design on the latest RC16 GP bike.
As a pure track bike, the RC 8C gets GPS-assisted datalogging and a 5” TFT race dash that focusses on engine information, lap times and ECU settings rather than speed. The data can be downloaded and analysed via the AIM RaceStudio, revealing details of track position, throttle opening, rpm, gear, acceleration, and engine status.
Also in line with the bike’s track intentions, the bars and pegs are adjustable, while the headstock allows +/- 1 degree of adjustment and the fork offset can also be tweaked between 26mm and 28mm. The ride height and seat height are also adjustable.
While 100 of the bikes will be sold, just 25 of the buyers will also be able to pay extra for a race experience at the KTM Factory Racing test at Jerez with Dani Pedrosa and Mika Kallio from 7-9 October.
Those customers will get on-track experience with Pedrosa and Kallio offering riding tips, and a special race track package for their bikes including a second set of Dymag wheels, extra brake discs, one set of rain tyres, front and rear paddock stands, tyre warmers and a KTM pit mat. Accommodation and means are also covered, along with professional photography and video of the event.
Tempted? Well, the bikes will be sold from 22 July via a special page on the KTM website, where customers will be able to put down a deposit. However, the RC 8C doesn’t come cheap, with the bike alone starting at £30,999…
Update: 26th July 2021
Pre-orders for KTM’s latest and exclusive track machine went live online at 15:00 BST on 22nd July 2021. By 15:04:32, they were all sold. It took a mere 4 minutes and 32 seconds for all 100 ultra-exclusive KTM RC 8C track bikes to sell out via KTM’s digital sales platform, with 25 of those buyers opting to take delivery of their machines at an equally exclusive handover event at Jerez.
Don’t despair though if you had your heart set on a new RC 8C taking pride of place in you garage, KTM has created an online waiting list, which will allow interested buyers the chance to get their hands on a KTM RC 8C should any previous reservation be cancelled.