When KTM unveiled its handmade, track-only RC 8C in July 2021 all 100 examples sold out in a mere 4 minutes and 32 seconds despite a steep £30,999 price tag. So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that the Austrian firm has created a second-generation model for 2023.
Set to go on sale on 27th October at 15:00 CEST (2pm BST), the 2023 RC 8C looks much like last year’s machine, but there some substantial changes to make the new bike even more impressive than its predecessor. And, having seen how popular the original version was, KTM is opting to make 200 of the new, 2023 RC 8Cs, double the production run of the 2021 version.
Like the original RC 8C, the new machine can trace its roots to the Kramer GP2-R 890, a track bike developed by ex-KTM engineers a few years ago and built around the KTM LC8c parallel twin engine. For the 2023 model, KTM has upped the stakes with an extra 7hp – now peaking at 135hp and 11,000rpm, up from 128hp for the first-gen version – and 98Nm (72lbft) of torque at 8,250rpm. The changes to achieve the boost include lighter titanium valves and conrods, two piston rings per cylinder, more compression, bigger throttle bodies and more fuel pressure. The firm has also removed the trop balancer from the engine and altered the main balancer shaft to suit, while a new oil cooler completes the engine tweaks.
At 142kg dry, the 2023 RC 8C is two kilos heavier than the original version’s claimed mass in the same state, but KTM – slightly confusingly – says that the latest bike benefits from a lighter titanium Akrapovič exhaust system. Regardless of the precise numbers, like the original version the new RC 8C is sure to be a featherweight with a punch that lands hard.
As before, the bike is made with the help of Kramer Motorcycles, who fabricate the race-style frame, and fitted with WP APEX Pro suspension at each end. The forks and shock are retuned, with more compliance for the 2023 bike. As before, there’s vast amount of adjustment on offer including the ability to alter the steering head offset.
KTM has reworked the electronics package for the latest version, giving the bike a new dash with a GPS-based datalogger, and of course there’s the ability to tweak and fettle the traction control, throttle mapping and engine braking. There’s a quickshifter, too, and a race-style reversed gear pattern.
Top-end brakes include Brembo Stylema calipers, as before, and the bodywork is largely unaltered aside from the obvious change of paintwork – switching from KTM orange on the first-generation model to black on the 2023 machine.
Given the speed with which the original version sold out if you’re serious about the new RC 8C make sure you’re on the firm’s website at 2pm BST on Thursday 27th October '22 to place an order. You’ll need to put down a down-payment of £2200, on a final price of £34,999 - £4000 more than the 2021 version cost, despite the fact that there will be twice as many of the 2023 machines.
If you really want to splash out, there’s also the option of talking part in a special handover event at Valencia on 26th April 2023, where just 30 customers – on a first-come, first-served basis – will be able to take part in an exclusive track day for their new bikes, with tuition from former GP riders and a full KTM crew on hand to help with setup changes.