Exclusive driving report KTM RC8 prototype
The ugly Duckling
In the meantime, the ugly duckling prototype has been transformed into the proud swan KTM RC8. MOTORRAD let the duckling fly properly last summer.
You have to fill up! "Says Mini Koch as he pushes the machine into my hand. Anyone who knows him knows that there is still about 480 meters of fuel on board. So stutter to the next gas station with a gentle touch of the throttle.
The RC8 actually drives? Less than half a year after the first pencil sketch of the frame, the prototype is ready. A masterpiece. I now fill 15 liters of high-octane into the strange one-of-a-kind, whose gimmicky charm is made up of a mixture of Honda NSR 500 fairing without paint, a grotesquely laid exhaust pipe in stovepipe format and a cyclops eye that is not even attached in the middle, but also from the side the disguise nose stares.
The advantage: Everyone thinks that Karl Napf has put his Buell conversion in the sand. Nobody looks closely? the perfect camouflage. And that’s a good thing, because the test drive takes place long before KTM removed the veil from its RC8 project at the Tokyo Motor Show
ventilates instead. "Wrong world," I think when the friendly man at the cash register takes 17 euros and 47 cents from me. Usually we journalists are eager to discover prototypes from manufacturers. Today we don’t want to be discovered ourselves. With a slightly queasy feeling, I get on the machine and quickly roll out of town.
The operation of the RC8 is not a mystery. The seating position was decidedly sporty without being uncomfortable. Pleasantly cranked handlebars and footrests that are not too high allow the pilot to act in a grouped and front-wheel-oriented manner. The 950 V2 from the
950 Adventure is not a gentle fellow. But even in the heavy and long-legged adventure enduro, it impresses with incomparable liveliness and extremely lively performance.
In the road chassis he becomes an animal, tearing the front wheel from the asphalt because of the sheer power in the lower gears, making it a real splendor. Mind you, with just under 100 hp. In the series it should be 136. Why is the RC8 subjectively so diabolical? Did Mini mount the very small pinion on the front of the boss to really scare him? No, the 75-degree V2 has to pull 50 kilos less than in the off-road dress. The RC8 weighs a mere 178 kilograms at this stage with a full tank. That is a word. And the merit of the lightest series two-cylinder in motorcycle construction at 56 kilograms.
This lightness supports a distinctly manageable driving behavior. Curves are only thought of, no more
controlled, like a hot knife through the butter, the machine cuts its way through. That’s how it has to be, a true sportsman for the country road. Despite all its handiness, nervousness is alien to the KTM. In addition, there is crystal-clear feedback about the condition of the road through tightly damped spring elements, as the sports driver would like? even if too much hardness comes into play from the hindquarters due to a shock absorber that is not yet optimally designed. However, the fine-tuning is still pending.
Vibrations are clearly noticeable. The very stiff tubular space frame could reinforce this, an effect that BMW R 1100 S drivers are also familiar with. In the KTM, the vibrations can still be recorded as expressions of pulsating zest for life, but these are very pronounced.
Mini welcomes me expectantly. "What do you think?" "Great!" Test statements can be so simple.
How should you classify this machine? Is it a really light Ducati? The sound is too nasty and the engine too lively, too agile. More like an ultra-light Aprilia mille that sounds similar. Although ?? their engine seems cumbersome. Japanese? The concept only fits the Honda VTR 1000 SP-2, but it looks twice as big. A racing Buell? Already at revs, stretches the connecting rods out of the housing, which is where the KTM really starts. So what then? It suddenly occurs to me. It’s an Aprilia RS 250 that is twice as powerful,
meanwhile, at least as wild a four-stroke engine. All right?
Technical data – KTM 990 RC8 prototype from Werner Koch
KTM RC8 prototype
Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 75-degree V-engine, a balance shaft, two overhead, gear / chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, dry sump lubrication, two constant pressure carburetors, Ø 48 mm , ignition transistor, electric starter, battery 12 V / 12 Ah.
Bore x stroke 100.0 x 60.0 mm
Displacement 942 cm3
Compression ratio 11.5: 1
72 kW (98 PS) at 8000 rpm
95 Nm (9.7 kpm) at 6000 rpm
Primary drive via gear wheels, hydraulically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain, secondary ratio 38:17.
Steel tubular frame, load-bearing motor, screwed rear frame, upside-down fork, slide tube diameter 48 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, two-arm swing arm made of steel, central spring strut with get up system, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 290 mm, Four-piston fixed calipers, rear disc brake, Ø 210 mm, single-piston floating caliper.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17
Wheelbase 1390 mm, steering head angle 66.0 degrees, caster 88 100 mm, spring travel f / r 120/125 mm.
mass and weight
Seat height 825 mm, weight with a full tank of 178 kg, tank volume 17 liters.
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