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KTM RC 390 Erlkonig

Like a little RC8

The current KTM RC 390 was presented at the EICMA in 2013. In order to survive in the increasingly beleaguered entry-level segment, KTM is working on redesigning the little athlete. Now a first Erlkonig has been caught.

Originally it was KTM RC 390 mainly intended for the Asian and South American market, where small, sporty machines are in great demand. In the meantime, however, the RC 390 has also won a permanent customer base in Europe. But other manufacturers have also rediscovered the segment of small A2-compatible sports motorcycles. Kawasaki lures with the new Ninja 400, Honda with the CBR 500 R and Yamaha with the YZF-R3. High time for KTM to sharpen the RC 390.

Improved ergonomics, more range

Like the current model, the next KTM RC 390 will again be developed in cooperation with KTM’s Indian shareholder Bajaj and will continue to be produced by him, as will the 390 Duke and the 390 Adventure, which is about to be launched.

BMH pictures

Due to the Euro5 standard, there will be some adjustments to the engine.

The Erlkonig, caught on the first test drives in Austria, already indicates the most important changes to the RC 390: A newly shaped handlebar should improve ergonomics, a larger tank should increase the range, and a larger single-disc brake system should improve braking power on the front wheel. The new colored TFT display in the cockpit can already be seen, which the 390 Adventure will also have as standard equipment from the turn of the year 2019/2020.

The rear frame is obviously being completely redeveloped in order to be able to offer more seating comfort for the passengers together with a new bench seat. Only a small amount of hand is put on the main frame.

Optical borrowings from the RC8

In the new KTM RC 390, the familiar 373 cm³ single-cylinder engine is retained, but it is being further developed in view of the strict EU5 emissions and noise regulations. To do this, the cylinder head is slightly modified and the manifold routing changed. The front silence seems to be getting bigger. The power of 44 hp and the torque of 35 Nm will probably remain unchanged.

BMH pictures

We assume that the new RC 390 will celebrate its premiere at EICMA 2020.

The design of the rear silencer will certainly change before the launch, as will the cladding. This looks unfinished in our photos, but the finished design can still be guessed at: The front, in particular, is styled much more pleasing than before and includes a central full-LED main headlight, which closely resembles the design of KTM’s former supersport Flagship RC8 will be ajar. In addition, the fairing is much wider, which, in addition to better wind protection and better seating comfort for taller drivers, also gives the new RC 390 a much more adult appearance. The presentation of the new KTM RC 390 at EICMA 2020 is expected.

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