Sporty – Triple test KTM 990 SMR, Super Duke R and RC8 R: a delicious R of arsouille! – KTM 1190 RC 8 R test: the Orange Rage

Triple test KTM 990 SMR, Super Duke R and RC8 R: a delicious R of arsouille !

Sporty - Triple test KTM 990 SMR, Super Duke R and RC8 R: a delicious R of arsouille! - KTM 1190 RC 8 R test: the Orange Rage

Radical, the road KTM already does not lack spice! However, true to its ready-to-run motto, the Austrian brand offers its 990 Supermoto, Super Duke and RC8 in Racing version: triple test Site on the track of La Ferte Gaucher !

KTM 1190 RC 8 R test: the Orange Rage

Presented for the first time at the 2003 Tokyo Motor Show, the "made in Austria" hypersport unleashes passions: slim, slender and sporting as much curves as an anorexic model, the RC 8 captivates, intrigues or repels but does not leave you indifferent ! Wishing to mark with a red iron – or rather orange! – its arrival in the most advanced category of series production, KTM will polish its baby down to the smallest detail before starting marketing in 2008.

Cubing 1148 cc for 155 hp, the Katoche intends to become the technological flagship of the brand: each of its components is designed to shine in speed championships, including the fiercely contested World Superbike. Faced with the scale of the task, the engineers quickly decided to strengthen their sports car a little more in order to raise it to the level of European competition – not to say Ducati – and Japanese: just one year after its release, KTM lifts the veil on the RC8 R, the "ready to run" version of the young and ambitious sportswoman…

"A thin blade": this is the expression that immediately comes to mind when approaching an RC8 R for the first time. Aesthetically identical to the base model, the whole bike is a mixture of sharp lines and sharp edges with a final rendering as spectacular as it is intimidating! The rear, very high and extremely thin, resembles a tapered dart as much as possible, while the front has a more "mastoc" side which contributes to its recognizable identity among a thousand. !

Once again, the two-tone colourway adopted on the R series perfectly emphasizes the design of the Kiska team and the superb pieces that equip the sports muse of the manufacturer from Mattighofen. From the Marchesini forged wheels to the one-piece Brembo brakes, through the carbon front fender and superb WP suspensions to anti-friction coatings, the RC8 R’s hardware calls on the best components and immediately betrays its ambitions: the efficiency and the hunt for success !

On board, the position is however not as radical as its physique did not let it fear: the footrests make it possible to enclose almost lovingly the tiny tank between the thighs, while the handlebars fall easily under the hands and do not constrain no more than necessary the wrists. Not to mention another good news: if the rear buckle makes you dizzy, climbing on the saddle is made all the easier as its height is adjustable between 805 and 825 mm.

But to grab a few grams (182 kg without gasoline for the RC8 R against 184 kg on the RC8), the KTM engineers cruelly decided to remove all the padding from the seat….

After a glance at the on-board console which is full of information – but without a gear indicator engaged -, a slight pressure on the starter animates the V2 of only 62 kg, whose displacement has been increased to 1195 cc.

Rough, metallic and aggressive at will, the sound escaping from the exhaust elegantly placed in the lower fairing gives off its share of thrills as it goes up the pit lane … So think: thanks to a higher bore of 2 mm (105 mm against 103) and at a stroke kept at 69 mm, the orange block announces 170 hp at 10,250 rpm and no less than 123 Nm of torque at 8,000 rpm…

Certainly, among the "bi", a Ducati 1198 does better in the race for numbers: the Italian bomb also announces 170 hp, but develops 131.4 Nm of torque for a lower weight of more than ten kilos (171 kg dry and even 169 kg for the S version). But given the extreme youth of the KTM project, the technical sheet of the RC8 R already has plenty to impress. Especially since unlike its "up to date" rivals, it ignores piloting aids such as traction control or a choice of injection mappings on the handlebars and does not even encumber itself. an anti-dribble clutch !

Choices not really reassuring when taking the track with a motorcycle whose engine is fully inflated (the compression goes from 12.5: 1 to 13.5: 1!) And costing a trifle of 20,590 € … Yet , once again, the RC8 R surprises with its relative docility: the arrival of the cavalry is gradual past 3,000 rpm, while the superb orange tubular chassis undergoes without flinching the wave of power which is reinforced at around 7000 rpm up to 11000 rpm of the breaker.

Docile in setting the angle, the KTM accepts path corrections with the ease of a 600 cc. Only a little too pronounced braking on the angle manages to slightly disturb this beautiful balance. Can be controlled with a finger, the "full radial" system has all the qualities required to keep the brakes until the last moment and is powerful and enduring as desired. The clutch requires grip and although the box – the big black point of the first version – has been optimized, do not hesitate to break down your gear changes to lock the gears properly..

After four sessions carried out with a bang, the KTM staff come to ask for our opinion: as stable and swift as a TGV, the RC8 R attracts little criticism! While we discuss its propensity to slightly shed the rear on very heavy braking – a phenomenon made all the more difficult to manage in the absence of anti-dribble -, one of the technicians interviewed by Site returns to the wide range of adjustments offered by the bike. And among them is an adjustment of the rear part, via a simple eccentric which makes it possible to raise or lower the trim on an amplitude of 12 mm !

And hop ! Once back on the track with a machine set differently, the downshifts in first, standing on the brakes, now pass more easily: the chassis and the WP suspensions are responsible for absorbing with mastery the important mass transfers. Always so lively and much more efficient in the winding part of the Seine-et-Marne circuit, the RC8 R then offers us a real recital of tense trajectories and generous acceleration !

The straight line is swallowed up in a flash, properly protected by a bubble higher than on the RC 8. Only the harshness of the go-around in first still requires a little application before unleashing the mechanical fury again. Finally, the near absence of inertia of the big 1200 cc is bluffing: it allows you to keep the rope at your leisure, without struggling when entering a curve or during extremely rapid changes of angle imposed by the three baffles of the circuit..

The traction of the cast aluminum swingarm allows for muscular exits from curves, despite the "Kolossale" layer of torque that the bike sends to the rear wheel as the analog tachometer – which could be more visible – s panic past mid-diets !

Rigorous and flawless, however, the RC 8 R requires more application than a Japanese four-cylinder to go very quickly: usable in most cases, the 170 hp of the Austrian twin are difficult to manage at the output of ‘pin while at the entrance, the absence of anti-dribble is felt.

Also the most demanding will certainly opt for the Racing kit (Akrapovic titanium line, "Wave" brake discs and anti-dribble clutch): this equipment increases the power to nearly 180 hp while grabbing precious pounds, but they also increase the bill by € 3,000. The price then flirts with the highest spheres (23,590 €!), Which will no doubt make you think because despite its impressive potential in view of its "youth", the Katoche does not yet benefit from the aura of a Ducati 1198 at € 17,990 or technological advances of an Aprilia RSV 4 Factory at € 19,990 (read our).

Sharpening its RC8 R in IDM (International German Superbike), in the hands of the experienced Stefan Nebel, KTM however did a job of Titan by designing and producing, from a blank sheet, a machine unlike any other . And its level of performance promises great battles when the manufacturer of Mattighofen decides to jump into the bath of the World Superbike. To be continued … stay connected !

Related articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *