2015 KTM RC 390 First Look

Single-cylinder supersport slated for USA

KTM has confirmed that its single-cylinder supersport model, the RC 390, will be imported to the United States as a 2015 model. The RC's powerplant is a fuel-injected, liquid-cooled, DOHC, single-cylinder four-stroke that makes 44 horsepower and features a balance shaft to minimize vibration. The engine is housed in a chassis that features a steel-tube trellis frame, die-cast aluminum swingarm and top-shelf WP suspension components. Braking components include a four-piston Brembo front caliper with a single disc, while aluminum wheels carry 110/70 and 150/60 Metzeler tires. Claimed dry weight is 323 pounds.

2015 KTM RC 390

The RC 390 is the spec machine used in the ADAC Junior Cup, a single-make series that had eight races in Europe held in conjunction with various national and international series this year, and KTM offers a variety of race accessories for the 390. There has been no word yet on price or when bikes will be available in dealers though rumor has it will be early 2015.

However, Sport Rider has just recently attended the KTM RC 390 press intro and will have a first ride report in an upcoming issue of the magazine. We will also have a web-exclusive first ride on the website shortly. Stay tuned!

KTM's press material for the RC 390 follows:

Ready to Race - far from a hollow marketing slogan, KTM’s claim is an honest commitment constantly brought to new life at the company’s headquarters in Mattighofen, Austria. And not only the company and its staff let themselves been guided by this slogan; each and every motorbike to leave the KTM factory floor – no matter which kind or how big its engine is – fulfils the expectations that customers all over the world attach to KTM products: the claim to offer genuine racing potential.

The latest example, and justifiably so, is the new KTM RC 390. It is the flagship model of the new RC series and it completes the street range which helped KTM to become No. 1 of the European motorcycle manufacturers. With the RC 390 the dynamic Austrian maker ties in to its Grand Prix racing success. After all, tomorrow’s MotoGP pilots are using the Cup version of the RC 390 already this season to fight for points and podiums in the German ADAC Junior Cup. With the production version, the Austrians launch a fascinating sport bike in the lower displacement spectrum of the market without a single ounce too much but with racing flair in abundance – if there could be such a thing as ‘too much’ of it.

Its profile: a full fairing, a graceful trellis frame, upside-down front forks, a radial calliper on a huge brake disc, diecast alloy swingarm, a bold trellis swing arm and sparsely treaded low section tires on extremely light alloy wheels. Completed by a high-revving four-stroke single cylinder that has punch as well as great refinement. All of this delivered in a perfect ergonomic package with surprising good everyday practicality.

2015 KTM RC 390

It was only four years ago that KTM CEO Stefan Pierer announced a model initiative for the street bike market in the segment below 400cc. The triumph in this segment began with the bestselling 125 DUKE and was continued to great success with the 200 DUKE and 390 DUKE models. KTM is committed emphatically to the supposedly smaller classes, not just because of its belief that light and agile motorbikes will always stay in demand. The people in Mattighofen are also convinced that besides the great icons of the KTM range, there should always be especially affordable machines that anybody can handle with ease and which should be no less attractive and fascinating. This applies to the traditional motorcycling countries in Europe and North America as well as the rising markets of Asia, India and South America. Not least because of this conviction, KTM founded a intense cooperation with the Indian firm Bajaj Auto Ltd. in 2008, with whom the first result of the partnership has been with the successful 125 DUKE. Since then, all KTM street models of less than 400cc are built in collaboration with this partner. The motorcycles are developed in Mattighofen, Austria, where more than 300 employees that are highly qualified and passionate about motorcycles work in one of the most sophisticated research and development centres in the industry. They're then assembled in a plant no less sophisticated in Pune, India, before being shipped back to Austria for quality assurance and distribution.* The incomparable quality and equipment of the models, their downright unbeatable value-for-money and immense market acceptance clearly demonstrate the benefits of this highly effective development and production process. And just like the successful offroad bikes of the lower displacement classes, the engineers from the KTM design department take the same level of care and professional attitude on the RC models as they would if they were designing machines such as the 1290 SUPER DUKE R, 1190 ADVENTURE or 1190 RC8R. After successfully entering the Moto3 World Championship in 2012, KTM won the title the first year out and the following year, too. The logic to add street legal supersport bikes to the model range which benefit from this racing time experience while transferring the excitement of the Grand Prix scene to the road was natural. It therefore became the top design priority for the new RC series to create attractive and top quality sport bikes with great charisma thanks to their racing heritage and styling, high-tech equipment and performance. But just as important was to match these attributes by offering supreme rideability, great reliability and being affordable as well as easy to maintain. This excitement and capability is already displayed by the RC 390 in this year's first season of the "ADAC Junior Cup powered by KTM".

2015 KTM RC 390

The first glance at the bodywork will tell you that the RC 390 has inherited its genes from racing. Here as well as there, form follows function which can be seen in every detail. On the other hand, everything not essential for the official approval and homologation was omitted. The racing DNA is especially obvious on the rear: a subframe and a seat with an integral handle – that’s it. What you remember are the clear lines and surfaces of a beautifully drawn machine whose appearance is described in three words: aggressive, uncompromising, reduced. The KTM claim ‘READY TO RACE’ is tangible and recognisable right down to the most minute details. With his highly sophisticated work on the RC 390, designer Gerald Kiska has once again set new standards without deviating from the unmistakable KTM design philosophy his team has been successfully developing for decades. The RC 390 combines seminal design with innovative technology and maximum performance in an inimitable manner.

The huge success of the naked bike 390 DUKE has long since proven it: if a fully-fledged motorbike with modern technology and cutting edge styling touches the hearts of the riders, then its success cannot be stopped; no matter how much displacement or which market segment. With the new, fully faired RC 390, KTM adds a machine in the same class and with the same kind of potential but with a completely different character. A supersport bike that comes directly from the race track. A beautiful bike with distinctive looks that are determined by a characteristic design and an unmistakeable language of form. A true KTM, radiating plenty of charisma thanks to its race oriented concept, high-tech equipment and impressive performance while simultaneously being easy to ride, incredibly reliable, highly affordable and easy to maintain. At the same time, the RC 390 delivers optimum rideability, convincing real-world credentials and top safety features. And last but not least, this is a bike entering the supersport realm which could hardly be priced more reasonably. In all of that, the RC 390 is a wheel's length ahead of all of its few competitors in nearly all measurable criteria. The new RC 390 is a fascinating piece of sport equipment because it is the street legal version of the very racing machine used by the MotoGP racers of tomorrow to fight for fame and points in the German "ADAC Junior Cup powered by KTM". The same technology, the same performance, the same looks. The concept speaks for itself: a motorbike with the weight of a 125 but the power and performance of a veritable sport bike. The state-of-the-art DOHC single weighs in at a mere 36 kg and is extremely compact thanks to fine design details like vertically stacked transmission shafts. It is no surprise that the RC 390 boasts the best power-to-weight ratio in its class. Thanks to a four-valve cylinder head with DLC coated finger followers, dry sump lubrication with dual scavenger pumps and a three-way catalytic converter, this four-stroke single has all it needs to deliver its 32 kW (44 hp) of maximum power with impressive refinement, convincing reliability and great environmental credentials.

The chassis easily copes with the resulting performance. Besides the ultra lightweight but exceedingly strong trellis frame, a major part of the credit must go to the top quality suspension components by WP Suspension, as well as the braking system with disengagable ABS, developed in close cooperation with Brembo. This means the highest levels of precision, full control and maximum safety are standard – another reason why the easy-to-direct, exceedingly agile RC 390 is an ideal sport bike for any day of the week. No matter if you are a racing rookie, the owner of a restricted licence (A2), a returning rider with petrol flowing in your veins or an experienced sport rider with a penchant for understatement.

As the RC series flagship, KTM launches a highly attractive sport bike for young riders and those that remain young-at-heart with the new RC 390. Distinguished by first-rate high-tech components, the fully faired racer has a superior power-to-weight ratio and unprecedented agility and extreme lean angles. In addition, it is powered by the same sophisticated, powerful and reliable engine as the 390 DUKE. In both models, the short-stroked, liquid-cooled DOHC four-valve single with electronic fuel injection has an incredible response, robust power delivery and great refinement. Perfect conditions for a true racing feel, combined with convincing real-world credibility.

However, the frame of the RC is designed rather differently. Combining cutting-edge precision with perfect stability at any speed, while the ultra-lightweight network of robot welded steel tubes may remind some of the proven trellis frame of the Duke, its geometry is critically different in order to fully live up to the ergonomics and riding characteristics of a genuine racer. A steeper steering head, shorter trail and shorter wheelbase give the RC 390 a playful handling and true race track capability.

Less suspension travel and more aggressive suspension tuning are further differences that set the RC apart from its naked counterpart. At 43 mm, the amply sized WP Suspension upside-down front forks have the same diameter stanchions as those of the KTM Superbike 1190 RC8 R and add genuine racing equipment to ensure maximum stability and precision. Developed together with Brembo, the braking system includes a 300 mm front brake disc and ABS as standard – in this segment, an unparalleled quality feature for maximum safety. At 110/70ZR17 front and 150/60ZR17, even the tires have a racing size format.

With the RC 390, KTM has built a supersport street bike to outstrip what few competitors it has in almost all appreciable criteria with its powerful engine and perfectly balanced chassis. For customers willing to enhance the racing potential of their machine even further, KTM offers an accessory race kit from the KTM PowerParts range.

The 390 DUKE has already proven in an impressive manner just how much riding enjoyment a 375cc four-stroke single can provide. As refined as it is powerful, the Austrian powerplant propels the bike vehemently from turn to turn with a commanding punch. KTM has transplanted this highly modern engine into the brand new RC 390 where it can convert its potential into remarkable performance and maximum dynamism thanks to the RC package and its aerodynamic fairing. Riders who prefer lightweight, high performance supersport bikes who have been looking in vain for such a bike in this class are bound to find this model highly convincing. Incidentally, the new RC 390 is especially attractive for riders with a restricted A2 licence.*

With a maximum output of 32 kW (44 hp) at 9,500 rpm and a maximum torque of 35 Nm at 7,250 rpm, the liquid-cooled short-stroke engine combines an instantaneous power delivery with great refinement while also delivering a fantastic and lightning-quick response all the way to the red line – the perfect combination for lively racing performance, paired with 100% everyday real-world practicality. In all this, the compact power pack weighs in at only 36 kg, supplying the RC 390 with the best power-to-weight ratio of its class. In addition, the engine benefits from technical delicacies like its four-valve cylinder head, forged piston, DLC coated aluminium followers, forced-feed lubrication with scavenger pumps, three-way catalyst and vertically stacked transmission shafts.

2015 KTM RC 390

DOHC CYLINDER HEAD The four valves within the alloy cylinder head of the RC 390 are actuated by two overhead camshafts via highly resilient aluminium finger follower – the exact same technology as in the Superbike 1190 RC8 R. This lightweight design not only tolerates extreme rpm, but thanks to the followers’ ultra hard carbon coating has very little friction for even more power. Engine speeds above 10,000 rpm are not a problem to make sure the RC 390 stays one step ahead in acceleration duels more often than you might think. Large, 36.0 mm intake valves and exhaust valves with a 29.0 mm cross section ensure an optimum gas flow for plenty of low and mid-range torque.

2015 KTM RC 390

CRANKSHAFT Mounted in sleeve bearings, the crankshaft delivers a critical contribution to the engine’s great and instantaneous response and power while minimising friction.

FORCED-FEED LUBRICATION The power-boosting forced-feed lubrication circuit with scavenger pumps reduces the friction of the crank drive, contributing to the rugged torque delivery.

PISTON The forged piston and the Nikasil cylinder coating ensure low friction and high wear resistance for great thermal and mechanical resilience. This ensures long-lasting top performance while reducing oil consumption.

BALANCER SHAFT A balancer shaft integrated into the engine cancels out the typical mass forces of single cylinder engines, eliminating unpleasant vibrations and ensuring an unusual degree of refinement.

FUEL INJECTION The electronic fuel injection also uses the cutting-edge technology of KTM’s big bikes’, while a large, 46 mm Dell’Orto throttle body clears the way for optimum charging of the combustion chamber. As a result, the fuel management ensures an instantaneous throttle response, an even and well-controlled power delivery combined with efficient use of energy.

ELECTRIC STARTER The powerplant is started reliably with an electric starter motor supplied by a maintenance-free 12V battery with a capacity of 8 Ah.

IGNITION Interacting with the fully electronically controlled ignition system, with digital spark advance and three-way catalytic converter, the Bosch engine management system offers a high fuel mileage returns and minimal emissions at maximum performance.

COOLING The liquid cooling system with permanent pump recirculation and a large radiator integrated into the full fairing makes sure things never get too heated or out of control for the hot-headed engine.

TRANSMISSION The close-ratio, constant-mesh six-speed transmission shifts with little effort and extreme precision, offering the optimum gear ratio for any conceivable riding situation. This makes the gearbox not only great for aggressive riding, but also supports an economical riding style.

CLUTCH The RC 390's wet clutch makes perfect getaways from the traffic lights simple with its precise, light and easy action.

2015 KTM RC 390

While going fast in a straight line can be fun, true sport riders know that only roads with plenty of turns offer a truly intense riding experience. That is why the KTM engineers focused on designing a lightweight and very compact supersport bike, destined for the twisties with its exceptional handling and remarkable agility.

The RC 390 offers amazing fun flicking it out from one corner into the next on a bike that manages to perfectly reconcile seemingly contradictory qualities: a low weight and maximum stability, extreme agility and razor sharp precision, a racing layout and low-fatigue ergonomics.

To create perfect conditions for limitless cornering fun on back roads and race tracks, the engineers gave the new RC 390 an ultra lightweight trellis frame, a diecast alloy swingarm, top quality suspension components made by WP Suspension and further premium components. Last but not least, the large ground clearance, the slim outline and the sticky tires allow impressive lean angles. This makes the RC 390 perfect for all young and young-at-heart bikers for whom supersport riding enjoyment is the measure of all things.

2015 KTM RC 390

FRAME While the RC 390's ultra-lightweight network of robot welded steel pipes may remind some of the proven trellis frame of the 390 DUKE, its geometry is critically different in order to fully live up to the ergonomics and riding characteristics of a genuine road racer. A steeper steering head, shorter trail and shorter wheelbase give the RC 390 a playful handling and true race track capability. Made of thin walled steel pipe sections, the orange powder coated frame is distinguished by a well-balanced rigidity distribution and unmatchable solidity.

2015 KTM RC 390

SWING ARM The diecast trellis swing arm is not only extremely lightweight but also exceedingly solid. Its torsional characteristics and rigidity have been tuned to perfectly match the trellis frame. In total, this rear suspension delivers excellent tracking combined with exemplary feedback.

FRONT FORK At 43 mm, the top quality and amply sized WP Suspension upsidedown front forks have the same diameter stanchions as those of the KTM Superbike 1190 RC8 R, so it is genuine racing equipment to ensure maximum stability and precision. These beautiful forks with 125 mm of travel and a stiff racing set-up would also make a fine addition for any larger super sportbike and will catch any connoisseur's eye.

TRIPLE CLAMP The same can be said for the brand new, black anodised, forged aluminium triple clamps and racy clip-ons. The extreme torsional rigidity of the USD forks ensures a sensitive response, for a precise front suspension feel and crystal clear feedback to the rider.

2015 KTM RC 390

REAR SHOCK Directly linked, the WP Suspension rear shock offers no less than 150 mm of travel, with a progressive spring and tenfold adjustable pre-load to compensate for different payloads and road conditions.

Even at the first glance, the RC 390 makes it clear that its concept hails straight from the racetrack. After all, this is the street version of a bike that is already used by up-and-coming young riders in the German "ADAC Junior Cup" who battle for prestige, points and podiums. Despite the aerodynamic full fairing, the bodywork is distinguished by cleverly combined assemblies and a minimalist, functional style that does not block the view to essential technical components. At the same time, the rider benefits from a well thought-out ergonomic layout for an aggressive riding position that still allows enough freedom of movement to perfect the interaction between rider and machine. Quick shifts of weight, required by a committed riding style in a labyrinth of turns after turn, are easily accomplished on the agile RC 390. The bodywork's large contact patches support optimum control and transmit some crystal clear feedback from chassis and suspension.

2015 KTM RC 390

SEAT UNIT The RC 390's 820 mm seat height ensures a safe standing level for the rider while being high enough for an aggressive riding style. The two-part seat offers first-rate supersport ergonomics and a level of comfort that will even accommodate long distance trips. The KTM designers have managed to integrate the seat perfectly into the sporty lines of the rear, even though it offers a full pillion seat. The result achieved is a slim racing rear whose authenticity is not even impaired by the delicate license plate holder.

2015 KTM RC 390

FAIRING With an aggressive and truly unique styling, the RC 390’s full fairing in a Moto3 look is not only responsible for a one-of-a-kind supersport style but also contributes to the impressive lean angle. When a sporty riding position is assumed, it minimises drag as well as wind pressure on a rider’s torso and even helmet turbulence. The RC 390 is easily distinguished from its RC 125 sister model even at a distance by its side fairing finished in high gloss white.

2015 KTM RC 390

FUEL TANK Specially designed for the RC 390, the brand new steel tank, which is hidden by a plastic cover, is perfectly embedded into the aggressive design of the machine, allowing the rider to draw his knees in tightly. At a ten-litre capacity, the tank volume allows for a remarkable range, even at a quick pace.

2015 KTM RC 390

HANDLEBARS & LEVERS The layout of the clipons, rear-sets and foot and hand levers support a dynamic riding position. Thanks to these sporty ergonomics, the RC 390 is intuitively controlled, even when the pace gets hot – because everything is just in the right place.

Stability, steering precision and agility are among the essential qualities of the RC 390. In addition, there is an powerful engine to max out the race replica's performance. It goes without saying that this package needs disc brakes with just as much power, as well as a precise action and total stability. Developed by KTM in close cooperation with Brembo, this powerful and user friendly braking system ensures undiluted riding enjoyment as well as high safety levels. Breaking away from the competition, KTM underscores its uncompromising commitment to safety with a state-of-the-art ABS as standard in this class as well. The safety package is rounded off with sticky sport tyres in ample dimensions on cast aluminium wheels in a ten-spoke design.

2015 KTM RC 390

BRAKES Only the best ingredients should be good enough for the brakes of the latest supersport bike from Austria – for example braided brake lines and a radial fixed, four-cylinder calliper. Believe it or not, this high-tech brake chomps down without mercy on a 300 mm perforated brake disc bolted to the RC 390's front wheel. In the rear, there's a floating calliper troubling a 230 mm perforated disc. Both brakes have a precise action and, combined, they have no trouble at all taming the RC 390's low dry weight of only 147 kg.

2015 KTM RC 390

WHEELS & TYRES In order to transfer the immense stopping forces of these generously sized discs to the tarmac, you need wide, sticky sport tyres. The RC 390 has them; its extremely light weight, die cast aluminium 17'' wheels carry Metzeler Sportec M5 low-section radial tires with outstanding grip on dry and wet roads, as well as superior durability to which set a new standard in this class. Their dimensions of 110/70 ZR 17 front and 150/60 ZR 17 rear would even look good on larger displacement sport bikes, delivering that pivotal contact patch that makes for high cornering speeds and extreme deceleration.

2015 KTM RC 390

ABS At the physical limits of deceleration, KTM adds an ABS with rollover protection to the mix as a matter of course. It has been developed in close cooperation with Bosch. These modern anti-lock brakes help the rider not to panic – even in emergency stops on slippery surfaces – but carefully approach the limits of deceleration. However, the RC 390 would not be READY TO RACE if this ABS could not be disengaged. So on the racetrack, when the fight for fractions of seconds is on, the RC pilot has the option to forego the electronic support and experience a genuine racing feel.

As the flagship model of the RC series, the latest supersport bike from Mattighofen benefits from technologies and insights that many would only expect from KTM's largedisplacement street sport bikes. No innovation has been too exclusive and no custom solution too complex to turn the RC 390 into a dyed-in-the-wool, albeit street legal KTM racer. Besides the superior chassis and suspension, the RC 390's comprehensive high-tech equipment sets new standards in its class. Examples are the fully equipped multi-functional dashboard, the projection headlights and the stainless steel exhaust system with three-chamber silencer and three-way catalyst.

2015 KTM RC 390
2015 KTM RC 390

LIGHTS The designers have managed to integrate the RC 390's lighting system so smoothly into the unique Kiska design that onlookers might be fooled into thinking they are seeing a genuine Moto3 racer. This could only be done with the most compact, cutting-edge light sources. The twin headlights use small projector lamps, while the running, rear, brake, licence plate and indicator lights all use compact, energy saving LEDs. In addition, the front indicators have been integrated into the mirror housings while the tail light and the brake light are housed in the rear end of the seat. All of that not only gives a racing look, but also helps optimise the RC 390's aerodynamics.

2015 KTM RC 390

DASHBOARD Even the RC 390’s dashboard has the highest level of technology: The fully digital multifunctional LCD display with digital speed readout and integrated digital tachometer offers everything riders expect from a modern KTM – including a gear display, a fuel gauge and a service interval readout. Durable, bright LEDs are used exclusively for all the cockpit lighting and warning lights. As befitting a genuine racer, an adjustable shift light indicates the time to switch gears when accelerating for a pure racing feel.

2015 KTM RC 390

EXHAUST SYSTEM The RC 390's exhaust system has been created in a way to not impair the racing styling, the bike’s handling or its possible lean angles. And it should of course have an aggressive sound, as well as a positive impact on the engine's power delivery. Mission accomplished. The compact three-chamber silencer not only achieves a deep racing sound and top performance; it is also integrated into the belly of the fairing, thus located beneath the engine close to the centre of gravity. This supports the centralisation of masses and aids the playful handling of the RC 390. And of course, there's a three-way catalyst inside the stainless steel exhaust to minimise the engine's emissions.

2015 KTM RC 390

All KTM motorcycles radiate an incomparable charisma thanks to their design and aggressive performance. Without a doubt, the new RC 390 is no exception. But you can do even more: if you want to modify the supersport machine to your very own, individual requirements, you'll find the KTM PowerParts are the ideal means to achieve that. Scarcely any other motorcycle manufacturer offers such a wide range of high quality parts as KTM does. These parts stand for enhanced racing credentials, a supercharged style or more comfort – depending on the direction you want to take your bike. For example, if you plan to mainly use the RC 390 for track days and racing, you should take a close look at the Race Setup. The Style Setup and Touring Setup establish quite different priorities. But no matter which accessory: KTM PowerParts are made to the same quality standards as the bikes themselves and are distinguished by a perfect fit, top functionality and supreme performance. With KTM PowerParts every RC 390 rider can unleash his full creativity. In any case, he will create a lasting impression with his unique KTM wherever he shows up, in paddocks or at bike meets or at urban hot-spots.

  • front crash pads
  • windscreen "racing bubble"
  • graphics kit "race"
  • brake lever articulated and adjustable
  • clutch lever articulated and adjustable
  • brake lever guard "race style"
  • clutch lever guard "race style"
  • factory ignition cover plug
  • tank protection sticker
  • fibreglass under-engine fairing
  • chain 520
  • adjustable rear set
  • race solo seat
  • akrapovic slip-on silencer
  • bracket for akrapovic slip-on silencer


ENGINE TYPE Single cylinder, 4-stroke
BORE/STROKE 89/60 mm
POWER 32 kW (44 hp) @ 9,500 rpm
TORQUE 35 Nm @ 7,250 rpm
STARTER/BATTERY Electric starter/12V, 8 Ah
FUEL SYSTEM Bosch EFI (throttle body 46 mm)
ENGINE OIL Motorex Formula 4T
COOLING Liquid cooling
CLUTCH Wet multi-disc clutch, mechanically operated
FRAME Steel trellis frame, powder coated
HANDLEBAR Clip-on handlebar
FRONT BRAKE Four piston, radially bolted caliper, brake disc Ø 300 mm
REAR BRAKE Single piston, floating caliper, brake disc Ø 230 mm
ABS Bosch 9MB Two Channel
WHEELS FRONT/REAR Cast aluminium wheels 3.00 x 17"; 4.00 x 17"
TYRES FRONT/REAR 110/70 ZR 17; 150/60 ZR 17
CHAIN X-Ring 5/8 x 1/4"
SILENCER Stainless steel silencer with regulated catalytic converter
TRAIL 88 mm
WHEEL BASE 1340 +/-15 mm
TANK CAPACITY approx. 10 litres
WEIGHT approx. 147 kg (dry weight)