2015 KTM RC390 First Ride Review

A sportbike unlike any other

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2015 KTM RC390

Editor Score: 91.0%
Engine 19.0/20
Suspension/Handling 14.0/15
Transmission/Clutch 9.0/10
Brakes 9.0/10
Instruments/Controls4.0/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 8.0/10
Appearance/Quality 9.5/10
Desirability 9.0/10
Value 9.5/10
Overall Score91/100

There is nothing else quite like KTM’s new RC390. Sure, there are some sporty motorcycles displacing less than 500cc, but none of them are as sharply edged or as exotically styled as the RC390. America’s bigger-is-better mentality doesn’t usually give much credence to a single-cylinder sportbike, but the RC390 has the visual appeal and sporting cred that may change some minds.

KTM has been on a streetbike roll lately. It earned MOBO awards in 2014 for the stellar 1190 Adventure and the astounding 1290 Super Duke R, our Motorcycle of the Year. The Austrian company’s latest push as a purveyor of more than just excellent off-road products is the RC390.

Best Motorcycle of the Year

The RC390 follows single-cylinder Dukes in 125cc, 200cc and 375cc and their corresponding RC models, all of which have already enjoyed success in world markets such as Europe and Asia. And also in India, where they are built under the umbrella of Bajaj, which owns a minority share of KTM.

The RC390s stylish appearance looks exotically appealing for a motorcycle expected to be priced less than $7,000.

The RC390s stylish appearance looks exotically appealing for a motorcycle expected to be priced less than $7,000.

More than 30,000 of the 125/200/390 models have been sold in the past 12 months, which is a really impressive number of street motorcycles for the formerly dirt-oriented KTM. These contributed to a 28% increase in sales over the past six months (70,500 units), and June 2014 was the best month of sales in the company’s history. Streetbikes now account for 50% of KTM’s revenues.

Fast fact: The fork’s forged-aluminum triples and axle clamps, and the Metzeler Sportec M5 tires, are the only components of the RC390 not manufactured in India.

KTM’s India operations will soon be sending motorcycles to the North American market, with the 390 Duke and RC390 scheduled to hit our shores by March 2015. The RC is our focus here.

We just returned from the bike’s world media launch, spending a morning riding urban streets and hills in Italy’s famous motor region (home to Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati), followed by an afternoon lapping the Autodromo di Modena circuit, where the RC demonstrated sporting bona fides beyond class rivals like Kawasaki’s twin-cylinder Ninja 300 or Honda’s single-cylinder CBR300R, or even Honda’s parallel-Twin CBR500R.

2015 Honda CBR300R First Ride Review

Motivating the RC390 is a fuel-injected 373cc Thumper boasting premium-level equipment like a forged aluminum piston and DLC-coated finger followers for its twin-cam valvetrain. An oversquare 89mm x 60mm bore and stroke allows the engine to spin just past 10,000 rpm.

The RC390's liquid-cooled Single uses a stacked transmission layout to keep the wheelbase short while having a desirably long aluminum swingarm. Powdercoated tubular-steel trellis frame looks way sexier than the chassis of any other beginner-friendly sportbike. Robots do nice welding.

The RC390′s liquid-cooled Single uses a stacked transmission layout to keep the wheelbase short while having a desirably long aluminum swingarm. Powdercoated tubular-steel trellis frame looks way sexier than the chassis of any other beginner-friendly sportbike. Robots do nice welding.

The RC390 (and its Duke brother) are designed to push the limits of Europe’s A2 licensing system that restricts young riders (ages 18 to 20) to bikes with a maximum of 0.2 kilowatt of power per kilogram.

Translated for the non-metricfied: The RC390′s engine is rated at 32 kW, which converts to 43 of our horsepower. Given a 10% reduction in power when measured through the RC’s six-speed driveline, we’d expect to see almost 40 rear-wheel hp. KTM says the bike weighs 324 lbs without any fuel in its 2.6-gallon tank, yielding about 7.5 pounds for each peak pony to pull.

Giving Fits

Big dudes need not fear the RC390. It has a shocking amount of legroom for a small-displacement sportbike. A 32.3-inch seat height combine with fairly low-mounted footpegs to be tolerable for legs of six-foot humans. Handlebars are located at the same level as the upper triple-clamp, providing a reach forward a bit further than a CBR300 or Ninja 300. Surprisingly for a modern world-market bike, neither hand lever is adjustable for reach.

2013 Beginner Sportbike Shootout – Video

Duke, at 5-foot-8, fits the RC390 well, but a 6-foot-3 rider at the launch said he also felt comfortable with the ergonomics. Note how the stainless steel exhaust system is almost totally hidden inside the bellypan bodywork.

Duke, at 5-foot-8, fits the RC390 well, but a 6-foot-3 rider at the launch said he also felt comfortable with the ergonomics. Note how the stainless steel exhaust system is almost totally hidden inside the bellypan bodywork.

A modest clutch pull and smooth modulation makes for easy getaways, aided by a good supply of low-end grunt from the injected motor, which is more plentiful than from a CBR300 or Ninja 300. Short gears click off quickly in the buttery-smooth transmission that nicely tolerates clutchless upshifts.

Somewhere in the middle revs is a brief flat spot, but the small bar-graph tach and its tiny numerals made it impossible to discern exactly where. The digital instrumentation was otherwise pleasing, as it includes fuel economy info, a fuel gauge, temperature levels, a gear-position indicator and a programmable shift light. Mirrors are amply wide but are bisected by a rider’s forearms.

Kudos to KTM for a lot of info in its digital gauges, but the tach (at the top) is too small to be useful.

Kudos to KTM for a lot of info in its digital gauges, but the tach (at the top) is too small to be useful.

The RC wasn’t quite as agile as we expected from a bike with a steep 23.8-degree rake combined with a diminutive 52.8-inch wheelbase. However, it’s still very eager to bend into corners while being nicely sure-footed. The firm seat makes it easy to move around on, but its hardness grew tiresome by the end of our street ride

Bump-absorption duties are handled by KTM’s subsidiary, WP Suspension, these units manufactured in India. The fork is a stout 43mm unit, the same diameter as used on the RC8R superbike, while the rear is held up by a monoshock actuated by an aluminum swingarm. They proved to be surprisingly compliant over the many uneven road surfaces we encountered. Adjustments are limited to only spring preload via a ramped collar on the shock.

What looks like a matte-black tailsection is actually a pillion seat made of a Canadian-sourced material that is used on a motorcycle for the first time ever. Grab handles are nicely integrated beneath.

What looks like a matte-black tailsection is actually a pillion seat made of a Canadian-sourced material that is the first time ever used on a motorcycle. Grab handles are nicely integrated beneath.

Brake hardware is superior to the RC’s small-displacement contenders, using steel-braided lines to actuate a four-piston radial-mount caliper biting on a 300mm rotor up front. The caliper is a ByBre unit, which is a Brembo-engineered piece that is manufactured in India. The rear disc is a 230mm unit clamped by a single-piston caliper. Bosch 9MB two-channel ABS is standard equipment and can be switched off if desired.

The binders were designed, says KTM, to provide a wide range of modulation to suit the varying levels of braking required in street situations. Initially, their power felt disappointing because of a soft initial bite but then became commendable once accustomed to pulling the lever through considerable travel.

The roads opened up at a couple of points on our street ride, and we were pleased to see the speedo click past 100 mph – the magic “ton” – to an indicated 103 mph. In fact, highway cruising is fairly tolerable, at least in terms of engine capability. A balance shaft knocks out harsh vibration, and there’s a decent amount of passing power. A sixth-gear roll-on from 70 to 80 mph took only about 3 seconds flat.

090114-2015-ktm-rc390-_32a9557

Track Attack

Nothing proves a motorcycle’s sporting creds better than a racetrack, and KTM booked the perfect one for exploring the performance envelope of the RC390. Autodromo di Modena is a technically demanding 1.5-mile circuit with a variety of corners coming one after the other.

While our morning testing proved the RC390’s street competence, the track environment brought out the bike’s ultimate grin potential. Okay, so you won’t have the joy of fighting power wheelies, but the search for knocking off tenths of a second in lap times is otherwise as pleasurable as on much faster, and more expensive, sportbikes.

Do not think that dicing with your buddies on a 40-horse sportbike can’t be riotously fun! Rich dudes will be able to buy at least four RC390s for the price of a Panigale R.

Do not think that dicing with your buddies on a 40-horse sportbike can’t be riotously fun! Rich dudes will be able to buy at least four RC390s for the price of a Panigale R.

 The little KTM gleefully attacks every corner, with its light weight allowing instant direction changes, while its stiff chassis remains nicely planted and confidence inspiring even during aggressive maneuvers. Ultimate corner speeds are limited by footpeg clearance, but that’s typical for this class of bikes. Rear-set pegs are available from KTM’s Power Parts catalog.

The suspension that seemed almost too compliant on the street holds up remarkably well on the track. The brakes tell a similar story. Although lacking the millimeter accuracy of top-shelf binders, the ByBre units delivered precise amounts of braking and never faded. The threshold of ABS intervention is quite high, as they only activated a few times at the track while braking over bumps. Holding down a button down on the gauges switches off ABS, if that’s your preference.

Another high-end touch on the RC390 is its LED position lamps below the projector-beam headlights. LEDs are also used for minimalist turnsignal lamps, the front ones being almost unnoticeable in the mirror stalks.

Another high-end touch on the RC390 is its LED position lamps below the projector-beam headlights. LEDs are also used for minimalist turnsignal lamps, the front ones almost unnoticeable in the mirror stalks.

The RC’s motor has a strong and wide powerband relative to its peers, even if your arm sockets are safe from being yanked hard. Maximum torque (25.8 ft-lb) is said to arrive at 7250 rpm, so you’ll want to keep the Thumper spinning high. Peak horsepower is reached at 9500 rpm, delivering a nice lunge when revved out up top. Wringing its neck resulted in speeds approaching 100 mph at the end of the track’s longest straightaway.

It’s worth reiterating how much of a gigglefest it is to hammer a low-powered but lightweight sportbike around a racetrack, even for riders with decades of experience riding big-horsepower bikes. And for those who might be taking to the track for the first time, a sporting motorcycle like the RC390 is a perfect tool to learn how to do it properly.

The RC390 can teach everything there is to be learned about riding quickly on a racetrack, without the intimidation factor and higher costs of more powerful machines.

The RC390 can teach everything there is to be learned about riding quickly on a racetrack, without the intimidation factor and higher costs of more powerful machines.

The RC’s powertrain isn’t totally without flaws. Along with the aforementioned brief midrange flat spot, gearshifts from third to fourth were occasionally not cleanly engaged if rushed. Otherwise, the KTM’s powerplant is superior to any sub-400cc competitor.

Conclusion

Based on the amount of fun and thrills obtained during our Italian ride, the RC390 seems poised to be a big worldwide hit for KTM. Its exemplary dynamic capabilities make it a must-see alternative for riders considering smaller Ninjas and CBRs. Add in the RC’s stunning appearance, and its competition suddenly looks a bit dated.

The RC’s 150/60-17 rear tire is slightly fatter than the 140/70-17s on the CBR and Ninja. Note the teeny LED turnsignals and LED tail lamp.

The RC’s 150/60-17 rear tire is slightly fatter than the 140/70-17s on the CBR and Ninja. Note the teeny LED turnsignals and LED tail lamp.

Of course, it shouldn’t be surprising to learn the RC will be more expensive than its class rivals, but the price gap might be smaller than you think. KTM has yet to set an MSRP, but unspecific conversations lead us to believe it will be priced in the low-to-middle-$6,000 range. (Update: KTM has confirmed the RC’s MSRP will be “very competitive” with its class rivals, which would place the RC390 in the low-to-middle-$5,000 range.)

For comparison, the new CBR300R and twin-cylinder Ninja 300 cost $4,899 and $5,299, respectively, when equipped with antilock brakes; they are $500 cheaper without ABS. Consider, too, the relative weights. Subtracting the mass of varying amounts of fuel in different-sized tanks, the CBR (337 lbs) and Ninja (357 lbs) are both heavier than the RC390’s 324 lbs.

Swinging the vote further in the KTM’s favor is an engine more powerful than its rivals, boasting considerably more horsepower than than 286cc Honda, and likely a couple of ponies up on the 296cc Kawi. Even more meaningful is the RC’s significantly greater torque production thanks to its 79cc and 89cc displacement edge.

Swinging the vote further in the KTM’s favor is an engine more powerful than its rivals. It boasts considerably more horsepower than than 286cc Honda, and likely a couple of ponies up on the 296cc Kawi. Even more meaningful is the RC’s significantly greater torque production thanks to its 87cc and 77cc displacement edge, respectively.

Aside from a an indeterminant price disadvantage, the RC390’s drawbacks are few. Although KTM’s dealer network has been greatly expanding, it can’t come close to matching the number of Japanese OEM dealers. Also, you’ll probably be visiting your KTM dealer a little more often, as the manufacturer specifies service intervals at 4,700 miles. Valve adjustments are required at 9,300 miles.

However, these factors fade away when factoring in the RC390’s performance and desirability indexes. It offers a ton of fun and visual appeal for the dollar.

“It’s a responsibility of manufacturers to build motorcycles for younger riders,” said Thomas Kuttruf, KTM’s PR manager, at the RC’s launch. To further these efforts, KTM is sponsoring the ADAC Junior Cup series in Germany already in progress. Intriguingly, the company is investigating being similarly involved in an American series.

A full field of identically prepped RC390 racebikes would make a terrific training ground for budding racers while keeping a rein on costs.

A full field of identically prepped RC390 racebikes would make a terrific training ground for budding racers while keeping a rein on costs.

+ Highs

  • Bigger-bang motor
  • Relatively stratospheric sporting capabilities
  • Incredible street cred for the dollar
- Sighs

  • Pricier than its rivals
  • Itsy-bitsy tachometer
  • Firm saddle
KTM
RC390
Honda CBR300R Honda CBR500R Kawasaki Ninja 300 Suzuki DRZ400SM
MSRP TBA $4,399 $6,299 $4,999 $7,189
Engine Capacity 373.3cc 286cc 471cc 296cc 398cc
Engine Type Liquid-cooled, DOHC, single-cylinder, four-stroke, 4 valves per cylinder Liquid-cooled, DOHC, single-cylinder, four-stroke, 4 valves per cylinder Liquid-cooled, DOHC, parallel-Twin, four-stroke, 4 valves per cylinder Liquid-cooled, DOHC, parallel-Twin, four-stroke, 4 valves per cylinder Liquid-cooled, DOHC, single-cylinder, four-stroke, 4 valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke 89.0mm x 60.0mm 76.0mm x 63.0mm 67.0mm x 66.8mm 62.0mm x 49.0mm 90.0mm x 62.6mm
Compression Ratio 12.5:1 10.7:1 10.7:1 10.6:1 11.3:1
Horsepower 43 (claimed) 26 (est) 42.9 34 34.7
Torque 25.8 (claimed) 17.8 (est) 28.6 18 25.9
Fuel System Electronic Fuel Injection Electronic Fuel Injection Electronic Fuel Injection Electronic Fuel Injection Single Mikuni BSR36 carburettor
Transmission 6-speed 6-speed 6-speed 6-speed 5-speed
Final Drive Chain Chain Chain Chain Chain
Frame Steel trellis Steel Steel Steel Steel
Front Suspension WP 43mm inverted fork. 4.9 in travel 37mm conventional fork. 4.7 in travel 41mm convenional fork. 4.3 in travel 37mm conventional fork. 4.7 in travel Showa inverted fork. Adjustable for rebound and compression
Rear Suspension WP shock. Preload adjustable. 5.9 in travel Pro-Link single shock. Preload adjustable. 4.1 in travel Pro-Link single shock. Preload adjustable. 4.7 in travel Single shock. Preload adjustable. 5.2 in travel Showa monoshock. Fully adjustable with high- and low-speed compression adjustment
Front Brakes Single 300mm disc. 4-piston, radial-mount caliper Single 296mm disc. Two-piston caliper Single 320mm wave disc. Two-piston caliper Single 290mm wave disc. Two-piston caliper Single 300mm disc. Two-piston caliper
Rear Brakes Single 230mm disc. Single-piston caliper Single 220mm disc. Single-piston caliper Single 240mm wave disc. Single-piston caliper Single 220mm wave disc. Two-piston caliper Single 245mm disc. Single-piston caliper
Front Tire 110/70-17 110/70-17 120/70-17 110/70-17 120/70-17 tube
Rear Tire 150/60-17 140/70-17 160/60-17 140/70-17 140/70-17 tube
Seat Height 32.3 in 30.7 in 30.9 in 30.9 in 35.0 in
Wheelbase 52.8 in 54.3 in 55.5 in 55.3 in 57.5 in
Rake/Trail 23.5 deg/NA 25.3 deg/3.9 in 25.5 deg/4.1 in 27.0 deg/3.7 in NA
Curb Weight 324 (tank empty) 357 (claimed) 425 (claimed) 379.3 (claimed) 321 (claimed)
Fuel Capacity 2.6 gal 3.4 gal 4.1 gal 4.5 gal 2.6 gal

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  • DickRuble

    Nice!! Wait.. I can hear some saying that if you add $6,000 to the price you’d be in Indian Scout territory.. bummer.

    • Ser Samsquamsh

      Not bad KTM, but for only a couple extra grand you could have one of those sweet Indian Scouts. A head to head shoot out seems logical.

      • QuestionMark

        RC390/Indian Scout – Apples/Oranges
        No comparative value

        • Ser Samsquamsh

          Why do people insist on saying you can’t compare Apples and Oranges? This is patently false. If you can’t tell them apart you should get your eyes checked and you certainly shouldn’t be riding a motorcycle.

          • QuestionMark

            I’m fairly safe in saying the no one in the market for a RC390 is going to be choosing between that and an Indian Scout and I really sure nobody will buy the Scout as a track day weapon. You can not compare an apple with an orange because they are such diverse fruits….

          • Ser Samsquamsh

            It is so much easier to compare diverse fruits than identical ones which you would know if you were a true fruit aficionado. Anyway, why wouldn’t you take a Scout to a track day? My v7 is super fun on track day.

          • Kevin Duke

            Rode the Scout for my first time today. Jack up its suspension a few inches, and I’d be happy to take it to a track day. Fun motor, stiff chassis, not enough ground clearance.

          • http://www.motorcycle.com/ Sean Alexander

            Finally, a logical mind to help us all make sense of what’s wrong with MO! QuestionMark is the savior we’ve all been pining for. Soon, everything will be nice and predictable, a-hole for every peg as it were…

          • Kevin

            And a NC700X is “ALL the motorcycle anyone EVER needs,” right?

          • sgray44444

            Where’s that sarcasm smiley when you need it?

          • Kevin

            Calling the RC390 a track WEAPON is kind of a stretch, isn’t it? Like taking a slingshot to an automatic weapons firefight!

          • Garth H

            No, I have an ’88 RGV 250 that’s a track weapon. I don’t pass 600′s 750′s or 1000′s on the straights, but I do pass them on the brakes or on the outside (read the dirty part of the track) because the bike is so crazy light. The weight also allows me to run extra soft tires (more grip) and basically run them for almost a whole year. Light low power bikes require a minimal tire budget. Plus there’s nothing like riding a bike where the throttle won’t get you into trouble faster than you can say highside.

        • DickRuble

          You must be new to this publication. Apples/Oranges is the MO house specialty.

  • Andrew Capone

    Sweet, saucy little Austro- Indian exotic. Me like. Nice review, Kevin, and what a delightful couple of days in Italy it must have been.

    • Old MOron

      Heh, yeah, when you’re top banana you get all the best assignments.
      Good review, your Dukeness. Do you know if Katoom will bring this thing to Long Beach in November?

      • Kevin Duke

        ‘Twasn’t all glorious. I spent way more hours traveling than I did in Italy! KTM said the bikes will be arriving in December, but I’d be surprised if they didn’t have an RC in time for the IMS.

        • Old MOron

          Yeah, everyone thinks it’s so glamorous to travel on the company’s tab. That is often not the case.

          But that doesn’t let YOU off the hook. I’ll bet MO doesn’t flinch at elaborate meals, turns a blind eye to any number of questionable credit card transactions, etc. It must be good to be the Editor in Chief.

          • Kevin Duke

            The job has many perks, but a careless accountant isn’t one of them. :)

        • Rocket Punch

          USA debut & release schedule according to Dealernews.

          “The RC 390 will make its U.S. debut Nov. 14 during the Progressive International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach, Calif.. At the same time, KTM will announce pricing and changes from the European specs.

          The RC 390 will be available through North American KTM dealers in March 2015.”

          source: http://www.dealernews.com/dealernews/article/ktm-rc-390-lightweight-sportbike-inspired-young-racers

  • ducatirdr

    I want to test one myself. Let’s hope they demo one at the dealer near me. This could be the perfect New England back road scratcher and track day tool.

  • kawatwo

    Can’t wait to see the 390 Duke tested. The RC390 looks awesome, my back just can’t take the low bars anymore.

  • JMDonald

    This bike is beautiful. A fine effort from KTM.

  • Craig Hoffman

    The dirt bike guys are clamoring for this engine in a dual sport package. Could be cool!

    • DickRuble

      Isn’t the bore too squarish for dirt riding? Wouldn’t you want more torque down low, and less of a revvy engine?

      • Samarth Singh

        I am Samarth from India. I own the Duke 390 which has a similar engine.

        I think that with revised (lowered) gearing, it could be a better dirt bike but frankly speaking, it doesn’t have much of low end torque. Until 4000 rpm, it doesn’t ride exciting. Beyond that it starts raising.torque in a very consistent line.
        The low weight of the engine will go in favor though.

        In India, Hero Karizma, which is based on the Honda CRF 230, still makes more low end torque, than Duke 390…

        I think the all purpose Adventure series is more apt for this engine. Adventure 390 would be great. It will make an excellent tourer.
        Duke already is, except for the uncomfortably hard suspension, small pillion seat, low luggage capacity and low capacity fuel tank, all of which can be improved when this goes into production.

        Sadly, KTM CEO Pierer rejected this concept’s existence a week or two ago, in the news.

        • DickRuble

          Thanks .. that confirms what I thought.. They would need a longer stroke engine for a dirt bike, which they already make awesomely in 350cc and 450cc.. so they need not worry about that.

          • Old MOron

            Yeah, they seem to have the dirt-bike market covered with their 350 and 450 models. But that doesn’t mean this 390 engine couldn’t be used. Who knows, maybe 375 cc is the Goldilocks displacement.

            In terms of bore and stroke, I don’t think this RC390 engine is off the mark. It’s ratio is similar to Honda’s and Yamaha’s off-roaders.

            RC390: 89/60 = 1.48
            CRF450X: 96/62 = 1.55
            CRF250X: 78/52.2 = 1.49
            WR450F: 95/63.4 = 1.50
            WR250F: 77/53.6 = 1.44

          • DickRuble

            You’re right..I checked KTM MX and Enduro models.. (they use the same engines).. and their ratios are around 1.5.. I guess revvy is the way to go..

        • Old MOron

          Thanks for the info. Nice to hear from India.

  • Lynchenstein

    I think it’s ugly as Hell. But who cares, it sounds like a blast to ride.

  • Deepak Dongre

    The CBR500R makes 47 bhp if am not wrong.

    • TroySiahaan

      Maybe, but not the one we put on the dyno…

    • sgray44444

      Looks like the 500r is really the closest competitor, but I’m guessing it’s much less hard-edged in the chassis department.

  • NorthShoreRider

    Looking forward to the Duke version. Nice review! Sweet bike!

  • Jason

    I was excited until I read it only has a 2.6 gallon fuel tank. That will put the realistic range at 100-120 miles. That is too many stops at gas stations for me.

    • Stuki

      It’s a frugal engine. In a track setting, I bet it will go just as far
      as a standard issue 600 with a 4-4.5 gallon tank. On the street either
      one will go longer than my wrists, knees, back, neck and butt………..

      • Jason

        The Honda CBR250 seems to do about 65 mpg in the real world. With more than 50% more power I doubt the KTM will do more than 55 or so. 55 mpg x 2.6 g = 143 miles. Drop .5 gallons for reserve and we are at 115 miles. If you ride in rural areas like I do and gas stations can be 30-40 miles apart that means filling up every 70-80 miles.

        In my opinion this bike needs a 3.5 gallon tank for a true 150 miles before the low fuel light comes on.

  • di0genes

    The journos keep saying that there aren’t many KTM dealers “it can’t come close to matching the number of Japanese OEM dealers”, but for me (KTM owner since 07) this is definitely not true. Where I am (urban area of about 1 million) there are just as many KTM dealers (2) as that other K bike, Kawasaki. As for the rural hinterland here, a motorsports dealer is just as likely to be KTM as any other off road two wheeler brand. The best thing of all re KTM is that parts continually arrive in less than a week, which is not my experience for other brands ie, made in Japan. YMMV but I’m betting that most who read this are within 30 miles of a KTM dealer.

  • Vrooom

    There’s definitely a market for this bike, the tiny tank combined with an incredibly short valve adjustment interval would make it not for me, but there are lot’s of new riders who won’t put 10K on in 3 years. A racing series based on this bike would be a hoot.

    • Oslo Norway

      A spec series, ANY spec series would be great, with decent contingencies…Start to build those grids again…

    • Stuki

      ………….

  • GearDrivenCam

    Press releases indicate that the CBR300R makes 30.4 hp at the crank – NOT 26 hp as listed. That figure is for the previous CBR250R bike.

    • TroySiahaan

      Honda doesn’t typically publish power figures in its press materials. At least not American Honda anyway. Regardless, we put our CB300F (same engine as the CBR300R) on the dyno and it made 26 hp at the wheel.

      • GearDrivenCam

        Thanks Troy – that makes sense. I guess I was a little confused, as some of the figures appear to be measured at the crank – while others are rear-wheel hp numbers. At first glance – this can make it hard to compare hp numbers across bikes.

  • Oslo Norway

    Kevin, you got an in with these guys? Can you drop them a line, you know, informally? Maybe just tell ‘em, hey, make one in the 500-600cc range? It would cause me to do something stupid involving cash transactions…

    • Oslo Norway

      Oh, and I’ll need a pipe…

      • Stuki

        Dude, quite smoking! It’s bad for you…. They’re giving you the choice between 390 & 690 already. Do you really need something squeezed in between? You spoiled Euro snobs even get the more track worthy R version of the 690 over there…
        :)

        • Oslo Norway

          Heh, heh, alright, alright…Mmmkay, sure, I can settle for the 690. I’ll make do, now about that winning lottery ticket thing…

    • Garth H

      an RC690 would be sweet.