KTM has been on a roll of late, with its 1290 Super Duke R and 1190 Adventure R collecting our MOBO awards for Motorcycle of the Year and Best on On- Off-Road/Adventure bikes. However let’s not forget the motorcycle that introduced the engine that begat these two award winners: the RC8 R.
KTM sure hasn’t forgotten, as new evidence released by the International Motorcycling Federation suggests the RC8 R is getting an update for 2015. The FIM has updated its list of motorcycles homologated for road racing, adding a new entry in the Superstock 1000 and Endurance World Championship for the RC8 R with serial production beginning July 2014.
As we can see in the FIM document below, the RC8 R was previously homologated with production starting in March 2009. That production run is now listed as ended with the newly homologated version added.
Unfortunately, the list doesn’t describe the difference between the new production model and the previous one as it does with other models on the list. Looking at KTM’s current models however, we can make some reasonable guesses.
It’s a sure bet that the RC8 R will receive antilock brakes, as ABS will soon become mandatory equipment on all European streetbikes.
A high-performance electronics package will undoubtedly be part of the RC8 R’s updates. We expect a version of the Bosch motorcycle stability control technology introduced on the 1190 Adventure R that uses lean-angle data as reference for the traction-control and ABS systems.
As for the engine, it’s highly unlikely the RC8 R will get a displacement bump to the Super Duke R’s 1301cc displacement. While we expect the recently confirmed 1290 Super Adventure to get the larger engine, current Superstock 1000 regulations restrict Twin-cylinder motorcycles to 1200cc. That means we should expect a new RC8 R to continue using an 1195cc 75° V-Twin, but it’s sure to have several updates to remain competitive with class rivals like Ducati’s Panigale and EBR’s new 1190RX.
The current RC8 R has a very distinctive look with its stacked headlights splitting the front fairing. KTM may stick with that look, as both the Super Duke R and Adventure retain a vertical look, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if the RC8 R gets redesigned to look more like KTM’s smaller-displacement sportbikes like the RC 390.
If KTM does reveal an updated RC8 R, it will likely debut at the Intermot show in Cologne, Germany, later this month.