2025 KTM 990 RC R – First Look

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Prototype to begin racing in Europe ahead of full production in 2025

We’ve been waiting for KTM to release a true successor to the RC 8 R sportbike for a while now, and the closest thing we got was the limited edition track-only RC 8C. Until now, that is, with the announcement of the new 2025 KTM 990 RC R.

At the moment, KTM has only released preliminary details and images of a prototype, but did confirm the 990 RC R will be entering production in early 2025 as a fully street-legal sportbike as well as a track edition. Of course, being a KTM, the prototype is “ready to race,” and will be competing as a non-scoring wildcard this year across select European Supersport racing series.

The 990 RC R was developed using data from KTM’s GP racing program, and shares the LC8c Twin of the 990 Duke. On the RC R, however, the engine claims a peak output of 126 hp (3 hp more than the Duke). Peak torque is the same 76 lb-ft., but it arrives much higher in the rev range at 10,500 rpm compared to 6,750 rpm for the streetfighter. The engine is accompanied by a new ergo-crafted condensed stainless steel muffler and a six-speed transmission that can be reversed to a race-shift pattern as standard.

The engine is mounted to a steel frame designed to provide stability under acceleration and agility at slow speeds, with an increased weight bias towards the front end. The wind tunnel tested aerodynamic wings help provide additional stability for braking and cornering.

The fuel tank was shaped to provide a more comfortable “tucked-in” riding position, while adjustable footrests provide more options for different body shapes and riding styles.

Other confirmed details include WP APEX open cartridge suspension and lightweight cast aluminum wheels. The prototype is equipped with Pirelli Diablo Superbike tires, the official slicks for the World Superbike Championship, but KTM says the production model will come equipped with Michelin rubber.

Full specifications will be released in early 2025. Pricing will also be announced later, but KTM hints that it won’t be “exorbitant”.

“This bike offers power and prestige without the exorbitant price tag,” says Riaan Neveling, head of KTM global marketing. “At last, we can unveil our KTM 990 RC R and introduce a truly exceptional motorcycle to dealerships in early 2025, fulfilling the anticipation of countless riders and race enthusiasts.”

Become a Motorcycle.com insider. Get the latest motorcycle news first by subscribing to our newsletter here.

Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

More by Dennis Chung

Join the conversation
3 of 8 comments
  • Stephen Bogert Stephen Bogert on May 09, 2024

    This sounds a lot like the original 990 Super Dukes from a dozen or so years ago! I love my 2008 and would not even trade it for this new version! The newer one has more tech, ok, but you can get an older one for around 5k I think.

    • MrFixit MrFixit on May 09, 2024

      Except for it has a full fairing and a parallel twin engine instead of a v-twin naked bike. How are they alike other than being KTM’s?

  • Stephen Bogert Stephen Bogert on May 10, 2024

    Having similar horsepower and displacement make it similar to the 990 SD, the article starts to compare it to the RC 8 which was defined as a sport bike but had a larger engine. So it has a fairing, ok, I put narrower bars (from K 1100 RS) on my SD and feel it is about the most comfortable bike I own in that form as well as the fastest. For the rider that is not aware of the 990 SD s existence, I see lots of performance similarity.