KTM Reveals Limited Production RC 8C

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Only 100 units will be produced, at a price of $38,999.

KTM has revealed a new limited production track bike with the 890 Duke R engine in a bespoke chassis. The 2022 KTM RC 8C will be available for pre-order starting on July 22 at 10 am EST/7 am PST on KTM’s website for $38,999.

If you're on the hunt for race gas, then look for oxygen levels. But that's not all there is to it.

We’ve been waiting a long time for the Austrian brand to introduce a new sportbike, and while the RC 8C is designed for track use only, we’re eager to throw a leg over it.

Except we sort of already have, as the RC 8C is a further evolved version of the Kramer GP2 prototype that Troy Siahaan tested in 2018. Krämer, if you recall, is a project by Marcus Krämer, a former KTM employee, that builds track-only sportbikes powered by KTM engines. The GP2 prototype Troy rode was powered by the 790 engine, but the production version uses the 890 engine that KTM is using here on the RC 8C. The GP2 has a different fairing design, but several key elements are present on the RC 8C from the steel trellis frame, swingarm, and the composite fuel tank/tail unit. KTM worked with Krämer Motorcycles to produce the RC 8C, offering a track bike with top-shelf components typically found only on factory racing machines.

World Exclusive! Kramer GP2 Prototype – First Ride

The RC 8C is powered by KTM’s 889cc LC8c engine, claiming 126.1 hp and 74.5 lb-ft (we’ve dyno’ed a Kramer GP2 and got about 114 hp at the wheel). While the engine is unchanged from the Duke, the RC 8C benefits from a new air intake developed by Twin Air. Air is channeled through the ram air intake to the airbox positioned between the rider’s legs and then into the engine. Krämer designed the stainless steel exhaust system which ends with an Akrapovič Titanium muffler.

The bodywork incorporates influences from KTM’s RC16 MotoGP bike, with a (fiber) glass reinforced plastic (GRP) fairing reinforced with carbon-Kevlar and aerodynamic carbon fiber winglets for wheelie control and high-speed stability. As a purpose-built track bike, the body panels are designed to be easily removed for fast trackside service. Like Krämer’s bikes, the RC 8C was designed with crashing in mind, (which Troy, as a Krämer owner, says he had to learn the hard way) as racers push themselves and the bike to its limits. As such, the components most likely to touch the ground are protected with sliders and/or designed to be sacrificial and easily replaced. The engine, and its critical components carrying fluids, come nowhere near the ground in most crashes.

The front wheel is suspended by a full-adjustable WP APEX Pro 7543 closed cartridge fork while the rear wheel uses a WP APEX PRO 7746 shock, both specially tuned fro the racetrack. WP also supplies the adjustable APEX PRO 7117 steering damper.

Brembo provides the braking system with two Stylema calipers mounted with titanium fixings and 290 mm aluminum rotors up front and a two-piston caliper with 230 mm disc at the rear. The RC 8C is also outfitted with a Brembo 19 RCS Corsa Corta radial master brake cylinder. Developed from MotoGP racing, the master cylinder allows riders to adjust the bite point to their needs. The default Normal setting starts the bite point gradually, making it suitable for poor grip conditions. The Sport setting offers a more dynamic response with a shorter initial bite. The Race setting is even more extreme, with a near immediate response similar to the performance level used in MotoGP.

The entire tail unit is a combination subframe, seat, and 4.2-gallon fuel tank designed to centralize the weight of the chassis. The tank can be easily drained via a click-on connector. It is also mounted on an eccentric, allowing the rider to change its angle depending on their seating preference.

The wheels are lightweight Dymag UP7X forged aluminum, and they come equipped with Pirelli Diablo Superbike racing slicks.

The RC 8C offers adjustable foot pegs, handlebars and seat height, letting riders tune the ergonomics to their liking. The headstock is also adjustable ±1° in 0.5° increments, while the fork offset is adjustable between 1.0 and 1.1 inches.

KTM equipped the RC 8C with a full-factory AIM MXS 1.2 RACE dashboard with a 5-inch TFT display, integrated GPS function and data logger. The data can be analyzed in the AIM RaceStudio software, keeping tabs on track speed, position, throttle position, engine speed, gear, acceleration and deceleration.

KTM will only produce 100 units of the RC 8C. For an even more exclusive experience, 25 customers will have the chance to take part in a private track day at Circuito de Jerez from Oct. 7-9 with KTM riders Mika Kallio and Dani Pedrosa. KTM will cover the transport expense to ship the RC 8C to Jerez where customers can get personal track setup by WP Suspension technicians. Those 25 customers will also receive a track day package with an extra set of Dymag wheels, brake discs, front and rear paddock stands, tire warmers, and a KTM Race carpet.

2022 KTM RC 8C Specifications

Engine889cc liquid-cooled four-stroke Parallel-Twin
Bore x Stroke90.7 mm x 68.8 mm
EMSBosch EMS with RBW
Horsepower126.1 hp (claimed)
Torque74.5 lb-ft. (claimed)
LubricationForced oil lubrication with 2 oil pumps
StarterElectric starter
ClutchPASC antihopping clutch, mechanically operated
FrameChrome-molybdenum steel tubular space frame, powder-coated
Front brake2 x Brembo Stylema Monobloc four piston, radially mounted caliper, 290 mm brake discs
Rear brakeBrembo twin-piston floating caliper, 230 mm brake disc
Front suspensionWP X-ACT PRO 7543, 4.7 inches of travel
Rear suspensionWP APEx PRO 7746, 4.7 inches of travel
Ground clearance5.9 inches
Tank capacity (approx.)4.22 gallons
Seat height32.3 inches
Steering head angle66.7°
Trail3.9 inches
Wheelbase55.1 inches
Dry Weight309 pounds (claimed)

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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.

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4 of 35 comments
  • Hipsabad Hipsabad on Jul 22, 2021

    i want that subframe/gas tank for my 890R, dammit!

  • Brian Evans Brian Evans on Jul 22, 2021

    I was on the KTM.com site at 7 AM PST when ordering opened, the site crashed after clicking the "Pre-order" button and when the page finally did respond there notification stated there were only 12 bikes left; by the time I selected my local dealer from the list of 272 dealers listed in no particular order all the remaining bikes were all gone in 4 total minutes.