Limited Production 2023 KTM RC 8C – First Look
Higher revving, more powerful LC8c engine
KTM announced updates for its RC 8C sportbike, including a reworked, more powerful engine, a new exhaust, updated electronics, and the latest WP suspension. Produced once more with the help of Krämer Motorcycles, the RC 8C will have a limited run of 200 numbered units, with a suggested retail price of US$39,599.
The most significant updates are with the 889 cc engine, with new, lightweight titanium valves and connecting rods, plus forged pistons using a new two-ring system (versus the previous three piston rings). The pistons are now lighter, reducing oscillating masses, while also allowing KTM to increase the rev limit to 12,000 rpm.
Other engine changes include a higher compression ratio (14:1 versus 13.5:1), reduced wall thickness, a larger throttle body (48mm versus 46 mm), and new chain-driven camshafts that are now assembled instead of forged.
With the addition of a new Akrapovič titanium exhaust, the KTM RC 8C now claims an output of 135 hp at 11,000 rpm, an increase of 7 hp over the 2022 version. The 2023 RC 8C does sacrifice a bit of torque, now peaking at a claimed 72.3 lb-ft. at 8,250 rpm, down from the previously claimed 74.5 lb-ft.
For 2023, KTM receives a WP APEX PRO 7643 closed cartridge 43mm front fork with slightly softer base settings than the previous model. The WP Apex Pro 7746 shock features a new high and low speed compression adjuster. Both front and rear suspension continue to offer 4.7 inches of travel. WP also supplies the Apex Pro 7117 steering damper which offers 30 clicks of adjustment.
The 2023 RC 8C has two throttle response maps. PW1 is designed for dry conditions, offering more direct and responsive feedback. The softer PW2 setting is for wet or degraded grip conditions. The traction control system is new, with a choice of settings from 0 (off) to a 9. A two-level engine brake control is also new.
The braking system is unchanged, with twin Brembo Stylema calipers up front, a two-piston caliper at the back, and a Brembo 19RCS Corsa Corta master cylinder that offers a choice of three different bite points. In another effort to reduce weight, the calipers are fastened with titanium screws.
Other highlights include a claimed 313 pound dry weight, a revamped dash with GPS data-logger, Power Assist Slipper Clutch, and MotoGP-derived aerodynamics.
The 2023 KTM RC 8C is available for online pre-order now. KTM will also offer an exclusive “handover” event for 30 customers to pick up their RC 8C at the Circuio Ricardo Tormo track in Valencia, Spain, where they can ride it with the guidance of former Grand Prix racers and the benefit of a full KTM and WP Suspension technical crew.
2023 KTM RC 8C Specifications
|Engine Type||Liquid-cooled four-stroke, DOHC Parallel twin, four valves per cylinder|
|Bore x Stroke||90.7 mm x 68.8 mm|
|Power||135 hp at 11,000 rpm (claimed)|
|Torque||72.3 lb-ft. at 8,250 rpm (claimed)|
|Starter / Battery||Electric / 12.8 V 4Ah Lithium battery|
|Fuel System||DKK Dell’Orto (Throttle body 48mm)|
|Lubrication||Pressure lubrication with 2 oil pumps|
|Engine Oil||Motorex, Racing Pro 4T SAE 15W-50|
|Clutch||Cable operated PASC Slipper clutch|
|Engine Management/Ignition||Bosch EMS with RBW|
|Traction Control||10 levels available (from 0=off to 9=max traction control)|
|Fuel Consumption||22.4 mpg (claimed)|
|Frame||Cro-Mo steel frame (25CrMo4 tubular steel)|
|Subframe||Integrated with fuel tank|
|Handlebar||Aluminum, clip-on bars, adjustable|
|Front Suspension||WP XACT PRO 7543 fork; adjustable compression, rebound, preload; 4.7 inches of travel|
|Rear Suspension||WP APEX PRO 7746; adjustable compression (high/low), rebound, preload; 4.7 inches of travel|
|Front Brake||Dual radially mounted four-piston calipers, Ø 290 mm brake discs|
|Rear Brake||Two-piston caliper, brake disc Ø 230 mm|
|Front Wheel||Forged aluminum 3.50 × 17″|
|Rear Wheel||Forged aluminum 6.00 × 17″|
|Front Tire||120/70 R 17|
|Rear Tire||180/60 R 17|
|Chain||Chain 520 DID ERV Racing|
|Silencer||Titanium Akrapovic full exhaust system|
|Rake / Trail||23.3° (± 1°) / 3.9 inches|
|Wheelbase||55.1 inches ± 0.6 inches|
|Ground Clearance||7.5 inches|
|Seat Height||32.3 inches|
|Tank Capacity||Approx. 4.2 gallons|
|Dry Weight||Approx. 313 pounds (claimed)|
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More by Dennis Chung