Limited Production 2023 KTM RC 8C – First Look

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

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 TypeLiquid-cooled four-stroke, DOHC Parallel twin, four valves per cylinder
Displacement889 cc
Bore x Stroke90.7 mm x 68.8 mm
Power135 hp at 11,000 rpm (claimed)
Torque72.3 lb-ft. at 8,250 rpm (claimed)
Compression Ratio14:01
Starter / BatteryElectric / 12.8 V 4Ah Lithium battery
Transmission6 gears
Fuel SystemDKK Dell’Orto (Throttle body 48mm)
LubricationPressure lubrication with 2 oil pumps
Engine OilMotorex, Racing Pro 4T SAE 15W-50
Primary Drive39:75
Final Drive16:41
ClutchCable operated PASC Slipper clutch
Engine Management/IgnitionBosch EMS with RBW
Traction Control10 levels available (from 0=off to 9=max traction control)
Fuel Consumption22.4 mpg (claimed)
FrameCro-Mo steel frame (25CrMo4 tubular steel)
SubframeIntegrated with fuel tank
HandlebarAluminum, clip-on bars, adjustable
Front SuspensionWP XACT PRO 7543 fork; adjustable compression, rebound, preload; 4.7 inches of travel
Rear SuspensionWP APEX PRO 7746; adjustable compression (high/low), rebound, preload; 4.7 inches of travel
Front BrakeDual radially mounted four-piston calipers, Ø 290 mm brake discs
Rear BrakeTwo-piston caliper, brake disc Ø 230 mm
Front WheelForged aluminum 3.50 × 17″
Rear WheelForged aluminum 6.00 × 17″
Front Tire120/70 R 17
Rear Tire180/60 R 17
ChainChain 520 DID ERV Racing
SilencerTitanium Akrapovic full exhaust system
Rake / Trail23.3° (± 1°) / 3.9 inches
Wheelbase55.1 inches ± 0.6 inches
Ground Clearance7.5 inches
Seat Height32.3 inches
Tank CapacityApprox. 4.2 gallons
Dry WeightApprox. 313 pounds (claimed)

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Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the 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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