Since 2014, Australian manufacturer KTM has been propelling the arrival of the small-capacity recital motorcycles in India with its RC series of bikes. Over the time, the company has been a very well alteration in its super sports bike not only to the lighter and the more agile for laps around a circuit but also a lot easier to ride daily – all this while simultaneously compromising a good amount of technology and riding aids though remaining an accessible option to the riders from all walks of life. Every little change with these bikes has been made with the intention of allowing you to be a lot more confident and composed across them and basically give you all the mechanical motivation you will need to be the best you can be in the performance biking sense. And it is the efforts up to this point that has all culminated in this- the new Gen 2022 RC 390.
Like the lower displacement RC 125 and the RC 200 models, this bike has been on the receiving end of a substantial number of changes. New updated design, slightly tweaked engine, new chassis, and this one even gets some class-leading electronics thrown in as well.
The 2022 KTM RC 390 got this style after the company’s RC 16 MotoGP competition machine. The bike now gets a bugger face, with a broader windscreen with integrated LED indicators and lights. Even though the front does not look as aggressive as before, the idea behind this alteration is to improve wind deflection and aerodynamics when you are really going for it. This can also be seen as a response to some of the feedback the company had received from many of these seasoned riders.
The suspension unit out front is the WP Apex USD fork, but unlike the team on the bikes sold in other parts of the world, this 43mm fork does not come with the adjustability options. The side fairing has been revised to allow better heat dispersion, and the aid aero, the handlebar gets a spacer that gives the riders two positions for a more aggressive feel that will be 14.5mm apart.
The tank volume has gone up in size from the previous, 9.5 liters to 13.7 liters, and it is positioned colder to the handlebars, giving a better knee break area.
The battery and electronics have moved behind the tank for better convenience. Further back, you will see the exposed new bolt-on-sub-frame with the WP Apex mono-shock suspension that can be accustomed for the preload nestled within. With its KTM branding, the end can is all-new, and it pretty much looks like an aftermarket fitment, which is quite remarkable in a way; exhaust the note, on the other hand, would not impress a lot. The bikes may get the new grab rail to resign where it is now and is not integrated into the tail panels.
With the new-gen RC 390, you will get the same TFT display with Bluetooth connectivity that is lifted from the Adventure 390, just that this one gets more options to toggle through because this bike comes with lean-angle sensitive ABS- where the bike IMU intervenes for braking safely when the motorcycle is leaned over in the corner and the Supermoto ABS which alters the functioning of the dual-channel ABS by switching off the ABS at the rear wheel, thereby allowing you slide the bike as you wish without any electronic interventions. This will enable you to polish your trail braking skills, an experiment in the braking zones, and basically go full hooligan mode, just like the riders in the promo videos that KTM posts on their online channels. The best bit of tech has to be the traction control on this bike which is the first in this segment. Not only is this a brilliant feature that allows you to push the bike to your perceived limits and beyond, but while also gives you a comfortable safety net if things are getting out of your hand.
This engine is the same 373cc single CYL liquid-cooled unit as before but has received some internal tweaking. The motor puts out 43.5PS @ 9,000rpm and 37Nm @ 7,000rpm, which is up by 1Nm compared to the outgoing model. The engine comes mated to a six-speeder, and it will get a slipper clutch and a quick shifter which comes in really handy for when you are going out on a track. The bike gets a larger air box- it is now 40 percent larger than before, which helps it breathe a lot better and improves the mid-range grunt of the bike, making it more tractable for city usage.
With the new model, KTM has focused on optimizing the bike handling and performance dynamics by reducing the unsprung mass of this motorcycle with the new chassis and lighter components like the wheels and hollow front axle and much more contributed to the bike’s curb weight being 1Kg more delicate than the older gen model, even with all the new bits and tech thrown in.
Once you are on the bike, you can tell the difference instantly, and you lean the bike into a corner at speed. The front end feels so light, and it is so composed when you go in hot tucking into a corner and very easy to pick up when powering out hard. The overall bike feels a lot more rigid and agile than before.
KTM claims that the bikes are a good couple of tenths quicker than before too, but we will have that claim verified in a proper road test afterward. The mid-section feels much narrower than before, and there is more room for your knees, which, in turn, allows you to get a better hold of the bike in the bends. Turn-ins feel quicker, and changing direction, in general, is a lot easier, which should also make touring out in the everyday, real-world conditions on this bike a lot better than before.
With all the changes that KTM has made to the 2022 RC 390, the bike is now a much sharper track tool than it ever was. It allows you to grow in confidence quickly if you are new to the biking segment. But it is just a little more than that. With the latest components and improved electronic packaging, the small-bore supersport is much more tractable and user-friendly. It is not as hyper as the first0- gen bike, but it feels well balanced with the amount of power in hand.
Also, if you are a seasoned rider who does not feel the need to have any of the electronics interfering, you can have it your way because it is switchable. The bike costs 3.14 Lakhs which is 35k more than the present model, but the list of improvements and new bits is considerable, so it pretty much justifies the pricing and cause.