2021 KTM RC 390: What To Expect
The supersport has undergone an update in possibly every aspect
It’s been almost two years since the first images of the next-gen KTM RC surfaced online. Now, the Austrian brand has discontinued the current model and some dealers have already begun accepting unofficial bookings for the upcoming model. If you too have been looking to get your hands on one, here’s what you can expect from the new supersport:
The current-gen model’s aggressive riding triangle is great for the track, but beyond that, it takes a toll on the rider. With the 2021 RC 390, the ergonomics feel slightly relaxed. The revised subframe appears to have made more room in the saddle for the rider while the lowered and marginally forward footpegs give it a less attacking stance.
At 170kg (dry), the current-generation RC 390 isn’t really on the heavier side, but the new model could be slightly lighter. The new alloy wheels, disc brake, and fairing are likely to contribute to its weight loss.
After the 390 Duke and 390 Adventure, KTM has equipped the 2021 RC 390 with a new bolt-on subframe. Not only does it make repairs easier in case of damage to the frame, but also increases the stress handling capacity of the frame. The new pillion seat also looks more comfortable than the one on the current model.
While the current-gen model’s face polarised fans, KTM’s new approach is sure to upset most of them. In order to save costs, KTM will use the same stacked LED lights from the Duke and weave the fairing around it. Along with the integrated turn indicators, the flared look isn’t all that appealing. We can only hope it looks better in person than it does in images.
TFT Instrument Console
Another piece of equipment that the RC could share with the 390 siblings is the TFT instrument console. Not only will it complement the new design, but with smartphone connectivity, it will also be on par with the TVS Apache RR 310. A lap timer would also be a worthy addition to the 2021 KTM RC 390.
The new front rotor seems lighter and is now mounted directly onto the spokes, rather than the wheel hub. With the updated disc, KTM may even opt for sintered brake pads, like with the 390 Duke.
Though KTM will retain the 43mm WP USD fork and monoshock, the Austrian company may update the internals for better shock absorption.
Electronic Rider Aids
The RC390 is likely to get the same rudimentary traction control system from the 390 Adventure. During our first ride, we found it a bit erratic, re-engaging at will over the slightest hint of gravel or loose surface. Unless KTM fixes this, traction control will only give you bragging rights.
Another gimmicky feature that may end up on the 2022 KTM RC 390 is the bi-directional quickshifter. In our first ride of the current-spec KTM 390 Duke, we found the system to be quite slow since it uses a semi-mechanical system to sense pressure. It is more of a shifting aid, best utilised for clutchless gear shifts in the city. The system failed to remain active at the top of the rev band.
We expect the new KTM RC 390 to come with the same 373.2cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled engine, developing 43PS and 37Nm. If the bike turns out to be significantly lighter, there might be some change in its performance delivery.
The bike is expected to launch in the next couple of months, along with the 2021 KTM RC 200, which has already been spotted testing.
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