KTM RC 200: Pros, Cons, Should You Buy One?
Here's what works in favour of the 200cc supersport and what doesn't
KTM changed the face of the Indian motorcycling industry back in 2012 by introducing the 200 Duke and 390 Duke. Two years later, the brand launched its RC range, proper performance-oriented motorcycles designed to offer the thrill of bigger bikes in a small package. Premium cycle parts, a drool-worthy design and hair-raising performance, the KTM portfolio has it all. That said, the KTM RC 200 hasn’t seen much change ever since its launch, apart from minor cosmetic updates. So, is it still a relevant buy considering the competitive two-wheeler segment? Here’s what makes the bike tick even today and where it could have been better.
The RC 200 has aged well over the past seven years, thanks to the effort of Austrian design studio Kiska who’s responsible for designing all KTM products. In fact, it’s still one of the best looking bikes in the sub-250cc segment. The slather of orange paired with its aggressive design language still has a pretty huge cult following.
Packs a punch:
Its BS4-compliant 199.5cc, liquid-cooled motor dishes out 25.4PS at 10,000rpm and 19.2Nm at 8000rpm. Pair this with a dry weight of just 137.5kg and you have a pocket rocket at hand. Moreover, the RC 200’s rev-happy motor makes quick overtakes a piece of cake, be it within the city or out on the highway. The motor, paired with a 6-speed transmission, can hold triple-digit speeds on the highway without breaking a sweat.
Goes without saying that the bike is an exceptionally good handler, more so on a racetrack. The bike’s stiff suspension setup offers exceptional agility and flickability on the track. Show it some corners and the RC 200 tips in without throwing a fit. That said, its sharp handling does take some time to get used to and requires some expertise to tame.
Premium cycle parts:
One of the bike’s biggest selling points is its premium cycle parts which comprise of a lightweight trellis frame, upside-down fork and a monoshock from WP, a radially mounted caliper which clamps onto a massive 320mm front disc and radial tyres at both ends. Single-channel ABS comes right off the shelf.
Committed riding posture:
The bike’s supersport pedigree means it has an aggressive riding posture with low set clip-on handlebars. While it’s perfect for the track, the leaned forward stance could take a toll on your back in stop-and-go traffic. Simply put, it would be an uncomfortable city commuter.
Could be intimidating for novice riders:
While the KTM RC 200 isn’t as frantic as the RC 390, it’s still pretty powerful, especially for beginner riders. The bike’s power and razor sharp handling do require some experience to tame. Luckily, the Austrian brand has a smaller, less intimidating bike on offer - the RC 125.
Could do with better tyres:
While the MRF RevZ tyres on the RC 200 perform well on-road and out on the track, it can't match up to the stickier Metzeler tyres on the RC 390 which inspires more confidence.
Should you buy one?
If you’re an enthusiastic rider who loves carving corners over the weekend, the RC 200 still makes a lot of sense. There’s a good amount of kit on offer for Rs 1.90 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and enough power on tap to keep you grinning for a few years. However, if you’re an experienced rider, you may be better off with the more powerful RC 390. Alternatively, you could opt for the 390 Duke if you aren’t too comfortable with the committed riding posture.