KTM RC Family Explained: RC 125, RC 200 & RC 390
Confused about picking the right KTM RC for yourself? We help you decide.
The 125 Duke turned fortunes for KTM in India, turning out to be a bigger success that the company ever imagined. This urged the brand to bring out the RC 125. It packs the same mechanical kit as the elder RC 200, deftly mixing the track-focused nature of the RC 390 and the mild demeanour of the 125 Duke. If you have your heart set on buying an RC, here’s a small guide to help you find the right KTM supersport for yourself.
KTM RC 125:
This is the baby of the family. We tried out the RC’s 124.7cc motor on the 125 Duke. For its intended usage, the motor feels friendly and usable. However, it is a slouch. The same feeling is found on the RC 125. Its learner orientation is perfect with just the enough amount of power (14.5PS) on tap to keep a newbie rider happy for long. The kit on offer is the best in its class -- 43mm USD fork, preload adjustable monoshock mounted on an aluminium swingarm, radial caliper on the front wheel and radial tyres. One could not ask for a better learner’s supersport from KTM. The problem, though, is that you will outgrow the bike fairly quickly. A wiser bet would be to check out the Yamaha R15 V3 which does have a little more oomph than before, and is as sharp as the RC 125. More importantly, the R15 is cheaper by Rs 7000, which can be utilised for buying riding gear.
KTM RC 200:
Mental in every sense of the word, the RC 200 step up a few notches when it comes to performance. 25PS and 19.2Nm produced from the 199.6cc peaky motor hits you in an instant. The 200 Duke gave us a taste of what KTM motorcycles are capable of and this RC 200 did just the same when it came to faired motorcycles. But it is somewhat of a menace on the roads. One is forced to keep the throttle wringing to keep the bike going. Fueling could have been tuned slightly better as snatchy on/off throttle transitions can overwhelm a newbie. For the price of the RC 200 (Rs 1.90 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi), there is no proper supersport. However, you could check out the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 or the Honda CBR250R which are better suited at handling the real world rather than just weekend thrills.
KTM RC 390:
This is as ‘Ready To Race’ RC that one can buy currently as the RC 390 is one demanding motorcycle. It demands your focus, not letting you relax for even a single second. The 373cc single is not as peaky as the RC 200’s but it is mental as KTMs can get. It is one of the quickest sub-400cc motorcycles on sale today. The components are more than capable of handling the might of the 45PS power with the new 320mm front rotor on the current gen bike boosting braking confidence. It is still a bit of a hassle within city limits and even on the highway the small fuel tank would lead you to take frequent fuel stops. However, one can’t miss the fact that it’s the most feature-packed value-for-money supersport in its class, retailing for Rs 2.44 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi. The nearest rivals are the Kawasaki Ninja 300 and the Benelli 302R, both of which are nearly Rs 50,000 more. The Yamaha R3 is almost Rs 1 lakh dearer and let us just not speak about the pricing of the Ninja 400.