KTM, an Austrian motorcycle manufacturer known for its popular line of Ready-to-Race off-road dirt bikes enters the pinnacle of sportbike motorcycle design with its RC8 sportbike. Representing KTM’s first mass-produced production superbike, the KTM RC8 was designed with the racetrack in mind and is intended to compete directly against Ducati’s 1098/1198 Superbikes as well as the Big Four Japanese literclass motorcycles. First released in Europe as a 2008 model, the RC8 sportbike arrived in the U.S. albeit in limited numbers for the 2009 model year.
KTM is usually known for their dirt, and street Bikes, but that all changed in 2008 when the Austrian brand took on the Sport market with their new KTM RC8R Sportbike.
With its striking lines and sharp creases, visually the KTM RC8 stands apart from other manufacture’s open-class Superbike offerings. Beneath the RC8’s signature orange-colored body panels is a liquid-cooled 1148cc V-Twin engine, manufactured by Austrian engine manufacturer, Rotax. The cylinders are canted at a 65-degree angle in effort to keep the RC8 engine as compact as possible. The KTM RC8 makes use of high-end suspension and braking components from technical suppliers WP and Brembo.
For 2009, the RC8 will be available in another more racetrack oriented variation named the KTM RC8R. Designed for the rigors of World Superbike competition, the RC8R makes use of a larger, more highly tuned 1194cc engine, altered chassis geometry, as well as a reduction in weight.