When one speaks of the current top sports bikes, The 2017 KTM RC 390 doesn’t need any introduction. Dubbed as the “supersport bike”, the all new model of KTM RC 390 is both fast and furious at the same time (some people do consider it for touring). KTM has come a long way since its debut back in 2012 into the Indian market and has established itself as a worthy player. Enjoy the 2017 KTM RC 390 review…
Although its roots are indubitably Austrian, it does possess a strong Indian connection in the form of its partnership with Bajaj Auto. Almost half of the company’s share is owned by Bajaj and is known for producing and exporting KTM bikes across the globe.
Launched back in 2014, the RC bikes provided the ultimate experience of riding a true sports bike. The motorbike has been made available in two categories – 200cc and 390cc, keeping in mind the budget of potential buyers. With sales for the KTM motorcycles stronger than ever, it comes as no surprise that a revamped version of RC 390 was launched this year. With all new graphics enhancing its outer appearance, KTM RC390 is all set to make its mark in motorcycling circuit of India.
A few weeks back, when I had gone to our partner KTM showroom to test ride the 2017 Duke 390, I’d ended up discussing about the RC bikes with Robin, the manager there (By the way if you are looking for a KTM RC 390 for sale, this is the place to buy it). He remarked that the RC bikes were a brilliant piece of automobile engineering and I’ve got to test drive a RC 390 next to figure out what exactly he was talking about. I told him I’d be back for RC 390 next as was left captivated by its stunning looks when saw it the first time. Truth be told, I couldn’t wait to test drive it.
So keeping my promise, this past weekend, I called up Robin and asked him whether I could test drive the RC 390. I was beyond excited when got a “sure” from him in reply and fixed the date for test ride on a Saturday afternoon, which was next day itself. Next morning after confirming it one more time with him on a call, I hopped into my car and put Jay Z’s new album on play. It pumped me up and I couldn’t help but rap along to each song considering I was excited already for RC 390. What I found out? I’d never be as good as Jay Z when it comes to rapping!
Having realised that, I reached the showroom in about 10 minutes and met Robin, who was already waiting for me. After a quick chat about the weather condition, traffic situation and RC 390 of course, he took me over to the motorbike I was meant to test drive. Although I’d already taken a good look at it during my last visit, it still didn’t fail in making my heart skip a beat. So, I got hold of its keys and straight away took the bike out on the streets for a testing ride. Read on to find out about my complete experience behind the handlebars of all new KTM RC 390.
Design and Colour Variants
There’s no doubting that KTM bikes have established themselves as the frontrunners in India’s sports and racing bikes industry. The looks of the RC 390 are essentially sporty and it has been assembled like a racing motorcycle indeed. As far as the 2017 version of the bike is concerned, it carries many features and upgrades, which are definitely worth mentioning.
In technical department, the biggest upgrade KTM RC has received is in form of ride-by-wire technology. This is the trend which most companies seem to be going by, especially in sports bikes they’re producing and KTM only followed suit. An aggressive design accompanied with razor sharp dynamics, KTM RC 390 is one of those rare bikes which can be labelled as beauty and the beast, both at the same time.
The motorcycle has been made available in a combination of Black, Orange and White colours. This triple threat colour combo only compliments its raw and edgy looking design and enhances its graphics details. The faired body in front on both sides makes it appear as essentially a sports motorbike and its frame is superlight yet durable. In this department, KTM RC 390 is as brilliant as it can get.
Performance and Handling
The KTM RC bikes were instantly dubbed as the next big thing in racing when they were launched a couple of years back into the Indian market. So much that they came with a tagline which said “Racing Genes”. In 2017, KTM decided to revamp that tagline to a grittier one which reads, “Racing Breed Attitude”. One look at this machine and you’re convinced that it definitely has some attitude on itself. But is it enough to qualify it as a racing breed? Here’s what we think.
With an engine displacement of 373.2 cc to be exact and kerb weight of just 159.5 kilograms, this machine is indubitably build to race and race hard. I could feel its crude power, the moment I started it to life. The notes of its exhaust resemble that of a premium racing bike which aren’t to be taken lightly. As soon as I disengaged its clutch, the bike swiftly went into motion and ride-by-wire worked like a breeze when I drove it through city traffic.
The motorcycle easily cut past through the traffic and its suspensions and brakes did a tremendous job in eliminating impacts of bumps and poor road conditions. Out of the city on speedway, the RC 390 provided the ultimate experience of riding a sports bike. Even though this motorcycle was brand new, it adjusted well to the high speed transition and provided for a smooth and thrilling riding experience overall.
The instrument panel of the KTM RC 390 features a state-of-the art LCD display, which shows everything from speed to when you need to take the motorcycle for next service. Speaking of hitting top speed, the bike jetted ahead to a remarkable 184 kmph (114 mph) before it gave me signs to take it easy.
One commendable aspect of the bike which is definitely worth mentioning here is that it continued to steadily zoom ahead without showing much strain from its end, right after I’d pressed it further to achieve its top speed. Stunning proof of KTM’s immaculate mechanical engineering forte!
Mileage per Litre and Fuel Tank Capacity
Capacity of KTM RC 390 fuel tank is just 9.5 litres which makes it very low in comparison to its counterparts. Those who are used to using their bikes on a regular basis and for travelling long distances might face issues related to refueling the tank.
When it comes to delivering mileage, it ran for just 23 kilometres on a litre of fuel on low to average speed. On high speed the fuel consumption increased rapidly and the mileage further went down by another 4 kms on a litre of fuel.
Details and Specifications
Specifications of the KTM RC 390: the trellis frame is quite similar in design to that of Duke 390. The material is again made of tough stainless steel, which gives it maximum durability and longevity. The graphic work on motorcycle compliments its overall looks and the logos have been placed on both sides of bike’s body.
Although it is quite comfortable to ride, but I personally would not recommend using the RC390 for long distance travelling (some people still do consider it for touring). The reason for this being the seating position the rider has to be in for driving the bike. Like any other sports super bike, it requires the rider to be hunched forward and drive the bike, which is not very comfortable when going long distance.
The motorcycle features telescopic fork system combined with ride-by-wire technology which provides for a very smooth riding experience. The razor sharp design of its tail and tail lights only adds to its sporty look and solidifies the bike’s reputation furthermore as a true racing machine.
Following are overall technical details about the KTM RC 390
- Engine: Single Cylinder, 4 stroke, Liquid cooled
- Max power: 43.5 PS @9500 rpm
- Max torque: 35.0 Nm @7250 rpm
- Front suspension: WP upside-down Ø 43 mm
- Rear suspension: WP monoshock
- Front breaks: 320 mm Disc
- Rear breaks: 230 mm Disc
- Front tyres: 110/70 – 17 Tubeless
- Rear tyres: 150/60 – 17 Tubeless
- Fuel tank: 9.5 Litres (both tank plus reserve)
- Dimensions in mm: length = 2002, width = 873, height = 1267, clearance = 178
- Kerb weight: 159.5 Kg (with fuel)
The ex-showroom price of KTM RC 390 in New Delhi NCR is Rs 2,30,000. Although it is a bit high and not under everyone’s budget but consider it to be very feasible when compared to many other bikes available in similar category.
If you wish to see yourself riding the RC 390 on road, then you’ll have to get the vehicle registered with RTO, pay road tax and get the vehicle insured as well. The overall cost for this would add up by another Rs. 37500. So, the overall cost of the vehicle would be around Rs 2,67,464.
Other Features and Accessories
KTM provides the original key and a duplicate one for RC 390 on purchasing the motorcycle. Along with this, a user manual is also provided. Any other accessories such as helmet and jackets will have to be bought separately from the showroom.
Pros and Cons
The all new KTM RC 390 has outdone itself in almost every category of the gruelling tests which I put it through. However, this very effectively managed to highlight its flaws too which I consider can be worked on for further improving the bike.
- Powerful engine
- Super smooth handling
- Value for money
- Not recommended for long distance travel
- Low on mileage
- Hard to clean and wash
The KTM RC 390 is one of those few motorcycles which irrevocably changed the scene for sports bikes in India. It very aptly provided everything that a racing sports bike should and all under a budget. Perhaps, this is what made the motorcycle an instant hit with masses in the first place. So, when the all new 2017 upgraded version was out on roads, we put it through a very testing ride to confirm whether it matched our expectations.
So after thoroughly testing it, I confirm that this by far is the best version of RC 390 I’ve driven since the very first motorcycle was launched in India. The quality of its body is definitely better and it’s shaper, edgier and looks meaner than ever. Performance wise it’s precise and feels like is made to sculpt the wind with its design. With the latest RC 390 out, KTM has made it clear that it’s here to stay and rule the roads for coming times ahead!
— Rahul Chauhan
P.S. Some more photos of the 207 KTM RC 390:
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