Biker Boy exclusive: Testing the KTM RC390
In a first for the region, Biker Boy Zaihan Mohd Yusof gets to try out the latest road beast from KTM
On August 30, in the northern Italian city of Modena, the world was treated to the global launch of the much-anticipated KTM RC390.
We weren't expecting it to arrive in Singapore so soon. Going off past launches, bike enthusiasts here might expect to see the RC390 on our shores a few months from now.
But guess what? Biker Boy is happy to report that knowing the right people has its advantages.
Yes, the images here are of the fully-faired, 373cc RC390 right here in Singapore. And I got to ride it.
We wrangled a few favours to bring you a “first impression” of the only RC390 in Southeast Asia.
Technically similar to the KTM 390 Duke, you can see how the fuel-injected RC390 hopes to corner the sportier segment of the 2A class.
The single-cylinder motorcycle has sharp and racy lines, just with a less angular design than the fire-breathing, track-focused KTM RC8 (though both shares the design feature of a hidden exhaust pipe beneath the frame).
The iconic orange trellis frame and wheels on the 6-speed RC390 remind you of KTM’s “Ready to Race” heritage.
Small details like the dual projector lamps and day-running lights distinguish this bike from others in its class.
A true innovation is the passenger seat. At first glance it's just a rear seat cowl, but clad in a pseudo-rubberised material it is practical without losing the look and appeal of a solo-seat racer.
Defying convention, KTM has decided to use a wrap-around windscreen which dominates the RC390’s front portion.
So how does it ride?
Well, it feels similar to the KTM 390 Duke and it has inherited a 43hp powerplant.
While it doesn’t accelerate like a rocket, it has decent mid-range that would get a rider out of most sticky situations on the road.
The RC390 is light without being nervous. For a rider in the 55kg to 70kg weight category, the suspension fore and aft is plush enough to handle most road imperfections.
And its small turning radius will get you out of many tight spots without resorting to the three-point turn.
The digital dashboard has the usual compliment of gauges including gear indicator, a gear shift light, average fuel consumption, to name a few.
Where can I get one... and when?
The RC390 will attract attention. We even had more than a handful of admirers asking many questions during our brief test.
But, hey, we have questions of our own too. KTM’s local distributor, however, has decided to keep some things hush-hush for the moment.
So far, answers on price, availability and options are currently unavailable.
So stay tuned for more details – and a full review – when the RC390 is officially launched in Singapore in October.