KTM RC 390 is the most powerful fully-faired track-oriented sports motorcycle by the Austrian brand in India. Designed and developed by KTM, it is manufactured at Bajaj’s Chakan facility in Pune. The design of 2017 RC 390 is largely unchanged from the previous model, however, the colours and graphics are new while the most apparent visual difference is the side-mounted exhaust. The engine remains unchanged - a 373.2cc which now produce an improved torque of 37 Nm, along with which it is BSIV compliant. Other changes include the addition of Ride by Wire throttle and the larger 320 mm front disk brake.
The RC 390 is the most aggressive and track-oriented sport bike in its class. While its design, chassis and suspension are more or less unchanged since its original launch, there’s now a new side-mounted exhaust (result of BSIV) which has resulted in changes in its lower body panel giving it a fresh perspective. The colors are new and so are the graphics while the build quality and fit-n-finish remain highly impressive for its price.
The riding position is committed towards the front like on a typical fully-faired Superbike. The rider sits leaned forward holding a low handlebar while the feet rest on a pair of rear-set foot-pegs. The seats for both the rider and the pillion are said to offer better cushioning.
The engine is largely unchanged from the outgoing 390 Duke. It is the same 373.2cc single-cylinder unit with DOHC, liquid-cooling and 4-valves head, however, it is now BSIV compliant. Also, it produces 2 NM higher torque of 37 NM while the power output remains same at 43.5 PS. Lastly, instead of a conventional throttle cable, the acceleration is handled by the Ride by Wire system which has resulted in tighter and smoother throttle response.
The RC 390 comes with a 6-speed transmission, same as before, with the slipper clutch for smoother down-shifting when doing it aggressively. The overall operation of the gearbox feels better than before thanks to the relevant changes.
The 2017 RC 390 gets a bigger front disc of 320mm providing much improved braking performance with respect to the bite and the initial feedback. It is now the biggest front disc in its class along with the Bajaj Dominar and Mahindra Mojo. Also, there’s switchable ABS which is ON by-default. Lastly, tubeless tyres ensure further safety as they resist instant deflation in case of a puncture.
The RC 390 is a pure performance motorcycle, still, it is known to return respectable fuel economy considering its high performance. However, fuel tank capacity of 10 litres means more number of fuel stops over long rides.