Monday, August 26, 2013

Ridden: KTM RC8

Often in conversation with fellow motorcyclists the topic 2 or 4 cylinders crops up. Some riders prefer to ride twins and others 4 cylinder machines. Generally speaking 4 cylinder motorcycles produce more power, but they also have a greater tendency to want to keep going in a straight line, which is a problem on the race track. This is due to the centrifugal forces generated by the motor and the increase in size.

Twin cylinder machines however are slightly easier to flick from corner to corner, making it a preferable choice for some. Twin engine motorcycles include the popular Honda NCX700, almost the entire Ducati range and of course the much admired KTM RC8.  

The KTM 1190 RC8 is a V-twin layout with a capacity of 1148cc. As is expected with the V-twin powerplant there is a certain level of vibration experienced and low rpm shake can be frustrating especially at low speed. Other than that once you’ve cured the low RPM with a dash of throttle the powerplant smooth’s out and the RC8 turns into a growling beast.

From an appearance perspective, the RC8 has to be one of the best looking bikes to have ever gone on sale, the sharp angular features matched with the sexiest backside in the business makes the RC8 an iconic motorcycle. Another reason the RC8 is an iconic motorcycle is because it is KTM’s first attempt at superbike. Previously KTM were known for their indestructible dirt bikes favored by many pro enduro, MX, motard and trial riders.

Power is 155hp or 113kw and the torque delivery is delightful. The digital race-like dash layout is also superb. Gone are the days of traditional analog clocks. The RC8 provides exceptional handling thanks to a lightweight layout. Fully fuelled, the RC8 does not even hit the 200kg mark. Fully adjustable suspension also comes as standard. Whats even more impressive is the stopping power on the RC8. This is achieved thanks to monobloc Brembo brakes. The brakes provide the rider with huge confidence and inspire you to push the brake marker as far back as possible.

Criticism’s of the RC8 are the crunchy gearbox and price. Even second hand these stylish machines fetch a pretty penny.

Consider a Ducati before you rush down to the dealership, otherwise this is an awesome bike, one that I would love to have. 

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