Seven years ago this week I was sampling the first RC390 from KTM in Italy, and if not for the plague I would be Italy again sampling this major 2022 redesign of the RC390 platform in Italy.. Bugger.
The suspension has received significant upgrades with WP APEX inverted open-cartridge forks complete with 30-stage compression and rebound damping adustments.
At the rear a WP APEX shock offers pre-load adjustment and five clicks of rebound settings.
The KTM RC 390 is fitted with a WP APEX rear shock absorber which offers pre-load adjustment and 5 clicks rebound settings.
New rims have helped shave an impressive 3.4 kg unsprung weight off the RC390 and the upgraded ByBre braking system shave another kg while the frame is now 1.5 kg lighter also.
EURO5 updates on the liquid-cooled, single-cylinder four-stroke engine with twin overhead camshafts, four valves, and electronic fuel injection have helped boost torque with the aid of a new air-box design.
From an electronic standpoint, the new generation KTM RC 390 sets the benchmark for the small displacement Supersport segment, boasting a selection of rider aids usually only available on bigger motorcycles, namely Supermoto ABS, Lean angle sensitive Cornering ABS and Cornering MTC, along with the optional Quickshifter+.
KTM MY RIDE can now also be added, thanks to a new TFT color display, which allows riders to access important information at a glance, with the added flexibility of being able to tailor the display to show what they want to see. The display also automatically adapts its brightness to ambient light.
The most immediately obvious update across the board is the racy styling, which sees almost every panel being redesigned, boasting race-inspired lines and two new colorways which clearly define the sporty character of these motorcycles.
This redesign has also been purposely done to increase the overall size of the RC 390, not only to give it a striking visual presence but also to optimise aerodynamics due to higher top speeds, thanks in part to a computational fluid dynamics design process.
This new design has also optimised wind and weather protection, with KTM claiming enhanced heat management by using a combination of inner and outer body panels to direct airflow away from the rider.
The rear bodywork has been reduced as much as possible for a more aggressive profile, but also to show off as much of the redesigned steel trellis subframe as possible.
The knee area has been refined to allow for easier, more fluid rider movement, being as narrow as possible with the largest possible contact area.
An all-new two-part cockpit and windscreen holder makes use of a cast aluminum upper area and a lower composite part that secures the headlight, while a larger fuel tank has been added for improved day-to-day riding, comfort, and fuel range.
The new bodywork is easily removable, with a reduced number of screws being used as well as a redesigned mounting system. This makes swapping out the street-legal bodywork for race-ready panels more practical. However, the most notable updates to the KTM RC 390 can be found underneath the new bodywork.
The new RC390 is scheduled to debut in Australian and New Zealand from March, 2022.
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