Words By Robin Coenrad
Yes! Finally the long awaited KTM beginner race competition bikes are here. Shidi and myself checked out the unveiling of the KTMs at Glenmarie. It’s worth mentioning that while driving to the event, we were discussing and comparing marketing campaigns from multiple motorcycle manufacturers and how much impact it creates within the industry, such as a launch like this. We can definitely say that KTM is in it for the big fish. Today, we experienced a true warmth within the motorcycle community where friends are among friends and not forgetting the correct way of bribing… free food and drinks, jackets and a short spin in the car park with the RC390 in a totally relaxed atmosphere. I almost fell in love with KTMs’ brand ambassador.
When Shidi and I had the chance to take a closer look at the bikes, we noticed something pretty amazing. What blew my mind the most is the cushioned rear seating which doubles as a fairing, so from a distance it looks like a single seater. For such a simple design approach, its absolutely genius. KTM has been friendly by allowing the rear pillion pegs and other components to be removed with ease. Over to the front, a retro design with built in LED lights and 2 headlamps. The long bottom lip looks almost like the katana! Im liking the way it looks and who can forget KTM’s awesome display screen? Truly one of the best in the industry. When speaking to Jack Lo, the dealer development executive, he mentioned a key point in the overall build of the KTM RC. The engine and tank had been shifted slightly to the rear to allow a more balanced weight distribution and a lower centre force of gravity, with a little help from the belly exhaust. All this was done in the name of handling and maneuverability. It was quite surprising however to find a super soft suspension set up considering its RC badge. Then we thought, bumpy roads… but don’t fret, it is adjustable.
The KTM RC200 shares the exact same engine and transmission with the duke 200, so expect the same 25hp engine with a slight muscle gain, weighing in at 137.5kg, 8kg heavier than the duke 200. As for the RC390, same engine and transmission as the duke 390 producing 43hp and still weighing heavier at 147kg. However, the weight wouldn’t be much of an issue because it comes with ready power parts borrowed from moto3. Its KTM’s way of saying, “race me”. With a base price set at RM27.5k for the RC390 and RM16.7k for the RC200, and the help of attractive loan packages from the ah bengs and ah boys at the motorbike shop, almost everyone is able to own one.
There’s no doubt Malaysian Riders will be doing a full review and perhaps a simultaneous filming of these bikes in the near future. The sugar on top would be to try them out on the track and test the worthiness of KTM’s RC badge. So do expect more from us and thumbs up to KTM Malaysia for their contribution to the motorcycle community! Stay tune for more. For that, please do stay in touch with us through FACEBOOK and of course our humble YOUTUBE CHANNEL.