Back in 2016, KTM pulled the plug on its flagship model, its halo superbike, the all-elusive RC8. It was renowned for its razor-sharp styling and matching riding dynamics. The reason cited by the KTM CEO Stefan Pierer behind the demise of the RC8 was that he believed that superbikes topping 200 horsepower were too much for street use. When we think about it, it is 2016 we are talking about. The current crop of superbikes make no less than 200 HP. Take the 2021 Hayabusa for an example which received lukewarm response from keyboard-racers for not making at least 250 HP.
That makes us weonder, should KTM think of stepping foot in the superbike territory again? Or at least dish out a middleweight supersport machine for the KTM fanboys to go all gaga over?
We recently came across a spy shot of a track-only prototype of what appears to be the RC 890 or in other words, faired supersport counterpart of the Duke 890. After the sad demise of the RC8, the RC 390 carried the baton forward for being the flagship faired motorcycle from the Austrian house. Presumably the RC 890 which has been spied appears to be track-only prototype and might still take a lot of time in coming on to the streets. In current form, the test mules feature a trellis frame painted in green, primer grey fairings, and a rear-mounted gas tank.
KTM’s recent MotoGP journey
It is also worth mentioning that KTM has had a very successful MotoGP season in 2020. Winning 3 races in the 2020 season, Red Bull KTM and Tech 3 KTM are changing the audience’s perception of the brand. And also, KTM is the only manufacturer participating in MotoGP which currently doesn’t have a superbike in its portfolio. What generally happens is, manufacturers, deploy the learnings from MotoGP in their road going superbikes but KTM currently doesn’t have any set of wheels to deploy the learnings.
If the RC 890 does make it to reality and comes draped in yellow clothes for road use, it will, most probably make use of the same 890cc parallel-twin based on the 790cc mill. This engine is capable of churning out 121 PS of maximum power and 99 Nm of peak torque. It is currently found in the likes of Duke 890 and Adventure 890 series of motorcycles. If we think about it, it would make one explosive platform to carve out a middleweight supersport. KTM, please make it happen.
Spy picture credits: Speedweek