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Friday, September 19, 2014

2015 KTM RC390 - First Impressions

Yeah it's a super sport motorcycle at a very affordable price, it's a oh so track tool, blah blah blah and what not!!

Before anything else, it's a motorcycle and a motorcycle is a very personal belonging as it's a functional tool, and the KTM RCs have planet loads of capacity to be both in one single paradigm of space and time. First impressions - well, it can be summed up with two words - Goose Bumps!! Yes, that's right, that's the kind of direct connect this motorcycle has.

What you see in front of your eyes, is a contraption that has been converted into a physical form out of lust, lust and even more lust. Lust for being Radical, Lust for Attention to Details, Lust of Being on the Edge, Lust for serving an unadulterated purpose. If the Dukes have been giving you hard ons, trust me, the RCs would get you to the next level.

Fit and Finish

It's the classic KTM quality that you get. Once can cry about the switches being very Bajaj like (but that's not bad at all, as Bajaj has grown leaps and bounds in terms of quality). The motorcycle fairings, painted panels, quality of seats (yes, including that pillion-cowl conglomeration of a seat), everything is as premium as one can get.

KTM has created two very shamelessly single minded motorcycles - the KTM RC200 and the KTM RC390, and every nut and bolt on these bikes (KTM RC200 being structurally the same as the KTM RC390), the padded rearset foot pegs, the heel plates, inclusion of bar end weights, changed handle bar grip design, inclusion of the clip-ons etc etc, serves that shameless single minded purpose - Teaching the Rider, what Sports riding is all about!!

I won't comment much on the technical stuff and their translation in performance facts as of now, but yeah, let me tell you this - swing over your leg on this motorcycle, crank the engine, and get into the saddle posture, and you would get the crux of this First Impression article!!


Now I won't discuss as of now that the riding position of the RCs is a bit too committed, that it might be difficult during day to day ride, it might be hard on the back and the wrist, not for day to day ride, only for track days and all that crap - The RC siblings are what they are and they don't try to do everything else at the same time. The RC siblings don't compromise into walking the middle path and try to win more grounds. Having said that, the RCs are very ergonomically made.

Simple example, while fully crouched on the clip-ons, I was able to work on the switch gear without taking my two fingers off the brake and the clutch levers, a luxury which I don't have on my Pulsar 200NS. The positioning of the foot pegs and the knee recess allow the knee and the thigh to lock firmly on the sides of the motorcycle while the rider shifts his body position which negotiating the motorcycle around the corners. The narrow seat tapering towards the front further helps the cause. Heck even the hidden grab support is ergonomically placed (we saw this on the Kawasaki Ninja 300, now in the RCs and it's even on the Pulsar 400SS)

Shorter wheelbase has made the motorcycle more agile than it's elder brother (something which are yet to put to test), and at the same time made motorcycle's length (the seating length per say) tad shorter. Therefore if the pillion struggled on the Dukes, that struggle would continue on the RCs as well, even though the RCs get a much much comfortable seat (that's some tricky innovation I tell you) in comparison to the Dukes.

Value for money
Seriously... should I be even writing about it!!

Text and Images by: Sajal Chakraborty
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Item Reviewed: 2015 KTM RC390 - First Impressions Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal
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