The Brutal KTM 1190 RC8 R – Quick Sneak Peek

KTM, an Austrian automaker known for it’s exploits in the Dakar Rally, has a lone Superbike in it’s line-up. And the only word that’s mouthed after catching a glimpse of that piece of technology is……”BRUTAL”.

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KTM 1190 RC8 R is the second iteration of an edgy beast that was launched in 2008. Here’s an impression of what KTM has on offer for it’s enthusiastic “Orange Clan”, and lots of serious bikers out there.


The 1190 RC8 R is an eye-catcher, to say the least. It’s a sharp and chiseled beast, with lots of edges and lines that exude oomph. The styling cues are agressive, and they project an image of a “Mean Machine” that’s ready to scorch the blacktop at the slightest twist of throttle.

The headlamp is somewhat reminiscent of the “Vertically Stacked Headlamp Concept”. The Rear-view Mirror cum Turn-Signal lamps add a dash of futuristic touch. It’s difficult to take one’s eyes off this lovely piece of technology.

The icing on the visual-cake is the sky-high rear cowl, tapering to an edge. It’s further accentuated by the solitary strip of LEDs that doubles up as a tail-lamp. Did our Pulsars emulate this beast ? Nevertheless, the only catch is that this rear-seat is a big “No-No” for W.A.G.S….Or is it ? Couldn’t they cuddle up more closer to you as you get busy with your right hand ??


It’s powered by one of the most powerful V-Twins in the world and whips out an earth-shattering 173 hp of power. A Keihin Engine Management System takes over the fuel injection process and get twin spark plugs as well. The engine is mated to the 6-speed tranny via a Slipper Clutch, and rear wheel receives power with the help of a direct X-Ring Chain Drive. A liquid cooling system is employed to ensure the system stays within its temperature limits.

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Though the mill is claimed to have an extremely broad rev range and excellent throttle response, it’s still to be seen if it can lock horns directly with the Japanese straight-four bangers.


It is imminent that the Austrian automaker has put in years of R&D into this flagship model of theirs. The RC8’s “skeleton” is a light tubular lattice frame of high-strength molybdenum-chrome steel, which allows better cornering and high speed stability. The alloy swingarm is light too, and is provided with an eccentric adjustable linkage, thus improving anti-squat characteristics on cornering.

The bike is equipped with WP suspension setups both at the front and the rear. An inverted-down telescopic fork set takes over at the front, and a Monoshock does duty at the rear. Massive amount of bite is required to stop this bike when in motion, and Brembo comes to the rescue here.  At the front lies a twin-disc brake system with four-piston brake calipers. A single-disc brake with two-piston caliper takes care of the rear.

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The RC8 sports light-weight die-cast aluminum wheels, fitted with Continental Sport Attack II tyres. These are claimed to provide substantial amount of traction on a wide range of terrain types.


If you shied away from this bike because of the thought of having to slouch painfully over the tank, then think again. For all it’s agility and sportiness, the RC8 doesn’t compromise too much on comfort. It’s got quite a few ergonomic setting options, thus allowing myriads of riders to find their own sweet spots. The footrests, foot levers, handlebars and the handlevers are all adjustable, and so is the seat too. What more can we ask for ?

KTM has definitely turned on the heat with the 2013 iteration of the 1190 RC8. When are they going to burn rubber in the crowded alleys and bylanes of India ??

KTM Bajaj has kept the bike on display at the KTM branded showrooms of India for all of you to take a peek and come resoundingly amazed with what this monster has to offer.

Lots more cool info to be shared, do bookmark our site for more !!


– Bishakh

For the Spec-Chart Geeks, a fest lies below. Go crunch those numbers !!


Design – 2-cylinder, 4-stroke, spark-ignition engine, 75° V
arrangement, liquid-cooled
Displacement – 1,195 cm³
Bore – 105 mm
Stroke – 69 mm
Performance – 129 kW (173 hp)
Starting aid – Electric starter
Transmission – 6-speed, claw shifted
Engine lubrication – Dry-sump lubrication with 3 rotor pumps
Primary gear ratio – 40:76
Secondary gear ratio – 17:37
Cooling system – Liquid cooling system, continuous circulation of
cooling liquid with water pump
Clutch – PASC ™ Anti-hopping clutch / hydraulically
Ignition system. – Contactless, controlled, fully electronic ignition
system with digital ignition timing adjustment

Frame – Tubular space frame made from chrome
molybdenum steel, powder-coated
Forks – WP Suspension Up Side Down
Shock absorber – WP Suspension Monoshock
Suspension travel front/rear – 120 mm
Brake system front – Twin-disc brake with radially mounted four-piston
brake calipers; floating brake discs
Brake system rear – Single-disc brake with two-piston brake caliper;
fixed brake disc
Brake discs – diameter front – 320 mm
Brake discs – diameter rear – 220 mm
Chain – 5/8 x 5/16″ X-Ring
Steering head angle – 66.7°
Wheelbase – 1,425 mm
Ground clearance(unloaded) – 110 mm
Seat height (unloaded) lower subframe position – 805 mm
Seat height (unloaded) upper subframe position – 825 mm
Total fuel tank capacity approx. – 16.5 l
Weight without fuel approx. – 184 kg