KTM 990 RC R Incoming!

Ever wondered why KTM has not produced another fully-faired road-going sportbike since the RC8 ended production post 2010? It was because the CEO of KTM thought that sportbikes are getting too fast and they wanted to be responsible for rider safety. Yet, they produced the absolutely mad Super Duke supernaked. Well, nevermind that because here comes the KTM 990 RC R sportbike for the streets!

That is the great news because the RC 8C was a limited run unit for the track only, to the consternation of many KTM fans. On the other hand, the KTM 990 RC R sportbike is fully confirmed by KTM themselves, with Riaan Neveling, Head of KTM Global Marketing issuing a statement:

“The KTM 990 RC R is a groundbreaking innovation for those who live for the thrill of cornering. It’s for those who lean close to the road, almost brushing their knees, and then push the limits, dragging elbow to the tarmac on the racetrack. This bike offers power and prestige without the exorbitant price tag. At last, we can unveil our KTM 990 RC R and introduce a truly exceptional motorcycle to dealerships in early 2025, fulfilling the anticipation of countless riders and race enthusiasts. Our DUKE Range and other Street products have garnered a loyal following for their distinct character; we believe the KTM 990 RC R will quickly attain cult status because it excels at the two things it was designed for so remarkably well.”

Although the prototype (and rider) here wears a dazzle camouflage, the bike’s shape is strikingly similar to the KTM RC16 MotoGP race bike, and that of the RC 8 R’s, too. Hence a fuel tank designed to provide great support while cornering. Peeking through the fairing is part of the steel trellis frame, mated to a curved swingarm.

While there is not much technical details, it is not a full monty sportbike as the numbers suggest. “990” should mean the new bike shares the same engine as the KTM 990 Duke R. What that means is 126 hp and 103 Nm of torque.

Still, the bike looks lithe and we hope for a favourable power-to-weight ratio, although do not hope to chase down 200hp, 1000cc superbikes.

The KTM 990 RC R will be revealed in 2025 so cross your fingers and start saving now.

Wahid's lust for motorcycles was spurred on by his late-Dad's love for his Lambretta on which he courted, married his mother, and took baby Wahid riding on it. He has since worked in the motorcycle and automotive industry for many years, before taking up riding courses and testing many, many motorcycles since becoming a motojournalist. Wahid likes to see things differently. What can you say about a guy who sees a road safety message in AC/DC's "Highway to Hell."

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