The KTM RC 390 needs no real introduction. The motorcycle is known for its razor-sharp handling and performance. And, now with the updated design and introduction of new features, the RC 390 has become even more appealing. We thoroughly enjoyed testing its capabilities on the race track and during our road test review. However, if you want a quick summary of the bike, here are the positives and negatives of the all-new 2022 KTM RC 390.
The styling of the new RC 390 is a complete departure from its previous self. The older model’s edgy design has made way for a styling that’s inspired by KTM’s MotoGP bike. This design is also more aerodynamic and offers a better drag coefficient. Then, the layered side panels add to the visual appeal of the motorcycle, while the raked tail section looks svelte. What also adds to the visual treat is the KTM Factory Racing Blue paint scheme, which seems quite attractive.
The 2022 RC 390 uses a larger airbox and revised engine mapping, which has resulted in the 373cc motor pumping out 42.9bhp and 37Nm. This has made the engine more tractable and refined. However, it has come at the cost of losing out on the hooligan character to some extent. That said, although the power is delivered in a linear fashion, there’s enough and more grunt available all the way till the 10,000rpm redline. And let’s not forget, the RC 390 is the most powerful motorcycle in its segment.
The RC 390 was always known for its agility and handling prowess. And the 2022 iteration stays true to its ethos, albeit in a slightly toned-down manner. Sure, it isn’t as razor-sharp and pointy as its predecessor, but the new RC 390 is intuitive and engaging to ride on race tracks and public roads, be it winding ghat roads, hairpins, or long corners.
KTM has hit it out of the park when it comes to the features offered with the 2022 RC 390. The motorcycle comes loaded with a full suite of electronics rider aids like a motorcycle traction control (MTC) system, lean-sensitive cornering ABS, a bi-directional quickshifter+, and switchable ABS with Supermoto mode. Then, there’s a full-TFT colour instrument cluster complete with Bluetooth connectivity, music and telephone controls, adjustable brake and clutch levers, full-LED lighting, and more.
Taller Pillion Seat
The raked tail section has helped give the bike a proper supersport appearance, but it has also resulted in the rear seat being placed quite high. So, unless you are over six feet tall, hopping onto the pillion seat will be quite a task. This also means that the pillion rider won’t be too comfortable spending longer durations on the saddle.
Significantly Expensive Now
With the addition of new features and lighter cycle parts, the 2022 KTM RC 390 has become substantially pricier than the outgoing model. In fact, at Rs 3.16 lakh (ex-showroom), it is significantly more expensive than the TVS Apache RR310. A lower price tag would’ve made it even more value for money than it is currently.
The 2022 KTM RC 390 is an enjoyable motorcycle to buy. The engine packs excellent performance while offering good tractability and refinement. Moreover, the addition of features and electronic rider aids has made it an even better package than its predecessor. Sure, it has a few shortcomings, and the price is slightly on the higher side, but that's not a deal breaker. Not to mention, the new RC 390 makes for a brilliant buy if you want to hone your skills on the race track.
Photography by Kapil Angane