The spy shots of the next-generation KTM RC models had surfaced on the internet back in 2019, indicating that the long-overdue update is finally coming in the bikes. And it was clear from these images that it’s going to be quite a comprehensive overhaul. Fast forward to 2022, and KTM has officially unveiled the all-new version of the RC 125, RC 200 and the RC 390. But do note, that this was a global unveil and their India launch is yet to take place. Now, while the RC fans wait for the bikes to arrive on our shores, let us tell you what we know about the 2022 RC models.
Amongst the long list of changes, the most evident is in the styling department. While the previous versions of the RC were very sharp and sporty motorcycles, KTM has toned down the edginess and aggression of their design for 2022. The Austrian bike maker says that this new design is inspired by its new RC16 MotoGP bike.
The new RC siblings sport a more rounded front fascia with a headlamp that looks slightly similar to the bigger RC8 full-blown sportbike that’s discontinued now. This headlamp is flanked by vertically stacked turn indicators that sit on the mirrors in the existing bike. As for the main fairing, fuel tank and tail section, the design of these elements, too, are different from the bike on sale but they retain the angular lines all over. The body work has also been designed in such a way that all the heat coming from the engine will now be directed away from the rider.
The 2022 RC 390 is much more loaded with electronic goodies than the existing model. Firstly, it gets full-LED lighting and the LCD console has been replaced by a full-colour TFT display. This is likely to be the same unit we have seen in the 390 Adventure and the Duke. This display will have Bluetooth connectivity, different theme options, and will adjust to ambient lighting. But what’s more interesting is that the bike now gets lean-angle sensitive cornering ABS and lean-sensitive cornering traction control. That’s not all, there’s a bi-directional quick shifter as well, but as an option. Now, these features are already available in the 390 Adventure and the India-spec RC will also get them in all certainty.
As for the RC 125 and 200, these motorcycles obviously won’t be as high-tech as their elder sibling. The TFT screen will perhaps make way for an LCD unit that’s present in the 250 Adventure. Even the LED headlamp is expected to be given a miss and a halogen setup seems more probable.
KTM has made comprehensive changes in the overall hardware of the new RC 390. The most notable revision here is the introduction of adjustable front and rear suspension in the 390. The 2022 model is equipped with WP Apex upside down forks with compression and rebound adjustability along with WP Apex rear shock absorber that allows tweaking the pre-load and rebound.
As enticing as adjustable front and rear suspension sound, these are equally unlikely to come to India in order to keep the overall costs in check. However, we can’t forget the RC 390’s closest rival, the TVS Apache RR 310 can now be kitted with a fully-adjustable suspension setup by paying just Rs 12,000. So in that sense, KTM should also consider offering an adjustable suspension setup with the RC 390 at least as an option.
Coming to the RC 125 and RC 200, these bikes will make do with non-adjustable WP upside down forks at the front and WP monoshock at the rear.
While the RC models were already extremely light weight, the new models are even lighter with weight savings in several areas. The new wheel design has helped shave off 3.4kg, while new brakes and frame are 960grams and 1.5kg lighter, respectively.
Unlike the highly committed ergonomics of the existing RC models, the next-generation iterations will offer a more relaxed riding position. The handlebar has been placed slightly higher for easier reach while it can be adjusted by up to 10mm. The seat cushion is also thicker with new outer material for better grip than before. KTM has also made changes to the design of the fuel tank. It is not only easier to hold on to with your knees but the capacity has also gone up from 9.5-litres to 13.5-litres. Furthermore, the pillion riders will also be happier now due to the presence of a roomier rear seat and there are aluminium grab handles too.
The engines of the RC siblings have remained majorly unchanged. However, there are minor changes like revised engine mapping, a larger air box, and a better cooling system. The most significant improvement has been observed in the 2022 RC 390 that makes 2Nm more torque as compared to its predecessor at 37Nm. It also gets a new exhaust system with stainless steel headers and an aluminum muffler which should sound sportier. Meanwhile, the RC 200 and RC 125 continue to produce 19.5Nm and 12Nm, respectively.
Pricing and India launch
Considering the expected updates in the RC 125 and the RC 200, the price increment over their predecessors might hover between Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000. However, the RC 390 might demand a substantial premium over the existing model that retails at around Rs 2.77 lakh. The 2022 edition is likely to be close to Rs 3 lakh (ex-showroom) because of the changes it will receive. As for the launch timeline, it remains to be seen if KTM launches different RC models in phases or all of them together. An official announcement of their India launch should take place in the coming weeks.