2022 KTM RC 390, Track Test

By Shivank Bhatt | on November 18, 2022 Follow us on Autox Google News

For lesser mortals, who can’t afford litre-class superbikes, the KTM RC 390 has always been the go-to sports bike. Now, while the second-gen RC 390 has changed drastically, it’s still a phenomenal motorcycle. The new RC 390 is built completely from the ground up. Sure, it’s got the same 373cc single-cylinder motor, which produces more or less the same power (43bhp) and torque (37Nm) as its predecessor, but it’s a totally different kind of beast. The performance is just as strong, but it’s not a peaky monster anymore – it’s tame and delivers power in a smooth and linear fashion. It’s less mental, but it accelerates as hard as ever. Then there are the electronics – you get lean-sensitive traction control, cornering ABS, and a bi-directional quick-shifter. These are the kind of features you only find in bigger motorcycles.

Handling? In a word, delectable. It clips apexes with the precision of a scalpel and flows through fast corners like a hot knife through butter. Even the brakes are ridiculously sharp and precise. Simran was in awe of how late he could brake on the RC 390.

So, all perfect then? Well, not really. You see, KTM has softened the RC 390 in its latest generation because the company wanted it to be easier to live with outside the racetrack. And while that makes a lot of sense, it has sadly come at the cost of its character. The RC 390 still handles like a dream, but it has lost some of its sharpness. The suspension now has more travel and is evidently softer, meaning during quick direction changes, it doesn’t feel settled or fully dialled in. The tyres are another weak link. There is not much feedback, and the grip levels aren’t great either – it’s something that Simran also complained about. Speaking of complaints, a few jury members also didn’t like the new design.

However, the biggest miss on the India-spec RC 390 is the lack of fully-adjustable suspension, unlike its global counterpart. It’s not even optional. We strongly feel that this, along with its sub-par tyres and high price tag, limits it from becoming the perfect sports bike for India. And the irony is that KTM has already got everything in the store, they just won’t let us have all the fun…

  • 2022 KTM RC 390 (Lap Time – 01:12.1)
PARAMETERS POINTS SCORE
QUALITY 10 7.5
COMFORT & PRACTICALITY 10 7.5
REFINEMENT 10 7.5
DESIGN 10 7
DRIVETRAIN 10 9
RIDE & HANDLING 10 8
X FACTOR 15 10
LAP TIME 5 3.8
VALUE FOR MONEY 20 13
TOTAL 100 73.3

Read more:

2022 KTM RC 390 vs BMW G 310 RR: Track Test

KTM 390 Adventure, Track Test

Tags: KTM KTM RC 390

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