The most expensive bike currently offered by KTM in North America is the RC 8C – a limited-run race track-exclusive piece of machinery that represents everything the Austria-based manufacturer has on the table. Every bit of engineering in this bike is race bred to the core, owing much to the brand’s MotoGP-based research and development team. Fans of the orange brand may remember the KTM 1190 RC8, a road bike last seen in showrooms a decade ago, and while this bike is a spiritual successor to that one, we promise the 8C isn’t like anything you’ve seen before in the KTM family.
The Austrian bike builder has said that a mere 200 examples of the RC 8C will be sold in 2023 – making a total of 300 of these bikes rolling around after the initial run of 100 from a few years ago. Aside from some visual differences, the 8C is apparently unchanged from its debut model.
KTM’s slogan is “Ready To Race” and we can’t imagine how they could flaunt that better than with a bike like this. At the centre of the 8C is the very same 889cc parallel-twin engine that can be found in the 890 Duke R, although it is worth noting that in this iteration, KTM has squeezed as many ponies out of both cylinders as they could. The RC 8C reportedly makes 133 hp and 72 lb-ft of torque – a 30 horsepower gain over the Duke. As if those numbers weren’t enough, KTM claims a dry weight of just 313 lbs.
The bike’s six-speed gearbox is aided in transferring that power to the wheels by way of a standard slipper clutch and a bi-directional quick shifter.
Reflecting the 8C’s premium racer personality, the bike uses a hand-assembled WP Apex Pro suspension setup. The Apex Pro series is fully adjustable and is apparently put together by the very same folks who assemble suspension components for KTM’s MotoGP bikes. 17” lightweight Dymag aluminum forged wheels are wrapped in a set of Pirelli Diablo slicks. Obviously, that rubber won’t last long with a bike like this, so a quick change wheel system comes equipped to simplify changes when needed.
Adjustability is the name of the game for the 8C. KTM even says that the handlebars and footpegs can be tuned in to support the rider – and understandably so, when youre dropping this kind of coin on a bike, you probably want it to fit you.
Aesthetically the KTM RC 8C looks like it belongs on the MotoGP circuit, drawing obvious inspiration from the bike currently being handled by Jack Miler and Brad Binder. Plenty of carbon fibre can be found tracing throughout the bike. The only colour available for 2023 is a satin black KTM livery alongside brilliant orange accents.
The 2023 KTM RC 8C starts at $39,995 USD (estimated) / $44,699 CAD
On this page:we’ve curated specs, features, news, photos/videos, etc., so you can read up on the new 2023 KTM RC 8C in one place.
Rocketing the KTM RC 8C off the line is an ultra-potent, lightweight, and compact 889 cc LC8c engine tuned to deliver more power and reach a higher rev limit of 12,000 RPM. The engine has been given a thorough makeover internally. These include new titanium intake and exhaust valves, titanium connecting rods, machined cylinder head ports, a 48 mm throttle body, and a machined combustion chamber to mention a few. The addition of an extra oil cooler also ensures this machine keeps its cool while on the charge.
The KTM RC 8C has a decent set of lungs. Featuring a completely unique air filter box with a Twin Air filter, it maximizes air intake and throttle response. This, together with precision engine management system and a new fuel pump to meet the demands of the ram air intake system. A channeled body panel design also means air is forced right into the heart of the machine. And with air comes explosive off-the-line power.
Providing the bark to the KTM RC 8C’s bite is a lightweight full Akrapovič racing exhaust with a carbon silencer cap. Not only does this give the KTM RC 8C a unique tone, it also perfectly complements the READY TO RACE nature of the machine.
The KTM RC 8C is designed and aerodynamically optimized by the same team who brought you the KTM RC16. Making use of ultra-strong but lightweight GRP with carbon Kevlar reinforced fairings, it is the closest you can get to an out-and-out GP racer – complete with stability winglets! Not only do these keep things steady at high speeds, but they also act to provide downforce when it’s needed most. A swingarm scoop also aids in downforce, as well as providing a significant amount of cooling to the rear tire.
Getting tucked behind the screen down the straight is vital for reaching top speeds. Thankfully, the KTM RC 8C has been designed to allow for perfect ergonomics, creating the optimum triangle between the footpegs, handlebars and seat. Adjustable clip-on handlebars, footpegs and an eccentric subframe mount used to change the seat height make sure there’s always space to get your head down, and elbows in.
The carbon fiber front fender features a quick lock system, and an air scoop to channel air over the brakes and into the radiator for enhanced cooling. This ensures maximum braking performance when you need it most at the end of a long high-speed straightaway, and because it’s made from rigid carbon fiber, it’s stable too.
WHEELS AND TIRES
Boasting a set of the lightest wheels on the track, the KTM RC 8C makes use of lightweight Dymag UP7X forged aluminum wheels wrapped in Pirelli Diablo Superbike racing slicks. Up front, you’ll find a 120/70R17 NHS SC1 and a 180/60R17 SBK SC1 on the rear – with the possibility to upgrade to a 200/55/R17 should the need arise. And thanks to a quick-change assembly and axle setup, wheels to be swapped out without disassembling the brakes for faster pitting times.
The KTM RC 8C is fitted with an innovative, adjustable Brembo 19RCS CORSA CORTA radial master cylinder, with many of the technical solutions adopted directly from the master cylinders used in MotoGP™. This means riders can tailor the “bite point” exactly where they want it, with an easily accessible selector on the top of the master cylinder itself, with the NORMAL setting allowing for a more gradual feel, or SPORT which provides a proper, dynamic, race response. The Brembo 19RCS CORSA CORTA also features the Ratio Click System (RCS) system which lets the rider select a fulcrum-to-piston distance of 18 or 20 mm by simply turning the adjuster screw.
At this level of refinement, only the very best WP Pro Components will do. Updated since the KTM RC 8C was introduced in 2022, the hand-assembled suspension package is put together in the very same department responsible for the assembly of the KTM RC16. Upfront, a fully adjustable 43 mm upside-down WP APEX PRO 7543 closed cartridge fork keeps things in check. This is supported by an equally impressive WP APEX PRO 7746 Shock on the rear, which is also compression, rebound, and length adjustable.
2023 KTM RC 8C Photos
2023 KTM RC 8C Videos
2023 KTM RC 8C | First Look by 44TEETH:
I got to ride the super rare KTM RC 8C! by Andy DiBrino: