Few other brands have lived up to their slogans quite like KTM. With a motto like, Ready to Race, it’s no surprise even street legal KTM bikes feel dramatically lighter and more agile than most of their competitors.

Lighter than an HP4 Race: KTM RC 8C targets BMW and Ducati image

Taking it to an extreme degree is their newest creation, the RC 8C. Those familiar with KTM know that the RC designation is typically used for their sport bikes. Lately, KTM has been focusing more on adventure and naked bikes, with little noise about their sport bikes.


Lighter than an HP4 Race: KTM RC 8C targets BMW and Ducati image

That all changes with the RC 8C; a limited production track-only motorcycle. It is a purpose-built, lightweight racing prototype which uses the familiar LC8c engine from the KTM 890 Duke R in a bespoke, track-ready chassis, packed with high-end racing components. In essence, the RC 8C is as close as a customer can get to a Factory race bike as possible, without the drawbacks of needing a specialist race team to maintain it.

The RC 8C clearly takes inspiration from the RC16 race bike. It sports RC16-inspired carbon Kevlar reinforced GRP bodywork.

Lighter than an HP4 Race: KTM RC 8C targets BMW and Ducati image

Powering it is a 128-Hp, 889 cc LC8C, DOHC, 8-valve parallel twin. It’s paired with an Akrapovič titanium muffler. It’s bolted onto a dedicated 25CrMo4 steel tubular frame, augmented by a selection of WP Pro Components at either end.

The front suspension is made up of a hand-built 43 mm WP Apex Pro 7543 closed cartridge fork made from high quality, lightweight material. The suspension is assembled in the same department which builds and maintains the suspension of the KTM RC16. The fork also boasts zero hydraulic stroke limitation, meaning riders can continually control the damping properties.

Behind is a WP Apex Pro 7746 shock with preload adjuster and can be easily adjusted to suit all riders, and almost any situation by means of separate high and low-speed compression and rebound settings.

Bringing it to a stop are Brembo race-spec equipment, with Brembo Stylema front brake calipers grabbing 290 mm fully floating brake disks with aluminum rotors fastened by titanium screws, and a Brembo two piston caliper with a 230 mm fully floating disk mounted directly on the rear hub.

Lighter than an HP4 Race: KTM RC 8C targets BMW and Ducati image

Both front and rear are governed by a Brembo 19RCS Corsa Corta radial master cylinder, which features an adjustable “bite point,” derived from master cylinders used in MotoGP.

Being a focused track-only motorcycle, it also has features like a quick-release tank and body panels, to the lightweight Dymag wheels and Pirelli SC1 race slicks.

Ensuring data is collected and collated, the KTM RC 8C makes use of the AIM MXS 1.2 Race dashboard and data logger with integrated GPS function. All information is displayed via a 5-inch TFT display with integrated data recording, which is continually logged and can be analyzed in AIM Race Studio.

The exclusive KTM RC 8C is limited to only 100 units worldwide, and is completely hand built. All together, it tips the scales at 140 kg dry weight, giving it a near 1:1 power-to-weight ratio.

Lighter than an HP4 Race: KTM RC 8C targets BMW and Ducati image

Alongside the KTM RC 8C itself, customers also have the opportunity to join the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing test team at a once-off customer event. Limited to only 25 customers, the exclusive event will gives buyers a once in a lifetime opportunity to ride with the likes of Dani Pedrosa and Mika Kallio, as they give you tips during a full day at Circuito de Jerez.

All those opting for the KTM RC 8C race track experience, will additionally receive the KTM RC 8C race track package. This package comes with an extra set of Dymag wheels (Front and Rear); extras set of front and rear brake discs, front and rear paddock stands, tire warmers; and a KTM Race carpet. Of course this also means customers will have to take care of bringing that bike to Europe themselves.

Naturally, comparisons can’t be helped against other track-only machines from BMW and Ducati. While the RC 8C is only a parallel twin, it compares relatively favorably. BMW’s HP4 Race is an inline-4 that makes 215 Hp and tips the scales at 147 kg. Ducati’s Sueprleggera is a V4 that makes 237 Hp and tips the scales at 152.2 kg. It’s also still street legal.

So if money was no object, which would you get?