KTM RC 390 Review: Much Better Than The TVS Apache RR 310
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KTM RC 390 Review: Much Better Than The TVS Apache RR 310

Reviews by Team Drivio | Mar 08, 2024

In terms of design, the 2024 KTM RC 390 will polarise a lot of people

  • The KTM RC 390’s 373cc engine makes 43.5PS and 37Nm
  • Replacing the older LCD console, the RC 390 now gets a new TFT console 
  • One downside for the RC 390 though, is its slightly vibey engine

We found ourselves thoroughly impressed with the KTM RC 390 every time we took it out for a spin in the past. However, its thrill and sporty demeanour often came at the expense of practicality, making daily rides a bit of a hassle. Nevertheless, in its latest rendition, the bike has undergone notable improvements in terms of practicality, all while retaining its exhilarating performance. Here's a rundown of what the bike has to offer:

KTM RC 390: Design

Derived from its fellow 390 models, the new RC boasts a Bluetooth-enabled TFT display, continuing a familiar narrative. The interface operates seamlessly, offering sufficient brightness and a well-organized layout. Once your phone is paired, you can access features such as music playback control, phone call notifications, and optional turn-by-turn navigation, albeit at an additional cost.

While the outgoing RC never lacked in terms of headlights, this updated version now features an LED headlight, likely to perform admirably in illuminating dimly lit surroundings, akin to the RC 200's setup.

Now, turning our attention to the refreshed aesthetics adorning this updated RC, the tale echoes what we've previously discussed regarding its smaller counterparts: the bike's physical presence is far more appealing in reality than in images. Particularly noteworthy on the 390 model is the introduction of a striking blue colour scheme, exclusive to this RC variant, which complements the vibrant orange accents exquisitely. 

The satin/matte finish on the blue panels adds to its visual allure. While the bike exudes a robust and well-constructed aura overall, there's room for refinement in certain areas; the switchgear, for instance, lacks a premium feel, exhibiting a somewhat clicky operation, and some panel gaps could be neater.

Love it or loathe it, there are undeniable advantages to this revamped appearance – KTM asserts that it offers improved aerodynamic efficiency compared to its predecessor, with fewer fasteners required for the body panels. The windscreen appears to offer better coverage when in a full tuck position, and we even managed to reach the limiter in 6th gear, hitting 175kph.

KTM RC 390: Engine

SpecificationsKTM RC 390
Engine373cc engine
Maximum power43.5PS
Maximum torque37Nm
Transmission6-speed

Transitioning from braking to acceleration, let's delve into the engine of the new RC 390, an area where changes are relatively modest. Enhancements are primarily centred around a larger airbox, resulting in a marginal increase in torque, now rated at 37Nm compared to the previous 36Nm. Power output remains unchanged at 43.5hp, maintaining the RC's stature as the most potent motorcycle in its class. However, in terms of overall character, significant strides have been made since its inception. 

The engine now exhibits a more refined persona – notably tractable and linear, devoid of any pronounced flat spots or powerband irregularities. Throttle response is notably smoother, with vibrations seemingly better managed, although a definitive assessment on vibration levels will be reserved until we've had the opportunity to put the new RC through its paces on public roads.

KTM RC 390: Suspension, Tyres & Brakes

SpecificationsKTM RC 390
Front suspensionInverted Fork
Rear suspensionMonoshock
Front tyre17-inch alloys
Rear tyre17-inch alloys
Front brakeDisc Brake
Rear brakeDisc Brake
ABSDual-channel ABS

The new iteration of the KTM RC 390 arrives clad in a striking new attire, evoking opinions as divisive as its original design. Yet, its purposeful demeanour seems slightly dulled compared to its predecessor. With friendlier ergonomics, enhanced seating comfort, an enlarged fuel tank for extended touring, an array of electronic aids, and no increase in power or reduction in weight, it's evident that the RC 390 has transcended its phase of being a raw, uncompromising sportbike. 

KTM RC 390: Dimensions

The newfound comfort and approachability of this updated model become apparent the moment you swing a leg over it. While retaining its sporty essence, the seating position is noticeably less aggressive, alleviating strain on the back, neck, and wrists. For those seeking a more intense riding experience, KTM offers the option of lowering the clip-on handlebars by approximately 14mm to achieve a more aggressive stance.

KTM RC 390: Price

PriceKTM RC 390 
Ex-showroom DelhiRs 3,18,173 onwards 

KTM has priced the new RC 390 at Rs 3.18 lakh, ex-showroom, which isn’t bad considering what it has on offer. 

Verdict 

The essence of the KTM RC 390 remains appealing, albeit with a subtle transformation. It no longer exudes the razor-sharp, unrefined demeanour of its predecessors; instead, this update bestows upon it a newfound roundedness and versatility. While the primary focus of this evaluation has been on its performance on the racetrack, certain aspects of the bike undeniably highlight its enhanced suitability as a road-going machine, presenting a more practical and user-friendly package.