The next-generation KTM RC390 was seen for the first time earlier this month when a test mule of the upcoming motorcycle was spotted in Europe. While we are yet to hear official details about the new RC390, our in-house artist creates an image of the production-ready RC390.
The significant change to the motorcycle is on the fascia that sees a revised headlight setup. The current generation RC390 uses twin, horizontally stacked projector headlights. The next-generation RC390 test mule was spotted with an RC8 inspired fascia having the vertically stacked headlamp. A relatively larger windscreen for better aerodynamics and windblast protection at high speeds would accompany the new headlight setup. Apart from the fascia, the fairing will receive a makeover for enhanced aerodynamics and visual pop.
Behind the windscreen sits a revised cockpit with a TFT display – a feature that is already seen on the new KTM 390 Duke (2017 onwards) motorcycles. The TFT display on the 390 Duke comes with Smartphone integration via Bluetooth, and the same will be seen on the next-generation RC390. The switchgear will also receive a 390 Duke style upgrade with switches to operate various functions on the go.
Clip-on style handlebars would perform steering duties with forward-leaning ergonomics although the riding stance will not be far too aggressive than the current generation model.
The fuel tank may receive a design upgrade, and the storage capacity of 9.5-litre is expected to see an improvement. The motorcycle would retain a step-up pillion seat that is designed to mimic a rear cowl, thus lending the RC390 a sporty look. The rear of the bike may not receive a massive design change, and we expect to see the same LED tail light setup, accompanied by LED blinkers on the next-generation model.
Another significant upgrade will come on the chassis. Similar to the current 390 Duke, the 2019 KTM RC390 will use a trellis chassis with a bolted sub-frame. The design allows the engineers to fine-tune the setup. A similar format will also be seen on the upcoming KTM 390 Adventure that was spotted in India earlier this month.
Mechanical specifications may not receive an upgrade except for compliance. Regular readers also know that Euro V and BS-VI emission norms take effect in the short-term. For reference, the current generation RC390, with its Euro IV and BS-IV compliant motor, draws 43.5 PS of maximum power at 9,000 rpm and 36 Nm of peak torque at 7,000 rpm from its 373.2cc, single-cylinder, 4-valve, DOHC, liquid-cooled engine.
The motor will be paired to a six-speed gearbox with a slipper clutch. The upcoming model, similar to the current RC390, will use Ride-by-wire system. Bosch sourced dual channel ABS has been standard in the Indian market ever since the launch of the RC390 and the upcoming model will carry on the safety feature.
Braking and suspension setup is expected to be retained from the current generation model. Thus, stopping power will be provided by a 320mm disc brake with a four-pot calliper at the front and a 230mm disc brake with a single-pot calliper at the rear. Shock absorption tasks would be performed by WP sourced suspensions. Upside down telescopic forks at the front and a monoshock at the back would be carried forward on the new RC390.
Do note that the 390 Adventure test mule was seen with adjustable front forks. KTM is known to set new benchmarks with its new generation models, and we may see a premium set of front forks on the upcoming RC390. The next-generation model will continue to use Metzeler sourced rubber in 110/70 ZR 17 (front) and 150/60 ZR 17 (rear) sizes.
The next-gen KTM RC390 could make its debut at the 2019 EICMA motorcycle show in Milan and hit the Indian market in early 2020.