Most people will recognise the small and nimble KTM RC390 since it first went on sale in 2014. In addition to the road model, it’s also been the basis for the KTM RC Cup supporting British Superbikes and other national race series. Well, the 2018 KTM RC 390 R and Supersport SSP300 race kit take things even further with performance and handling.
The 2018 KTM RC 390 R is a limited edition, with just 500 bikes being produced across Europe. To make it sharper and more track focused it comes with upgrades including full-adjustable WP suspension. And the new top yoke and handlebar kit increase adjustability and handling. It’s also machined to save weight along with the new CNC-milled foldable brake and clutch levers which will flick upwards in a crash to hopefully avoid damage or breakages.
There’s also a bit more performance from the engine with a shorter intake trumpet and a wider powerband. The new 2018 KTM RC 390 R will cost 8,500 Euros if you can grab one of the bikes before they sell out. Because not only does it make a great lower capacity track bike, but if you add the optional SSP300 race kit, it’s also ready for racing in the Supersport 300 class.
The 2018 KTM RC 390 R and Supersport SSP300 Race Kit
Want to take things even further? Assuming you can grab one of the 500 2018 KTM RC 390 Rs available, then you can get it ready to race in Supersport 300. But you’ll need to invest 11,000 Euros in one of just 50 dedicated SSP300 Race Kits being put together. But whether you’re planning to compete or just want something very special, it looks like you’ll enjoy the money you spend.
On top of the already-special RC390 R, you now get more than 230 additional parts to make it a potential race winner in the new Supersport 300 class. That means everything required for full FIM international regulations, including a full titanium Akrapovic SSP300 EVO02 system and race ECU.
Aside from the higher-level race exhaust, you also get an STM slipper clutch, quickshifter, and wiring harness. The racing preparations including a full bodywork kit, improvements to the cooling system to deal with the stress of race performance, a range of gearing options to tailor the bike to individual circuits, and spare wheels.
So that’s 8,500 Euros for one of 500 KTM RC 390 R bikes, and 11,000 Euros for one of the 50 KTM SSP300 Race Kits. But for just under 20,000 you get a potential Supersport 300 race winner, which looks amazing, and will out-handle most bikes you’ll ever meet on track. Sounds more and more reasonable the more we look at the KTM and imagine getting to try it out on a race circuit… Having loved grey-import 400 race bikes since the 1990s, the RC 390 R might be the modern lower capacity machine that finally competes with the VFR400/RVF400/ZXR400/FZR400s which have dominated my thoughts for 30 years or so…