There’s a new KTM sportbike coming to town, sort of. European magazines are running photos of an updated KTM RC390 sportbike.
What, exactly, is changed on the alleged upcoming model? All we have to go on is spy shots, so it’s hard to say for sure. Due to the sketchy nature of spy photography, we’re not hosting the photos here, but you can click here to view them at MCN.
You’ll see the small-cc sportbike now gets the praying-mantis headlight that most KTMs have run the past few years (currently, the RC390 has twin dual beams up front, arguably a very homely arrangement). There’s also a new set of running lights along the edge of the fairing. The windscreen appears to be larger, and the fairing itself is restyled, with more KTM-ish lines.
The frame also appears to be re-designed, and the front brakes look like they’re upgraded.
KTM hasn’t officially released any details about the RC390 updates, but it seems unlikely the engine would see much of a change. These are low-margin machines, and KTM will probably be mainly concerned with keeping up to emissions standards and making sure it doesn’t lag too far behind any competition. Currently, the 373cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine makes 43 horsepower and 36 Nm of torque. Remember, there’s a new set of 500cc KTMs coming too, and no doubt they don’t want to cut into that market.
Instead of a massive power boost, it’s far more likely we will see the KTM RC390 gain a proper safety electronics package. The current model doesn’t even have traction control, while the 390 Adventure has leaning ABS, lean angle-sensitive traction control and optional quickshifter. Those gadgets are all highly desirable on a sportbike, even an entry-level sportbike, so it would be surprising if the RC390 didn’t get them as upgrades.