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2023 KTM RC 8C | First Look Review

Following the success of the competition-only KTM RC 8C, which was released just two years ago, KTM has announced that it has “reset the dials” for 2023, overhauling the new model for what is said to be an even sharper ‘Ready to Race’ profile.

The 2023 KTM RC 8C boasts an evolved 889cc LC8c DOHC parallel-Twin molded specifically for the circuit, upgraded electronic features, more weight-saving solutions, and several high-end components aimed toward ensuring the bike’s competitiveness.

In a press statement announcing the new model, KTM cited “performance, durability and all-out capability” as the central priorities for the KTM R&D crew for the 2023 KTM RC 8C. The reported increases to maximum power and torque and the 12,000rpm rev ceiling were achieved by mods like the installation of new, lighter titanium valves and conrods, as well as two piston rings (to refine the oscillating masses), higher compression ratios, a bigger throttle body, and bolstered fuel pump/pressure.

KTM says that increasing the clutch preload, removing the top balancer, and adjusting the crankcase balancer shaft have delivered durability gains, and an additional Pankl oil cooler helps with thermal stability.

The 2023 KTM RC 8C’s dry weight has been optimized to 313 lb (142 kg) with the agility of a chrome-moly steel frame. Additional measures such as the new titanium Akrapovic exhaust system have helped the slimming, and the latest configurations of WP Pro Components suspension has enhanced the ultra-light feel. The WP Apex Pro fork and shock are now softer, contributing to increased comfort, contact, and confidence.

KTM said that regardless of whether a rider is the next Brad Binder seeking training mileage or the next Red Bull MotoGP rookie on the path to Grand Prix stardom, the refined electronics on the 2023 KTM RC 8C can match any setting of traction control, mapping, and engine braking with the rider’s level of ability (or ambition). The race bike can be primed in a number of ways, including the adjustable steering head, the offset of the CNC-machine triple clamps, the throttle response, and degree of bite from the Brembo Stylema calipers and RCS19 Corsa Corta master cylinder.

The bike also features a revamped dashboard with GPS data-logger that displays lap-record attempts, the Quickshifter+, and the use of winglets and updates to aerodynamics derived from the KTM RC16.

Only 200 editions of the 2023 KTM RC 8C will be made. Each model will come in KTM’s distinctive orange frame with razor black graphics and a special serial number stamped onto the triple clamp. Pricing starts at $39,995, and orders can be made only through the dedicated page on the KTM website.

To launch the 2023 KTM RC 8C, the company will host an “ultra-special track day” for 30 customers at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain, on April 26, 2023. Select first-come, first-served places can be secured, with former Grand Prix riders offering track tuition and a full KTM and WP Suspension technical crew on hand to dial-in the configuration of the new bike to the 14-corner Grand Prix venue. Once in Spain, accommodation, food, and bike transportation logistics from Austria to Spain and then to local dealers is all taken care of. KTM calls it “the full factory racer experience!”

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