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KTM 990RC R: Back to the Tank/Supersport Shark Products

KTM 990RC R: Back to the Tank/Supersport Shark Products

About ten years ago, KTM's presence in the street-legal supersport motorcycle segment ended. Now KTM is back, according to its own statement, “Ready to Race.”

SPEEDWEEK readers have known for more than two years that KTM is working on a premium sportbike with a 990 two-cylinder in-line. It has now been officially confirmed that after a 15-year absence, KTM will once again build an original, street-legal sports motorcycle in larger quantities from the beginning of 2025: the KTM 990RC R.

Following the “Ready to Race” philosophy, KTM announces a premium sports motorcycle that is also street legal. Developed from the ground up, the motorcycle is designed to fuse Austrian engineering with wild racing DNA and deliver unparalleled performance without neglecting the real-world demands of the road.

Why this motorcycle has already been announced: KTM 990RC R prototypes will compete in selected European sports series as wildcard entrants without scoring points. For KTM, it's clear: for this new addition to the stable to be truly race-ready, it has to prove itself in racing.

KTM is also filming a multi-part documentary that takes a behind-the-scenes look at the motorcycle's development and return to the supersport segment. Viewers get an exclusive look into the world of the fast-moving Austrian factory and discover what it takes to transform a motorcycle from idea to reality.

KTM had a premium sports motorcycle in its range starting in 2008: the 1190 RC8 with a V2 engine. First with 1148, then with 1195 cc displacement, output increased from 155 to 175 hp in the final version in 2015. Then KTM got out of the arms race that gave us 200+ hp rockets, which is the sole reason for the hobby. The driver does not go into a state of catapult bliss because not only has the engine performance increased, but at the same time the electronics for its control have also made significant progress.

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Now KTM returns to the objectively unbelievable and most fascinating Shark Tank in the supersport class. SPEEDWEEK CARS thanks you very much, even before he drives a meter with the new KTM Rocket. Because KTM has long proven in the MotoGP racing series that it knows how to build such a motorcycle.

The street-legal KTM 990RC R is equipped with a 57 kg Euro5+ compliant LC8c engine that delivers 103 Nm at 10,500 rpm and 128 hp. The tubular steel frame ensures heavy weight distribution up front and is designed for nimble handling with a 65-degree steering head angle. Likewise, compared to the chassis of the 990 Duke, the frame is designed to be stiffer, for better feedback and stability without restricting agility.

The ergonomics have been worked on extensively: the six contact points on the tank have been optimized – for better human-machine contact, not only providing comfort, but also supporting the knees and arms and reducing stress on the hands in an inclined position. Position and at high speeds to ensure straight lines The new fuel tank forms the main part of the ergonomics, complemented by adjustable footrests. The air wings manufactured in the wind tunnel combined with other sides and edges of the vehicle body also have a stabilizing effect when braking and cornering.

KTM has developed the 990RC R over the years based on a wealth of data collected through titles and trophies in almost every class across the various MotoGP classes. The 990 RC R is the natural evolution of the existing KTM RC range and can easily be converted into the KTM 990 RC R Track Edition, a motorcycle for race track use.

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KTM announces the introduction of this Track Edition in the second quarter of 2025. All road-legal items have been deleted, setup has been improved, the casing has been revised, and the full exhaust system meets the demands of racetrack operators.