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Unleashing the 2025 KTM 990 RC R

It’s been over 15 years since KTM last produced an authentic road homologated performance sports bike for the masses.

It’s been over 15 years since KTM last produced an authentic road homologated performance sports bike for the masses. The company is harnessing all its expertise, gained through efforts in MotoGP, thousands of track laps, wins and podiums to fire the KTM 990 RC R to life.

The principle KTM 990 RC R, which is set to roll off the Mattighofen, Austria, production line in early 2025, has a dedicated supersport persona but will be homologated for street use, catering to the desires of orange enthusiasts fixated on track days and individuals seeking to maintain the adrenaline rush with an exceptionally capable street bike. The all-new development embodies the fusion of Austrian engineering excellence and ferocious racing DNA, delivering unrivaled performance while embracing the practical demands of the road. 

The KTM 990 RC R will excite enthusiasts with its street homologated model, but its race DNA will be intentionally unveiled in early 2024 in the form of a prototype, making appearances as a wildcard entry in non-point scoring outings across select European supersport series, igniting anticipation among fans. KTM believes in developing this newcomer to its stable in the most READY TO RACE way possible: through racing.

KTM is also filming a multi-part behind-the-scenes documentary about the research and development (R&D) journey of the bike and its entry into the supersport sector. This exclusive, behind-the-scenes content will give viewers close and usually unseen insights into the fast-paced world of the Austrian-based factory and what it takes to craft a motorcycle from an idea into reality. Follow the final stages of the research and development process moving all the way from the very beginning to the final unveiling of the finished street homologated version of the KTM 990 RC R. Click here for the inside scoop.

The Purpose

Over the last 15 years, KTM metered sport-orientated road products to the public at a time when the company was extending its off-road racing prowess to the asphalt: the KTM RC8; the KTM RC 390; and the track-only, limited-edition KTM RC 8C were the prime examples. Across that period, KTM has merged R&D, learning and road racing accomplishments at a rapid rate. The company now caters to motorcyclists seeking a machine born from competition yet engineered to be the ultimate, advanced street tool. The search to minimize hard compromises brought on by overly sporty ergonomics and handling is over. The KTM 990 RC R has been years in the making and with a wealth of data garnered by titles and trophies in almost every category of various MotoGP categories. The bike represents the natural evolution of the current KTM RC lineup, yet its sporting potential allows for a straightforward conversion into a KTM 990 RC R TRACK edition. True to the READY TO RACE ethos, this edition is poised to make its debut in the second quarter of 2025.

The Product(s)

The street homologated KTM 990 RC R boasts an LC8c powerplant, honed for rasping torque and horsepower, pumped out through the new ergo-crafted and condensed stainless steel muffler and fettled through a shifter that can be reversed to race-shift as standard. 

The steel frame has been engineered for dynamic performance, with increased weight bias towards the front end. It features a dedicated steering head angle of 25 degrees and offset for enhanced steering responsiveness. Beefed-up stiffness gives the right feel and stability under acceleration on bumpy roads or on racetracks while also maintaining agility, especially at low speeds. A diecast aluminum subframe contributes to the ride. 

2025 KTM 990 RC R

Ergonomics are key to the KTM 990 RC R’s behavior. Lengthy experimentation primed the six contact points on the tank for a better connection, leaning and ‘tucking in’ to ensure comfort but also support for knees, arms and lower pressure on the hands. A new fuel tank has been shaped as a main component of the ergonomics. Adjustable footrests play a part, as well as the fully adjustable WP APEX Open Cartridge Suspension and lightweight cast aluminum wheels wrapped in Michelin tires.

The MotoGP heritage is evident with the wind-tunnel-chiseled aero wings that provide stability for braking and cornering as well as other edges and profiling around the bodywork that scream “racer.”

If there were any lingering doubts about the bike’s intended purpose, the minimal modifications required for the transition to the KTM 990 RC R TRACK edition should indisputably reinforce its racing pedigree. Crafted by KTM in its Austrian factory, the modifications strip away the road-legal essentials, incorporate protective components, fine-tune adjustments, customize further, and revise racing bodywork, including a full exhaust system. These modifications ensure that riders focus on lap times rather than leisurely rides. Additionally, the ease of repair, low maintenance requirements and extensive official dealer support provide further advantages.

The Promise

“The KTM 990 RC R is a groundbreaking innovation for those who live for the thrill of cornering. It’s for those who lean close to the road, almost brushing their knees, and then push the limits, dragging elbow to the tarmac on the racetrack. This bike offers power and prestige without the exorbitant price tag. At last, we can unveil our KTM 990 RC R and introduce a truly exceptional motorcycle to dealerships in early 2025, fulfilling the anticipation of countless riders and race enthusiasts. Our DUKE Range and other Street products have garnered a loyal following for their distinct character; we believe the KTM 990 RC R will quickly attain cult status because it excels at the two things it was designed for so remarkably well. Success will be evident on the track, but the unparalleled experience for customers on the road will truly set it apart,” said Riaan Neveling, head of KTM global marketing.

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