The motorcycle appears to be sporting different discs and an adjustable front fork
- The updated KTM RC 390 is likely to be launched in 2021.
- It has a redesigned fairing and subframe, apart from tweaked underpinnings.
- The exhaust routing is similar to the India-spec BS6 KTM RC 390, suggesting that it will be Euro 5/ BS6 compliant.
The 2021 KTM RC 390 has been spotted testing yet again in Europe, but this time with some key changes. Firstly, the bike appears to be running on new disc brakes, both front and rear. The one up front looks a lot sleeker than its predecessor, especially with the different mounting points. Both brakes have calipers from ByBre, with the front end using a radial unit while the rear gets an axial caliper. As expected, it features a dual-channel ABS too.
Another major change lies in the inverted WP fork. The one in the test mule seems to have knobs for adjustment on the top fork yoke. It could be adjustable for compression and rebound, like the international-spec KTM 390 Adventure. The rear employs a WP monoshock, which is presumed to be adjustable for preload.
While the side panels of the fairing look similar to the one spotted last year, the headlight section looks completely different. A closer look at the LED headlamp shape reveals a very 390 Duke-inspired look with a large transparent polycarbonate panel that flows coherently into the windscreen. The struts on the headstock extend to support the headlamp fairing and the rear view mirrors. They look a little haphazard and we hope the production version is a lot more polished. Expect the production version to sport a proper TFT instrument cluster instead of the full-LCD unit in the current-gen model. Another interesting addition is the front LED indicator placement. It is mounted just outside the headlamp cluster, just below the rear view mirror stalk. That’s a unique placement as most faired bikes have indicators on the side fairing or within the headlamp cluster or on the rearview mirrors like the current-gen model.
The clip-on handlebars are low as expected, and the footpegs are also rear-set for aggressive ergonomics. Life as a pillion is likely to be a little easier thanks to the redesigned subframe and a seemingly roomier pillion seat. Also, the 5-spoke alloy wheel design looks a lot sleeker than the 10-spoke units in the current-generation model.
The exhaust layout in the test mule is very similar to the one in the BS6-compliant India-spec KTM RC 390, and the Akrapovic slip-on exhaust is likely for testing purposes. KTM’s 390 range have never been low on power, so the same state of tune of the BS6-compliant version is likely to be offered in the 2021 model as well. For reference, the India-spec KTM RC 390 makes 43.5PS and 36Nm, linked to a 6-speed transmission with slipper clutch. If we’re lucky, KTM could offer multiple riding modes. It shouldn’t be all that technically challenging as the bike already gets a ride-by-wire throttle -- a key component in enabling multiple rider modes.
All in all, the test mule looks a lot similar to the officially rendered one that surfaced online in December 2019. Expect KTM to launch the motorcycle next year in the overseas market followed by India by March 2021. The only other faired BS6 alternative in India at the moment is the TVS Apache RR 310. But we hope the Kawasaki Ninja 300 BS6 arrives by the time the 2021 version of the KTM RC 390 enters our market.