On a slow boat from Austria, it took KTM’s open-class sportbike two years to arriveth in the New World, and when it did, the Duke of Westminster didst ride it, along with the Apostles Pete and Tom. That first RC was not without fault, but the stones they did cast were really small pebbles, and later models were fine and even comfortable sportbikes indeed. KTM, however, had read the writing on the wall as the angel of death passed over, and after 2015 the RC8 was no more. Wash your hands, amen.
The Austrians go Duc hunting!
By Kevin DukeDec. 23, 2009
Photos by Alfonse Palaima
I’ve fallen in lust with enough Ducatis over the years that I’m skeptical about competition from any other European V-Twin sportbike contender. How could any company compete with Ducati’s legendary race history and artful, sensuous styling?Well, KTM, long known only for its highly capable off-road bikes, is doing it by being different – mostly. One look at the 2010 KTM 1190 RC8R is all it takes to know that it wasn’t designed by an Italian. KTM is based in Austria (as is designer Gerald Kiska who has worked with KTM since 1991) just a day ride over Stelvio Pass from Italy, but there’s no mistaking KTM’s non-Italian Teutonic design language. Perhaps the distinctive design of the RC8R is the result of Austria’s location snuggled between Italy and Germany: the cold, engineering-driven German influence blended with the romance of Latin Europe.
Opinions about the beauty of the KTM RC8R vary wildly, but no one will ever call it boring or uninspired.
The RC8R’s chiseled design creates a sensation wherever it stops. If an F-117 stealth fighter crashed into a motorcycle factory, the RC8R would be the likely result. Slim and angular, and swaddled with matte-black paint, it looks …read more