The Austrian motorcycle powerhouse, KTM, has always been in the racing spotlight and they always had a knack for desert rally races, motocross, and enduro races. With their experience in these events, they have managed to produce among the best adventure and dirt bikes in the market such as the 690 Enduro R and the 790 Adventure. However, it should be remembered that KTM also has a pretty impressive career on the tarmac as well. KTM has a MotoGP factory team and four RC16 race bikes that entered into the championship, two coming from RedBull KTM Factory, and two from Redbull KTM Tech3, but despite their presence in MotoGP, they never really sought to translate their learnings from the track into a street-legal sportbike — well at least not since the late 2000s.
Back in 2008, KTM made an attempt to enter into the market of the superbike segment by introducing the RC8. It was dubbed as the first-ever “Made in Austria” superbike. Still, the RC8 received a lot of positive reviews on the road and had seen some success on the track so much that the Superbike World Championship (WSBK) came up with regulations that forced KTM back to the drawing board just to try to level the playing field with the RC8 for the other competitors. The RC8 was, after all, engineered to be the perfect liter bike and a 1,000 cc champion, just as the WSBK announced a new 1,200 cc limit for their races. The RC8 eventually faded into obscurity.
Today, a rare 2011 KTM 1190 RC8 R unit showed up around the internet and the owner is offering this rare beast for sale to any would-be takers. While the motorcycle isn’t exactly road-legal, this race-spec, track-use the only beast of machinery runs on a 1,190cc V-Twin that can churn out 180 hp mated to a six-speed transmission with a quick-shifter. Its engine features a dual spark plug set up which only fires one of the two plugs when the tachometer hits below the 7,000 rpm mark.
It’s fitted with premium hardware including an Akrapovič exhaust, BST carbon fiber wheels, Dunlop radial racing slick tires, clip-on handlebars, and folding clutch and brake levers. WP performance spec suspension systems provide for the dampening duties while a pair of 320-mm Brembo discs with dual monoblock calipers at the front and rear provide for stopping duties. This KTM 1190 RC8 R was among one of the only twenty units that were produced for the US market and its owner is now offering it for grabs in its auction page. If you show up on track day with this kind of superbike that’s “Made in Austria”, you’ll surely get all the looks and attention, especially with that bright orange and white paint scheme.
Sources: KTM Blog, RideApart