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KTM RC390 2020 Review - Prices, Specs, Variants, Features and Mileage

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Bike Reviews

By Tijo Tenson - Content Writer Jan 29 2020 Share this blog

KTM is an automaker from a small and humble country that managed to create a commotion and shake up the Indian motorcycling fraternity. They introduced us to something that we were missing for a long time and thus, began the orange fever!

2020 ktm rc390

The KTM RC390 was one such bike that changed how we saw motorcycles. It was the cheapest 40+bhp offering available then and still holds the podium. It gave us a taste of blistering performance and sharp looks at a very affordable price point. It was the bridge between the basic commuters and the lightweight performance machines.

2020 KTM RC390 now comes in new shades and remains mechanically the same while being BS6 norms compliant. It is priced at Rs. 2.48 lakhs pan-India and remains the king of the entry-level performance segment. The likes of Kawasaki Ninja 300 and the all-new TVS Apache RR310 try their best to dethrone it.

Pros

  • Insane performance for the price point

  • Looks killer in any angle

  • Extremely nimble handling

  • Top-notch fit and finish

Cons

  • No quickshifter unlike its naked brother

  • No major changes

  • Heats up pretty quick

What’s New

  • New paint scheme

What’s the source of RC390’s mental firepower?

What’s the relationship status of performance and efficiency in the RC390?

The 373.3cc motor is a pure maniac! There isn’t another motorcycle in this class that provides us with the power to weight ratio that this orange monster provides. KTM has cleverly engineered this engine to rev faster and higher and the usage of lightweight components make it a quickie. Power and torque are all high up and thus makes the rider cling onto the throttle to extract all of the orange firepowers. This also makes it a bit hectic to ride in tight traffic. The engine also tends to heat up rather quickly but the efficient cooling system takes care of the temperature surge.

2020 ktm rc390 engine

A performance machine with this calibre will have to sacrifice efficiency. The mileage figures are not so inspiring but we aren't complaining either, as we are more than willing to shell out a few extra Rupees for the adrenaline rush. The fuel tank is also pretty small and is well suited for the urban ground alone and the racetracks, of course!

Motorcycle

KTM RC390(BS6)

Kawasaki Ninja 300

TVS Apache RR310(BS6)

Ex-Showroom Price (Delhi)

Rs. 2,48,000

Rs. 2,98,000

Rs. 2,40,000

Engine 

373.3cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled DOHC engine

296cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin DOHC engine

312.2cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled reverse inclined SI engine

Power 

42.9 bhp

@ 9000 RPM

38.4 bhp

@ 11000RPM

33.5 bhp

@ 9700 RPM(Sport and Track mode)/

25.44 bhp

@ 7600 RPM(Urban and Rain mode)

Torque

36 Nm

@ 7000 RPM

27 Nm

@ 10000 RPM

27.3 Nm

@ 6700 RPM(Sport and Track mode)/

25 Nm

@ 6700 RPM(Urban and Rain mode)

Fueling

Fuel Injection

Fuel Injection

Fuel Injection

ARAI Mileage figure(kmpl)

23

25

31

Fuel tank capacity(Litres)

9.5

17

11

None of the competitors provides the level of performance as the KTM and this is what differentiates it from the rest. Both Kawasaki Ninja 300 and TVS Apache RR310 have a slightly toned down engine character which provides for a better daily rideability. But in all out performance, KTM blows the roof off!


How eye-popping is the acceleration, 0-60?

Blink and you miss it! The upshifts are very crisp and short which often ends up in you being confused as of, “Which gear am I at?!” The surge comes in after 4500 RPM that makes you hold on for dear life. The smart counterbalancers eliminate all vibrations which result in you looking at the Rev-meter for data.

2020 ktm rc390 acceleration

60 kmph comes in under 6 seconds and the RC390 revs to all its glory and tops out at 167 kmph, which is the company specified. We all know how that goes off, as there are instances of riders topping out at 180+ kmph. We leave the judgement of this pocket rocket’s capability to you.

Motorcycle

KTM RC390(BS6)

Kawasaki Ninja 300

TVS Apache RR310(BS6)

Transmission

6-Speed

6-Speed

6-Speed

0-60 kmph

5.68

7.17 s

7.17 s

Top Speed(kmph)

167

144.14

160(Sport and Track mode)/125(Urban and Rain mode)

The new BS6 compliant RR310 is the only one that comes close to slaying the RC390 but still doesn’t cut it. Kawasaki Ninja 300 is a beautiful machine and the only twin-cylinder in this lot. But the extra cylinder doesn’t help either and one reason for it is its age. Kawasaki needs to up their game to stay in this ever-competitive picture.

How confidence inspiring are the bybre brakes?

The brakes on RC390 are from bybres and they do a phenomenal job of controlling this monster with ease. This setup instils enough confidence in the rider to go all out with the machine without worrying about the stopping power.

2020 ktm rc390 bybre brakes

Dual-Channel ABS takes care if things go south and it engages naturally without any interference with the natural braking. This helps the rider have enough confidence to modulate the brakes accordingly. The bite is strong and newbies might need a few extra braking scenarios to get used to it.

Motorcycle

KTM RC390(BS6)

Kawasaki Ninja 300

TVS Apache RR310(BS6)

Front / Rear

Disc/Disc

Disc/Disc

Disc/Disc

Front Rotor Size(mm)

320

290

300

Rear Rotor Size(mm)

230

220

240

80-0 kmph(m)

29.78

32.14

N/A

ABS (Single or Dual Channel)

Dual-Channel

Single Channel

Dual-Channel

RC390 has the biggest brakes in this class and that translates to very grippy braking scenes. Both the brakes provide the same amount of bite and thus work in unison. This is also the reason for its minimum distance of stoppage from 80-0 kmph.

How sharp is the handling and what is the rider’s comfort status?

Handling is as sharp as the looks. 2020 KTM RC390 still possesses the sharp and nimble character that made it India’s most loved entry-level performance machine in the first place. WP suspension setup complements its aggression and helps it take razor-sharp turns in an unreal manner. We bet that you will be addicted to the way this bike takes those curves. The tyres also play an important role in making it such fun to handle the machine. It now flaunts “H” rated Metzelers and drops “W” rated ones.

2020 ktm rc390 cornering

Comfort is not the RC390’s cup of tea. The rider sits in the most aggressive position ever and is cocooned in the sharp bodywork. The seat is not the most comfortable and is mostly suitable for short sprints. Long hauls will result in a sore bottom and it's suggested to slap on a gel seat for a better touring experience. The clip-on handlebars are low slung and short that demands a “Ready to Race” attitude.

Motorcycle

KTM RC390(BS6)

Kawasaki Ninja 300

TVS Apache RR310(BS6)

Chassis 

Steel trellis

Steel diamond tube

Split trellis

Tyre-Wheel Size(Front)

110/70-17

110/70-17

110/70-17

Tyre-Wheel Size(Rear)

150/60-17

140/70-17

150/60-17

Front Suspension

WP open cartridge Upside Down forks

Telescopic forks

Inverted cartridge telescopic forks

Rear Suspension

WP mono-shock

5-way preload adjustable mono-shock

Two arm mono-tube floating piston gas assisted shock absorber

Seat height(mm)

820

785

810

Ground Clearance (mm)

178.5

135

180

Kerb Weight(kg)

170

179

174

Starting System

Self

Self

Self

The aggressive usage of lightweight components helps the RC390 shed a lot of weight as compared to its competitors. This makes it much more nimble on its feet and thus the slightest change in direction can turn it steeply. Ninja 300 has become old and thus shows its age in the form of sluggish movement as compared to the quick and nimble orange monster.

How sharp does the KTM RC390 look?

The RC390 looks as sharp as ever. KTM has been smart not to fiddle with the base structure of the motorcycle which till date looks out of the box despite being over five years old. A new generation model is in the pipeline and thus KTM didn’t change much with the BS6 RC390. But they added a new decal set to freshen up the looks.

2020 ktm rc390 sharp looks

The twin projector headlamps help us tag the unmistakable KTM on the roads. The side slung exhaust unit goes very well with the whole bike despite being an after add-on. Visually there aren't many changes and it's a good thing as KTM stuck with the root formula of blistering looks to go with the blistering performance.


Aesthetic Features

  • Twin projector headlamps

  • Side slung exhaust unit

  • Windshield

  • New decal set

  • Exposed trellis frame

  • Integrated pillion seat

Motorcycle

KTM RC390(BS6)

Kawasaki Ninja 300

TVS Apache RR310(BS6)

Length (mm)

2145

2015

2001

Width (mm)

760

715

786

Height(mm)

830

1110

1135

Wheelbase(mm)

1340

1405

1365

The RC390 is a surprisingly short motorcycle but doesn’t look so. The front-heavy design is sharp and looks menacing. RR310 is the next bike on this list that looks menacing and we dare say, that it looks better than the RC390. It resembles a lot like a Ducati!

What are the safety and class-leading features in the RC390?

A motorcycle with so much power ought to have serious safety features to back up the rider. Dual-channel ABS helps you keep the motorcycle sane at all times and most importantly during intense situations. It holds ground pretty well and thus helps adds to driver confidence. Adjustable clutch lever from the factory helps you fine-tune the dynamics as per your wish and this adds to the riding uniqueness. 

2020 ktm rc390 adjsutable levers

The LCD instrument cluster is now dated but remains one of the crispest and all-rounded data display units. LED lighting all round gives the bike a modern look and the projector headlights have ample of throw. The LED taillight is designed in a very sleek and smart manner which makes it stand out even when leaving out other motorists behind on the road!

Motorcycle

KTM RC390(BS6)

Kawasaki Ninja 300

TVS Apache RR310(BS6)

Ex-Showroom Price (Delhi)

Rs. 2,48,000

Rs. 2,98,000

Rs. 2,40,000

Features

WP sourced suspension setup

Parallel twin engine

TFT instrument console


Up-down quickshifter

Redline on the other side!

Projector headlights


lightweight

Atomising injectors

Ram-air intake


Triple clamp handlebar

Assist and slipper clutch

Glide Through Plus Technology

KTM slides down here in terms of features. It is more of the straight forward type and doesn’t try to woo its customers with modern technological gizmos. TVS Apache RR310, on the other hand, has gone balls out with connected features and TFT displays. At the same time,  Ninja 300 still flaunts a semi-digital instrument cluster. We believe that RC390 will get a major overhaul in the next generation and thus KTM has gone soft with this one.

How does the competition stack up against the orange track machine?

KTM RC390 vs Kawasaki Ninja 300

2020 Kawasaki ninja 300

Ninja was the motorcycle that made the common man see dreams. It was very pricey as it was a CKD unit and so was not accessible by many. But it was the cheapest parallel-twin available during that time. Things changed rather quickly after the launch of KTMs in India and that made performance machines which were once considered “too costly”, readily accessible. RC390 quickly took the sweet position and respect which the Ninja was enjoying. We choose the RC390 hands down for the Boombastic performance on offer at a very accessible price point.


KTM RC390 vs TVS Apache RR310

2020 tvs apache rr310

Indian manufacturers were blown by the amount of feedback that the KTMs were amassing. So TVS planned to counter this and that's how we got the “shark” Apache RR310. It has been co-developed with BMW and thus has the heart of a beamer. It is high on modern technology features and helps keep the rider connected. But it still doesn’t manage to provide the thrill and pupil dilating experience which the KTM is infamously known for. This one is a two-faced decision as KTM demands a more aggressive approach and is not feasible for daily drivability. On the other hand, the RR310 has a more mixed character than can switch between a relaxed commuter and a full-blown track machine at will. It’s your call here, but both are equally competent machines.

Who are the insane bunch of riders, RC390 is focused at?

KTM has stayed true to their root formula of “blistering performance” and that makes it, again the bike to beat in this category. Many manufacturers have tried and are still in the phase of building a machine that can dethrone the mighty RC390. The closest one so far is the Apache RR310 that is shy on both power and displacement but manages to offer similar riding pleasure as the RC390. The RC390 is strictly not for newbies, as this machine needs a fair bit of experience. It is for the seasoned riders who would want to have a taste of the track machines on the roads. The RR310 slates perfectly for the newbies as it has a toned-down character and the various riding modes help you to understand the machine before going balls out with it.

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