Love/Hate my 2017 RC390 is great stock but pretty damn amazing with a few mods
I am a 50 year old rider who rode a lot as a younger guy, never bothered getting my open license but rode plenty of bigger bikes. Years went by and i felt the urge to ride again. I could have gone with a secondhand 990 superduke, a triumph street triple... you get the picture. But for some reason known only to the gods of two wheels, I bought this little racebike. I rode it stock standard up until the break in and it was fine... no dramas and fun to ride, I kind of felt it ran out of poke on the freeway (highway) and it was so light that big trucks really gave the little bike the wobbles from wind buffeting.
The main reason I bought it was the price, it was a new bike that cost half of what the nearest unrestricted competitor cost secondhand.
I also read the reviews and found quite a few people saying that people riding bigger bikes would still find a lot to like in the RC.
I did the following performance mods,
cat delete pipe
Power commander 5
Open airbox mod
Slip on sports muffler
With a good tune, this little bike gained around 20% on stock performance and much greater rideability across all conditions. Yes that's right 20% on stock, that's still not tapping in to everything it can do either, there is still more I could get out of it. It still runs fine on my current setup. Yes the mods cost a bit of money, but it didn't break the bank, people put more in to their bikes on cosmetic mods alone, than I spent on real performance.
The expensive stuff came when I did a full suspension conversion to race spec gear... Something I will also never regret, being a larger guy the stock suspension really didn't do me any favours.
I probably won't push this as fast as it can go with what I have done to it... it's no superbike, but it is a hell of a lot of fun at what it does best, torquey cornering and frisky acceleration up to and now easily over 160km/hr, which is well over the legal limit anyway.
Only trouble with it is that it does indeed go fast enough to make me miss the litre bikes or light sports bikes, there is all that there is to hate about it.
Brilliant looking bike, powerful 372cc motor, very easy to ride, great value for money
As a beginner rider, I originally wanted a Ninja 300 but got this 2016 KTM as a good deal from a friend and the looking of this bike really caught my eyes. It's done 1600kms when I got it, I found it's very easy to ride, gives me a lot of confidence in the corners. As a LAM approved bike, it really put smile on your face when you twist your right wrist, powerful 372cc motor has a lot of torque and it just love to rev. It has ABS as a standard feature, backlit switches (something you can only find in those top-end touring bikes), digital instrument cluster and slipper clutch.
What I really love is it looks awesome and an absolutely head turner on the road, something you'd not expected from a LAM bike.
But it just like other single cylinder bikes, it's a bit shaky when sitting in the traffic, and the fuel tank is so small means your visit to the service station is very often. The cooling fan roars almost all the time, seems like normal for this model, a bit of suffer in the summer as the hot air blows straight onto legs. Also the exhaust is hidden inside the body right below my right foot, and it doesn't sound the best compare to other twin or 4 cylinder bikes. Also the handle bar is a bit lower than other LAM bikes and it can be a bit tiring after long trips.
Overall I love this bike, I think it's great value for what you spend, and what I heard Moto 3 is actually racing with this engine so that explains how powerful this engine is.
2017 ~ 2018 RC390
Don't mistake this for the 2014 ~ 2016 model.
It has added extra and better value for money.
I was looking for a quick get around bike with the capacity to be able to do a few cheeky track days
and upon searching numerous reviews and write ups.
I decided to go for the KTM RC390 2018 model.
- What's new on 2017+ models
1. EXHAUST: Firstly it now has a side mounted exhaust, which in my opinion doesn't look as attractive, but the sound is abit more deeper and more base,
it doesn't mean you won't need to change to a louder full system, which will set you back ard $500 ~ $700 depending on which option you choose.
You could also go for the cheaper slipon option which will set you back as low as $150 up to $300 mark
2. MIRRORS: Has an intergrated signals on each mirrors and has now wider vision
3. LEVERS: now comes standard with adjustable levers
4. THROTTLE: New version now has Ride by wire throttle, which provides some smooth acceleration
5.CLUTCH: Amazing for the new model now has slipper clutch
6. BRAKES: Bigger front discs and ABS standard.
7. SEATS: Softer seats and more comfy
-The bikes looks amazing, seriously a beautiful bike
-ABS standard/ adjustable levers
-Trillions of addons and modifications available for racing
-Comes with KTM 2year warranty
-Alot for the money you pay
-Handling is one of the best bikes
-Very light and nimble which means it is very fun to ride
-Very fast around the tracks/ very confident on corners
-plenty of power at all rev range
-very slim and easy on normal roads
-still has some vibration, but not as much as the older version
-hates lower revs, can be jerky if inexperienced rider
-new brakes but they are still too soft
-have to warm up the engine before riding for best performance
-small fuel tank, you would do ard 180~ 190km before requiring a refuel (depending also on your riding style)
This beginnerish sports bike is one of the most powerful producing 43 bhp.
which is far superior in power, handling and appearance wise then the other 300cc on the market.
Great bike to learn on if you don't want a 600cc, this is the only other best option.
it is so light you can swing it ard corners with confidence.
It is also a great 2nd bike for those who are looking for a cheaper smaller bike to have fun on the tracks,
it has numerous options available to tune for racing.
In Australia the going price is around $5500 rideaway.
so for that money it is the best deal ever.
Bit of a let down
When I originally looked for a bike to get back into riding, this was the bike I wanted. Unfortunately, I never got the opportunity to test ride one but I was given the chance to do so this week which I of course jumped at.
Being 6'3 and in my mid 40's I found out pretty quick that long rides on the RC390 were not going to be an option as it pushed me forward into a pretty aggressive racing position and if you want that then it is great but it definitely didn't suit me. Secondly I had anticipated a punchy street racer and what I got was an average ride with a little bit more noise than my current stock standard CBR300R.
Yes, it got looks and that orange frame work was what attracted me to it but it was so disappointing to have something not live up to the expectations I had put on it. The vibrations were very evident and after 20 minutes of riding the temperature gauge was way, way, way up there which certainly does concern you when you are taking a bike for a test ride. Let alone the bike cutting out when blipping on the downshift which again has you start worrying when the bike isn't yours.
As a first bike for a learner (one who probably isn't over the 6 foot mark, over 40 and has the odd back issue) it would not be a bad option as long as you know what you are in for. It has all the "essentials" but I think there are better options out there such as the CBR300r and the 2018 release of the Kawasaki Ninja 400. I will give the KTM another go when I am on my unrestricted license with the Super Duke or even the RC8.
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