KTM won’t build it, but this guy will.
Introduced in 2008, the KTM RC8 amassed praise from critics and riders alike. The fully-faired sportbike was lauded for its powerful engine, lithe handling, and stunning build-quality. As a result, many fans were disappointed when KTM’s CEO Stefan Pierer announced the end of RC8 production in 2015. Claiming that 200+ horsepower motorcycles were too dangerous for public roads, Pierer pulled the plug on the supersport. With no replacement in sight five years later, Dutch YouTuber and garage builder 99999Daan decided to take matters into his own hands by resurrecting the RC8 with a modern mill.
Starting with an 1190 RC8 frame and a 2018 KTM 1290 Super Duke R engine, Daan set out to mate KTM’s latest engineering and electronics suite to the RC8’s incredibly responsive chassis. The project didn’t come without its challenges though, as the Dutchman had to reconfigure the motor’s numerous components to shoehorn it in a frame meant for a smaller powerplant.
With the LC8 engine snuggly mounted, the builder had to fit the angle sensor to the retro frame for the cornering ABS and lean-sensitive traction control to function correctly. Naturally, the Super Duke’s ride by wire, cruise control, ride modes, and motor slip regulation made the jump as well. Daan also lifted the Beast’s wheelset and front-end suspension for the 1290 RC8 project, but the part-time builder had to fashion many parts himself.
Using CAD software, he created new aluminum triple trees to accept the 1290’s larger 48mm WP USD fork tubes. Daan then moved on to retrofitting the alien-like headlight found on the modern super naked to the RC8’s one-piece fairing. Paired with custom-designed decals, the Dutch builder contemporized the decidedly dated looks of KTM’s superbike.
One of the standout features of the 1290 RC8 build is the single-sided swingarm repurposed from a Ducati Monster 696. However, the Monster isn’t alone, as Daan pulled parts from the 690 Duke, 690 SMC, 1290 Super Adventure, 790 Duke, and 790 Adventure to complete the project. While the build was a major feat in and of itself, Daan’s next undertaking is to get the 1290 RC8 deemed road-legal by local authorities. If he succeeds, a new homologated RC8 will be on the road, whether KTM approves or not.