The 2022 KTM RC 390 is the brand’s worst-kept secret. After spotting the test mule out and about in April, 2021, we caught another glimpse of the pre-production unit just one month later in May, 2021. Most recently, the 2022 RC 390 made a premature appearance on the KTM website before page managers pulled down the image.
Of course, the internet didn’t let Team Orange get away with the slip-up, and the photos confirm many of the anticipated changes for the small-displacement sportbike. As the lone road-legal supersport in KTM’s lineup (in North America), the RC 390 was overdue for an overhaul. Similar to many motorcycle manufacturers, Euro 5 emissions standards gave the House of Mattighofen an excuse to upgrade the dated platform.
We anticipate the new RC 390 to retain the same 373cc single producing 44 horsepower and 25.8 lb-ft of torque in its current configuration. However, KTM’s official announcement will reveal if emissions regulations impacted the model’s power, torque, or displacement figures. While performance seems aligned with past RCs, the model’s fit, finish, and ergonomics received most of the firm’s attention.
Out goes the dual headlight setup, extended windshield, and beaky front fairing. In comes a refined single-unit headlamp, carbon fiber fascia, and integrated turn signals. New bodywork and what looks like a larger gas tank join the party as well, but the revised subframe and clip-on handlebars sharpen the ergos. Drawing from the Red Bull KTM MotoGP team, the 2022 RC 390 will also wear a navy blue/orange livery commonly found on the brand’s R-spec trims.
Lastly, a new full-color TFT dash could introduce a full electronic suite complete with lean-sensitive ABS, traction control, and Bluetooth connectivity, but we’ll have to wait for KTM’s proper unveiling for the full details. Along with the 390-variant, KTM is also preparing the RC 125 and RC 200 for the European and Asian markets. The entire sportbike family will share the same design treatment, but only the RC 390 will receive the MotoGP-inspired paint job.
With MotoGP racing at Austria’s Red Bull Ring for the next two rounds on August 8, and August 15, 2021, KTM could use the occasion to introduce the 2022 KTM 390. It may be a poorly kept secret, but that makes us even more interested to see the final product.