History repeats itself. At least that seems to be the case with KTM. Between 2006 and 2013, Team Orange stuffed its liquid-cooled, DOHC, 999cc, LC8 engine into the 990 Duke and 990 Adventure. That 75-degree V-twin eventually grew in size, going on to power the brand’s 1190 and 1290 platforms. However, if new LC8c engine drawings are to be believed, the 990 nameplate could return to the Austrian firm’s lineup in the near future.

The drafts come to us by way of China. It’s no surprise that super sleuth Ben Purvis uncovered the designs, but the document’s implications for the current-generation parallel twin are far-reaching. As Purvis points out, nearly every part of the LC8c undergoes an overhaul with the new design. That includes a revised cylinder head and sump along with updated cylinders, cases, and covers.

Current-Generation LC8c

Current-Generation LC8c

Of course, the refreshed exterior hints at new internals. KTM already bumped the LC8c’s displacement from 799cc to 889cc when it introduced the 890 Duke R in 2020. To achieve the larger volume, Team Orange engineers expanded the twin’s bore to 90.7mm (from 88mm) while maintaining the same stroke. Based on the drawings, it looks like the Austrians could soon increase the cylinder’s traveling distance to achieve a 990cc capacity.

Now, that doesn’t rule out a potential bore increase as well, but the elongated cylinder and newly-shaped head likely indicate a longer stroke. Those updated components allow the LC8c to retain its compact dimensions, potentially upholding its compatibility with KTM’s “super scalpel” chassis. The engine mount positions support that theory, as they seem identical to the current generation mill.

In addition to the configuration alterations, the drafts allude to KTM adopting a new oil sump, oil cooler, and exhaust ports for additional performance. If the uncovered drawings do indeed capture the Austrian marque’s upcoming powerplant, we expect it to power a 990 Adventure, the recently spotted RC 990 sportbike, and of course, a 990 Duke. History does repeat itself, after all.

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