Ever dreamt of riding a Moto GP bike? Do you dream of riding some day on a race track? Or did you just dream of having a machine that allows you to get there? Or did you always wanted a Sports bike in your garage, bikes like those in GP races, but gives good mileage so you can use often in daily use?
What ever might be your case that you are reading this, but 1 thing is for sure, and I want to make it clear now, the All new RC200 just looks spectacular, so beautiful that 1 can easily fall in love with it, since it resembles KTM’s MotoGP bike. So make sure you want to read on.
So the Pune based Bajaj Auto’s sister concern brand, KTM has launched the All new MY22 RC200 in India first, before the rest of the world. What’s more special is that the India spec model gets a LED headlight, and the international spec doesn’t. That simply speaks how important a market, India is.
So the All new RC200 is priced at 2,08,717 ex showroom, to be precise, its a hike of 115rs, which is nothing in comparison to the upgrades KTM has now done on the all new generation of RC200. What are those? I ll get to that, but before I start my opinion piece, lets get over with basics. The new model is available in 2 colour paint scheme, the Orange Black and the Orange Grey, I personally loved the one with black. On paper, it’s the exact same 25NM torque and 19.2PS of power, right? But, the experience is much more matured, more sporty, suited for track use, more balanced and more cornering angles now possible with the new trellis frame. So here we go.
The All New MY22 RC200 comes with an all new split trellis frame which is now lighter & stiffer than before. Over this, sits the All New Moto GP inspired Aerodynamic bodywork with GP inspired decals. The design did gather some criticism initially, but ladies and gentlemen, we all were so so wrong. The front get gets an all new & transparent visor, for the right visibility even when you are ducking in. An All new LED headlamp now will take care of the illumination on dark rides. The DRLs are integrated in the Signal indicators itself, which looks amazing and very functional, this speaks about the amount of thought, KTM engineers have put in making it closer to an actual GP bike. So yeah, lesser worries while parking in tight situations which is usually the case in metro cities today. The New front end looks amazingly beautiful in flesh, that in photos.
There’s a new instrument cluster in the house, the unit we saw on the adv250, well the same LCD unit now comes with the RC200. Moving ahead, there’s the updated fuel tank. Whats updated? Well, the tank capacity obviously, the New RC200 now comes with a 13.7L fuel tank, giving it additional 4L approx. capacity, and additional 100-120kms range. The fuel tank now sits ahead of the battery pack, which is opposite to what the earlier RC’s had. This helps in better mass centralization, also helps KTM in adding the GP like tank panel, adding to the GP look, which shall also make the battery more accessible. The rear trellis too is all newly designed, and now it gets actual grab handles for the pillion rider, than that piece of bent metal, KTM used to install of earlier RCs, making it more pillion friendly.
The Rider and pillion seat too are all new. They now get double the foam padding on it, adding around 8-10mm of seat height, but this has made the RC much more comfortable. The new Fuel Tank design is more accommodative and spacious now, allowing the rider to comfortably move around, also the ergonomic knee area allows the rider to grip the bike tightly & nicely. The handlebar too, now sits 14.2mm above that earlier, making the riding position less committed than before. The handlebars are adjustable, and can be lowered when required, making it more track ready than ever. The front suspensions too get an upgrade. The WP Apex 43mm USD forks now come with 130mm travel, 10mm more than before and gets bigger pistons to offer better feedback and control to the rider. In terms of comfort, about the front or rear, we really cant comment much, since we rode it on a track, and not on real life road conditions. But from track perspective, they were spot on. The rear suspension is the same 10-step adjustable suspension from the out-going model, so we can expect it to be stiff as the earlier was.
Speaking about the tail section, the RC200 now gets a new sharper longer LED tail-light, adding to the sharp & aggressive looks. In terms of exhaust & exhaust note, there is no change done in the upgrade process, and is the same as before. But, what has changed is the rear seat is now an actual seat, and not integrated one like in the earlier models, giving more space inside, this has allowed KTM to move a few bit farther to the end, and has resulted in a 40% larger airbox intake now. This has also allowed the grab handles for the pillion to come in. This new design changes and bigger airbox allow the KTM to breathe better and deliver a linear torque across the rev range. So the experience surely gets better, what also gets better is the radiator on the RC200. The new RC now gets a curved radiator, that allows for more than 10% surface area of coolant cooling, overall enhancing the engine cooling system and ensuring you keep on getting uninterrupted performance, no matter how far you plan to ride continuously.
Max you can do is 350-400kms though, with that 13.7L tank. That’s a wild guess again, since the meter displayed 27kmpl throughout my ride time, but I was continuously on full throttle and had constant gear shifts, like those in Moto GP races. With that harsh a treatment, if it can deliver 27, in real world, 1 can easily expect anything between 36-42kmpl. Adding to the list of features are the bend-able brake and gear leavers, which will not only be a great help in track races, where its difficult to brake or change gears in a corner, but in real-life situations of fall too, when often the brake lever or the gear shifter used to break. Simply impressed.
So it can go fast, suspensions, the all new aerodynamic body and chassis help the cause, but something that can go faster and offer more control & performance, also needs to stop better, brake better right. That’s what KTM too thought, so the New RC200 get new lightweight alloy wheels with better strength than before, what else, well the disks on the alloy wheel no longer have Stainless steel rotors to them. The disk now is directly installed on the alloy wheel, allowing around a weight reduction of 2kgs easily. Not just that, the front brake is now a 4-piston single pot caliper on a 320mm disk, 20mm larger than the earlier model, to offer you better braking and control.
On the rear sits the same 230mm disk as earlier, but without the SS-rotors. Above this, sits the safety net of a Dual channel ABS system which will take care of any wheel locking while braking hard. The front axel too, is now hollow, reducing the unsprang mass further. As I said earlier, the Engine output is same, at 25Nm torque and 19.2Ps of power, but the engine now is much more refined than earlier. Gear-shifts are slick as slime and smooth. It doesn’t get any of that slipper clutch technology yet, but what it gets is the optional Super-moto mode for the rear wheel, to make the package sweeter.
So with a hike of 115rs from the earlier RC200 to the new MY22 RC200, you get a better stiffer & more balanced chassis, better front suspension feedback, better & transparent visor for ducking in comfortably, better bigger brakes to give you that stopping power , better instrument cluster with all modern features like gear indicator, fuel indicator, tachometer, odometer, trip meters, fuel consumption indicators, better LED headlight, sharper meaner design lines with the GP inspired aerodynamic design & a cleaner breathing engine producing the same exact figures as before. Who won’t want to upgrade or buy 1? KTM has surely made their price preposition much stronger than before and far away from anyone in its competition The experience and performance the new RC200 offers on the tracks, is a new benchmark. I am all sold, and early waiting for the elder RC390 which shall be reaching Indian shores by February-march 2022, which is something I would love to tame. The RC200 to me, felt a bit underpowered, so I am waiting the big daddy, but hey, I am 30, riding since 12 years and have ridden over 4 lakh kms, have you?
Go to your nearest KTM showroom and book a test ride now. And experience how the whole package has got sweeter & meaner.
Words – Suraj Sawant
Photography & Video – Govind Gadekar