Despite a myriad of factors preventing KTM’s first superbike from succeeding, many track enthusiasts nonetheless purchased RC8’s and RC8-R’s and turned them into modern powerful track weapons that lacked today’s electronic assists. Then there are (supposedly 50 of) the RC8-RS models (RS meaning Race Spec) that came straight from the KTM factory, having been optimized for race performance. These are obviously track-only machines that aren’t street legal but after all these weren’t built to be anything other than purpose built, fast as hell racers.
While dozens of changes were made to the standard RC8 to create the RS model, some of the main differences it boasts include a WP race-spec shock along with Öhlins internals inside the WP fork and an Öhlins steering damper, Marchesini forged aluminum wheels, PCV w/ quick shift (in this examples case said PCV has been mapped for C.12), a BMC race-filter, Brembo front master cylinder, upgraded front and rear rotors, and naturally the RS model comes safety-wired and ready to race which jives with the manufacturer’s slogan. KTM also included a rear-stand in the sale of the RC8RS and while this clearly isn’t a deal breaker for anyone considering the RS model, I happen to be a sucker for bells and whistles and other limited edition factory knickknacks so I think the orange steel KTM stand is pretty nifty.
The RC8RS also came from KTM boasting full carbon fiber bodywork including a carbon rear hugger and front fender, and carbon tank sliders. Much of the RS was borrowed from KTM’s WSBK machines and it would appear KTM attempted to offset some of the WSBK R&D costs via capitalizing on said R&D by turning around and selling it to the public in the form of the RC8RS. While I personally found piloting a stock RC8 to be incredibly intimidating, I do wonder if the RS model would be easier or harder to wrestle and control while going around a track.
While the RS came from the factory 100% race ready – which was kinda the entire purpose of this limited edition RC8 variant – this example’s current owner nonetheless opted to further customize and upgrade the Austrian track weapon. The addition of Sato engine case covers, Cox radiator guard, and Shorai light weight battery made to this example in addition to its recent new DID chain and Vesrah front pads all help to take an already stellar machine and proverbially “turn it up to eleven”.
You can find this steel-framed Austrian factory Superbike for sale here on Craigslist in Spring, TX with a price of $8,900.