17 July 2013 - 05:30
KTM's 390 Cup previews faired-in 390 for 2014
To all those impatient faces unable to wait any further, let's get this out of the way first: yes, this is the new KTM 390 Cup and yes, this is what the production version of the faired-in 390 Duke will look like. Well, almost.
The 390 Cup, as the name suggests, is KTM's latest weapon for its 2014 ADAC Junior Cup racing championship, a league that promotes up-and-coming riders. This racy 390 is based on the standard 390 Duke, and employs the same 373.2cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder motor that makes a slightly lower 38bhp to conform to championship regulations. It features suspension by WP and brakes with four-piston calipers to show how committed it is to the racetrack, but what we're most interested in is that full-sized fairing up front.
KTM admits that the 390 Cup is a "series model project", and that it previews a small, fully-faired sportsbike that will go on sale very, very soon. So, exercise your imagination a bit - get rid of the stickers, the Akrapovič exhaust, replace that little piece of foam with a proper seat (along with a joke of a seat for the pillion), add a headlight, a tail-light, indicators, a registration plate, a rear tyre-hugger and a saree guard - and there you have your faired-in 390 for the road.
Now, that fairing will add about five to ten kilos to the 390's kerb weight, but when the 390 already produces a heady 43bhp, it shouldn't really hamper its ability to make you shriek. Clip-on handlebars and re-positioned footpegs should lend to a more aggressive (read ever-so-slightly-uncomfortable) riding position. It will share almost everything else with its naked cousin - from the engine, the six-speed gearbox, the suspension, right down to the excellent Metzeler rubber.
So, when is it coming, how much will it cost, and what will it be called. Sometime in 2014, to answer the first query. Those extra bits of metal should nudge up the cost, but not by much, so it should still be priced just above the fairing-less 390. And finally, when it's not a race machine anymore, KTM might possibly drop the 'Cup' moniker, and call it the RC390. They've already got the RC8 superbike (which has been on display at Bajaj's ProBiking showrooms and has generated quite a bit of interest), and it only makes sense to expand the family, doesn't it?