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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I am interested in buying an RC8. Can someone give me some clarifications on the differences between the two models (other than the fact the white and orange one is supercool!)

Many thanks

Nic
 

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RC8r is newer, and mostly just has a better engine. the earlier RC8R's had forged wheels, which they didnt do on the later models. and possibly a slipper clutch, but cannot remember
 

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There’s really three RC8 types:

RC8 - original, 1148cc single spark, silver swing arm, black frame.

RC8R v1 - “track” update to RC8, upgraded to 1195cc, lighter flywheel, lighter pistons & conrods, titanium valves, better suspension, black swing arm, orange frame, Matt black & white bodywork, light weight forged alloy wheels, 98 RON fuel only.

RC8R v2 - more road focused update, twin spark 1195cc (+5bhp), cast alloys, road focused suspension (downgraded in places i.e. no DLC coating for example), heavier crankshaft & flywheel, black swing arm, orange frame, came with a slipper clutch as standard after 2013 I believe (?), gear position indicator included on dash display, selectable fuel type 95 / 98 RON.

The above is factual, the stuff below my personal view:

The v1 RC8R was an “engineering first” effort from KTM. The RC8 was good but they needed to do better. There were lots of expensive upgrades both internally to the engine and to the chassis - a real demo of what they could do and an attempt to take the fight to Ducati on track. It’s a relatively harsh bike on the road thanks to stiff suspension, lumpy low RPM and a tendency to stall relatively easily if your clutch control isn’t good. A significant upgrade from the RC8.

The v2 RC8R is more a reflection of the time it was launched IMHO. KTM were being comprehensively left behind in terms of BHP / electronics package so a focus on a road going machine with a fantastic chassis, improved low end running and some softer edges made sense (a less powerful engine compared to rivals is less of a drawback on the road). Its focus was different to the RC8R v1 and that’s obvious in the removal of some high end aspects such a the DLC coating for the suspension and the move back to cast alloy wheels.

I have a 2010 RC8R personally and my other half has a 2012 RC8R. I love my 2010 as it feels more urgent and more boisterous than the v2 RC8R. That said, the v2 is the better road bike. It’s smoother, feels more planted as stock and is noticeably more smooth low down (and is also more frugal when it comes to fuel). It’s a less intense experience compared to the RC8R v1 but that’s not necessarily a bad thing! It very much depends what YOU want from a bike :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Truth is that I had an RC8 2008 I bought in 2010 with few miles on the clock for very little money. Around that time new was £7995!
I keep it along my 990 Adventure S and my XR650L for 16 months without using it much although I really enjoyed it. Compare to my previous and sport bike, CBR 954 RR, it was far easier and perhaps more comfy.
Unfortunately I had a small crash braking foot pegs, clutch cover and a bad scratch. I had to fix it and I decided to sell it for few money.

Now I would love to have it back to use it to "cruise" around bending roads, perhaps in Europe as well (although it would be difficult to do long stretch when I can do it with the 1190 ADV) but overall to use it on the track.

Many thanks for the clarifications above very helpful.

I think I will stick to one of the first RC8. Probably best value for money for me. The V1 sounds too difficult. The V2 is too expensive.
The biggest shame of this whole RC8 project was not to include at least the ABS which was becoming standard on all bikes by 2008.

Nic

PS My wife loved it too...and although she used to ride wouldn't ever consider buying one...
33528
 

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I have a 2009 RC8R with forged wheels that I am putting back together with the later model twin spark engine. I bought it from a friend who had managed to break the gearbox casing in a massive mechanical failure. I have enjoyed the project which is now nearing completion. Is this of interest to you?
KTM Progress May 2020.jpg
Is that of interest to you?
 

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There’s really three RC8 types:

RC8 - original, 1148cc single spark, silver swing arm, black frame.

RC8R v1 - “track” update to RC8, upgraded to 1195cc, lighter flywheel, lighter pistons & conrods, titanium valves, better suspension, black swing arm, orange frame, Matt black & white bodywork, light weight forged alloy wheels, 98 RON fuel only.

RC8R v2 - more road focused update, twin spark 1195cc (+5bhp), cast alloys, road focused suspension (downgraded in places i.e. no DLC coating for example), heavier crankshaft & flywheel, black swing arm, orange frame, came with a slipper clutch as standard after 2013 I believe (?), gear position indicator included on dash display, selectable fuel type 95 / 98 RON.

The above is factual, the stuff below my personal view:

The v1 RC8R was an “engineering first” effort from KTM. The RC8 was good but they needed to do better. There were lots of expensive upgrades both internally to the engine and to the chassis - a real demo of what they could do and an attempt to take the fight to Ducati on track. It’s a relatively harsh bike on the road thanks to stiff suspension, lumpy low RPM and a tendency to stall relatively easily if your clutch control isn’t good. A significant upgrade from the RC8.

The v2 RC8R is more a reflection of the time it was launched IMHO. KTM were being comprehensively left behind in terms of BHP / electronics package so a focus on a road going machine with a fantastic chassis, improved low end running and some softer edges made sense (a less powerful engine compared to rivals is less of a drawback on the road). Its focus was different to the RC8R v1 and that’s obvious in the removal of some high end aspects such a the DLC coating for the suspension and the move back to cast alloy wheels.

I have a 2010 RC8R personally and my other half has a 2012 RC8R. I love my 2010 as it feels more urgent and more boisterous than the v2 RC8R. That said, the v2 is the better road bike. It’s smoother, feels more planted as stock and is noticeably more smooth low down (and is also more frugal when it comes to fuel). It’s a less intense experience compared to the RC8R v1 but that’s not necessarily a bad thing! It very much depends what YOU want from a bike :D
That's a pretty good summary. A couple of other points:

RC8R v1 (2009-10) also had as standard a carbon fibre front mudguard and a billet top yoke, instead of the usual cast item.

RC8R v2 - the 2013> model which was the last type produced (orange and white with black front side panel, and black wheels) were fitted with a slipper clutch as standard (same as fitted to the superduke R)
 

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I have a 2009 RC8R with forged wheels that I am putting back together with the later model twin spark engine. I bought it from a friend who had managed to break the gearbox casing in a massive mechanical failure. I have enjoyed the project which is now nearing completion. Is this of interest to you? View attachment 33531 Is that of interest to you?
What sort of money will it be once done?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have a 2009 RC8R with forged wheels that I am putting back together with the later model twin spark engine. I bought it from a friend who had managed to break the gearbox casing in a massive mechanical failure. I have enjoyed the project which is now nearing completion. Is this of interest to you? View attachment 33531 Is that of interest to you?
Depends...obviously...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
RC8R v2 - the 2013> model which was the last type produced (orange and white with black front side panel, and black wheels) were fitted with a slipper clutch as standard (same as fitted to the superduke R)
I believe they are very rare and very expensive...
 

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I have a 2009 RC8R with forged wheels that I am putting back together with the later model twin spark engine. I bought it from a friend who had managed to break the gearbox casing in a massive mechanical failure. I have enjoyed the project which is now nearing completion. Is this of interest to you? View attachment 33531 Is that of interest to you?
What sort of money will it be once done?
It has cost far more than I anticipated but it is a genuine RC8R! £7000? From comments here about machine differences note the following: Black Swing Arm, Carbon fibre front mudguard, nitrided front forks, billet top yoke and FORGED wheels. You can have the original engine to prove authenticity... I had ideas of replacing the bottom end but after paying a fortune for the bottom half (don't ask...) the engine rebuild turned into a nightmare. Anyone here good at putting engines back together? The engine gasket set alone was over £300, then there was the locking tool for the crank followed by the camchain set tool and after all that I started doing the valve timing on the wrong cylinder so need to start again. Doh! Not for the faint hearted...
 

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It has cost far more than I anticipated but it is a genuine RC8R! £7000? From comments here about machine differences note the following: Black Swing Arm, Carbon fibre front mudguard, nitrided front forks, billet top yoke and FORGED wheels. You can have the original engine to prove authenticity... I had ideas of replacing the bottom end but after paying a fortune for the bottom half (don't ask...) the engine rebuild turned into a nightmare. Anyone here good at putting engines back together? The engine gasket set alone was over £300, then there was the locking tool for the crank followed by the camchain set tool and after all that I started doing the valve timing on the wrong cylinder so need to start again. Doh! Not for the faint hearted...
And yes the crank is different on the later models so I bought a bigger rotor. KTM. Keep Taking Money... The engine in this one is a later twin spark 2013 model with only 3500 miles before someone fell off it. Complete unit installed. All bodywork and chassis original 2009. My friend Martin did not fall off. He just lacked mechanical sympathy.
 

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And yes the crank is different on the later models so I bought a bigger rotor. KTM. Keep Taking Money... The engine in this one is a later twin spark 2013 model with only 3500 miles before someone fell off it. Complete unit installed. All bodywork and chassis original 2009. My friend Martin did not fall off. He just lacked mechanical sympathy.
What ECU runs it then? What’s the original bike’s mileage?
 

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It has cost far more than I anticipated but it is a genuine RC8R! £7000? From comments here about machine differences note the following: Black Swing Arm, Carbon fibre front mudguard, nitrided front forks, billet top yoke and FORGED wheels. You can have the original engine to prove authenticity... I had ideas of replacing the bottom end but after paying a fortune for the bottom half (don't ask...) the engine rebuild turned into a nightmare. Anyone here good at putting engines back together? The engine gasket set alone was over £300, then there was the locking tool for the crank followed by the camchain set tool and after all that I started doing the valve timing on the wrong cylinder so need to start again. Doh! Not for the faint hearted...
Interesting. I've just replaced the cams on mine (2009 R) so I know about what's involved with that & valve clearances.

I bought the engine locking tool, the torque wrench extension tool (for the front cylinder) and the cam chain tensioner release tool, but I left the cam timing stock - did you adjust yours?

And yes I nearly made the same mistake, why the rear cylinder is #1 seems counter-intuitive to me but that's ktm for you I guess.

So what's involved with the engine swap to the twin spark? Presumably you need the later model loom, ecu and clocks?
 

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It is work in progress. Fortunately I also own another later model RC8R so planning to do a swopover of bits and pieces to see what works. The newer one came with a Power Commander 5 so that gives me interesting possibilities... I do get fed up with KTM parts prices - everything is £100+. I need the dress up panel under the tail section and two inner panels to hold the stop light that I have just shelled out £70 for second hand from Boonstra in Holland. Not many crashed RC8s about at the moment! Mirrors for the front are crazy money... There are aftermarket items available but they are cheap and nasty and made in a Chinese chocolate factory so no thanks. ANYONE WITH A TRACK BIKE GOT MIRRORS FOR SALE????
 

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Interesting. I've just replaced the cams on mine (2009 R) so I know about what's involved with that & valve clearances.

I bought the engine locking tool, the torque wrench extension tool (for the front cylinder) and the cam chain tensioner release tool, but I left the cam timing stock - did you adjust yours?

And yes I nearly made the same mistake, why the rear cylinder is #1 seems counter-intuitive to me but that's ktm for you I guess.

So what's involved with the engine swap to the twin spark? Presumably you need the later model loom, ecu and clocks?
Cam timing - I read a lot about this because it really is difficult to sight the dot marks accurately. At first I thought I was a dot out but after twelve goes at it (I kid you not) the penny finally dropped. If I timed the wrong cylinder first and if it's a 270 firing cycle then that has to be the reason that the cam chain jumps and the valves hit the top of the cylinder on the front pot but not the back one. It's funny how you can go on making the same mistake while ignoring the obvious... When I have finished building the bike with the new engine in it I will have a proper go at the first engine with the new bottom end I bought. Learned a lot in the process but I really LOVE the bike. At the end of all of this one of the RC8R's will have to go but I am not in a rush. Having too much fun (and torment) in the meantime!
 

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Does anyone have a clue about engine numbers and which KTM RC8 model they refer to? Cannot find info on this anywhere...
If you are on Facebook join the RC8/R group and ask, lots of knowledge there
 
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