More from Motoring

They say ‘never say never’ for a reason, don’t they? In 2015, KTM pulled the plug on its road-legal supersport lineup. Since then, there’s been no orange in this segment, with the exception of the track-specific RC8C introduced back in 2021. However, KTM has also confirmed the 990 RC R will be a normal production model, and not a limited edition (*cue Jim Carrey face; ‘so you’re telling me there’s a chance!’*)

The press release states that the KTM 990 RC R will use a new LC8c powertrain putting out 121 bhp and 10.5 kgm of torque at 10,500 rpm. Wait, aren’t these figures almost identical to the 990 Duke? That should probably suggest where this engine comes from. What’s confirmed is that the 990 RC R will feature a shifter that can be reverse configured for track shifting.

Look at those huge winglets!

The 990 RC R will be underpinned by a steel frame, accompanied by a die-cast rear subframe. The steering head-angle is at a fixed 25-degrees, and the frame has an increased weight bias towards the front. KTM says ‘Beefed-up stiffness gives the right feel and stability under acceleration on bumpy roads or on racetracks while also maintaining agility at low speeds.’

The KTM 990 RC R will likely derive its powertrain from the Duke 990

KTM also says it has been testing the 990 RC R extensively to ensure rider comfort. Of course, don’t expect cruiser-like comfort levels here, but the 990 RC R should be manageable enough given this is going to be a proper production supersport. The fully-adjustable WP Apex suspension will also make its way onto the 990 RC R, along with lightweight cast aluminium wheels, adjustable footpegs, and Michelin tyres.

What it looks like from the rear

The road-legal KTM 990 RC R is making its global debut in early 2025, while the track-only version will follow in the second quarter. Could we also get some bigger-capacity KTMs here now?