KTM has made a surprise move at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show, unveiling the RC 250 sportsbike and 250 Duke naked. They will joint KTM’s existing lineup of small capacity road bikes, which currently encompass 125 cc, 200 cc and 390 cc motorcycles. And while that might appear to be an unnecessarily complicated offering, KTM is thinking of the global picture.
The two new machines have already been confirmed for Japan where there are heavy restrictions and regulations of bikes with capacities of greater than 250 cc. Similarly, the new 250 Duke and RC 250 will prove popular in many South East Asian nations where smaller capacity bikes are popular due to regulations and affordability.
Both motorcycles are actually based on their larger siblings, the Duke 390 and RC 390. The engine is a downsized version of what is used in those two machines and puts out 23kW (31.3hp) at 9,000 rpm and of 24Nm of torque at 7,250 rpm. The four valves within the alloy cylinder head of the 250 cc engine are actuated by two overhead camshafts via highly resilient aluminum followers – the same technology as in the Superbike 1190 RC8 R. A balancer shaft is integrated into the engine to help reduce unpleasant vibrations one might expect from a single cylinder engine.
Both bikes will also receive a slipper clutch as standard (throwing more weight behind the notion that such a feature will become standard on the RC 390 and 390 Duke in western markets this year). Brakes remain the same as the RC 390 and 390 Duke. On the RC 250, there’s been some visual tweaks including the positioning of front indicators which have been integrated into the mirror housings.
So will these two new machines make it to western markets? Possibly, as Kawasaki has recently released both a new Ninja 250 in the UK alongside a Z250 (which is also available in Australia) so the manufacturers obviously believe there’s room for a whole host of small capacity machines now. The RC 250 and 250 Duke will be priced from ¥620,000 ($5,200) and ¥550,000 ($4,612) respectively.