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The KTMs are hot favorites for a lot of youngsters who love motorcycling in India, and KTM has been able to keep this fanbase engaged and entertained with their Duke, RC, and Adventure series of motorcycles with each catering to a different set of customers. There have been new launches and upgrades from time to time by the Austrian brand and new to join this list is the 2022 lineup of the RC series, which got their fans excited quite a lot. And while we will have to wait for the entire upgraded lineup to hit the Indian showrooms, KTM India decided to launch the RC200 just in time ahead of the festive season. We got our hands on this new RC a couple of days ago at Bajaj’s test track at Chakan and here’s what we know so far:
Text: Sunil Gupta
The 2022 KTM RC 200 looks a whole lot different than the outgoing model, while still retaining its basic DNA. And the biggest change here is the front of the motorcycle, which looks less sharp but appealing nonetheless. There is a new windscreen which provides better aerodynamics as well as much reduced windblast. It has sort of a love-me-hate-me appeal to it and it might take some time before you start accepting this design. But, it does look a little more mature now, kind of grown up and bigger as well. It has a full LED headlamp with the vertically stacked turn indicators now integrated within the front fascia. It has also got a brand new rear seat and LED tail lamp. The rear seat also looks slightly bigger than earlier. And the pillion would also get a set of functional grab rails as well, which look inspired by the KTM Duke.
Also Read: KTM RC 200 Ownership Reviews
Then, you have newly designed alloy wheels which are lighter as well, which along with a few more things like lighter chain sprocket, have resulted in a weight reduction of about 3.4 kgs; but the overall weight of the bike remains the same as the KTM also also increased the fuel tank capacity by about 4 L to make it friendlier to ride on the streets as it would cost you fewer trips to gas station.
The RC200 also gets a larger LCD screen, which is taken from the 250 Adventure. Some of the other things worth mentioning are the foldable brake and gear levers and the new foldable rear view mirrors.
Once you sit on the new RC 200, the first thing you would notice is the raised handlebars, which make it much more easier to ride for longer distances without putting too much weight on your shoulders and wrists and neck. But if you want, you can visit your nearby KTM service center and get the handlebar lowered by 14.5 mm. The amount of padding on the seats has also been increased without affecting the overall seat height. The seats also feel grippier and nice to touch as well. The front of the rider seat also is narrower than before, which would help not-so-taller riders as they would be able to reach the ground comfortably.
The new RC 200 has the same 199.5 cc single cylinder, liquid cooled engine which makes 25 hp of peak power and 19.2 Nm of peak torque. What has changed here is that it now has a 40% larger airbox, which KTM says offers better throttle response and a linear torque curve. The engine feels eager to rev as always and packs a punch the KTM RC is known for. It now feels smoother to ride as well.
The RCs are a proven track tool and the new KTM RC200 carries on that legacy. It is quick to turn in the corners and feels planted on the straight line on high speed runs. We managed to hit a top speed of 142 kmph on the back straight of the Chakan test track with it. The chassis, the suspension setup, and the MRF tyres let you make a few mistakes here and there and the bike does feel a little forgiving. For braking, it has now a 320 mm disc upfront with dual channel ABS. It has also got the KTM supermoto ABS, which means you can turn off the rear tyre ABS when you want to have a little more fun with your bike.
Overall, as we said, the 2022 KTM RC 200 seems like a mature design which should appeal to the traditional KTM fan base while also bringing newer customers to their portfolio. The new design upgrades like the upright riding stance, raised handlebars, comfortable seat, bigger fuel tank, and the overall smoother engine do make it a more practical, no-nonsense motorcycle. It does feel aggressive and with a purpose, but not as hooliganish as it used to be. The pricing has also been kept the same as the outgoing model, so it does make a lot of sense. Full marks to KTM engineers here for making this entire package more attractive and meaningful.