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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > 342 > KTMRC8R

KTMRC8R

’Is that a penny on the ground?’

It’s a very fine line between pleasure and pain, and as the RC8R barked an earth shaking 127dB from its unsilenced Jester end can, my cochleas felt like they were getting the kicking of a lifetime.

Man, it was loud. Probably louder than any other bike I’d ridden before, with a resonance so deep I could feel my lungs being bounced around my ribs with every blip of its motor. And that noise only got louder, deeper and even more mischievous when the throttle met gears and the booming V-twin launched itself forward with the eagerness of a shoplifter fleeing pursuit with a stolen packet of crisps.

Having ridden the Aprilia first I was surprised at how much quicker the KTM sprang to life, as the Mille was no slouch. But this second generation KTM motor (larger and faster than the original RC8 lump) was a definite game changer, that took the goal posts and booted them Jonny Wilkinson style into a field somewhere over the horizon.

Feeling somewhat more beastly and raw, the aura was quickly added to when throttling off and hearing the succession of backfires that were to haunt me over the next several hundred miles every time the revs dropped below 5,000rpm – which was pretty damn often.

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