Less than a month after stating that their future was in World Superbikes, KTM has unveiled a 990cc V-Twin 'concept' Superbike - called the RC8 - at the Tokyo Motorshow.

Although no official announcement was made of their motorsport intentions for the futuristic looking machine, should they enter WSBK, the RC8 is almost certainly the bike they will do it with: Its 999.8cc capacity and V-Twin engine configuration fits neatly within the technical rules, and is the same as the world championship winning Ducati 999.

When asked specifically, by Crash.net, if the bike would be seen in WSBK, KTM spokesperson Carmen Ponta stated: "KTM is treating entering the World Superbike championship as a valid option for the future, but there is no detailed information (on when that will happen) at present."

The RC8 has a 'tubular chromoly space frame' chassis, a dry weight of 175kg and an estimated top speed of 280km/h.

KTM released the following statement on unveiling the machine:

"She does not come in peace - she comes from KTM.

"Those who know KTM, know that only one thing counts with us. We've symbolised uncompromising motor sports for over 50 years. And all that time KTM has fought on the front lines to win.

"For the RC8, we brought our riders to the design table as well as the best technicians and designers. Our aim: The ultimate weapon for ambitious street-fighters.

"That means: A radical concentration of its mass around the compact 75? V2. Innovative details are everywhere: The seat is the tank, keeping fuel at the machine's centre of gravity. Dry sump lubrication allows the entire exhaust system to sit precisely where it has the least influence on dynamics. Directly under the engine.

"The fairing is designed to produce: The least possible crosswind drag. The result: No crosswind oscillation, spell-binding agility, and aggressive steering ability.

"Form follows function - form follows fiction.

"Our design approach is very simple. At KTM, an air duct is always - first and foremost - an air duct. First the function, then the beauty. But anyone who stands and beholds her can tell that we don't give the appearances short shrift.

"Her powerful lines and extreme reduction to the basics characterise her as a unique, wild and emotional motorcycle. A striking statement for our future on the road."

Technical Specification:

Engine: KTM LC8 engine
Displacement: 999.8cc
Frame: Tubular chromoly space frame
Dry weight: 175 kg (approx.)
Transmission: 6 gears, dog-clutch engagement
Top speed: 280 km/h

The RC8 is expected to go on sale in 2006.



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