The Brain Bucket

Model Overview: 2016 KTM RC 390 Review and Specs

May 17, 2021 4:15:41 PM / by RumbleOn Road Captain

Considering a naked bike for your first motorcycle? The KTM RC 390 could be the ride you’re looking for.  

Attention novice riders and seasoned thrill-seekers: not only is the 2016 KTM RC 390 a proven contender in the category of best motorcycles for beginners, but it’s also one of KTM’s most capable (and zealous, I might add) ultra-lightweight, naked bikes.


2016 KTM RC 390

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Ask about the RC 390 Duke, and they’ll tell you this 324-pound machine is an “ace for inspiring confidence” in all who venture to ride it. But, which features make this spunky two-wheeler a true stand-out?

Let’s start with the chassis configuration, which consists of a tubular steel trellis frame and, as points out, a “lovely” die-cast swingarm. Every piece of the Duke’s chassis, from its tires to its suspension, is incredibly cohesive and eager to please. And while I may be more of a bagger guy myself, I have to admit, this 373cc little funster is a formidable thing to behold.

Video Source: Yamaha ZED YouTube

While some claim the KTM RC 390 isn’t the most comfortable ride, a few aftermarket tweaks—namely to the seat and handlebar grips—are a good starting point. The good news is, short riders will be comforted by the 390’s relatively diminutive seat height and upright seating position, while tall riders might have to make a few adjustments to the bike’s ergonomics before hitting the saddle (suspension is said to be a bit stiff and the fuel tank too small to grip).

Let's move on to the Duke's engine output. Punchy yet smooth, the 390 produces upwards of 44 horses, which may seem a bit lackluster to riders who have tons of experience; beginners, however, will be pleased with KTM’s responsive single-cylinder engine technology, which ensures that “From as little as 2500rpm to whatever the redline actually is, the engine is in there with you.”

And if this isn’t confidence-inspiring enough, the 390 comes standard with ABS braking, which is always a plus in my book.

Video Source: KTM YouTube

A happy medium between naked and sportbike, the 2016 KTM RC 390 is a positive and rewarding street ride for bikers at any level. So, do yourself a favor and look into buying a used KTM 390 from RumbleOn: both you and your wallet won’t regret it.


2016 KTM RC 390 Specs

  • Engine: 373cc, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, single-cylinder
  • Bore x stroke: 89.0 x 60.0mm
  • Compression ratio: 12.6:1
  • Primary drive (rear): Chain
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Fuel system: Bosch EFI w/ 46mm throttle body
  • Clutch: Wet multi-disc
  • Front suspension: 43mm inverted WP forks; 4.9 in. of travel
  • Rear suspension: WP shock; 5.9 in. of travel
  • Front brakes: 300mm disc w/ radially mounted Brembo 4-piston caliper
  • Rear brakes: 230mm disc w/ Brembo 1-piston floating caliper
  • ABS: Bosch 9MB Two Channel
  • Front wheels: Cast aluminum, 3.00 x 17″
  • Rear wheels: Cast aluminum, 4.00 x 18”
  • Front tires: Pirelli 110/70 ZR17 54W
  • Rear tires: Pirelli 150/60 ZR17 66W
  • Wheelbase: 52.8 in.
  • Ground clearance: 7.0 in.
  • Seat height: 32.3 in.
  • Fuel tank: 2.6 gal
  • Dry weight: 324 lbs


What say you, beginners? Would you ever take a used KTM RC 390 for a spin? Let me know a comment!

RumbleOn Road Captain

Written by RumbleOn Road Captain

Your fearless leader in all things to do with motorcycle education. I cover tips and advice for motorcycle riders, motorcycle product reviews, and pretty much anything I think is useful to my fellow bikers.