2009 KTM RC8 R – Click above for high-res image gallery
When the first brave competitors sought glory on the Isle of Man in 1907, winning brands went by names like Matchless, Peugeot and Norton. Over one hundred years later, Austrian manufacturer KTM will take a chance to add its name to that prestigious list.
Known around the world as one of the most challenging venues on two wheels, the Isle of Man TT (tourist trophy) race is not only rich in history and heritage but also entertainment value. The 37-mile mountain course with its many real-world obstacles is not only extremely difficult but has also proved to exact high levels of concentration if competitors wish not to sacrifice man and machine to the tarmac. With straightaway speeds approaching 200 miles per hour, followed by bike launching bumps, berms and a collection of what we would call the most intimidating cobblestone walls on the planet, the Isle of Man is not for the faint of heart.
UK-based and KTM-backed Redline Motorcycles will take the flagship RC8R and pilot James Edmeades across the drink this June, marking the first time a KTM has skirted the island for competition in the Superbike, Superstock and Senior TT Races. The company hopes this orange streak will extend off the rock and legitimize the RC8's place in competitive road racing events... as well as the hearts of fans the world over. At the very least, KTM and Redline know it will be an historic occasion as they tread in the tire marks of a century's worth of dedicated enthusiasts... naturally, they just want to do their treading from the top of the leader board.