This KTM RC8 came in for an ECU remap; the initial test ride showed up a very savage throttle response off the bottom that made it difficult to enjoy the chassis, and the rest of the bike as a whole.
Out came the stock map, and we did the usual stuff that we know works with these big KTM V-twin engines – switch off the lambda sensors, and reset the secondary butterfly valves. This is where the real effort started, because this engine revs much higher and punts out a load more power in RC8 form than it does in Adventure or SMT guise, and is therefore a completely different beast to map.
We remapped the ignition, and gained midrange horsepower. The bottom end power and throttle delivery were difficult to get right because this engine is built for top-end power, but hours and hours spent between the ignition maps and Manifold Air Pressure maps eventually paid off. One thing we did find is that it’s vital to get the engine up to operating temperature – around 65° – before you ride off. We were happy after the final test ride, and this RC8 now has a beautiful, ‘long’ throttle that you can really wind on, and is much more linear and progressive.