KTM RC 390 (2014+) Maintenance Schedule
This post was originally published in 2021, but we have significantly revised its format and content since then.
This is the maintenance schedule and service intervals for the RC 390, KTM’s entry-level but still race-ready sport bike.
The RC 390 uses the same engine block as in the KTM 390 Duke and KTM 390 Adventure, so the maintenance schedule has a lot in common.
The RC 390 is powered by a single-cylinder fuel-injected DOHC liquid-cooled engine that makes peak power of 32 kW (43 hp) @ 9,500 rpm, with 37 Nm (27 ft-lb) of peak torque.
It was built to compete with other entry-level sport bikes like the Kawasaki Ninja 400.
The KTM RC 390 has evolved significantly since its introduction for the 2014 model year. But the maintenance schedule remains the same (though a different spark plug is recommended from 2021).
- 2014-2017 model: Original spec
- 2017 — slipper clutch, different exhaust, adjustable brake levers, a ride-by-wire throttle, a larger 320mm front brake rotor, larger mirrors, LED headlights, and cosmetic changes.
- 2021 model — Cornering ABS, adjustable suspension, TFT display, more comfortable seating position for both rider and pillion, new rear silencer
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KTM RC 390 Service Intervals
According to the manual, the KTM RC 390 has relatively short service intervals of 4650 miles or 7500 km, at which point you should change the oil and filter, change the air filter, and do a whole host of checks.
Every two services (every 9300 miles or 15000 km), change the spark plug and check the valve clearances. Luckily, the RC 390 has just one cylinder, so the valve clearance check is relatively easy, though you do have to remove bodywork to get there.
Finally, the KTM RC 390 is a liquid-cooled bike, so change the coolant periodically, and keep the brake fluid up to date.
What you need to service your KTM RC 390
Servicing your RC 390 is fairly easy, for a sport bike. It has a single-cylinder engine, whereas most of its competitors have two cylinders. So when the valve service comes up every 15000 km it’s not an overwhelming task.
Aside from basic motorcycle maintenance tools, here’s what you need to service your 390 Duke.
|Part||KTM RC 390 spec|
|Engine oil||The manual requires SAE 15W-50 oil that meets JASO T903 MA2 spec, and recommends Motorex oils, e.g. Motorex Top Speed 15W-50, a full synthetic.|
|Oil filter||Use a Hiflofiltro HF155 as a high-quality drop-in replacement.|
|Spark plug||2014-2021: Standard spark plug is a Bosch VR 5 NEU. You can also use a LKAR8A-9 per various KTM forums.|
2022+ RC 390: Bosch VR 6 NEU.
|Fork oil||Use SAE 4 fork oil.|
|Air filter||Use a K&N KT-1217 air filter.|
|Brake fluid||Use a DOT 4 fluid e.g. Castrol DOT 4 full synthetic.|
|Coolant||The manual calls for Motorex Coolant M3.0, which is an OAT coolant based on ethylene glycol that’s silicate, nitrite, amine, borate, and phosphate free. (Most coolants contain at least phosphates or silicates… be wary)|
|Clutch cable lube||Use either engine oil or Protect all cable life, an affordable and quality lubricant.|
|Chain maintenance||Use Motul chain paste, a low-mess, high-quality chain lube. The manual recommends the more expensive Motorex chain lube.|
|Grease||Grease external parts with Motorex 2000 long-life lubricant per the manual, or any good lithium soap-based grease.|
Maintenance schedule for the RC 390
The schedule below comes straight from the manual for the RC 390, though it has been re-structured to make it easier to parse.
In the manual, the maintenance schedule for the KTM RC 390 comes in two parts: required work and recommended work. However, most work that KTM says is “recommended” is required by most other brands, so we’re presuming it as such.
To simplify this schedule, we’ve split it into a standard service checklist and the scheduled maintenance table, so you can easily see what to do every service, and what is only done occasionally.
KTM recommends most of the work be done by qualified mechanics (preferably KTM mechanics but those are harder to find), and owners only do the following:
- Check brakes (maybe replace if necessary)
- Check/adjust tyre pressures
- Check/adjust chain tension
- Check coolant and brake fluid levels
However, servicing the KTM RC 390 is easy and within the capability of most competent home mechanics.
KTM RC 390 — Standard Inspection Checklist
Below is the standard inspection checklist for the KTM RC 390. Do this according to the schedule below.
Some items are marked [Dealer] as they need special equipment.
|KTM RC 390 Standard inspection checklist|
|[Dealer] Read out the fault memory using the KTM diagnostics tool|
|Check that the electrical system is functioning properly (lights, switches)|
|Check the brake discs|
Front disc minimum thickness: 4.0 mm
Rear disc minimum thickness: 3.6 mm
|Check the front brake pads (minimum thickness 1 mm / 0.04 in)|
|Check the rear brake pads (minimum thickness 1 mm / 0.04 in)|
|Check the brake lines for damage and leakage|
|Check the front brake fluid level (between lines)|
|Check the rear brake fluid level (between lines)|
|Check the tire condition (no damage, cracks)|
|Check tire pressure (see below for tire pressure specs)|
|Check the shock absorber and fork for leaks or damage|
|Check the chain tension (see below for guidance)|
|Check the coolant level|
|Check the antifreeze / antiboil effectiveness (if you have the right equipment)|
|Check that the radiator fan is functioning properly|
|Check that the throttle cables are undamaged, routed without sharp bends, and set correctly.|
|Check the cables for damage and routing without sharp bends|
|Check the steering head bearing play (ensure ease of movement and no notchiness)|
|Empty the drainage hoses|
|Check all hoses (fuel, coolant, drainage etc.) and sleeves for cracking, leaks, and incorrect routing|
|Grease all moving parts (e.g. side stand, hand lever, chain) and check for smooth operation|
|Check the tightness of the safety-relevant screws and nuts which are easily accessible.|
|Final check: Check the vehicle for safe operation and take a test ride.|
|[Dealer] Read out the error memory after the test ride using the KTM diagnostics tool.|
|[Dealer] Set the service interval display.|
|[Dealer] Make a service entry in KTMDealer.net|
KTM RC 390 Maintenance Schedule
Below is the scheduled maintenance table for the RC 390.
- Keep following the schedule in the pattern shown.
- Some items have a time-based schedule only (e.g. fluids), some a distance-based schedule only (e.g. valve clearance), but many items have both.
- We’ve simplified some of the interval distances (nobody is going to do a service at exactly 13950 miles, so we put it at 14000 for example)
|mi x 1000||0.6||4.7||9.3||14||18.6|
|km x 1000||1||7.5||15||22.5||30||Every|
|Conduct a standard inspection service (see list above)||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||Year|
|Change the engine oil (Motorex Top Speed 15W-50)||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||Year|
|Change the oil filter (HF155)||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||Year|
|Clean the oil screens||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||Year|
|Clean the dust boots of the fork legs||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Change the air filter (KT-1217), clean the air filter box.||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Check the chain, rear sprocket, and engine sprocket||✓||✓||✓||✓||Year|
|Check the valve clearance, change the spark plug. (Bosch VR6 NEU)|
Intake: 0.10-0.15 mm / 0.0039-0.0059 in)
Exhaust: 0.15-0.20 mm / 0.0059-0.0089 in)
|Check the frame (rust, cracks)||✓|
|Check the link fork||✓|
|Check the fork bearing for play||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Check the wheel bearing for play||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Change the front brake fluid. (Motorex DOT 5.1, Castrol DOT 4)||2 years|
|Change the rear brake fluid. (Motorex DOT 5.1, Castrol DOT 4)||2 years|
|Change the coolant (Motorex Coolant M3.0)||4 years|
|Check the headlight setting||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
KTM RC 390 Tyre sizes and pressures
The RC 390 ships with the following tyre sizes and pressures. It shares these with the 390 Duke, although the shipped brands vary.
|Wheel||Tyre size||Tyre pressure|
|Front||110/70 R 17 M/C 54H TL||2 bar / 200 kPa / 29 psi|
|Rear||150/60 R 17 M/C 66H TL||2 bar / 200 kPa / 29 psi|
2.2 bar / 220 kPa / 32 psi with passenger
The RC 390 ships with either Metzeler Sportec MT Interact or Michelin Pilot Power Street tyres.
About the KTM RC 390
The KTM RC 390 is an entry-level sport bike motorcycle from KTM. It’s entry-level but that doesn’t mean it’s not high-performance and certainly doesn’t mean it’s “slow”.
Cycle World tests showed it had a top speed of 167 km/h and a 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) of around 5.5 seconds when absolutely pegging the throttle and shifting quickly!
The KTM RC 390 shares the same engine with the 390 Duke in the same tune. But the motorcycle is different from the 390 Duke in that it has a more aggressive riding position, plus some aspects that make it a different ride, including slightly steeper rake, and a single-piece trellis frame.
The original RC 390 shared the same ABS ByBre brakes and WP 43mm non-adjustable front fork. They’re basic compared to more advanced racebikes, but the suspension performs really well on the traffic despite the lack of adjustability. Same with the brakes.
In the latest 2022+ model, KTM significantly upgraded the spec of the RC 390. The latest model has adjustable front and rear suspension (compression and rebound damping in the fork, and preload and damping in the rear), an IMU with cornering ABS, a TFT display, LED lighting, and even a quick shifter.
However, the engine remains the same, so there’s no change to the maintenance requirements, other than a slightly different spark plug requirement.
Because of its sub-150 kg (325 lb) wet weight, the KTM RC 390 is extremely easy to handle and throw into corners. It takes very little steering input to get the RC 390 fully leaned over and using all of the tyre, leaving everything up to the skill of the rider.
Similarly, the light weight means that the single front disc is perfect for pulling it up to a stop from the modest top speeds that it can achieve.
The 2017 update’s RbW system is fantastic, with very smooth torque delivery and from idle all the way to the redline, above the 9,000 rpm torque peak. Despite being a single, the ride from the RC 390 is vibe-free, thanks to effective counter-balancing.
The 2021 model of the KTM RC 390 brings it into another league of entry-level motorcycles, with features usually only seen on high-end bikes, like cornering ABS and adjustable suspension, making it a compelling option even for seasoned riders.
Manual for the KTM RC 390
The above maintenance schedule came directly from the manual for the KTM RC 390 from 2020.
We compared the manuals from different years and found they had the same contents, just some lines in randomly different position.
You can download the manual directly from KTM here.