With the Austrian manufacturer riding high in MotoGP and in the motorcycle showrooms with their performance-leading machines, we think the the time is right to resurrect the RC8 brand and finally plug the big sportsbike-shaped gap in their range.
The supernaked Super Duke 1290 uses all the latest electronics tech wizardry to control the 178bhp, 1301cc V-twin alongside a revised frame for 2020, surely there’s never been a better time to drape some sportsbike clothes onto what is essentially a naked superbike, and call it an RC8R? Either that or we can call it a Super Duke with a fairing…
If we’re looking to switch things up a little, we could always play the alloy frame card that Ducati are so fond of at the moment, fitting one on everything from the Panigale, to the Streetfighter, and – gasp – even to this year’s Monster. Personally, we think the trellis is worth keeping for aesthetics alone but mass-producing an alloy frame is likely to keep the accountants happier.
The other thing we’d definitely ditch is the old RC8 swingarm: while no ugly Betty, if a single-sided swinger is good enough for the Super Duke, it’s good enough for an RC8R. Talking of aesthetics, we’d move the game on from the origami RC8 and incorporate some curves from the RC16 MotoGP machine, and even add winglets for the full racetrack experience.