KTM RC 390 Café Racer – Marla review, test ride


For those of you who have watched the movie Fight Club, or even read the book, there is little explaining to be done. For those of you who have not, Marla Singer was a character, and oh, some character. She was strong-willed, and completely off her rockers.

Why am I telling you about her, you ask? Well, this KTM RC 390-based café racer by Faaster Wheels that we got our hands on for a morning, has been inspired and named after the character. The real question one would want to ask though is, how close is the character of the bike to the lady of the Fight Club?

The KTM RC 390 is a properly fast entry-level sportsbike. It is quite light at 166kg. For the purpose of developing the café racer, it has been made lighter still. The entire fairing has been stripped, the pillion seat has been removed and replaced by a lightweight metal rear cowl, the rear sprocket has been replaced by one that weighs less than half the weight of the stock one, and even the battery has been replaced by Aerovoltz battery, about 2.5kg lighter than the stock Exide. Overall, weight is reduced by 15kg.

All this chipping away has not left Marla looking indecent. The front cowl is now a vertically mounted plate and houses the projector headlamps. It, along with the tank, engine and rear cowls have been wrapped in a metallic, matte-finished blue vinyl film by Hexis imported from France. We love the vivid colours on this café racer, the blue works very well with the exposed orange trellis frame, usually hidden from the eye on the stock motorcycle. The entire appearance is young and brat.

As for the electronics, Marla retains the stock instrument cluster and switchgear. ABS for the braking system has been retained too. The headlamp, or whatever is left of it, uses the stock projector headlamps. The tail-lamp is done away with and the rear cowl now integrates LED bulbs. Turn indicators are LEDs too.