There has never been a better time to buy a small displacement motorcycle in North America then RIGHT NOW. The Toronto Motorcycle Show was my first taste of not just the RC390 but also the two potential competitors for my dollars, the R3 and CBR300R.
I'm having a difficult time deciding between the three as all carry advantages and disadvantages relative to one another.
Most important IMO is ergonomics. In short, the RC390's ergonomics are pure sex. Currently I have a CBR125R, which seats you more like a standard then a sport bike, so my baseline is that.
I really like how the RC nestles you in there between the tank and rear, er, 'seat'. The ergos are MUCH more racy compared to the other two, but I didnt feel pitched too far forward as to hurt the wrists. One thing the Yamaha guy tried to warn me about was in the event of a drop the RC is much more exposed and will likely be a more costly fix then the other two more beginner bikes.
Whats tripping me up is A)price, purchase price on the RC will likely equal the cost of buying an R3/CBR plus a years worth of insurance. Not to mention that I believe the RC will be classified as a Supersport which will affect rates considerably. B)dealership network, there are 2 'local' KTM dealers, each an hour away in different directions. AFAIK there are no immediate plans for a KTM retailer within Toronto proper.
But then again, being a smaller guy at 5'8 140 lbs soaking wet, the RC390 offers an interesting proposition. Would I even need to upgrade to a larger bike down the line? It already comes with big boy suspension, proper clip ons (not those comfort clips you get on the other two), excellent ergos and a power to weight on par with a few 500's. Yes there is extra initial cost, but my rationale is that I wont get bored of the RC as quick as one might an ordinary CBR300. And thats not to say the CBR or R3 are poor choices, far from it, I want all 3, but I think I want the RC the most...
If you're interested I'm also on the R3 and CBR sites as well.