Long-Term KTM RC390: Driven Racing Top Triple Clamp and Clip-Ons

A clean, lighter-weight handlebar solution for improved RC390 ergos.

Stock handlebar setup (top) and Driven top triple clamp and Halo clip-ons (bottom). The Halo clip-ons now reside below the triple clamp, positioning the bars about an inch lower than stock and with a bit more downward angle. Yes, those are Andreani fork caps. More on those later.©Motorcyclist

WRIST: Ari Henning
MSRP (2015): $5499
MILES: 2,100
MPG: 54
MODS: Driven Racing top triple clamp and clip-ons

There's no doubt that the little RC390 is more a sportbike than anything else in its displacement category. Besides its high tail, fat inverted fork, and radial-mount front caliper, the RC390 has the most extreme ergonomics in the small-sportbike class.

The clip-ons, though, have an awkwardly flat angle (referring to their downward slant from horizontal) and limited sweep (referring to how much they angle back) that’s non-adjustable thanks to the fact that the bars bolt into recesses cast into the top triple clamp.

One could unbolt the stock bars and slide some aftermarket clip-ons onto the fork tubes below the stock triple, but then you're left with the unsightly bar bosses staring you in the face. Driven Racing (drivenracing.com) recognized this dilemma and set about machining a top triple clamp ($220) to go with its existing 51mm Halo clip-ons ($199).

The goods! Driven’s Halo clip-ons have reference marks laser engraved on them to assist with matching handlebar length and rotation. It’s a useful detail, as is having the torque specs for the pinch bolts engraved on the triple clamp.©Motorcyclist

The top triple is shaped from a solid chunk of aluminum, and it’s beautiful as well as functional. The edges are artfully beveled and the torque specs for the pinch bolts are laser engraved into the face of the part. Nice. The Halo clip-ons are similarly detailed with various reference marks and they have two-piece clamps for ease of installation.

If you want to retain your stock ignition you’ll need to get this $80 accessory. It bolts to the bottom of the Driven top triple and positions your ignition in the original location.©Motorcyclist

Removing the stock top triple clamp is easy, but it’s a good idea to put a rag under the socket before you crank off the steering-stem nut, just to insure you don’t mar it. The stock ignition-switch holder is cast into the stock top triple clamp, so I picked up Driven’s bolt-on holder (an $80 option, since most folks that race the RC won’t retain the ignition switch) and transferred the switch over. Drilling the aluminum clip-on tubes to accept the stock switch clusters requires careful measurement. I measured twice but I still ended up drilling the holes too far outboard since I didn’t factor in the length of the stock bar ends. Woops!

The Halo clip-ons have quite a bit more downward angle than the stock parts, and I dialed in a bit more sweep. And because the clip-ons now reside below the top triple, the bar height is about an inch lower, which I appreciate. Now the bike really feels like a sportbike, with a crouched, forward-biased riding position that's ideal for attaching corners. I can't wait to try the new setup out at the track.

Here’s an added bonus: The Driven parts are quite a bit lighter than the stock components too. Our scale showed a weight reduction of 1.8 pounds—nearly a 40 percent weight savings. The stock steel bars and huge, heavy bar ends are responsible for most of that weight, so you’ll get the majority of weight-saving benefits with just the Halo clip-ons. But it’s hard to imagine any RC owner installing clip-ons and then not springing for the top triple too. It just looks so good!