Having shed its skin, the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R is now a leaner, meaner and an even more menacing hyper-naked bike than ever before. Mounted into an all-new chassis, beats an updated version of the renowned 75 degree, 1301 cc LC8, V-Twin heart, taking THE BEAST to the next level.
If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. But by all means, make it meaner! Boasting 180 hp and 140 Nm, the 1301 cc LC8, V-Twin has undergone a subtle yet impactful development. Optimized to be lighter but retaining its torquey character, this powerhouse is the benchmark of V-twin evolution. And with new engine and linkage mounts that add to the overall structure of the entire package – it quite literally is the part that holds THE BEAST together.
Thinner engine casings and revised water and oil cooler mounts have resulted in a 0.8 kg weight saving. Oil delivery has also been improved by way of a lightweight aluminum oil line, eliminating the need for a double wall system. Additionally, the engine carrier bracket and linkage mount have been integrated into the engine case, allowing for a stiffer connection. This has also resulted in a 5 mm higher swingarm pivot for improved stability and anti-squat.
New topfeeder injectors and 56 mm throttle bodies provide an improved air to fuel mixture at high rpms. This results in more torque and better fuel economy throughout the rev range.
You don’t always need big changes to make big differences. In fact, when it comes to the PANKL gearbox, we’ve made a few small tweaks which have resulted in quicker shift times, shorter shift action and lighter lever modulation. Smoother shift action also comes courtesy of an improved spline shaft and bronzed copper coating on the shift forks. Why do all this? Quite simply – quicker shift times equal faster acceleration.
To perform like a BEAST, the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R needs to breath like a BEAST. Thanks to an all-new ram air intake positioned in the new headlight mask, this rip snorting arrangement maximizes flow by forcing air into the combustion chambers. This in turn reduces the chance of low air pressure and increases the fuel burn rate. The addition of a newly designed and easy-to-access air filter box makes for easy servicing too.
A new frame concept, which uses the engine as a means to increase torsional rigidity, has resulted in the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R being 3 times stiffer than its predecessor. This allows for an effortless, confidence-inspiring riding position which translate into an ultimately faster ride. This is achieved by maximizing the feedback from the chassis and the front tire. The frame also makes use of thicker diameter tubes with thinner walls, which is the single biggest weight saving measure on the bike – saving 2 kg compared to the previous model.
To increase feel and traction, the pivot point of the single-sided swingarm has been repositioned 5mm higher relative to the output sprocket for more control when putting the power down. Combined with the repositioning of the engine in the frame, a steeper swingarm angle has been achieved, increasing anti-squat.
Lighter and fully adjustable WP APEX forks feature split function compression and rebound settings. This allows riders to fine-tune the front end for full-blown apex attacks, or to achieve perfect plushness for long hours on the road. And if that isn’t enough to find the razor-edge of handling, adjustable preload settings will help you find the ultimate front-end stance.
The newly developed WP APEX rear shock absorber features separate gas and oil reservoirs, making it lighter and more compact than its predecessor. It is also fully adjustable, with individual high- and low-speed adjusters and a ‘no-tools-needed’ manual preload dial for the ultimate in rear shock set-up.