ENGINE & EXHAUST
Legend has it, if you walk through the streets of Mattighofen at full moon, you can hear its roar. Ok, so we made that part up, but there is no denying the 1301 cc V-twin’s legendary status. Now even lighter and more powerful than before, this torquey powerhouse has been built to take on anything you’re brave enough to throw at it.
If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. But by all means, make it meaner! Boasting 177 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.
This is not a case of “bark being worse than bite” – this BEAST roars! Up to 60 mm of drainpipe-like dimensions at the headers optimize gas flow, while 2 catalytic converters control emissions, without compromising the V-twin engine note or horsepower.
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 wider diameter tubes with thinner walls, which is the single biggest weight saving measure on the bike – saving 2 kg compared to the previous model.
Think of the suspension elements on THE BEAST as the muscles that work to get the power to the ground in the best way possible. Every component has been considered to improve the handling, adjustability and performance.
These wheels didn’t just happen by the grace of a designer’s pen – they are the product of a sophisticated CAD system, which determines the best shape in terms of strength and lightness. What that means is that these wheels are engineered down to the finest detail, they are lighter than before and look great.
Reigning in THE BEAST comes courtesy of 4-piston BREMBO Stylema monobloc calipers clamping onto 320 mm floating discs up front, and a twin piston floating caliper biting a 240 mm disc at the rear.
Finding the optimal seating position is made easy with an adjustable 760 mm wide handlebar. Riders can tailor their preferred reach with 4 positions over 21 mm, front to back, making it easy to attack corners and crucial for hanging on down the straights.
The KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R boasts an all-new TFT dashboard with increased functionality.To access this, a great deal of testing was done to develop robust and intuitive motorcycle switchgear, which incidentally pushes all the right buttons. Riders can now adjust the wheel slip easily via paddle buttons on the switchgear, while in TRACK MODE, or can set two programmable switches for fast access to favored features or setting of their choosing.
There isn’t much to say about the bodywork of the new KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R as there is so little of it to talk about. But that’s exactly how we like it! Aggressive and menacing, the bodywork and panels had to achieve two objectives – tick all the ergonomic boxes and shave weight wherever possible. As such, every panel and plate has been calculated for optimum thickness and minimized where possible. The only thing that remained heavy was attitude.
Almost mantis-like, the new LED headlight doubles as a ram air intake, with air being channelled between the lights, keeping them cool, and directly into the airbox, making for a more efficient burn. Besides looking great, the dual-functionality resulted in cleaner, more compact lines and less overall weight.
SOFTWARE & ELECTRONICS
If you tried taming THE BEAST by grabbing it by the scruff of its neck and wrestling it into submission, you’d get bitten. For that reason, the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R wears an invisible muzzle to protect from heavy-handed petting. But for those few that can manhandle 1301 cc of pure fury, the muzzle can be removed at the flick of a switch.
A new angle-adjustable 5 inch TFT screen takes center stage ahead of the rider, featuring a fresh design and innovative new functionality. An updated menu structure gives riders faster access to the various features and allows for more customization of preferred riding setups. The scratch resistant bonded glass display also helps to combat glare.
Many traditionalists might frown at the sight of electronic rider aids, saying they interfere with the purity of the ride. However, when it comes to the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R, all electronic features have received an update, providing more feedback from the engine, and less intrusiveness from the safety systems. This means improved Quickshifter+ settings, more refined and natural feedback and smoother, more intuitive anti-wheelie functions.
- 1301 cm³
- POWER IN KW
- 132 kW
- 140 Nm
- 2-cylinder, 4-stroke, V 75°
- 108 mm
- 71 mm
- Electric starter
- Forced oil lubrication with 3 oil pumps
- Liquid cooled
- PASC (TM) slipper clutch, hydraulically actuated
- Keihin EMS with RBW and cruise control, double ignition
- CO2 EMISSIONS
- 144 g/km
- FRAME DESIGN
- Chrome-moly tubular space frame, powder-coated
- SUSPENSION TRAVEL (FRONT)
- 125 mm
- SUSPENSION TRAVEL (REAR)
- 140 mm
- REAR BRAKE
- Brembo twin-piston fixed calliper, brake disc
- FRONT BRAKE DISC DIAMETER
- 320 mm
- REAR BRAKE DISC DIAMETER
- 240 mm
- Two-channel Bosch 9.1 MP ABS (incl. Cornering ABS and Supermoto mode Disengegable)
- 525 X-Ring
- STEERING HEAD ANGLE
- 64.8 °
- GROUND CLEARANCE
- 160 mm
- SEAT HEIGHT
- 835 mm
- TANK CAPACITY (APPROX.)
- 16 l
- DRY WEIGHT
- 189 kg