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Updated KTM 1290 Super Duke R spotted during test session

Published: 07 August 2019

Updated: 07 August 2019

As this exclusive spy shot shows there’s a brand new KTM 1290 Super Duke R on the way with updates that should make the brutal Austrian super naked easier to live with day-to-day but also even more of an animal when you really prod it!

The old model was no slouch, but being largely unchanged since 2013 and with a Ducati V4 Streetfighter on the way as well as an updated Aprilia Tuono, it was time to up its game.

To do it, KTM have clearly given the bike a complete overhaul, starting with the chassis. The main frame is still steel tube but simplified with fewer tubes of a larger diameter.

Meanwhile, the rear subframe is now a pair of aluminium spars while the forks and wheels have been updated as well.

The external signs are also there that the 1290cc V-twin engine has undergone a serious overhaul. The water pump is new, as is the exhaust routing and style. The silencer is much smaller than that of the existing bike and all in aluminium, which is impressive given the further tightening of emissions regulations that are on the horizon.

Chances are that KTM have kept the displacement the same but have worked on the heads and cams to improve combustion efficiency.

Another certain big change is to the Super Duke’s dash and switchgear with the new bike guaranteed to get the large, full-colour TFT screen that debuted this year on its sister Super Duke GT.

KTM 1290 Super Duke R clocks are taken from the Super Duke GT

To coordinate with this, the new Super Duke’s switchgear is expected to be completely new with the left-hand unit now featuring a five-way joystick-like set of controls. Finally there’s also clearly new bodywork and LED lights.

Although KTM have yet to officially confirm the new bike we expect it to be unveiled at EICMA in November before going on sale next year.

KTM 1290 Super Duke R highlights

  • The new wheels appear to be much lighter than those of the old model, which should make the new bike easier to turn.
  • Old 172bhp motor was no slouch but KTM will likely want to bump it up against the rivals, so we expect around 175bhp.
  • Larger diameter tubes can use thinner walls, so it’s likely KTM have saved a few kilos with the 2020 Super Duke’s new frame.
  • New TFT dash combines with new switchgear to host a set of +/- controls which should it easier to use while riding.
  • We’d expect price to remain near current levels, perhaps creeping up to £14,999 although some of the tech might be optional.

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