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KTM reveal long anticipated 2020 1290 Super Duke R

Published: 06 November 2019

Updated: 06 November 2019

The long-anticipated 2020 KTM 1290 Super Duke R super naked broke cover at Eicma, promising more power and less weight, thanks to a new chassis.

Nicknamed The Beast by people in orange shirts, the big 1290 R has been given an all-new trellis frame design, complete with wider tubes and thinner walls, to help save 2kg. This differs from the first big Super Duke, which actually shared its steel trellis with the 1190 Adventure.

KTM 1290 Super Duke R on track

Much like the smaller-capacity parallel-twin 790 Duke, the new bike uses a cast aluminium subframe, and the single-sided swingarm is now longer and pivots 5mm higher for better traction.

Alongside better traction, KTM also claim the new machine has three times the torsional rigidity of the 2019 version, thanks to using the engine as a stressed member.

Suspension is provided by WP's latest 'Apex' kit and bringing you to a stop are Brembo’s powerful Stylema front calipers. This is aided further by Bridgestone’s latest S22 tyres, which now also feature a fatter 200-section rear.

KTM 1290 Super Duke R at night

Alongside the weight-shedding and updated ancillaries, KTM have also given the thumping 1301cc V-twin some tweaks, with a new ram-air system running through the split LED headlight feeding a redesigned airbox.

Thinner engine cases have also saved 800g and the new exhaust holds two catalytic converters for Euro5 compliance. Power is also up from 174bhp to 177bhp, yet torque is down from 104 to 103ftlb.

KTM 1290 Super Duke R side view

KTM's claimed 189kg dry weight is 6kg lighter than last year, however the fuel tank has been sacrificed, down from 18 to 16 litres. We would expect a kerb weight of around 205-210kg.

The bike will be available in early February, priced at £15,699 – a leap from the 2019 model’s £14,799. Keep an eye on MCN for a full KTM 1290 Super Duke R review in the coming months.


KTM give best view yet of new 1290 Super Duke R

First published: 31.10.19

A side view of the KTM 1290 Super Duke R

KTM have pulled the covers off their upcoming 1290 Super Duke R super naked in a fifth teaser video released in the run up to fully unveiling a new model on Tuesday, November 5.

The new video gives us the best look so far at the full bike at the end of a longer clip featuring a range of riding shots, burnouts and wheelies around a track, and it looks like an incredibly focused machine.

The frame and subframe look to match those seen on a prototype spied testing earlier in the year, but the seat, rear end and cat-free exhaust all look to be prototype parts that will not make it onto the final production model.

The front fork looks to use a canister pressurisation system like the one used by Showa in their Balance Free Fork, but given KTM's relationship with WP it would be astonishing if this wasn't a new design from them.

KTM 1290 Super Duke R on track

We had already seen several more disguised shots of the new bike on track in a third teaser video, and a glimpse of the full bike in a fourth.

The video also includes more of the incredible sound of 'the beast' snarling through its Akrapovic exhaust. Everything we've seen about the bike so far suggests that KTM have concentrated on building a focused track machine.

KTM 1290 Super Duke wing

The second film featured clips of the bike being prepped for a track test and audio clips of a mighty-sounding V-twin engine being revved.

One shot also showed what appears to be aerodynamic wing technology on the front of the bike, something we have already seen from the teased Ducati Streetfighter V4 and Kawasaki Z H2.

An initial teaser (below) was uploaded on Tuesday, October 8, and showed a bike being assembled in a workshop, bearing more than a faint resemblance to a 1290 spied in testing, reported on by MCN earlier this year (visible below).

KTM 1290 Super Duke frame

Using both an orange trellis frame and single-sided swingarm like the test mule, the bike in the trailer also appears to use a large-capacity V-twin engine, highlighted at 15 seconds, during a shot of the rear wheel being fitted.

Also appearing in the video is an adjustable WP shock being installed, as well as a technician lining a mould with carbon fibre, suggesting the new bike may be equipped with lighter carbon panelling.  

The video ends with a zoomed-in shot of the workshop’s tube light, which is illuminating the finished machine. Although blurred to keep its identity a secret, the bike appears to be a large capacity naked, complete with a bulbous fuel tank and similar styling to the existing 1290 Super Duke R.

Keep an eye out for the KTM Super Duke R review on MCN coming soon...


Third KTM Super Duke R teaser

Second KTM Super Duke R teaser

First KTM Super Duke R teaser

MCN will bring you more on the bike as it becomes available.


Updated KTM 1290 Super Duke R spotted during test session

First published: 07.08.19

A side on view of the updated KTM 1290 Super Duke R

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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