Limited edition KTM 1290 Super Duke RR drops 9kg and is brimming with tech

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KTM have turned it up to 11 with their state of the art new 1290 Super Duke RR, taking the already formidable stock machine and stripping out every gram of fat while tuning the electronics to the max.

The first thing you’ll notice is that almost everything that can be carbon fibre is carbon fibre. The fairing, the chain guard, the mudguard, the brake ducts, the undertray – even the ignition lock. The fancy plastic self-supporting seat unit of the standard R has been replaced with a carbon single seat unit that weighs just 800g.

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There are new machined triple clamps that save 320g, new forged wheels that save 1.5kg and a new battery that drops another 2.5kg. The result is a bike that looks more like a concept bike than a production bike and weighs 9kg less than the standard model.

Pulling a wheelie on the KTM 1290 Super Duke RR

KTM say they could have gone further with the wheels but their tame ex-MotoGP racer, Jeremy McWilliams, advised against it as they wouldn’t have been stiff enough to get the most from the chassis performance.

Away from the weight trimming KTM have boosted the levels of kit on offer. The standard WP suspension has been replaced with their Apex Pro level components. Up front the RR ships with Apex Pro 7548 closed cartridge forks while at the rear there’s an Apex Pro 7746 shock that can be adjusted in length for sharper turn in. There’s also an adjustable Apex Pro 7117 steering damper.

No wannabe track racer is complete without sticky rubber, so KTM have shod the RR with Michelin Power Cup 2 tyres.

The accessorising doesn’t stop there either. As well as all the carbon fibre, the RR comes with adjustable controls throughout, a titanium Akrapovic slip-on and a quick-action throttle. There have been changes to the electronics, too, including a reduction in traction control intervention in all modes. Sport mode has been replaced with 'Performance', which lets you fiddle with TC, and throttle settings, start launch control as well as disabling anti-wheelie.

If you want to get hold of one of these maniacal machines you’d best be quick. KTM are making just 500 of them globally and even with a £21,499 price tag they’re sure to sell out fast.

KTM 1290 Super Duke RR highlights:

  • Engine 1301cc V-twin 
  • Power 177bhp
  • Torque 103lb.ft 
  • Seat height 837-847mm
  • Weight 180kg (dry) 
  • Price £21,499


Spyshots: KTM 1290 Super Duke RR adds carbon to cut the kilos

First published on 15 March, 2021 by Jordan Gibbons

A KTM 1290 Super Duke RR prototype being ridden

Spyshots have revealed that KTM are working on a hot version of their 1290 Super Duke R for those seeking an even more performance-focused ride.

The firm’s current Super Duke R was unveiled at the end of 2019 and is already no slouch. The 1301cc V-twin produces a punchy 178bhp and 103lb.ft of torque. It combines this with a handy chassis and, if you tick every option on the order form, a decent electronics suite.

But more bikes have made their way into dealers since it was launched, including Triumph’s new Speed Triple 1200 RS, which makes the same power but is considerably lighter. That must be at least one of the reasons why it appears KTM have stuck the R on a diet.

Type approval documents for a new Super Duke RR show power to be exactly the same, with just small changes to the emissions, which are presumably thanks to that Akrapovic pipe we can see in the photos.

KTM 1290 Super Duke RR spyshot rear

But with no extra power, where’s the zing coming from? A 10kg weight loss. Looking around the bike, it’s clear this has been their goal. There’s carbon fibre everywhere – the front mudguard, the flyscreen, the rear mudguard, the chainguard, the subframe cover, the tank cover – it’s almost endless.

They’ve even removed the pillion seat and swapped that for a carbon cover, while the little carbon fibre air ducts for the front brakes make it clear this bike is intended for serious track action. Other lightweight parts from the KTM Powerparts catalogue include adjustable levers and footrests.

The Super Duke RR also looks to be sporting different wheels. They don’t appear to be carbon, more likely forged alloy, but the weight saving should be significant.  There are no other big changes, bar some likely suspension upgrades but the RR is likely to come with all of the options found in the ‘Track’ and ‘Tech’ packs.

We’ve had nothing official from KTM but we’re expecting to see this bike very soon – perhaps in the coming weeks. The standard bike is £15,749 and adding all the parts bar the wheels on the KTM website gets you a £20,550 bill, so expect a similar RRP. MCN will bring you more information as we have it.

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Jordan Gibbons

By Jordan Gibbons

News Editor, owns some old bikes. Should know better.