Pic reveals KTM is going for more torque with reworked Super Duke R
KTM’s pioneering Supernaked, the 1290 Super Duke R, was comprehensively upgraded for 2017, and now it is getting an even more extreme reworking for 2019.
Our spy shots reveal the KTM range-topper will receive an entirely new chassis and styling, along with changes to its 1301cc V-twin engine.
The engine changes relate mainly to the upcoming Euro5 emissions standards and, while we can’t tell what’s going on inside the engine, the prototype is clearly fitted with much longer exhaust headers.
The under-engine collector box is also larger, and there’s now an EXUP-style servo-operated flap to alter back-pressure.
These changes imply that KTM is working on giving the bike a fatter, flatter torque curve to go with its class-leading 131kW(177hp).
The chassis retains the usual KTM trellis construction but with a different pattern. The impression is that the new frame puts more emphasis on using the engine as a stressed component.
At the back, the old bike’s trellis-style subframe is gone, replaced by a unit that appears to be a combination of aluminium and plastic.
The rider’s seat is supported by a cast alloy section, but the pillion section appears to be plastic or composite.
The swingarm is another new component, still single-sided but now braced underneath rather than above. There is also a redesigned rear suspension system, with the rear shock and rising rate mechanism mounted much lower.
Styling is still very much in the KTM mould; sharp edges and points abound. On this prototype, the headlight is from the production Super Duke R. It’s likely this will receive styling tweaks before the final production version is unveiled.
More than one Beast
Despite being used as the base for other KTM models such as the 1290 GT and Super Adventure R, the Super Duke 1290 R has only been available in one flavour, but that looks set the change in 2019.
Our spied 1290 R has the same WP-branded 48mm fully adjustable fork and rear shock as found on the existing model, but our photographer reported seeing a second bike with a different style of fork. Odds are that at least two variants of the Super Duke will be offered – one with fully adjustable WP kit, and the other fitted with semi-active electronic suspension.
A suite of programmable riding aids, including traction control, stability control, cornering ABS and an IMU are sure to be standard fitment across the range.
Hopes are also high that the new model will receive the large TFT dash as fitted to 1290 Super Adventure R model.
By Ben Purvis