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2020 KTM’s new 1290 Super Duke R puts the spotlight on the chassis and weight.

While other companies have focussed on power increases for 2020 KTM’s new 1290 Super Duke R puts the spotlight on the chassis instead.

The firm’s 1301cc LC8 engine is retuned to meet Euro5 emissions limits and gets a slight power increase from 130kW to 132kW. Thinner engine cases mean the new version is lighter than before and new injectors help with the 2020 improvements. A new ram-air intake set into the LED headlight boosts performance at speed. However, the bigger changes are in the frame, which gets a completely new design that’s three times stiffer than the previous version with wider tubes that use thinner walls to keep weight down. In total, the 2020 bike is 6kg lighter than the 2019 version, coming in at 189kg dry.

A redesigned single-sided swingarm is claimed to improve traction and the seat subframe is now a composite unit rather than a tubular steel design. WP Apex forks and a matching shock, both lighter than their predecessors, deal with the suspension, both fully adjustable, of course.

Electronics are always a KTM strong point and the 2020 Super Duke R is no exception with keyless ignition and a mind-boggling array of settings and modes. Tyre pressure monitors, cruise control and self-cancelling indicators are just some of the 2020 bike’s standard kit.