An engine with 1.3 litres of displacement and 180hp, however refined and predictable it may be, poses a veritable challenge for any suspension engineer. Especially so if the motorcycle in question is supposed to cover the complete bandwidth of a sporty naked bike, from enjoyable urban cruising all the way to full mayhem mode on the race track. The new 1290 Super Duke R's suspension not only converts the resulting challenges into a performance benefit. With its light-footed handling and razor-sharp precision, it also offers the rider a great safety benefit. The preconditions for this superiority are top quality chassis components on the cutting edge of technology, like the extremely stable steel trellis frame and the fully adjustable high end suspension components by WP Suspension.
The 1290 Super Duke R's trellis frame in the typical KTM design is made of thin-walled, stainless chrome-molybdenum steel, has a bolt-on rear subframe made of light steel tubes and delivers superior stability at an extremely low weight of only 9.2kg. To ensure a perfect fit and the highest welding quality standards, the steel pipes are manufactured with extreme precision, then laser-cut and welded in place by robots. A top quality surface coating protects the frame from corrosion.
The ravishing new single-sided aluminium swing arm of the 1290 Super Duke R is not only extremely light and stable but also manufactured with special precision and with ample dimensions – the rear wheel runs on an axle with a 50mm diameter and is locked down with a central 60mm nut. By design, the single-sided swing arm's flexural behaviour and rigidity are perfectly tuned to the trellis frame. Chain slack is dialled in with a highly precise eccentric adjuster.
The directly linked, top quality WP Suspension monoshock on the rear swing arm offers 156 millimetres of rear wheel travel and numerous adjustments over wide ranges. Damping is separately adjusted for compression and rebound – the compression stage even has separate circuits for high and low compression speeds. In addition, thanks to a new polymer locking nut, the spring pre-load can now be adjusted manually once the clamp is loosened.
The 1290 Super Duke R's extremely stable and warp resistant upside-down front forks by WP Suspension with 48 mm fork tubes and 125 milli metres of travel also allow to fine tune the suspension perfectly to the intended use and the rider's preference thanks to numerous adjustments of damping. Compression and rebound damping are not merely separately adjustable: due to the split principle, where the left fork takes over compression and the right one the rebound damping, they are indeed completely sepa rated, without adjusting the one slightly influencing the other as in conventional forks. This way, the rider finds the desired set-up more quickly and precisely.
A first rate suspension makes the new 1290 Super Duke Rstable, precise and predictable. In much the same way, itsbrakes owe their awesome stopping power, precise feel andcomplete absence of fading to the finest components madeby Brembo. And its combined anti-lock braking systemABS, which comes as standard equipment, is just asflexible and adaptable as the versatile, multi-talentednew Super Duke generation itself.
KTM is proud that due to its extraordinary stability and knife-edge precision the 1290 Super Duke R is less susceptible to kickback. But when you give a 180hp motorbike the beans, the front wheel can get a little light on occasion, and a pothole or short bump can lead to kickback in such a situation. For safety reasons, the 1290 Super Duke R is therefore equipped with a reliable and sensitive hydraulic steering damper by WP Suspension.
The front brakes are efficiently supported from the rear wheel by a perforated, 240 mm disc brake and a fixed two-piston calliper. The incredib le potential of the Brembo brakes can be fully utilised on the 1290 Super Duke R thanks to its low centre of gravity, sticky Dunlop tires and aggressive ABS set-up.
Dual, floating, perforated 320 mm Brembo disc brakes with two top-end M-50 radial mono bloc four-piston callipers and a radial master cylinder deliver more than adequate deceleration on the 1290 Super Duke R's front wheel. An adjustable lever ensures the perfect reach for every rider. complete absence of fading to the finest components made by Brembo. And its combined anti-lock braking system ABS, which comes as standard equipment, is just as flexible and adaptable as the versatile, multi-talented new Super Duke generation itself.