At the EICMA show in Milan, KTM decided to “unleash the beast.” That’s right, the company has unveiled an updated 1290 Super Duke R that might be more of a missile than a motorcycle —which makes us want to ride it that much more.
To start the revamping of an already beast, KTM engineers decided to first work on the styling and ergonomics. The handlebars increase in width by 20mm while also being slightly lowered and pushed forward for a riding position that is comfortable for relaxed riding, but aggressive when it’s time to let the Super Duke loose. In the styling department, changes include new side fairings and intake scoops, a sharper and slimmer rear tail section, and a new LED headlight.
The updates (and fun), however, actually only begin with the styling. It’s the revised powerplant that makes this bike the missile we oh so want to ride.
The 1301cc V-Twin engine gets a boost of seven more horsepower (from 170 to 177) but also remains rideable thanks to a list of serious updates. Revised resonator chambers on cylinder head have been given to the 2017 engine, and in conjunction with a new stainless steel exhaust, they work to not only smooth out the powerband but also reduce emissions. The power boosts come from a reworked intake flange that is 10mm shorter than the previous unit and allows for a widened powerband of 500 rpm. New chromium nitride coated titanium inlet valves also allow for a raised compression of 13.6:1.
Coming as optional add-ons are KTM’s dealer-installed Performance Pack and Track Pack. The Performance pack includes Motor Slip Regulation (MSR), a quickshifter and KTM MY RIDE, which enables you to connect your smart phone to the bike’s display. Meanwhile, the Track Pack is designed for closed-course use and allows for three Drive Modes, launch control, TC slip adjust and the ability to turn off wheelie control — I think that’s the one we want!
Furthermore, the Super Duke R receives an entirely new package of suspension components front and rear. New 48mm WP front forks that feature separate damping circuits, stiffer spring rates, and sportier settings are paired with a new WP rear shock for improved chassis balance. Metzeler M7RR tires are also equipped for improved grip.
Keep scrolling for more shots of the 1290 Super Duke R worth drooling over
To top it off, the Super Duke received a new TFT display with all the needed information, and a cruise control system for those long hauls.
KTM has poured a lot of energy into the 2017 1290 Super Duke R, and the result is yet another naked bike that will surely sit at the top of its class. So… When can we give it a shot?