KTM’s flagship street motorcycle underwent its most radical re-invention in 2020, boasting a number of tweaks and engineering improvements. The 2020 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R underwent dramatic weight savings with a reworked LC8 engine. The electronics package has also been updated, making THE BEAST one of the most technologically advanced naked motorcycles in the segment.
For the model year 2022, KTM has launched a new incarnation of the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R that delivers exactly what riders asked for.
Dubbed the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO and drawing on the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R’s already legendary status among riders, the EVO brings more tech to the fore, adding second-generation WP APEX semi-active suspension from WP.
With new Semi-Active Technology (SAT), the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO retains its class-leading, hyper-naked ferocity but gains an even wider range of usability. This allows THE BEAST to go from a comfortable rocket on poor road surfaces to a hardened, track-ready, apex-splitting weapon at a simple click of a switch.
Three different damping modes — Comfort, Street, Sport — are available as standard.
In addition, the spring preload of the rear suspension can be set via the TFT menu to up to 20 millimeters in 10 steps, depending on the requirements of the rider. In this case, the adjustability setting ranges from 0% to 100%, in 10% or 2-millimeter increments.
In addition to the standard suspension settings, the optional SUSPENSION PRO package offers three more damping modes, namely Track, Advanced and Auto.
- Track provides the stiffest available setting developed internally by KTM test riders to provide the ideal setting for track days and specifically for faster race tracks where you need additional support under hard braking.
- Advanced allows the rider to select the level of damping for the fork and shock on a scale from one to eight. This suits more technical riders who are looking for the smallest marginal gains and want to fine-tune and tailor their suspension settings for their riding styles.
- Auto is the most intelligent of the trio and is capable of detecting different riding styles and automatically adapting the suspension damping, being softer and more comfortable when cruising through the city, and harder and more focused when riding aggressively on a fast mountain pass. This auto adjustment between modes happens almost instantly without any interference in the ride.
Suspension Pro also offers three automatic preload auto-leveling settings — Low, Standard and High. In this instance, the suspension is able to adjust the preload automatically in accordance with the weight of the rider and recreate three defined geometries:
- Auto-Standard: neutral and balanced geometry
- Auto-Low: relaxed, less aggressive, more comfortable geometry with a lower seat height
- Auto-High: aggressive, agile track attack geometry with a more loaded front end.
Another optional feature on Suspension Pro is an anti-diving setting that keeps the front-end high under hard braking. As with most electronic functions, it can of course be switched off if desired.
The KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R and KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO continue to feature the Rain, Street, Sport and optional Track and Performance ride modes, affording riders improved feedback about what the engine is doing, with less intrusive traction control and anti-wheelie mitigation. Selecting any of the above settings can be performed on the fly.
Throttle response is given a further boost with the addition of a new quick-turn throttle twist grip, reduced by 7 degrees to 65 degrees. KTM R&D developed this solution not only to offer a faster and more responsive throttle but also to reduce the rider wrist angle as well as the elbow drop at full throttle.
In terms of looks, the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R and KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO retain an aggressive street presence but introduce two new colorways. A familiar blue and orange livery is flanked by an all-new silver and orange, which complement the aggressive and hard-hitting appeal of the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R. The signature KTM orange frame — reserved only for KTM ‘R’ models — and hot orange wheels give a visible warning to competitors: This BEAST is ready to attack.
A full range of specially created KTM PowerParts has been developed to personalize and further intensify your ride. A dedicated range of KTM PowerWear ensures the rider can give everything they’ve got and boosts his or her Ready to Race performance.
The 2022 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R and KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO will arrive on authorized KTM dealer floors from January 2022 onwards. For more information, visit ktm.com.