KTM is ready to unleash its ultimate supermoto weapon: the 1290 SuperDuke R. Introduced in concept form last year at the EICMA show in Milan, in terms of brute force and back-road potential, the SuperDuke R should be without peer.
The already-mighty 75-degree V-twin has been enlarged to a new displacement by increasing bore from the 105mm of the 1190 to 108mm, and lengthening stroke from 69mm to 71mm. Actual displacement is now 1,301cc. The engine is teamed with a six-speed gearbox and a hydraulically actuated slipper clutch.
KTM has not yet released complete tech specs for the engine, so we don’t know the compression or size of the throttle bodies through which it breathes. The Austrians did, however, announce claimed power: 180 hp at 8,870 rpm. Peak torque should be at least 96 pound-feet. Dry weight is said to be 416 pounds, which, if true, should result in a very impressive power-to-weight ratio.
In addition to being light, the SuperDuke R is compact. The orange-painted, steel-tube trellis frame and single-sided swingarm span a wheelbase of 58.3 inches. KTM-owned WP supplies the 48mm fork and link-actuated shock. Seat height is 32.8 inches.
To assist riders in the demanding task of taming that performance potential, KTM has equipped the R with Keihin engine management boasting three throttle-response modes: Rain, Street, and Sport, plus a traction-control program. Brembo brakes—320mm discs and Monobloc radial-mount calipers—are fitted with ABS. The rider can deactivate both traction control and ABS.