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Extreme: new KTM 1290 Super Duke R

At the first glance, the aggressive design of the KTM 1290 Super Duke R makes abundantly clear: the KTM development engineers have put together a comprehensive package that outshines all previous streetfighters and naked bikes – including those made by KTM itself.

Only the degree of consistency with which KTM presses ahead in the development of the LC8 powerplant and the lightweight trellis frame, and combines them with high-end technology and the latest electronics, can yield the level of performance that the new 1290 Super Duke R has to offer. At a max output of 180 hp and only 189 kg of weight, it realises a power-to-weight ratio previously reserved for maxed-out supersport racers. And with a load of the latest electronic assistance systems, it defines new benchmarks for streetfighters and naked bikes in terms of controllability and safety.

As a baseline for the 1290 Super Duke R’s engine, the KTM engineers chose the highly potent LC8 engine of the KTM Superbike 1190 RC8 R. They then placed the focus of development not so much on increasing maximum power, but on achieving a matchless torque delivery and maximum usability of the engine output. The 75° V2 engine with electronic engine management and ride-by-wire function brings breathtaking performance, convincing real-world practicality and straight-razor precision into such perfect harmony that its applications range from urban commuting to the race track.

Besides the ultra-lightweight but extremely rigid chrome-molybdenum steel trellis frame with its excellent geometry and bolt-on aluminium rear subframe, the credits for this go largely to the top quality and widely adjustable WP suspension components. The front wheel is guided by a pair of 48mm upside- down forks with separate damping circuits. Mounted within an extremely solid and ravishingly beautiful single-sided aluminium swing arm, the rear wheel is controlled by a central pressurised monoshock with manually adjustable spring pre-load.

The unique package of a throaty engine and perfectly balanced chassis delivers boundless riding fun and high levels of safety under all conditions and at every pace. Absolute predictability and top safety are guaranteed, not the least by the unsurpassed Brembo brakes, the newly developed Dunlop SportSmart2 tires and the assistance systems of the new KTM 1290 Super Duke R developed in close collaboration with Bosch. These groundbreaking assistance systems include ABS, the ride-mode-technology and the lean-angle sensing traction control MTC (motorcycle traction control).

Besides its breathtaking dynamics, the 1290 Super Duke R therefore delivers captivating rideability, convincing everyday practicality and top safety. This means the 1290 Super Duke R is a complete, brand-new package developed without compromise, destined to convert optimum performance into ultimate riding fun.