KTM 1290 Super Duke R


KTM North America is recalling 521 units of its 2020 KTM 1290 Super Duke R for issues with the routing of their wiring harness.

According to recall documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the wiring harness located in the rear of the motorcycle may be routed incorrectly, which could result in wiring damage and an electrical short-circuit.

Here’s another break from the doom and gloom that is coming with the coronavirus, and this time we thank the good folks at the “Ready to Race” brand for making a tire-shredding video with the KTM 1290 Super Duke R.

Revised for the 2020 model year, the venerable “Beast” comes with an all-new chassis, and many improvements over the outgoing model.

While the top power figure of 177hp (132 kW) remains, coupled to a whopping 103 lbs•ft (140 Nm) of torque, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R gets a weight reduction for the 2020 model year, with the Austrians claiming 416 lbs (189kg) when dry.

They call it The Beast, and for good reason, because the KTM 1290 Super Duke is a v-twin monster for the street, and now for the 2020 model year, it is getting even more beastly as it just debuted at EICMA.

Instead of giving the KTM 1290 Super Duke R a ridiculous top power figure (peak horsepwoer remains at 177hp (132 kW), the Austrians focused on coaxing more tire-shredding torque from the Super Duke R. As such, a whopping 103 lbs•ft (140 Nm) of torque is on tap at 8,000 rpm.

The changes for 2020 don’t stop there though, as a new chassis has been thrown into the mix, which is closely based off what was seen on the KTM RC8 superbike. The Beast even loses weight in the process, with a claimed 416 lbs (189kg) when dry.

The EICMA show in Milan is just a few days away now, which means that the big brands are reaching the zenith in their teasing for next year’s motorcycle models. Of course, this includes KTM.

We have already been teased the KTM 1290 Super Duke R ad nauseam, and today is no different in that regard. But…we do finally get to see the Super Duke R prototype in all its glory.

Other than seeing more clearly how KTM has built a new steel trellis frame (modeled after the one found on the RC8 superbike), the obvious use of WP Suspension’s top-spec forks and shock, and how the bodywork will come together (note the winglets hidden by the front shrouds), there aren’t too many surprises.

Still, we think KTM has a done a good job on this model refresh, and we can now finally appreciate it a little bit better than before, hence why we are sharing it with you.

The orange hype machine continues for the upcoming KTM 1290 Super Duke R, as the Austrians have finally given us a decent look at the next iteration of their streetf-ighting superbike.

From the video teaser, it looks like KTM will go the “prototype” route once again with the Super Duke R, teasing “The Beast” in not-for-production form factor, and this is troubling for several reasons.

Not to be outdone by Ducati’s upcoming Streetfighter V4, the folks in Austria are gearing up to revise their highly acclaimed KTM 1290 Super Duke R.

As before, “Beast 2.0” gets teased to us with a variety of quick-cuts in a video, though each of them gives us a glimpse of what is to come from Mattighofen.

What we don’t see though is the spec-sheet, and that is where the new battle in the streetfighter segment is going to be waged.

We know it is coming, a new KTM 1290 Super Duke R for the 2020 model year, but just in case there was any doubt, the Austrians have begun teasing their new “Beast” ahead of its EICMA show debut.

The news comes from a short teaser video, which shows a number of KTM technicians building a motorcycle. With the title and hashtag “#GETDUKED” being shown, the possibilities for the model are quite small.

And, if we scrub through the frames, we can see numerous hints that the bike in question is a high-spec motorcycle, with a single-sided swingarm. The steel trellis frame looks exactly like the one spotted in spy photos of the new Super Duker R.

I don’t think it is a coincidence that on the day that Ducati shows us its Streetfighter V4 prototype at Pikes Peak, that we see our first spy photos of the updated KTM 1290 Super Duke R (for bonus points, MV Agusta has gotten in on the action, releasing pricing on its Brutale 1000 sport bike as well).

Rumors of an updated Super Duke have been hitting our eardrums for a while now, though the details on the machine have been sparse. In fact, we were simply told “everything is better about it.”

That’s a little light on details for our tastes, but it does bode well for the street fighting machine, as the current KTM 1290 Super Duke R ranks as one of our favorite motorcycles right now.

Today saw the 96th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, with riders and drivers once again racing to the clouds, just outside Colorado Springs.

This year’s race was framed as Ducati vs. KTM, with the Australian claiming the outright record at Pikes Peak, after Chris Fillmore took his KTM 1290 Super Duke R up to the summit in 9:49.625.

Looking to reclaim its crown, Ducati came back to Pikes Peak after a short hiatus, enlisting the help of Carlin Dunne (of A&R fame) and Codie Vahsholtz.

The duo would square off against Cycle News test editor Rennie Scaysbrook, who would ride again on his KTM 1290 Super Duke R, while Chris Fillmore would take on the middleweight class with a KTM 790 Duke, in a quest to post a sub-10 minute time on the smaller bike.

With the 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb framed as one of the most exciting in recent memory, the event surely didn’t disappoint.

Now the fourth motorcycle manufacturer (1, 2, & 3) to issue a recall because of issues with its fitted Brembo brake master cylinder, KTM has the dubious task of informing 2,361 KTM 1290 Super Duke R (2015-2018) and KTM 1290 Super Duke GT (2016-2018) owners.

Like the other recalls before it, this one stems from certain 15mm and 16mm radial-pump brake master cylinders that have been fitted as an OEM part to a slew of high-performance motorcycles.

Because of a manufacturing defect, the plastic piston on these master cylinders – made from a polyphenylene sulphide polymer – may crack and brake under heavy load, severe ABS engagement, and/or during a tip-over.

The old adage in racing is that you get slower once you have a child. Being from Australia and all, I don’t think our friend Rennie Scaysbrook (of Cycle News fame) got that memo.

Just days before he would head off to Colorado for the 95th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Rennie and his wife Annabelle gave birth to their first child, Harvey James Scaysbrook.

Having just joined the noble ranks of fatherhood, it would be a short introduction, as Rennie would have to leave Baby Harvey right away and compete in the 95th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

For his work on the mountain, Rennie joined an exclusive club of a different kind, posting a solid 9:57.712 time on his 2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R – thus becoming one of just a few motorcyclists who have broken the 10-minute barrier at the Race to the Clouds.

With that time, Rennie was the second-fastest man on a motorcycle at Pikes Peak this year *cough* first loser! *cough*, as his teammate and Pikes Peak rookie, Chris Fillmore, would go on to break the standing motorcycle record with an even more impressive 9:49.625 time.

We already showed you Fillmore’s lap, but we think Rennie’s give a better perspective of what it is like to race up the 156 turns of Pikes Peak.

As an aside, we were pretty stoked to see Rennie break the 10-minute mark at Pikes Peak this year, and of course the A&R team gives a big congratulations to the Scaysbrooks for their bouncing baby boy. Let’s hope he gets his racing skills from Dad, but his looks from Mom!