An all-new bike or a minor update?
KTM just unveiled its meanest, most expensive Duke till date, the KTM 1290 Super Duke RR. It has been thoroughly reworked for 2021 with lighter bodywork and engine components, resulting in a 9kg weight reduction. But how does this contribute to the bike’s performance?
It may be powered by the same 1301cc LC8 75-degree V-twin dishing out 182PS and 140 Nm, but the extreme weight loss means it weighs in at just 180kg kerb. Thanks to this, the bike now boasts a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio. It retains the same 6-speed transmission with a bi-directional quick-shifter
The way the power is delivered has also been improved. For this, KTM has equipped the Super Duke with a new quick throttle with a 65-degree opening angle -- a 7-degree reduction over the standard KTM 1290 Super Duke R.
When you think of weight saving, you think of carbon fibre, and the 1290 has loads of it. This comprises a carbon front and rear fender, a new subframe with a carbon undertray, rear cowl, and even front brake cooling ducts. Even the CNC-machined triple clamp is 320 grams lighter.
Of course, a 1290 isn't complete without an Akrapovic slip-on with titanium outer sleeve and carbon fibre end cap.
Then there's the redesigned subframe which gives way to a new tail section and tail light. Even the lithium-ion battery shaves almost 2.5kg of the Duke's overall weight.
Putting a leash on all this power is a host of electronic rider aids. You have five riding modes to choose from, which are Rain, Street, Sport, Performance, and Track. Then there’s switchable traction control, cornering ABS, motor slip regulation, supermoto ABS, and cruise control.
Other notable aspects include a tyre pressure monitoring system, keyless operation, all-around LED lights, and smartphone connectivity via the KTM My Ride App. This lets you access turn-by- turn navigation, phone calls, and music through the 5-inch angle-adjustable TFT display.
Tying everything together is a trellis frame with WP Apex PRO 7548 closed cartridge USD forks and a WP Apex Pro 7746 linked monoshock. Both are fully adjustable.
A pair of twin 320mm discs mated to 4-piston Brembo Stylema monobloc callipers and a single 240mm rear disc help anchor the bike.
The bike’s new 17-inch forged wheels also contribute to the Duke’s weight reduction. They come shod with grippier 120/70 front and 200/55 rear Michelin Power Cup 2 slicks.
The KTM 1290 Super Duke RR costs GBP 21,499 (approximately Rs 22 lakh). KTM isn't invested in the litre-class segment in India just yet, so don't expect to see the 1290 Super Duke RR here anytime soon.