How do you make the most extreme naked bike you build more extreme? For KTM it means removing weight, adding better suspension and throwing on some of the stickiest tyres on this earth. This is the KTM 1290 Super Duke RR.
It’s the first time a KTM has been badged RR, and with good reason: it’s the feistiest, most track orientated naked motorcycle the company has made, a 500-unit limited run model and, according to KTM, “a demonstration of what happens when your R&D department is allowed free reign”.
So what’s changed compared to the ‘standard’ KTM 1290 Super Duke R? There’s the same 1,301cc LC8 V-Twin, with 182PS (133kW) and 140Nm (104lb ft), but because 9kg of excess fat has been thrown away the bike now has a power to weight ratio of 1:1. The forged wheels are 1.5kg lighter each, now shod with Michelin Power Cup2 tyres, while the battery is now a Lithium-ion unit saving another 2.5kg. The additional weight saving comes from a carbon-fibre subframe and a redesigned seat.
Up front there’s now fully adjustable WP Apex Pro 7548 Close Cartridge forks and a WP Apex Pro 7117 steering damper. At the rear, meanwhile, there’s an Apex Pro 7746 Shock designed specifically for the RR.
There are redesigned taillights too, as well as a new quick-turn throttle twist grip with a 65-degree opening angle (a 7-degree reduction of the R), a suitably fruity titanium Akrapovič exhaust with a carbon-fibre tip, and an electronics package that includes new Track and Performance modes, within which you can engage launch control and adjust the throttle response and rear wheel slip.
The order books open on 8th April for what we can only assume will be several pounds more than the £15,749 you’ll need for the 1290 Super Duke R.