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2019 KTM 1290 Super Duke R spotted testing

29th Mar 2018 7:00 am

Austrian bike maker’s super-naked will feature sharper bodywork and significant mechanical changes.

KTM appears to be testing an updated 1290 Super Duke R for 2019. The popular super-naked was spotted scantily camouflaged and featuring a number of changes like a larger radiator, reworked frame, swingarm, suspension and updated styling. This new KTM will sit atop the brand’s 2019 naked line-up.

To begin with, the motor looks similar to the V-twin seen on the 2018 model; however, KTM looks to have made changes to the radiator and exhaust system. The piping for the exhaust now appears to take a different route while heading into what looks to be a larger catalytic convertor. This revised system is most likely in preparation to meet the upcoming Euro-V regulations the motorcycle will face in 2020.

The bike also appears to be using a reworked trellis frame and rear sub-frame. The former can be seen hidden in black tape. Interestingly, the motorcycle appears to have bodywork hiding part of the engine. Knowing KTM, this is unconventional but it appears to be part of its new design language. The current 1299 is sharp and edgy, but it appears that the new one will be even more so and more in line with the manufacturer’s newest Duke, the 790.

The other biggest change comes in the form of a new single-sided swingarm and suspension. The 2018 model uses direct-mount shock; however, the Super Duke in the photographs clearly has a suspension linkage. This move could be in order to increase rear-end adjustability.

The 2019 Super Duke R is expected to debut at either Intermot in October or EICMA in November this year.


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