• KTM 790 Duke Prototype.
    KTM 790 Duke Prototype.
  • KTM 1290 Super Duke R.
    KTM 1290 Super Duke R.
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KTM 1290 Super Duke R, 790 Duke prototype unveiled at EICMA

9th Nov 2016 12:30 pm

The maddest KTM of them all, the new 1290 Super Duke R broke cover in Milan, along with a running prototype of the 790 Duke.

1290 Super Duke R

KTM refers to its Super Duke R as "The Beast" and for good reason. The 1290 has pretty much been the apex predator in the street-fighter segment ever since it was launched. Now the beast has evolved into an even sharper monster. Aptly christened "The Beast 2.0", this evolution of the Super Duke R takes the design of this naked roadster to a new level. The new super sharp design language features an extremely pointy new LED headlight unit that also gets LED running lights. The tank extensions have been chiseled along with the air intakes, and the bike features a wider, lower handlebar that's been moved more towards the front. The TFT multifunction display has been revised as well. The bike now features illuminated menu switches.

The bike's 1301cc liquid-cooled v-twin motor has also seen a revamp and now makes 177hp, thanks to 10mm shorter intake flange, new resonate chambers along with a higher 13.6:1 compression ratio that's been achieved due to new machined titanium inlet valves with chromium nitride PVD coating. This engine also gets a new electronics package that includes MSC (Motorcycle Stability Control) with cornering ABS by Bosch. This MSC package also gets a unique-to-KTM Supermoto mode, along with ride mode technology and multi-stage, lean angle-sensitive Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC).

Buyers can also opt for a "Track Pack" that includes a special "Track" riding mode which comes with MTC slip adjust and launch control, and also allows the rider to freely select engine mappings or switch off the anti-wheelie system. A less aggressive optional "Performance Pack" comes equipped with Motor Slip Regulation (MSR) for controlled slides, a quick shifter along with the KTM MY RIDE system for connecting your cellphone to the bike's TFT display. Other new features include cruise control and a transponder-equipped key system.

On the chassis front, there aren't any real changes to the ultra-lightweight chrome-molybdenum steel trellis frame with bolt-on rear steel trellis subframe as well as the single-sided swing arm. However, the 48mm upside down WP forks at the front are new and come with separate damping circuits, along with harder fork springs for a sportier set-up. These are also adjustable for both rebound and damping. The fully-adjustable WP monoshock at the back is also new and comes with revised ratings. Rounding out the updates for 2017 are new Metzeler M7RR tyres at both ends for improved grip and sporty handling.

790 Duke Prototype

We've known that KTM has been working on a new middle-weight twin-cylinder bike for quite some time. This year at EICMA, though, the company showed off a running prototype of the 790 Duke, which will become the Austrian bike makers' first ever parallel twin motorcycle when it goes on sale. No other details were revealed about this prototype apart from the fact that it'll hit showrooms across Europe in early 2018 (no word on an India launch yet). KTM is calling this bike "the Scalpel" and even its promo video seemed to be about just how razor sharp and accurate the handling of this bike will be. The treat of the 790 reveal was 2016 Moto3 World Champion Brad Binder coming up on stage and firing up the motor. One thing we can say at this point is that the bike does sound fantastic.

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