Updated KTM 1290 Super Duke R spied

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KTM seems to be working on an updated edition of the KTM Super Duke R, and spy shots have emerged of the new bike undergoing testing with numerous changes. The new bike is likely to meet the Euro 5 regulations when they come into effect in January 2020. Under the new regulations, motorcycles will have to produce roughly 30 per cent less emissions than the current Euro 4 rules, and this is expected to be much more complex than just changing the engine tuning and exhaust systems. The engine on the test bike looks similar to the LC8 v-twin powering the 2018 1290 Super Duke R, but significant changes are apparent to the exhaust and the radiator. The test bike has completely new winding exhaust system flowing into a large catalytic converter on the underside of the engine, and the radiator is significantly larger than the one on the current model. Of course, the production model may have a different exhaust system which will be much better looking and tidier than the one on the test bike.

The engine on the current Super Duke R is a 1301 cc, liquid-cooled, v-twin which puts out 177 peak horsepower and over 140 Nm of torque, and KTM is likely to keep the engine’s power on the updated model at the same levels, or even more. To keep it cool, is the new radiator that is nearly double the size of the current model’s unit. Above the engine is a new trellis frame design, and the rear subframe also looks new. A new single-sided swingarm is also seen, with a boxier shape than the current model’s, and also new is the suspension – the swingarm is connected to the rear shock by a linkage instead of direct mounting, possibly to provide for adjustment to the shock.

The test bike is still a prototype and is not expected to be launched anytime soon. As a Euro 5 model, expect the bike to be unveiled only sometime by the later part of 2019, possibly at the EICMA show in Milan in 2019, with a launch in early 2020. As for India, well, KTM still hasn’t introduced any of the middleweight and litre-class models in India, so it’s still early days to speculate when we can see any KTM models beyond the 390s being sold in India.