For the model year 2022, KTM has launched a new incarnation of the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R dubbed the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO and drawing on the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R’s already legendary status among riders, the EVO brings more tech to the fore, adding 2nd generation WP APEX semi-active suspension from WP.With new Semi-Active Technology (SAT), the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO retains its class-leading hyper-naked ferocity but gains an even wider range of usability. This allows THE BEAST to go from a comfortable rocket on poor road surfaces to a hardened track-ready apex-splitting weapon – at a simple click of a switch.
Three different damping modes – COMFORT, STREET, SPORT – are available as standard.
In addition, the spring preload of the rear suspension can be set via the TFT menu to up to 20 mm in 10 steps, depending on the requirements of the rider. In this case, the adjustability setting ranges from 0% to 100%, in 10% or 2mm increments.
In addition to the standard suspension settings, the optional SUSPENSION PRO package offers three more damping modes, namely TRACK, ADVANCED, and AUTO.
- TRACK provides the stiffest available setting developed internally by KTM test riders to provide the ideal setting for track days and specifically for faster race tracks where you need additional support under hard braking.
- ADVANCED allows the rider to select the level of damping for the fork and shock on a scale from 1 to 8. This suits more technical riders who are looking for the smallest marginal gains and want to fine-tune and tailor their suspension settings for their riding styles.
- AUTO is the most intelligent of the trio and is capable of detecting different riding styles and automatically adapting the suspension damping, being softer and more comfortable when cruising through the city, and harder and more focused when riding aggressively on a fast mountain pass. This auto adjustment between modes happens almost instantly without any interference in the ride.
SUSPENSION PRO also offers three automatic preload auto-leveling settings – LOW, STANDARD, and HIGH. In this instance, the suspension is able to adjust the preload automatically in accordance with the weight of the rider and recreate 3 defined geometries:
- AUTO-STANDARD: neutral and balanced geometry
- AUTO-LOW: relaxed, less aggressive, more comfortable geometry, with a lower seat height
- AUTO-HIGH: aggressive, agile track attack geometry, with a more loaded front end
Another optional feature on SUSPENSION PRO is an anti-diving setting that keeps the front-end high under hard braking. As with most electronic functions, it can of course be switched off if desired.
The KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R and KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO continue to feature the RAIN, STREET, SPORT, and optional TRACK and PERFORMANCE ride modes, affording riders improved feedback about what the engine is doing, with less intrusive traction control and anti-wheelie mitigation.
Selecting any of the above settings can be performed on the fly.
Throttle response is given a further boost with the addition of a new quick-turn throttle twist grip, reduced by 7 degrees to 65 degrees. KTM R&D developed this solution not only to offer a faster and more responsive throttle, but also to reduce the rider wrist angle as well as the elbow drop at full throttle.
In terms of looks, the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R and KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO retain an aggressive street presence but introduce two new colorways. A familiar blue and orange livery is flanked by an all-new silver and orange, which complement the aggressive and hard-hitting appeal of the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R. The signature KTM orange frame – reserved only for KTM ‘R’ models – and hot orange wheels give a visible warning to competitors: this BEAST is ready to attack.