Have you seen the latest photos of NEXT YEAR’S KTM Super Duke 1290R? We showed them to you last week, but with the racing action dominating the news over the last few days, we thought they’d be worth another look.

At first glance, the bike doesn’t appear to be too radically different from the 174hp, 1301cc bike that’s currently on offer from the Austrian factory – but once you compare the two motorcycles side-by-side the large amount of differences are immediately clear. Let’s start off by showing you the current bike here:

This is the current KTM 1290 Super Duke R. Things to note (that are relevant to this article) are; the exhaust, the pipe, the motor’s cooling, the bodywork, the wheels, the subframe, the riding position… phew…

On the 2020 model we can see that the new bike has a completely new exhaust, the downpipes snaking around the motor Ducati Panigale V4-esque style to improve lean angle, allow for a bigger radiator and better handling into corners. The End can is completely new too, echoing a retro look rather than the track-derived brutish look of the current bike’s item.


Gone too is the traditional KTM trellis subframe. Pillions (as if you’d carry a pillion on this bike… look at the size of that passenger seat…) are supported now on a cast-ally frame instead of the pipe-based look of the 2019 model. The new bikes also has an all-new swingarm which is connected to the rear shock via a link instead of directly connected as on the current bike.

There’s been some serious re-working of the engine too – now called the LC8-V2 – with new cooling routes visible and, no doubt, better manners on the road. Rumours are that the motor is going to be Euro 5 compliant but will still make 180-190bhp.

The riding position looks slightly less severe too with the riders photographed sitting more ‘in’ the bike than ‘on’ and pitched forward, which is what we’re used to seeing with the 1290 Super Duke R.


In terms of looks, the new model’s bodywork has come in for some radical work too. The radiator shroud-fairing has much more aggressive, knee cut-ins than on the current bike, the large cut-out hole in the fairing has shrunk down to something much smaller and the top of the fairing is much more angular too, resembling mini wings in some of our photos.

In terms of changes directly for the rider’s comfort, the next-generation Super Duke R gets a new TFT, larger screen which may be touch-responsive and the headlight has been re-designed to force more air out wide and past the rider’s legs at speed.

Expect to see this motorcycle make its debut in the flesh at EICMA in Milan which runs from November 5 to November 10. The bike will go on sale early 2020 around the world.

Tony Carter

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