KTM has unveiled the latest version of its flagship street bike, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R Evo.
The model has undergone dramatic weight savings with a reworked LC8 engine, while the electronics package has also been updated.
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 .
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 model 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.
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, Auto-Low, Auto-High).
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.
KTM 1290 Super Duke R Evo, as well as the 1290 Super Duke R 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 body colours.
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 Super Duke R. A full range of specially created KTM PowerParts has also been developed to personalize the bike.
As the whole global automotive scene is heading towards electromobility, it is not only the car and truck companies that have accelerated their efforts towards the shift, but also motorcycle brands.
While commercial vehicle brands have already started testing semi-autonomous driving technology and delivering electric powered trucks across Europe, electric cars have made even more progress.
Even our market has witnessed the arrival of numerous electric cars like the Nissan Leaf and various Tesla models among others.
Come to think about it, it would not be an exaggeration to say that everything from prime movers to scooters will be powered by batteries instead of engines within the next few decades, and looks like there is not going to be two ways about it.
That being said, the most recent development in the transformation towards electromobility is that Honda (motorcycles) has signed a letter of intent with KTM, Piaggio, and Yamaha to set up a Swappable Batteries Consortium for Motorcycles and Light Electric Vehicles in the near future.
In line with the transition towards electromobility, the founding members of the Consortium believe that the availability of a standardized swappable battery system would both promote the widespread use of light electric vehicles and contribute to a more sustainable life-cycle management of batteries used in the transport sector.
Also, by extending the range, shortening the charging time and lowering vehicle and infrastructure costs, the manufacturers will try to answer customers’ main concerns regarding the future of electromobility.
The aim of the Consortium will, therefore, be to define the standardized technical specifications of the swappable battery system for vehicles belonging to mopeds, motorcycles, tricycles and even ATVs.
By working closely with interested stakeholders and national, European and international standardization bodies, the founding members of the Consortium will be involved in the creation of international technical standards.
The Consortium will start its activities in May 2021. The four founding members encourage all interested stakeholders to join the cooperation to enrich the Consortium’s expertise.
“For the widespread adoption of electric motorcycles, problems such as travel distance and charging times need to be addressed, and swappable batteries are a promising solution. Considering customer convenience, standardization of swappable batteries and wide adoption of battery systems is vital, which is why the four member manufacturers agreed to form the Consortium,” said Noriaki Abe, Managing Officer, Motorcycle Operations, Honda Motor
Honda views improving the customers’ usage environment as an area to explore cooperation with other manufacturers, while bringing better products and services to customers through competition. Honda will work hard on both fronts to be the ‘chosen’ manufacturer for customer mobility.”