About a month ago, performance bike-focused Asphalt & Rubber shared news of a new-for-2022 KTM 1290 Super Duke R EVO, but couldn’t share any specific details. Now, KTM itself has officially unveiled the bike. Here’s what we know about the new machine:
This seems to be the most notable change on the new bike. The new 1290 Super Duke R EVO has KTM’s latest-generation semi-active suspension, with new electronics and new internal valves, which mean the automated system now reacts quicker than before. In turn, that should mean a more stable ride.
The suspension comes with Comfort, Street and Sport damping modes. Riders can also adjust the rear spring pre-load automatically, through the TFT dash. The rear preload can be adjusted up to 20 mm, with 10-step adjustability (2 mm adjustment increments).
Riders can also opt for the Suspension Pro package at extra cost, with Track, Advanced and Auto modes. Track offers a stiff, performance-oriented setup, for high speed riding; Advanced allows riders to fine-tune their fork/shock damping. KTM says Auto mode “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.”
Along with the ability to tweak damping, the Suspension Pro package also allows riders to adjust pre-load through three auto settings: Low, Standard and High. Standard, as the name implies, offers “neutral and balanced geometry.” Low gives you “relaxed, less aggressive, more comfortable geometry, with a lower seat height.” High give you “aggressive, agile track attack geometry, with a more loaded front end.”
So, if you pony up the cash, you can tweak your setup quite a bit, only having to push a few buttons to do so. Suspension Pro also offers an anti-dive setting to keep the front end from compressing too much when you’re hard on the brakes. If you don’t like the feel of this, you can switch this setting off.
Gutsy V-twin motor
KTM says the liquid-cooled LC8 V-twin is “re-worked,” but doesn’t tell us exactly what work was done—possibly, it’s the same engine as 2021’s machines. We do know the bike still has Rain, Street Sport and optional Track and Performance ride modes, which can all be selected on the fly. We also know there’s a new quick-turn throttle, which reduces the twist angle. KTM says it developed this new throttle “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.”
Even if the engine is the same as last year’s model, with only the electronics updated, remember that KTM rated it for more than 180 horsepower at the crank in 2021, with 103 pound-feet of torque. That should offer enough zip to keep you amused for a while.
KTM says the new 1290 Super Duke R EVO comes in new silver/orange and blue/orange paint schemes. KTM has not announced North American pricing, but we’d expect to see it in dealerships in early 2022 for around $20,000 in the US, and maybe $23,000+ in Canada.