KTM is continuing development of new models despite global financial uncertainty, with talk of both a new 1290 Super Duke RR hyper-naked bike and the much-anticipated 490 middleweight line in the near future.
We’ve mentioned the 1290 Super Duke RR before, but now the super-sleuths at Motorcycle.com have dug up emissions documents that confirm KTM plans on bringing the machine to the Euro market, at least. Huzzah! That’s no guarantee we’ll see the bike in North America, at least not anytime soon. Sometimes, KTM is a bit weird about bringing its high-spec machines to the US and Canada, as there’s less demand for the more expensive models, while sales are practically guaranteed in Europe.
Supposedly, the 1290 Super Duke RR will have basically the same powerplant as the standard 1290 (with liquid-cooled V-twin, and 177 horsepower), with likely a different exhaust. The main upgrades will likely be trick WP fork and shock, with some carbon-fibre bodywork also likely, and maybe some improved safety electronics systems.
Those same documents also confirm there’s a Duke 890 going to the German market, a slightly less powerful machine when compared to the Duke 890 R. Expect this new 890 to replace the 790 Duke as the line’s basic, bare-bones machine. No doubt Euro5 will come into play here, as tightening emissions rules have a side effect of making engines larger, to avoid losing power.
KTM’s also been in the news for its 490 program lately. This parallel twin-powered platform will slot in between the larger 890 series and the entry-level, single-cylinder 390 series (somewhat similar to Honda’s 500 series). In a recent interview, KTM told veteran motojourno Alan Cathcart that the 490 series is still targeted as a 2022 release. COVID-19 may have thrown a wrench in many plans for the motorcycle industry, but at least it seems KTM’s machinations are steaming ahead.
Remember, we know KTM plans at least five 490 models in the future, and Husqvarna and Gas Gas will also likely build machines around this platform as well.