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2020 KTM 1290 Super Duke R Review | First Ride

KTM proves it’s “all-in” in the liter-plus-sized naked bike segment with its new and most certainly improved 2020 1290 Super Duke R ($18,699). For 2020, Austria has updated its premier streetfighter with careful chassis, power, and electronic enhancements to make it more capable for riders racking up miles during the workweek grind or strafing apexes on weekends. We’ve outlined the technical updates in the 2020 KTM 1290 Super Duke R First Look Preview, so this review focuses on what it is like to ride.

Hey guys here we are in southern portugal riding ktms 2020 1290 super duke r this is ktm high-performance open class naked bike a couple years ago ktm used to really focus in the sport bike segment with its rc 8 and then rc 8 our project they abandoned that after a few years we loved riding that horse e8r but unfortunately it just wasn’t close to being competitive

In the superbike class so ktm went a different direction instead of focusing on sport bikes they went to focus on naked class street fighter sport bikes and that brings us to the 2020 super duke r now it’s crazy to think but ktm has actually been making these duke street bikes for 26 years 2020 is the 26th anniversary of duke ktm street bikes and this 1290 super

Duke r is really just a evolution of that concept for 2020 ktm stone a lot of great changes to this motorcycle the chassis x’ new suspensions new rear suspensions been overhauled the electronics the bodywork there’s a lot of things that have been updated on the motorcycle let’s get right into it the engine now ktm has been making these lc8 v-twins for over a

Decade and i really like how they keep evolving the engine the cases are lighter on it now it now includes an all-new air intake system so the airbox has been redesigned now incorporates ram air to keep that airbox just loaded with air it also adds a set of shower head fuel injector shower head fuel injectors complement the primary fuel injectors and it gives

The engine more fuel at higher rpm a complaint that we’ve always had with 1290 super duke is that it doesn’t have a lot of top end power well the improvements that they’ve made to this bike now it does have more falls up top last time we down on this motorcycle made 155 horsepower on the dyno i would go to say that the spikes probably couldn’t for 158 159 now at

The business end of bridgestone that lacks to retire still really the highlight of this motorcycle is just the amount of torque it makes there’s few motorcycles out there that make the kind of work does over 90 foot pound of torque from a very low rpm and it gives you that that grunt off corners where you can just really just pass people and feel the acceleration

Force of this motorcycle it’s a very exhilarating bike to ride the engine still does vibrate at times excessively up remember the architecture of this motorcycle engine is very very old yet ktm still has something there’s something to be said about this architecture we can have a lot of money it has great charisma and the modifications they’ve done to this engine

Have made it feel more modern the throttle response and the engine power maps they’re spot-on we twist the throttle this thing jumps off the line very well get the throttle response isn’t overly sensitive we’re gonna get away from you of course you can tailor the way the engine makes power via the really slick color tft display which is all new for 2020 we wish

It had touchscreen but ktm is really adamant about not having the rider take his hands off the control while riding so we’ll forgive it will give forgive ktm for this at the end of the day it’s a very slick setup the menu navigation is very easy to use the tactile function of the buttons is eerily similar to ktm neighbor above them so kudos to keep him for really

Focusing on the fit and finish and getting that aspect of the motorcycle correct chassis i’ve never really been a big fan of the 1290 super duke r since it came out 2014 it always felt like a giant supermoto or a giant dirt bike kind of loose kind of hyper but the changes they’ve done to the especially the rear suspension have really allowed this bike to be way

More compliant way more calm the hyperactivity of the chassis which was a signature feature of the old super duty is gone and the chassis is much more planted this motorcycle now feels more like a conventional road-going high-performance naked bike where the old bike kind of felt a little loose the things a lot more compliant so kudos to ktm for forfeiting the

The rear suspension with a linkage and still keeping the aesthetic of the motorcycle good like look at the rear swingarm on this motorcycle a very nice piece of machinery and looks very good suspension also adds preload adjustment at the front that was another big gripe i always had the super duke ours you couldn’t adjust the spring preload on the fork the rear

Shock has a clever knob so you can adjust the spring preload without tools ktm is always really good about having their suspension being easy to adjust without tools and this 1290 super duke r continues that trait a little bit more sporty ergonomics than what we’ve seen but again it fits with the whole road bike concept overall i’m really pleased with what ktm is

Done with this 1290 super duke r it is faster it’s more fun to ride chassis is more compliant in terms of not only road holding when you’re getting after it in the corners but also still delivering a very comfortable feel the seats wide the ergonomics are a good balance between sport and comfort if you’re looking for an open class naked bike that’s exhilarating

And now has the polish and pedigree this 2020 1290 super duke r is definitely something you should consider especially considering the msrp is only crept up by a couple hundred bucks first of the 2019 version you get a whole lot more bike and more value for your money all right guys that’s a wrap from the 20/20 ktm 1290 super duke our press introduction here and

Southern portugal if you like what you saw today make sure to subscribe to our channel leave us a comment and we’ll see you next time thank you for watching

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2020 KTM 1290 Super Duke R Review | First Ride By Motorcyclist Magazine