2017 KTM 1290 Superduke R – Beast 2.0

By Trevor Hedge

KTM first introduced the 1290 Superduke R in 2013 and dubbed their new flagship ‘The Beast’.  For 2017 KTM have named their 2017 KTM Superduke R ‘Beast 2.0’.

2017 KTM 1290 Superduke R
2017 KTM 1290 Superduke R

As expected, KTM have injected their latest engine technology, already seen in the stupendously fast 2016 Superduke GT (click link for review), into the Superduke R for the 2017 model year.

While the claimed power has gone up only marginally to a new claimed figure of 177 horsepower at 9750rpm, I know from my own experience with the Superduke GT that the new cylinder head and engine management system have transformed the power delivery of the machine, particularly in the low and mid-range, into something really quite epic.

2017 KTM 1290 Superduke R
2017 KTM 1290 Superduke R

In Superduke R guise the uprated engine boasts an even higher compression ratio, a stratospheric 13.6:1 is a truly remarkable number for a massive 1301cc v-twin.

2017 KTM 1290 Superduke R
2017 KTM 1290 Superduke R

In the Superduke GT the new generation of this engine has impeccable manners and will pull top gear from 2000rpm. For those of us that remember the LC8 engines of old this is a true revelation.

2017 KTM 1290 Superduke R
2017 KTM 1290 Superduke R

The electronic management suite has also been completely overhauled and brought into line with the latest specifications systems available, including multi-stage lean angle sensitive traction control, cornering ABS and optional performance and track packs that enable enhanced engine braking control, independently selectable wheelie control from within the riding modes and also add launch control to the package.

2017 KTM 1290 Superduke R
2017 KTM 1290 Superduke R

Cruise control is standard and a new multifunctional TFT instrumentation helps the rider navigate the new menu options.

2017 KTM 1290 Superduke R
2017 KTM 1290 Superduke R

Both the 48mm USD WP forks and shock have stiffer spring rates and a more sporting tune to the valving than the previous Superduke R.

2017 KTM 1290 Superduke R
2017 KTM 1290 Superduke R

Ergonomics have also come in for some attention with the bars now wider, lower and positioned more towards the front of the machine.

2017 KTM 1290 Superduke R
2017 KTM 1290 Superduke R

Styling wise the 2017 Superduke R has a new LED headlight and LED daytime running lights, a sharper new tail, tank spoilers and air intakes with two new colour schemes helping differentiate ‘Beast 2.0’ from its predecessor. The new LED headlight is built on aluminium bracing that also supports the control unit and circuit boards while also working as a heat sink for those units.

2017 KTM 1290 Superduke R
2017 KTM 1290 Superduke R

The first stocks of the new machine are expected to arrive in Australia sometime during the first quarter of 2017 with a price yet to be announced.

2017 KTM 1290 Superduke R Technical Specifications

  • Engine – 75-degree v-twin

2017-ktm-1290-suoperduke-r-crank

  • Capacity – 1301cc
  • Bore x Stroke – 108 x 71mm
  • Power – 177hp (130kW) at 9750rpm
  • Torque – 141Nm at 7000rpm
  • Compression Ration – 13.6:1

2017-ktm-1290-suoperduke-r-cylinder-head

  • Induction – Keihin EFI with 56mm throttle bodies
  • Gearbox – six-speed with PASC slipper clutch
  • Engine Management – Keihin EMS with RBW, cruise control and double ignition
  • Traction Control – 3-mode, disengageale, optional track mode
  • Frame – Chromium-Molybendum steel trellis frame
  • Forks – WP USD 48mm, 125mm travel
  • Shock – WP, 156mm travel
  • Brakes – Brembo Monobloc four-pistona radial calipers and 320mm discs (F); Brembo two-piston caliper and 240mm disc (R)
  • ABS – Bosh 9.1MP Two channel, including Supermoto mode and disengageable
  • Tyres – 120.70ZZR17 (F); 190.55ZR17 (R)
  • Steering Head Angle – 65.1-degrees
  • Trail – 107mm
  • Wheelbase – 1482mm
  • Ground Clearance – 141mm
  • Seat Height – 835mm
  • Fuel Capacity – 18 litres
  • Weight – 195kg dry or 203kg ready to ride minus fuel
2017 KTM 1290 Superduke R
2017 KTM 1290 Superduke R