The 2021 KTM 1290 Super Duke R was designed and built with exactly one objective in mind: utter domination of the naked sport bike field. Why else would you nickname your top model bike as “The Beast?” Originally released in 2014, and updated in 2017, the Super Duke R continues to be an extremely popular bike in the 2021 lineup, as there are many that respect and revel in the lean, mean, almost pure streetfighter look of the bike.
Powered by KTM’s now-legendary LC8 V-twin, it uses 1,301cc’s, 8 titanium valves, and new top-feed injectors mounted in 56mm dual throttle bodies to generate a staggering 177 HP and 106 lb-ft of torque. Mounted as a stressed part of the bike’s steel alloy frame, it can send the Beast from 0 to 60 MPH in 2.7 seconds and will do 0 to 124 MPH in under 8 seconds.
The Austrian company recognizes that if you’re going to be going that fast, you need some serious gear to slow down with. KTM shows that they understand by fitting twin 320 mm floating disc Brembo brakes at the front, with 4 piston calipers. The rear is handled by a 240 mm disc with a two piston caliper. These are a special part developed with cooperation from Brembo, one of KTM’s racing partners, and are the biggest brakes fitted to a KTM road bike.
As well, being the halo model for the Duke lineup, and by extension all of KTM, the 1290 Super Duke R got a special gift card for the “ooh, shiny!” aisle in KTM’s parts shop. It has a Keihin Engine Management System (racing team partner), with two ignition circuits, electronic cruise control, and throttle-by-wire control. It has a special version of the Bosch 9.1 ABS control system, with cornering ABS and a special supermoto ABS profile. It has a hydraulically actuated, PASC slipper clutch with quickshifter.
And, as KTM simply wants to get you onto the bike and riding, it uses a proximity card as the key, instead of a physical key. All you need to do is straddle the bike with the card in your pocket, and the bike will wake up as it detects itself supporting some weight, and off you go from there.
The 2021 KTM 1290 Super Duke R starts at $18,699 USD / $19,999 CAD.
On this page:we’ve curated specs, features, news, photos/videos, etc. so you can read up on the new 2021 KTM 1290 Super Duke R in one place.
Keihin EMS with RBW and cruise control, double ignition
Forced oil lubrication with 3 oil pumps
PASC (TM) slipper clutch, hydraulically actuated
WP APEX 48
WP APEX – Monoshock
Fuel Tank Capacity
2021 KTM 1290 Super Duke R Features
01. Engine & Exhaust
If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. But by all means, make it meaner! Boasting increased horsepower and torque, the 1301 cc LC8, V-Twin has undergone a subtle yet impactful development. Optimized to be lighter but retaining its torquey character, this powerhouse is the benchmark of V-twin evolution. And with new engine and linkage mounts that add to the overall structure of the entire package – it quite literally is the part that holds THE BEAST together.
Thinner engine casings and revised water and oil cooler mounts have resulted in a 0.8 kg (1.7 lbs) weight saving. Oil delivery has also been improved by way of a lightweight aluminum oil line, eliminating the need for a double wall system. Additionally, the engine carrier bracket and linkage mount have been integrated into the engine case, allowing for a stiffer connection. This has also resulted in a 5 mm higher swingarm pivot for improved stability and anti-squat.
New topfeeder injectors and 56 mm throttle bodies provide an improved air to fuel mixture at high rpms. This results in more torque and better fuel economy throughout the rev range.
You don’t always need big changes to make big differences. In fact, when it comes to the PANKL gearbox, we’ve made a few small tweaks which have resulted in quicker shift times, shorter shift action and lighter lever modulation. Smoother shift action also comes courtesy of an improved spline shaft and bronzed copper coating on the shift forks. Why do all this? Quite simply – quicker shift times equal faster acceleration.
A new frame concept, which uses the engine as a means to increase torsional rigidity, has resulted in the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R being 3 times stiffer than its predecessor. This allows for an effortless, confidence-inspiring riding position which translate into an ultimately faster ride. This is achieved by maximizing the feedback from the chassis and the front tire. The frame also makes use of thicker diameter tubes with thinner walls, which is the single biggest weight saving measure on the bike – saving 2 kg compared to the previous model.
Finding the optimal seating position is made easy with an adjustable 760 mm wide handlebar. Riders can tailor their preferred reach with 4 positions over 21 mm, front to back, making it easy to attack corners and crucial for hanging on down the straights.
There isn’t much to say about the bodywork of the new KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R as there is so little of it to talk about. But that’s exactly how we like it! Aggressive and menacing, the bodywork and panels had to achieve two objectives – tick all the ergonomic boxes and shave weight wherever possible. As such, every panel and plate has been calculated for optimum thickness and minimized where possible. The only thing that remained heavy was attitude.
While the all-new headlight mask doubles as an intake snorkel, it’s the twin LED headlights that really shine. Sharp, menacing lines enhance THE BEAST’s overall look, while providing ample illumination when it gets dark. Daytime running lights also ensure you will get noticed, which not only earns you kudos when it comes to street cred, but more importantly, makes you more visible to other road users.