The Beast, Evolved
Well, we certainly didn’t have long to wait on this, did we?
A few days ago we covered the new WP Apex Semi-Active Suspension from KTM. Currently touted as the most sensitive and fast-responding suspension available for the German manufacturer’s fleet, KTM’s press release quoted the new suspension as bringing “sensitive real-time readings from the road or path directly to the heart of the suspension control unit…[re-aligning] instantaneously, depending on what the rider wants from their KTM.”
The question at the time was, what bikes would house the all-new suspension?
The answer came in the form of another press release less than 48 hours later, featuring the updated 2022 1290 Super Duke R and brand new Super Duke R EVO…both with the WP Apex’s SAS.
“With new Semi-Active Technology (SAT), the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO retains its class-leading hyper-naked ferocity but gains an even wider range of usability,” states the report.
“This allows THE BEAST to go from a comfortable rocket on poor road surfaces to a hardened track-ready apex-splitting weapon – at a simple click of a switch….In addition, the spring preload of the rear suspension can be set via the TFT menu to up to 20 mm in 10 steps, depending on the requirements of the rider. In this case, the adjustability setting ranges from 0% to 100%, in 10% or 2mm increments.”
A reminder – the Super Duke underwent a huge update in 2020, showing up to the floor lighter, with a new electronics package and reworked LC8 engine. Despite not being quite as punchy as Ducati’s Streetfighter V4, it still landed top of the list for its technology, as well as the punchy V-Twin engine (featuring 180 pretty ponies and 140 Nm of torque).
With 2022’s updates, the Super Duke R EVO now has an increased range of useability, thanks to the new SAT.
As per the suspension’s capabilities, the 2022 KTM 1290 Super Duke R EVO comes with three standard damping modes – COMFORT, STREET, and SPORT.
Should you decide to go with the SUSPENSION PRO package for an extra bit of green, you’d also have access to three more riding modes – TRACK, ADVANCED, and AUTO.
We’ll re-list the benefits of each here:
SUSPENSION PRO Damping Modes
Less comfy, but hey – nobody said track days were smooth sailing.
“Provides the stiffest available setting developed internally by KTM test riders to provide the ideal setting for track days and fast race tracks.”
Allows the rider to flick through 8 levels of front and rear damping on the TFT.
For the perfectionist in your motorcycle group.
“This suits more technical riders who are looking for the smallest marginal gains and want to fine-tune and tailor their suspension settings for their riding styles…[the ADVANCED setting] can be set up to 20 mm, via the TFT menu in 10 steps according to the requirements of the rider…[with] adjustability settings [ranging] from 0% to 100%, in 10% or 2 mm increments.”
Use the lickety-split readings of the 6D lean angle sensor, the suspension control unit, and various other sensors to keep your ride smooth as maple butter on a Sunday afternoon.
“The most intelligent of the trio and is capable of detecting different riding styles and automatically adapting the damping of suspension, 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.”
As if that weren’t enough, the SUSPENSION PRO package also offers three automatic preload ‘auto-leveling’ settings – LOW, STANDARD, and HIGH.
SUSPENSION PRO Automatic Preloads
“Neutral and balanced geometry”
“Relaxed, less aggressive, more comfortable geometry, with a lower seat height”
“Aggressive, agile track attack geometry, with a more loaded front end”
So what else is new?
The 2022 KTM 1290 Super Duke R and EVO now have a fresh quick-turn throttle twist grip, “reduced by 7 degrees to 65 degrees” – a clever adjustment, since this new grip requires less angle in the rider’s wrist (and more elbow drop) at full yoink.
The two bikes will also have two new angular tritone color schemes, hitting us with a tad of blue for the first, and a very nice white for the second.
Should you want to trick yourself fully out to match your bike, KTM tells us that they’ve got “a full range of specially created KTM PowerParts…[as well as] a dedicated range of KTM PowerWear” to complement the hot orange wheels, as well as the signature orange frame for maximum beast mode.
The 2022 KTM 1290 Super Duke R and Super Duke R EVO will be hitting dealerships as of Q1 2022.
Let us know what you think, drop a comment below as you check out the photo gallery, and as always – stay safe on the twisties.