We all know that KTM likes to throw the term ‘BEAST’ around in its marketing to describe some of its bikes, but after careful evaluation, we’ve determined that the 2023 KTM 1290 Super Duke R Evo is not only a beast. It’s the beast. This bike features staggering performance mixed with state-of-the-art technology, all wrapped up in a KTM orange bow.
The Super Duke line has been on the market for a couple of years now, sitting pretty atop the KTM family, and the R Evo is, without a doubt, the top of the top. The engine at the heart of this Austrian machine is the very same 1301 cc V-Twin that can be found among the rest of KTMs 1290 models, but through some careful revisions, the one found in the Evo is more powerful and lighter than the rest. At an advertised 180 hp and 104 lb-ft, this beast is capable of getting down the road. The R Evo uses a six-speed PANKL-manufactured gearbox with a power-assisted slipper clutch to round out the package.
Beyond those power figures, this bike has many tricks up its sleeve, including a semi-active WP suspension system. The suspension features electronically controlled damping and three unique settings – Track, Auto, and Advanced, each offering a different level of customization to the suspension.
WP isn’t the only big name found on this bike – Brembo Stylema brakes are standard, and a set of specially designed Bridgestone S22 tires are on the bike out of the showroom.
We aren’t kidding when we say the R Evo comes equipped with too much technology to list here, but some highlights include a full suite of rider aids, three standard riding modes (rain, street, and sport) along with optional track and performance modes, and keyless ignition & gas cap.
Aesthetically the R Evo is an exceptionally aggressive-looking bike, sharing its sharp lines with the rest of the Duke line. A large air intake is noticeable at the centre of the infamous headlight. For 2023 the bike can be had in two colourways, classic KTM orange and a dual-tone black and blue ensemble.
The 2023 KTM 1290 Super Duke R Evo starts at $20,399 USD/$21,499 CAD
On this page:we’ve curated specs, features, news, photos/videos, etc., so you can read up on the new 2023 KTM 1290 Super Duke R Evo in one place.
Keihin EMS with RBW and cruise control, double ignition
Power in KW
Forced oil lubrication with 3 oil pumps
PASC (TM) slipper clutch, hydraulically actuated
WP Semi-active Suspension USD Ø 48 mm (GEN.2)
WP Semi-active Rear Shock (GEN.2)
320 mm Disk
240 mm Disk
Tank capacity (approx.)
2023 KTM 1290 Super Duke R Evo Features
If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. But by all means, make it meaner! Boasting 180 hp and 140 Nm, 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 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 weight saving, compared to the previous generation. 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.
The frame, which uses the engine as a means to increase torsional rigidity, has resulted in the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO 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 generation 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 22 mm, front to back, making it easy to attack corners and crucial for hanging on down the straights.
While the 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.
Bodywork & Graphics
There isn’t much to say about the bodywork of the new KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO 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.
2023 KTM 1290 Super Duke R Evo Photos
2023 KTM 1290 Super Duke R Evo Videos
2022 KTM 1290 Super Duke R EVO Final Review: Worth It? by MOTOBOB:
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