KTM are offering a staggering discount to move this years Superduke R and Evo
Up, up and away
The 1290 Super Duke R and the Evo models from Kraftfahrzeuge Trunkenpolz Mattighofen (KTM) have always enjoyed an stellar reputation.
Those orange wheels married to that orange frame promise all sorts of hooliganism on the road or, indeed on the track. Rocking up beside one of these at a traffic light, one may well be advised to ‘let this one go’. The shape of the bike breaths menace with the tanks ‘broad shoulders’ tapering down those beefy forks and the exquisite pipework of the exhaust headers.
Helping to manage it’s staggering 170bhp is a full suite of electronics. These start with the highly regarded WP suspension. The company use the Apex Evo semi active system to spring the beast. The suspension can be adjusted to cope with a host of surfaces from poor roads to the table top smoothness of a world class European race track. Simply choosing between the three choices, Sport, Street and Comfort allow the rider to tailor the bikes chassis and its appropriate response with regards to the terrain it’s being used on.
Using all of this as a starting point the clever people at WP worked with KTM designers to develop and tailor a whole new system for the Beast. Using the TFT screen the rider can adjust the preload on the back spring in very precise increments. What I really like is the optional Suspension Pro package. This is what you want if you’re taking your trackdays seriously.
Made for the track, owns the road
These additional settings allow the bike to choose its own when set to auto. This piece of cleverness allows the suspension to adapt to the riders style and the environment that it’s being ridden in and on. The rider can also use a track setting. The second one is the one that works exceptionally well under hard braking. The end of the main straight at Monteblanco comes to mind. Advanced allows the rider to use their own bespoke setup. Fine tuning the set up allows for considerations such as the riders breaking style, their weight and the features of the corners on any particular circuit. This last one would be particularly relevant on carrying exit speed while retaining traction. Andalucía comes to mind.
Styled to perfection
Also available is an auto levelling preload. This allows the bike to automatically cycle through low, standard and high. The first presents a set up that’s relaxed and drops the seat height. neutral and balanced geometry. Standard is just that, standard and high allows for a much more loaded front end. All of this can be switched off.
Back in 2020 the team at KTM cut a lot of weight from the bike while they ungraded the engine. Adding that updated electronics package iced the super naked bikes cake.
Riding modes include an anti-wheelie setting, a choice of the usual three fuelling maps with two more, track and performance, coming as part of the tech pack.
Working on that exit speed is now easier thanks to a newly modified throttle. The twist is reduced so it doesn’t have to be wound on as much to get the power down. Making that elbow drop look even more refined has never been easier! What it’s controlling is where all the fun starts.
The electronics package and the chassis development are all in place to manage the bikes phenomenal engine. The 1,300cc twin puts out a shade over 170bhp while even more is available once the standard can has been dealt with. Details such as the new LED lights and the logic defying cruise control are all secondary. Riding this bike on the road is a barrel of laughs. On the somewhat poorly paved Molls Gap, it hugs the corners, goes where I want it to and, thanks to the Akrapovic on this one, the soundtrack is simply fantastic.
On track I found the ergonomics to be fantastic. That firmer front end allows me to brake later and use my amazing counter steering talents to more and better effect.
Both the standard R and the Superduke R Evo are available with that pack. This is worth €1,300. The bikes are €23,299 and €25,099 respectively. The stunning news is that the team at Two Wheels in Dublin are offering the pack for free and an additional four grand off each machine. That represents a saving from full retail of €5,300! Talk to any of the team in the store about a test ride on 014381999. All you’re going to need is a few extra licences…