One of our favorite bikes is getting an update, as spy photographers have snapped images of a new KTM Super Duke R undergoing testing with some significant changes.
The engine looks similar to the LC8 V-Twin powering the 2018 1290 Super Duke R, but KTM made some significant changes to the exhaust and the radiator. The test model has new winding exhaust manifolds flowing into a large catalytic converter under the bike’s belly. The new exhaust system is likely in preparation for tougher Euro 5 emissions requirements set to come in force in 2020. The radiator is significantly larger than the current radiator, and may be the reason why the front exhaust manifold snakes backwards. We expect the finished product to have a tidier-looking exhaust system
Above the engine, we can see part of a new trellis frame design partially wrapped in black tape. The rear subframe also looks new, similar to the cast aluminum unit on the new 790 Duke. Curiously, the left side of the test models has some plastic bodywork covering the engine. KTM typically doesn’t hide its engines on its Duke models, and the bottom edge of the plastic looks rather crudely cut, so this may be a temporary measure to hide details from prying eyes. VVT perhaps? We can only speculate.
The spy photos also show a new swingarm. It’s still a single-sided unit, but with a boxier-shape. The swingarm is now connected to the rear shock via a linkage instead of a direct mounting.
We expect the new KTM Super Duke R to debut as a 2019 model at one of the big fall shows, either Intermot in October or EICMA in November. Check back here on Motorcycle.com for more information as it becomes available.