One of our favorite motorcycles is getting a facelift, as spy photos reveal an updated KTM 1290 Super Duke R with revised bodywork and a new LED headlight design.

2014 Motorcycle of the Year: KTM 1290 Super Duke R

We’ve actually got two sets of spy shots here, one captured near KTM’s headquarters in Austria and another from Spain where the test mule was being tested alongside the current SDR.

Big torque will continue to be one of the Super Duke's most attractive features.

Big torque will continue to be one of the Super Duke’s most attractive features.

Overlaying the 2016 Super Duke on one of the spy photos, we can see the steel tubular trellis frame and subframe appear unchanged. From the exterior, the engine also appears identical, though we can’t rule out any internal changes. The Super Duke GT engine new for 2016 already meets stringent Euro 4 regulations. Presumably there will be electronic updates in addition to the Cornering-ABS added to the 2016 SDR. Our mole tells us to expect new ride-mode settings.

051716-spy-photos-KTM-1290-Super-Duke-animated-left

The test bike’s side panels thrust forward aggressively, looking more like the Super Duke GT than the current model. Like the GT, the bodywork also offers more protection for the radiator.

2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT First Ride Review

Up front, the new split headlight design is a departure from the stacked design on the current 1290 models. Based on the compact shape, we expect a full LED lighting system. In some of these photos, the headlight is missing a side cover, suggesting KTM is continuing to tinker with it.

he most striking visual change to the Super Duke is a new LED headlight that significantly shrinks the bike's nose.

he most striking visual change to the Super Duke is a new LED headlight that significantly shrinks the bike’s nose.

Though we can’t get a clear look at the display, we can see a rectangular instrument panel we’re expecting to be a new full-color TFT instrument cluster replacing the current model’s two LCD screens and analog tach, one of our few complaints about the existing model.

Given the extent of the changes, we expect KTM to reveal the updated 1290 Super Duke R in the fall at either the Intermot or EICMA shows as a 2017 model. Stay tuned for more information as it emerges.

The exhaust system and magical Brembo M50 brake calipers appear to be carry-over items.

The exhaust system and magical Brembo M50 brake calipers appear to be carry-over items.

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KTM Communities

  • spiff

    Kind of figured this update was coming. Yeah, I want one.

  • DickRuble

    The looks are the last thing on my list for a motorcycle. However, once you have a design, regressing to an uglier one for no good reason is not something you should do. The new headlights look downright Triumph stupid and the new body panels would make Kymco proud.

  • Auphliam

    The side by side overlay makes them look near identical geometrically, but those action shots certainly look like a much more aggressive handlebar position.

    *extra credit for the $10 word lol

  • Old MOron

    I think both versions present an undesirable collection of jagged lines.

  • JMDonald

    In all honesty I like it. I want it.

  • Starmag

    Thankfully they didn’t take the ugly out. I wonder what color it will be?

    I know, I know, looks don’t matter! Just like with women right? Because all those umbrella girls are picked for whats inside not outside.

  • spiff

    You guys have a bunch of photos, but they are a pian to look at, at least on an android. In the future could you create a gallery that was high res, that one could swipe left and right to browse?

  • Eddie

    The cornering ABS is going to be great and hopefully available for earlier Dukes. Just like stability control in cars has saved thousands of lives so will this in motorcycles, especially novice riders! It will virtually eliminate low or high side crashes and is always lurking in the background waiting to save you. It will definitely increase lap times as how can slam on the brakes at the apex and then full throttle out. Plus if you are in trouble in the corner, slam the brakes, no crash.