2019 KTM Super Duke R Spy Photos

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

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 winding exhaust is the most striking difference on the test mule. Tightened emissions requirements are to blame for that gigantic catalyst, though we expect the finished product to be more refined. KTM also likely won’t leave the exhaust valve under the rider’s foot, moving it somewhere less conspicuous.

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

The radiator on the current SDR ends well above the fender; on the test bike, it stretches down to the level of the crankcase.

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.

While we can clearly see the right side of the engine, the left side is obscured by some bodywork. The bottom edge of the plastic looks crudely cut and it may be only temporary to hide some details from spies.

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.

The bodywork on either side of the fork looks sharper and more aggressive than on the current model. The split headlight, mirrors, and instrumentation mounts, however, look exactly the same.

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.

Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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  • Mad4TheCrest Mad4TheCrest on Mar 25, 2018

    You are going to want a skid plate or some other sort of guard for those header pipes and that humongous collector. (Unless they are made of vibranium).

  • Eric Eric on Mar 25, 2018

    It's time for Kawasaki or Suzuki to use their 1441/1340 motors in a beefy naked bike, emphasis on lightweight, svelte looks, and decent enough fuel capacity. Give them TC, IMU ABS, and cruise. Nothing else.