2021 KTM 1290 Super Duke RR Confirmed in Emissions Documents

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

New non-R 890 Duke to replace 790 Duke

German vehicle emissions documentation confirms that a new KTM 1290 Super Duke RR is on the way, adding a higher-end variant to join the already-impressive Super Duke R. (UPDATE Feb. 1, 2021: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has also certified the Super Duke RR, confirming the same state of tune as the Super Duke R.)

Rumors of a double-R version of the Super Duke have been circulating the last few months, with the fact that KTM has yet to announce the 2021 Super Duke R lending further credence that something was afoot. The German emissions data offers the first proof of its existence, and we can expect KTM will soon announce both 2021 Super Duke models shortly.

The 2021 1290 Super Duke RR and Super Duke R will have some engine updates to meet Euro 5, while maintaining the same output claims of 177 hp as the 2020 model.

The emissions document lists the 1290 Super Duke RR alongside the Super Duke R, with the same claimed maximum power output of 132 kW (177 hp). That is the same peak power claims as the current 2020 Super Duke R, but with lower emission levels and Euro 5 compliance. Interestingly, despite having the same power output, the Super Duke RR produces slightly more carbon monoxide than the Super Duke R but also fewer hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides. This suggests a variance in the engine or exhaust systems, but not a significant difference.

Assuming the powertrains will be fairly similar, we are left to assume the Super Duke RR will have some upgrades elsewhere over the Super Duke R. Upgrading the suspension to a WP Apex Pro setup is an obvious change. We can probably expect some weight reduction with various carbon fiber bits and forged wheels.

Expect the 890 Duke R to be joined by a lower-spec 890 Duke.

The 1290 Super Duke RR won’t be the only new naked coming soon. The German emissions data also includes a new 890 Duke (sans-R). The 890 Duke is listed as claiming 85 kW (114 hp), a decrease from the 890 Duke R’s claimed 119 hp. It will also be accompanied by reduced power 890 Duke L variants to meet European license restrictions.

Of course, this does raise the question of what this means for the 790 Duke which has yet to be announced for the 2021 model year. The 790 already serves as a de facto lower-spec version of the 890 Duke R, so a new 2021 base model 890 might signal the end of the 790.

In a normal year, KTM would have announced the 1290 Super Duke RR at one of the big fall motorcycle shows. With the pandemic, many manufacturers including KTM appear to be staggering their releases, so we may hear an official announcement early in the new year.

UPDATE Dec. 23, 2020: pages for the 2021 890 Duke and the learner permit 890 Duke L models appeared briefly on KTM’s website, which suggests an announcement is imminent. We can confirm the 890 Duke will have less premium brakes, Continental ContiRoad tires instead of the R model’s Michelin Powercup II tires, and a lower seat height.

As far as we can tell, the 1290 Super Duke RR did not show up on KTM’s site, so its reveal may come a little later.

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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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5 of 12 comments
  • Imtoomuch Imtoomuch on Dec 22, 2020

    The RR will surely get upgraded suspension.

    The good thing about the asinine EURO5 emissions standard is that they are forcing larger displacement engines. Way more hot rod potential! This is the exact opposite of what was occurring and the exact opposite of what the bureaucrats should want. Companies were moving to smaller displacement engines, sometimes with forced induction, and the engines were becoming very clean and efficient. That wasn’t good enough for the European politicians. So now the manufacturers are finding ways past EURO5 with larger displacement engines. Nothing says stupid like forcing manufacturers to use intrinsically less efficient engines.

  • JT Klein JT Klein on Dec 23, 2020

    No news yet on the super duke GT?

    • See 2 previous
    • Denchung Denchung on Dec 24, 2020

      2022 might be more likely for the update.