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 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.
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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