KTM 1290 Super Duke R EVO


Friday 3 December 2021, 1633km. EVO time!
Because I liked the Super Duke so much I decided to trade it in... For an Evolution version with semi-active suspension :). Delivery somewhere March 2022.

..:: Quote ::..
"Riders seeking a hardcore naked bike that is as friendly to operate as it is exhilarating to ride should take a spin on the 2020 Super Duke."

Friday 4 February 2022. Non-EVO time
The non-EVO's have arrived. The EVO's will follow shortly :)

Thursday 10 February 2022. Black
Since I'm not a big fan of the orange wheels I asked someone (thx .Mozes) to color them black on a picture. I like this better. Maybe I can persuade someone with a MY 20/21 to switch wheels??

Wednesday 9 March 2022. May?
Called my dealer to ask where the EVO was. They said it wil be produced second half of April and they expect delivery beginning of May... That's disappointing. First world problems, I know...
So with a bit of luck it wil arrive at the same time as the Z650RS...

Friday 18 March 2022. June?
Dealer called me. An EVO had arrived! Yeah! The silver one... Bummer :(. They expect the blue version in June...
At first I wanted to wait for the blue one. But after some thought I decided to buy the silver one. It seems I can never have a KTM in de color I want ;).
Delivery next week(?).
The dealer told me KTM has 4.000 new bikes in stock waiting for some Bosch electronics.

..:: Quote ::..
"This new suspension, combined with the proven chassis and engine, is extremely impressive on the road."

Friday 25 March 2022, 152km. First ride
The SDR got delivered today and I made the first ride. Max 6,500rpm are allowed until 1,000km but that's enough to have fun. Didn't really notice the new quick-turn throttle, but luckily the active suspension did make a difference. My butt-o-meter noticed a softer setup at lower speeds and bumpy roads and when things smoothed out and speeds went up the supsension got tighter. I put the suspension into auto and it seems to work. Sometimes I noticed some clicking noises from the rear, I guess that's when the active supsension does it's thing. Or it's broken ;).
For now I'm happy with the new bike :)

Saturday 26 March 2022, 260km. Blossom?
We've got this region with lots of fruit orchards (Betuwe) and in spring they show beautiful blossoms. So I thought for a second break in day it would be nice to have a look overthere. But it seems I was too early, hardly any blossom to see. I hope to catch them a next time, but the period they bloom is rather short, so timing is critical.

Sunday 1 May 2022, 500km. Still breaking in
Yeah, I know, it takes a long time. But the weather hasn't been great lately. And after riding bike for 40+ years I've seen all the roads in my neighbourhood thousands of times, so the urge to ride bike is waning.
Still had a nice ride today. Got twice an H2-moment: with closed throttle reaching for the front brake lever and accidentally open the gas a bit so the bike urges forward. Happily no supercharger to push me into the back of a car, but not good anyhow.
KTM still hasn't fixed the indicator light button. It still is crap: the feel is lousy and I've got to push it often multiple times to turn the indicator lights off. I think that if they'd spend a couple of cents more per bike they could have a good button like all the other bikes out there...

Sunday 15 May 2022, 1000km. Broken in
Finally broke the bike in during the trip of today. Again a ride around the IJsselmeer with Pim (RSV4) and Vincent (KTM 1090 Adventure). The weather was perfect. Regretfully on the western side of the IJsselmeer were a lot of roadworks. And if there weren't the dyke was closed for motorcycles (thx racing, noise making fellow bikers). The Frysian side was as nice as ever. I tried the RSV4 for a little while and liked it a lot. Good brakes, suspension and handling. A perfect racer. For public roads it would be too much for me, and too uncomfortable. After the Superduke the RSV felt lacking torque. It has less than the beast and it's found at higher rpm's. The beast has instant torque. Pim and I did some acceleration tests in different gears and each time the KTM was faster. Maybe to make a more fair test the RSV should start at one gear lower, since it has to rev higher to find some torque? Maybe next time.

Saturday 28 May 2022, 1205km. First service
The beast got its first service job today. It took them 1.5 hours, pretty long I reckon...
While they were working on it I went with the Z650RS to a Kawasaki meeting. There I got several messages from the Invoxia GPS tracker I've installed in the Superduke that the bike has been moved. I forgot to turn the notifications off, but good to know it is working.
When they were done with the KTM I went back to pick it up. Finally I can open it up fully now, although max 6,500rpm were already quite a handful.
Before I left my dealer I put the bike in performance mode and the suspension in a high rear mode for (even) better handling. Taking the long way home the Duke was again a lot of fun.

..:: Quote ::..
"What sets the Super Duke R apart – what has always set this bike apart – is the massive torque and horsepower available at street rpm levels"

Friday 10 June 2022, 2500km. Weekend trip
Friday was the start of a three day trip to Germany/Luxembourgh. Pim (RSV4) and I started Friday morning. The others later that day.
Pim fitted his luggage on a wing and a prayer on the RSV4, a pure sportbike, not meant to carry luggage. After less than 100km the Aprilia had enough of acting as a touringbike and shed the luggage on the highway right in front of me. Pim didn't notice, and I stopped to see if I could salvage it. The bag lay right between two lanes and the traffic was too busy to try to get it. Pondering for a couple of minutes what to do next one lane was closed down by the people that manage our highways (Rijkswaterstaat). They must have detected the dangerous situation on one of their traffic monitoring screens. Not much later a salvage car arrived and the driver picked up the bag, but not before someone ran over it, destroying Pim's toothbrush, toothpaste and sunglasses. The driver put the bag behind the guardrail for Pim to pickup. I took the first highway exit and found Pim who was still pondering what to do. Long story a bit longer: Pim borrowed my duct tape, picked up the bag and taped it to his bike, drove slowly home and didn't rejoin us in Germany.

I arrived at our destination around 17:00, after some closed roads crap. The other guys (S1000RR, R1M, 890 Duke R) followed a couple of hours later.
The next day we behaved scandalous, but safe, on perfect roads. The semi-active suspension worked very nice on the Beast. Firm on good roads driven at higher speed and softer on bumpy roads.
On Sunday I only participated on the first part of the ride. Didn't feel like risking my old bones again with some high speed 'touring'. At the end of the morning I left for home. In the Netherlands I took the highway after setting the suspension in auto-low mode (puts the rear suspension a bit lower). KTM claims that it would make the bike more stable. And indeed I almost missed the first corner because I had to use more force to turn the bike. On the highway the better stability was very noticeable.

Vacation in Spain, 4280km
Saturday 13 August 2022, France

On Saturday the 7 of us left for Spain in 3 cars with trailers carrying the bikes. I drove with Marco (S1000RR) and Pim (RSV4) in a camper van to our first stop in Oradour-sur-Glane in France. The reason for the stop in this little town became clear the next morning:

Sunday 14 August 2022, Spain
Walter (890 Duke) had been here before and thought the terrible past of the place would interest us. It did interest me anyway: during the second world war the Germans massacred a great part of the population and as remembrance of this heanous deed the French left the remains of the village as they were, as a sort of warning to future generations. Very impressive.

The next morning we left for the last stint to our destination: the castle Llaés in Spain which we rented for a week.
We arrived there just before dark and prepped ourselves for the first trip the next day.

Monday 15 August 2022, First trip

On the first trip it soon became clear that this part of Spain is a motorcyclists paradise: lost of good, quiet roads, with never ending scores of curves. We ended the day with a bbq in 'our' castle.

Besides the guys mentioned above there were three others: Ed (R1M), Randy (S1000RR) and Robert (hired 2022 1290 SuperDuke R, same as mine, without the active suspension).

Tuesday 16 August 2022, Hospital

In the morning we did the same as the day before: riding fast over perfect Spanish roads. During midday I got a phone call from Pim while I was riding. Normally I don't pick up the phone but luckily this time I was kinda curious who would call me here. It turned out to be Pim who was the last rider in our group: he had crashed...
I warned the others and turned back asap. A few kilometers back I found Pim resting in lots of pain against the rocks. Luckily some people already had stopped to help him and called the emergency services. Pim told me that he did some kind of somersault and landed hard on his back. Police and ambulance arrived soon and Pim got transported to the nearest hospital. Marco and I followed, two others stayed behind to wait for the salvage truck for the Aprilia, the last two went back to the castle.
It took the medics to 4 o'clock the next morning to be sure that Pim hadn't broken anything, or stuff like that. He was 'just' heavily bruised. Because we couldn't take Pim back to the castle or to a hotel (taxis weren't running anymore), he was allowed to stay in the hospital for one night. Marco and I stayed with him.

Wednesday 17 August 2022, Taking care of Pim
After a terrible sleepless night for me (had to spend the night on a hard wooden chair), Marco and I took our bikes to pick up the camper to transport Pim back to the castle. On the way back we picked up his medicines, did some shopping, and arrived at the castle in the afternoon.
The others had again a great time touring Spain.

Thursday 18 August 2022, Touring
We left Pim with enough food, drinks and painkillers at the castle and found ourselves some nice roads again.

This day Roberts KTM started to act up with MTC failures which resulted in putting the bike in limp mode (doing max 4,000 rpm). I'd read about it and a 'solution' was to disconnect the battery to reset stuff. You need wrench 8 to do this which isn't in the KTM toolkit... We did so and the problem went away for a couple of hours to return again later. Robert got eventually very handy at disconnecting the battery ;)

During this vacation I complained a bit about the high temperatures (30+ Celcius), but after a lot of rain and temps around 16 Celcius today I decided I preferred 30+ and dry wheather and didn't complain anymore :)

Friday 19 August 2022, Another man down

This Friday we went to Andorra to see what was happening there. Not much as it seemed. The roads were hot and busy, not much fun. At the way back to the castle we found some great roads again though. One of those roads had suddenly a lot of gravel on it which some of us totally missed. Ed was one of them and he went down right in front of me. He himself was okay, but his bike and suit got some scratches. Luckily his bike was still rideable.

Saturday 20 August 2022, Day of rest

Before Ed went down I already decided to not ride this day, the days before were quite exhausting. Ed's fall strengthened my decision. Robert stayed too at the castle. We took it easy, had lunch at the nearby town of Ripoll and did some shopping.

In the evening we prepared to leave the next day. Pim already left by taxi and plane.

Sunday 21 August 2022, Going home

Around 9 am we left for the Netherlands. We were thinking to do an overnight stay halfway, but it turned out that we would rather go home asap. The roads were not too busy and with the cruise control at 110/120kmh we did the 1400km in 18 hours. I was home Monday around 3 am, Marco about an hour later.

This was a great vacantion, except for the accidents. We had to travel a long way, but we did found roads I've never seen before. The stay at the castle was great for once, but the difficult accessibility made it for me a once but never again experience.

..:: Quote ::..
"But you want to know about the new semi-active suspension, don’t you? In short, we were impressed."

Sunday 25 September 2022, 4413km. Last ride?
Took the Beast for a little spin. Could be the last one this year since autumn is coming. Couldn't use the full potential of the bike because the roads were quite busy with people enjoying the last rays of the sun. Got some rain too along the way, now I've got to clean the bike again :P

Saturday 29 October 2022, 5000km. Last ride and winsterstop
Did yesterday the true last ride of this year with the SDR. Again around the IJsselmeer, a trip of about 350km. This time alone. Lots of roadworks which spoiled a bit of the fun. Next year better.

Today I cleaned the bike, removed the battery and put it away for winter. End of season 2022 which was pretty good. Did some nice trips with this great bike.

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