The Beast could go on a diet...of carbon fiber.
KTM will never be satisfied. First, the Austrian brand brought us the 790 Duke and 790 Adventure only to follow with an 890 Duke and 890 Adventure one year later. In 2020, the 1290 Super Duke R also received some love with a new chassis, subframe, suspension, and electronics. After those updates, most manufacturers would leave the flagship model unchanged for a few years—but KTM isn’t most manufacturers. Rumors are now swirling that the Mattighofen factory could introduce an RR variant of the Beast, and we’re not surprised in the least.
Initial reports from Motociclismo point to the rumors originating within KTM. Despite being speculation at the moment, details align with the brand’s history of Rally and limited-edition models. Many believe that 500 units will make up the KTM 1290 Super Duke RR delivery and a slew of carbon fiber parts could lower the Beast’s fighting weight by nearly 20 pounds. Theories include carbon fiber bodywork, side covers, and air ducts along with lightened levers and footpegs from KTM’s catalog.
The Super Duke already qualifies as a formidable track weapon and the latest WP Apex Pro suspension would only enhance its circuit prowess. An Akrapovič silencer would add some bark to the Beast’s bite and forged aluminum wheels would make the hyper naked even lighter on its feet. If the Super Duke RR comes to fruition, we expect a new livery to celebrate the occasion.
The 2020 KTM 1290 Super Duke R retails for $18,699. With all the top-notch componentry, we doubt the up-spec Beast would come in under $20,000 mark, but we’re just hoping it sees the light of day first and foremost. KTM doesn’t currently offer a superbike, but a premium 1290 Super Duke would just a fairing install and handlebar swap away, and would prove that KTM is always looking for ways to improve.