16 November 2012 - 05:23
KTM at EICMA 2012
KTM is on a roll with its naked bike line, the Duke, at the EICMA Motor Show in Milan. Obviously, our main point of interest being the 390 Duke, the bike that’s going to come to India in a few months. But there is also a 690 Duke R and the 1290 Super Duke R prototype to drool over.
KTM 390 Duke
Yes, we all have been waiting for this one since Bajaj (majority stake holder in KTM) announced that it would be getting a bigger version of the Duke by 2013.
Though the looks are unchanged, the chassis has gone through extra reinforcing for the bike to handle the single-cylinder 375cc motor with an output of 43bhp. The dimensions stay identical to the smaller Duke. The only noticeable difference being the 139kg kerb weight; that is 9kg heavier the Duke 200.
To pull more comparison it’s a kilo heavier than the Honda CBR 150R. This should give the 390 a massive power-to-weight advantage compared to rivals. Apart from oodles of power, the Duke 390 will also be loaded with safety features like ABS.
The 390 Duke will be locally manufactured at Bajaj’s Chakan plant in Maharashtra along with the 200 Duke and the 125 Duke (sold in the international markets). Expect the bike to be launched in India by this year-end or early next year at a competitive price of Rs 2 lakh (on-road, Mumbai).
KTM 690 Duke R
The 690 Duke R is pretty much like the 690 Duke but now comes with the goodness of R. With the R designation, the 690 Duke now makes 68bhp and 70Nm of torque.
Apart from more power, the 690 Duke R also gets stiffer suspension with more damping. Like the regular 690 Duke, the R version also gets ABS that can be completely switched off in the supermoto setting. Disengaging the ABS will make the bike more tail-happy, and allow for a more involving riding experience.
The 690 Duke R will also sport lower handlebars and higher footpegs for a more aggressive riding position, just so that you don’t get carried away with all that R aggression. The thoughtful guys at KTM have given side-crash bars for those times when the bike becomes a bit too tail-happy in the supermoto mode.
There is no word on when the 690 Duke or the 690 Duke R will hit our shores though. We expect to get some dope on it at the launch of the 390 Duke.
KTM 1290 Super Duke R Prototype
You know things are extra special when the prefix ‘Super’ is added to a car or bike or even man. So now you know what to expect from KTM’s biggest, meanest Duke, the 1290 Super Duke R Prototype.
While KTM has shown the bike at EICMA, details are still sketchy. The only thing that we know is that the bike is a thinly disguised ready-for-production prototype. It will use a new variation of the 1195cc V-Twin that powers the KTM RC8R superbike.
Obviously, with such a potent engine, a piston-head can only wonder how much power the bike would make. To that KTM’s only answer is “Very, very much.” So we’ll have to wait for technical details till the road-going version is announced sometime in 2013.
As with any R designated KTM, the 1290 Super Duke R, the ABS and traction control can be disengaged for that true near-death experience.
So, which of the new Dukes is your favourite, TopGearers?