New Toys For The 2022 KTM 1290 Super Duke R!Armani Moffatt
The king of cocking around, KTM’s big and bad Super Duke R, has some new bits and bobs for next year which will doubtless make it badder than ever. Did it need more? Nah, not really, but dammit we want more! Thusly KTM has conceded to our never quenched desire for said more – and slung on some uber-trick WP APEX semi-active suspension…
Second generation APEX suzzies no less and, well, that’s about it. Because of course, last year the SD had a pretty thorough facelift in mechanical terms with version 3.0, via a newly reworked nigh on 1.3-litre V-twin mad thing that powers it. There had also been freshly developed electronics and most importantly, a significant weight-loss program. The 2022 R enjoys all of those things, but now throws some pretty natty suspension into the mix.
It arrives from the box as you’d expect, same as most semi-active systems, with a limited number of preset options. In this particular case: Sport, Street and Comfort. At the rear end, there’s the option to adjust the spring preload via ten settings, each representing a 2mm step with, obviously, a maximum adjustment range of 20mm. So, back to the stock settings, and you can expect the electronic brains to work around these set parameters, doing their semi-active thing.#
But unlike a couple of other manufacturers, if you want more from it then you have to pay for it, specifically in this instance for the ‘Suspension Pro’ optional package.
Yeah, bummer to have to pay more, but then damn does it sound worth it! Pulling the trigger on this package opens up three new settings: Auto, Advanced and Track. Let’s start with the latter, which obviously stiffens the whole shebang up for some scorchio circuit pounding. The ‘Advanced’ setting gives you access to choosing the damping setting of both ends, for fine-tuning, accessed through a settings option range of one to eight. Then there’s ‘Auto’, which sounds most intriguing.
It can apparently detect how you’re riding, and how you change riding, and adjusts to suit – and not just matching the damping in the usual manner – it knows, Skynet stylee! The ‘Auto’ option itself has three settings too: Auto-standard for a balanced ride, Auto-low for extra comfort and Auto-high for an even more track focussed, front-end biased riding experience. The system can even emulate an anti-dive function too so the front doesn’t drop much under hard braking, should you wish it to.
In terms of an upgrade, some may feel a little let down by the new R ‘just’ having these flashy boingy bits chucked on, but the truth is lecky suspension is moving forwards so quickly, and is now so good, that this is in actuality quite a significant one. Don’t believe us? Go try one! You will? Excellent, they’ll be flying towards your local dealer in January…
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