2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo Review | First Ride

2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo review
The 2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo offers more power, sophistication, and capability than its predecessor. (Photos by Francesc Montero & Sebas Romero)

KTM is celebrating “30 Years of Duke” this year, and we’ve already reviewed two updated models, the 390 Duke and 990 Duke. We’ve saved the best – and biggest – for last, the 1390 Super Duke R Evo. Known for years as “The Beast,” the Super Duke gets a displacement bump from 1,301cc to 1,350cc (hence the evolutionary name change from 1290 to 1390) and other upgrades for 2024. KTM says it’s 60% new.

2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo review
With an extra 10 hp and new cam shift technology, the KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo’s engine delivers more performance throughout the rev range.

To achieve the larger displacement, KTM bored out the Super Duke’s twin cylinders from 108mm to 110mm but left stroke the same at 71mm. There’s also a new cam shift system that alternates between two different valve lifts above and below 5,700 rpm, allowing for both a deep well of low-end torque and a screaming top end rather than having to compromise between the two. The 1390 Super Duke R Evo’s liquid-cooled, 75-degree LC8 V-Twin now makes a claimed 190 hp (up from 180) at 10,000 rpm and 107 lb-ft of torque (up from 103) at 8,000 rpm, all while meeting Euro 5+ homologation.

2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo review
The KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo is available in KTM’s signature “Ready to Race” orange as well as black. The black bike on the left is closest to stock, while the two orange bikes are fitted with many accessores from KTM’s PowerParts catalog.

Other engine changes include a redesigned airbox with a reduced stack height due to shorter throttle bodies, a larger throttle body inlet diameter (60mm, up from 56), a repositioned top-feed injector for better atomization of the fuel-air mixture, and revised 5th and 6th gears. Improvements in durability have enabled longer service intervals, with valve inspection checks now required every 60,000 km (37,282 miles).

2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo
2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo in stock trim

The redesigned air intake and airbox allowed KTM to increase the volume of the fuel tank from 4.2 to 4.6 gallons. Refreshed bodywork includes revised tank spoilers with new winglets that produce downforce at speed, a slimmer subframe cover, and a new, 1.5-lb-lighter LED headlight unit that’s shared with the 990 Duke.

2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo review
New winglets on the tank spoilers add downforce at speed.

KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo | GEAR UP

As before, the 1390 Super Duke R Evo has a chromoly-steel trellis main frame that uses the engine as a stressed member, and holding up the tailsection is a cast-aluminum/composite subframe. The updated WP Apex semi-active suspension consists of a 48mm inverted fork and a rear shock with multiple modes (Auto, Comfort, Street, Sport, and Rain). The optional Suspension Pro package adds Track and Pro modes, automatic preload leveling, anti-dive, and Factory Start, which reduces rear preload when coming to a stop to lower the seat height.

2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo review
Updated WP Apex suspension with Semi Active Technology provides real-time damping adjustment with multiple modes. Nope, that triple clamp isn’t a stock item.

Throttle-by-wire and a 6-axis IMU allow for a full suite of electronics, including ride modes (Sport, Street, and Rain), cornering ABS with a Supermoto mode that disables ABS at the rear, lean-sensitive traction control, and cruise control. The optional Tech Pack adds Motor Slip Regulation, Quickshifter+, Suspension Pro, and the Track Pack, which adds Track and Performance ride modes, engine-brake control, wheelie control, telemetry, and a lap timer.

2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo review
The KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo has top-shelf brakes and new stickier, lighter Michelin Power GP tires.

Top-shelf Brembo Stylema monoblock calipers squeeze 320mm discs up front, and they are controlled by a Brembo MCS (multiple-click system) radial master cylinder. A self-venting Brembo clutch master cylinder eliminates the need to bleed the hydraulic clutch system. The Super Duke’s 17-inch wheels are shod with new dual-compound Michelin Power GP tires, which save 1.2 lb of unsprung weight over the previous tires. Claimed wet weight for the Super Duke is 441 lb.

2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo review
The KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo has a 4.6-gallon fuel tank, which adds 0.4 gallon compared to the 1290.

We tested the 1390 Super Duke R Evo at Almeria Circuit, a racetrack in southern Spain. The English translation of the track’s website describes the 2.5-mile, 15-turn circuit as “expectacular” with “more hours of sun of Europe.” Actually, it’s a tricky track with multiple blind corners. And when we were there, it was cold with “more hours of clouds” and, after the first few sessions, “tears falling from the sky” (rain).

2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo review
The KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo is a light, compact machine, but it has a reasonably spacious cockpit with a comfortable riding position.

As a naked bike, the 1390 Super Duke R Evo has agreeable ergonomics, with an upright handlebar, adequate legroom, and a well-padded seat. Despite its “Beast” moniker, in today’s world of sophisticated electronics and refined tuning, the Super Duke is quite civilized, or at least it can be. Our slow-speed riding was limited to pit lane, but during our tests of previous models, the Super Duke has been well-behaved on city streets.

Related: 2022 KTM 1290 Super Duke R Evo Review

2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo review
An updated 5-inch TFT display with new menus and graphics simplifies navigation through the 1390 Super Duke’s many settings. KTMconnect Bluetooth smartphone connectivity adds navigation, music, and phone functions.

While learning an unfamiliar track on a cold day, the 1390 never felt edgy or twitchy. It was easy to modulate the bike’s throttle, and its handling characteristics were neutral and reassuring. After a couple sighting laps, I started to figure out Almeria’s layout and dial up my speed through the bends. It’s on corner exits that The Beast really comes alive, with heaps of torque at the ready. On the circuit’s two straights, I was able hold the throttle WFO and feel the remarkable amount of thrust the Super Duke is capable of.

2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo review
A beauty of a beast, but definitely not stock, especially those slicks.

Approaching the end of those straights, a firm squeeze on the right lever threw everything into reverse, returning man and machine to more manageable speeds, and a light push on the handlebar quickly initiated a lean into the next corner. As my confidence increased, the Super Duke was right there with me, always ready to give more without ever crossing that invisible line into the abyss, where things go from great to oh-shit in the blink of an eye.

2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo review

Judging by the speeds at which the former racers and track rats in our group passed me, the 1390 Super Duke R Evo is capable of much more than I was able to wring out of it. Then it started raining.

We huddled and shivered in the unheated paddock as dark clouds dumped sheets of rain on the track, glum faces all around. After a while, when the downpour gave way to drizzle, the KTM guys asked if we wanted to go out on the track to do rolling burnouts and wheelies. Not being a wheelie guy, normally I’d pass, but this was the perfect opportunity to test the new adjustable wheelie control, which can be set to one of five levels, from very low to very high, or it can be turned off.

2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo review
The 2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo makes more than enough power to loop a ham-fisted wheelie, so the adjustable anti-wheelie function provides a reassuring safety net.

Ripping a stylin’ wheelie turned out to be easy. The Super Duke makes so much low-end torque that no clutch work is required. I selected the medium wheelie setting, got going in 2nd gear, rolled off the throttle to compress the fork, then wacked the throttle open. The front wheel came right up but wouldn’t go higher than the set lift angle thanks to intervention from the IMU-based traction control system. From zero to hero with the press of a button.

2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo review
Up, up, up to the desired height and then no more.

Later, I ventured out onto the track for one last session on damp pavement, but when another ride low-sided into the gravel ahead of me, I tucked my tail and returned to the paddock.

The KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo is a potent machine, with more power, sophistication, and capability than before. While its full potential can only be unleashed on a track in the right hands in the right conditions, it’s also a helluva streetbike, provided you can resist the temptation to go too far on the wild side.

2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo review

2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo Specs

  • Base Price: $21,499
  • Website: KTM.com
  • Warranty: 1 yr., 12,000 miles
  • Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse V-Twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
  • Displacement: 1,350cc
  • Bore x Stroke: 110.0 x 71.0mm
  • Horsepower: 190 hp @ 10,000 rpm (factory claim)
  • Torque: 107 lb-ft @ 8,000 rpm (factory claim)
  • Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulically actuated slip/assist wet clutch
  • Final Drive: Chain
  • Wheelbase: 58.7 in.
  • Rake/Trail: 24.7 degrees/4.0 in.
  • Seat Height: 32.8 in.
  • Wet Weight: 441 lb
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.6 gal.
  • Fuel Consumption: 40 mpg (factory claim)

The post 2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo Review | First Ride appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

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