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KTM Team West 1290 Super Duke R at the PS Bridgestone Tuner GP 2016

Ruhrpott steam ram

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The KTM Team West 1290 Super Duke R was the Bud Spencer among the TunerGP bikes. Sensitive is not, more like the Spencer blow on the head.

That the KTM 1290 Super Duke R isn’t really a racing iron at all, it doesn’t matter at all. It may pass as exotic in the TunerGP field, but there are enough fans who like to go on the slopes with the powerful 1290 – what do the last tenths of a second count? What electrifies, however, is this bearish step, the relishly raised front wheel from the corners, the nasty lean angles and this sonorous humming. You don’t really need more to be happy. For fans of real racing scalpels this may not be accessible, but Karl Lagerfeld cannot do anything with jogging jacks either – they are still worn.

KTM Team West 1290 Super Duke R at the PS Bridgestone Tuner GP 2016

Ruhrpott steam ram

KTM Team West from Oberhausen does not use the powder puff for this either. He prefers to grab the KTM 1290 Super Duke R at the crucial points and elicit even more of the pugilist quality that characterizes the series machine. With the difference that the KTM Team West-Bike pushes real 180 HP and a fat 146 Nm torque onto the test stand roller. Our best series Super Duke only managed 172 hp. It doesn’t take much for that. The airbox was enlarged by a Rottweiler Performance from the USA and a Power Commander with autotune installed, and the muscular Duke trots off to the Lausitzring like Bud Spencer to the pub brawl. The Akrapovic Evo exhaust system from the KTM range contributes to this – however, processed and now without a catalyst. Thomas had to have extra titanium bushes made for the lambda probe, which is important for the injection.

The subject of the chassis is a bit difficult

The power from the big twin is so powerful that the guys from the pot have reinforced the clutch springs accordingly. In the end, however, the entire clutch buckled under the torque shaft and after a few laps at full throttle began to slip involuntarily. In the absence of an alternative in front of the lap time bolt, the KTM Team West Super Duke R lost time accordingly. There is more to it.

Of course, this requires the right chassis. Thomas and workshop foreman Kay Leeuw have revised the WP series chassis for this purpose. On the fork via WP Closed Cartridge, the WP Competition shock absorber has been adapted accordingly.

The subject of the chassis is a bit difficult, however, because the basic construction of the Super Duke is not entirely unproblematic for the racetrack. A look at the side profile of the KTM is enough. The entire weight is very far forward on the vehicle. If you take the crankshaft housing as a guide for the vertical line, the rear cylinder is just still in a similar position. Everything else is clearly in front of it. Putting the Duke on the front wheel for maneuverability and in the typical race-piste manner creates a lot of unrest, because the front gets a lot of pressure, while the rear wheel always tends to get too little weight. At the exit of the bend, the torque flushing puts additional strain on the balance, the shock absorber of the KTM Team West Super Duke R has to work hard. The rest of the way is done by the undulating area of the route.

Lower handlebars on the 690 Duke R.

The result: The West team had their hands full adjusting the fork and shock absorber so that fast laps were possible. Sometimes we turned the rebound more to the rear so that the KTM Team West Super Duke R didn’t rebound like a catapult when it was flipped over in the tricky alternating bends, then we needed more of it elsewhere to generate enough traction.

The handlebars stirred vigorously and did not give the KTM Team West Super Duke R the calmness it would have needed for top times when entering or exiting the corners. In the end, the clutch and the little time left ruined the experiment to intervene more radically in the geometry and, for example, lower the rear, take weight off the front end and try something the unconventional way.

It really shouldn’t have been because of the super-light carbon wheels, and the lower handlebars of the 690 Duke R feels great. Like the brake – crisp and powerful as soon as the ABS was deactivated.

Technical data KTM 1290 Super Duke R

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