A look back: KTM 990 Super Duke (Part 2)

990 Super Duke R (2009)

990 Super Duke R (2009) [via]

In Part 1, I covered the KTM 990 Super Duke’s history from conception to it’s first evolution in 2007.

In this post, I’ll cover years 2008 to the soon-to-arrive 2013 1290 Super Duke R.

2008 – 2010:  Nothing much happening

I couldn’t find much on model year’s 2008 and 2009.  By comparing the specifications on various sites, nothing seemed to have changed except for a new colour.

White was  introduced for both the Super Duke and Super Duke R (above picture) in addition to the traditional orange.

990 Super Duke White (2008)

990 Super Duke White (2008) [via]

Perhaps KTM were running out of ideas in 2010 for model ‘refreshes’ when they released a military olive green colour scheme.    Personally, I think it is the least appealing of all the refreshes.

2011 was no different, with a (rather disco looking) black and gold version being introduced.

990 Super Duke Olive (2010)

990 Super Duke Olive (2010) [via]

990 Super Duke Black (2011)

990 Super Duke Black (2011) [via]

2012 – Evolution 2

The base model was dropped in 2012 (they probably ran out of colour combinations…) with the Super Duke R as the lone option in the line-up.

There were some engineering changes, however,  Iamabiker reported that horsepower was reduced from 132 to 123 hp to obtain a more favorable torque output across a better RPM range.

As the only model, the Super Duke R was offered with a pillion seat instead of its traditional single seat conversion.


990 Super Duke R (2012) [via]

2013 – A major redesign

KTM, probably realising that the time of their decade old design was probably up, at EICMA 2012 released teaser photos and press releases of an all new model  – the 1290 Super Duke R.

It was a completely new design.

Instead of modifying the old 999 v-twin, the 1195 cc from the RC8R was used.  It was further bored-out to make a 1290 cc monster.  Peak power was expected to be in the 180 – 200 cc range.   Other features included a single swing arm (very sexy) and a ride-by-wire throttle.  Details here.

1290 Super Duke R (2013)

The king is dead. Love live the king! [via]

With the superlative numbers of the 1290 Super Duke, will the 990 reach it’s end-of-life?  Likely.

But after ten years and eight variants, it is unlikely we will forget the magnificent 990 Super Duke anytime soon.

Thanks for reading.  Comments or corrections below.


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