Being approximately a decade old design, at best the SD stands to be relegated to position two in KTM’s naked line-up or more likely, be dropped from portfolio altogether.
As it has been such a segment defining bike, I thought it would be interesting to do some research and trace its development to date.
I trawled the web for the past week and came up the following information and photographs. Of course, not everything on the may be accurate, so if you spot a mistake, let me know. Otherwise, here’s a look back at the ‘soon-to-be former top dog’, the KTM 990 Super Duke.
2005 – Conception
The Super Duke was conceived in 2003 as a concept (by Kiska), but it was only in 2005 that the first model – 990 Super Duke – was launched. As there are many other sites that do a great job reporting specifications, such as here and here , I won’t go into details and report them in this article.
In summary, the bike had a 999 cc engine putting out 118 hp, 100Nm of torque and weighed 186kg dry (others report it at 178 kg). Motorcyclist Online reported that this combination of light weight, minimalist design and power ‘created a whole new market segment’.
It was released in trade-mark KTM colours – black and orange (above)
2006 – The RR
The earliest information I could find of a modified ‘hot’ version of a Super Duke was in 2006, a 990 Super Duke RR Titanium Limited Edition. (Article is in French).
The RR was created from existing parts of the PowerParts catalog and consisted of carbon fibre body panels to reduce weight, an Akrapovic exhaust and an adapted EFI map that increased power to 122 hp. Ride height was also increased by 15 mm.
2007 – Evolution 1
In 2007, KTM made minor improvements to the Super Duke. Visor Down has an in-depth ride review of the 2007 bike here.
What was changed?
The steering angle was reduced to make the new bike more responsive. Fuel injection mapping improved throttle response and fuel tank capacity was increased from 15 to 18.5 litres. (Apparently the range from the 2005 bike was short to the point of being impractical). Other improvements included radial brake calipers and new clocks.That year, KTM also introduced the Super Duke R at EICMA. While they marketed it as an all new model, the parts could also be be found in the PowerParts catalog.
These consisted of a single seat unit, modified suspension, and a steering damper. Carbon cosmetic parts were also added to the face lift.
It was differentiated from the base model with an orange ‘R’ on the front fairing.2008 to 2012 model history coming up….. Comments or corrections below!