RideFast December 2019

RobRidefast

SA's best motorcycle magazine!

What’s changed?

Well, not much as far as the engine goes. It’s still the strong, punchy

V-Twin pushing out slightly more horses (up 3 from 174 to 177) and

actually dropping 1Nm of torque (141 down to 140). While complying

with Euro5 has seen a very small increase in power, it’s at the expense

of torque – only by a fraction, but it’s 14% higher in the rev range too

(now at 8,000 rpm not 7,000).

The engine’s capacity is unchanged at 1,301cc, while compression has

dropped slightly from 13.6:1 to 13.5:1.

The main changes for the new 2020 bike come in the form of the

chassis and components. A new chassis has been thrown into the mix,

which is closely based off what was seen on the KTM RC8 superbike.

The Beast even loses weight in the process, with a claimed 189kg

when dry, 6 kilos off the previous model.

Gearing is the same as the previous model and the suspension is

now the APEX fork and shock from WP.

With all that brawn on tap, there is some brains as well. To that end,

a six-axis IMU has been thrown into the electronics package, which

helps power traction control, wheelie control, and cornering ABS (with

rear-wheel “supermoto” mode, as it should be).

Braking is handled by Brembo, with Stylema calipers featuring at

the front. Of course, suspension is done by WP, with 48mm APEX forks

at the front, and an APEX shock at the rear. There is even a big “fish

finder” TFT dash to keep you warm at night.

We will have to wait and see if we crack the nod to the world launch

test and figure out wether or not this new bike is better than the

previous gen. One big component missing from the new 2020 SD 1290

R is that of wings, which every other manufaturer has seen fit to add

and as a must to have featured on their bikes.

Either way it looks like KTM’s rein at the top of the naked bike pile

might come to and end with its competitors boasting more power

figures and wings to help in the stability department. Having said that,

the weight loss and updated electronics and suspension could help

keep them at the top as big power figures don’t always translate to the

overall best package. No doubt KTM will hope this is true...

TORQUE

140

NM @

8,000RPM

POWER

177

HP @

9,500RPM

WHEEL

BASE

1497

MM

SEAT

HEIGHT

835

MM

ENGINE

1301 CC

2-CYLINDER

V 75º

56 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019

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