Remember the old days? When the only time you saw a 1400cc engine in a bike it was either a thumping cruiser or an armchair-on-wheels tourer? Well, they’re well and truly behind us as it’s emerged that KTM’s razor-sharp Super Duke is transitioning to nearly 1400cc for 2024 – as the firm celebrates 30 years of Duke, since the Duke 620 emerged in 1994.
Yep, that piffling 1301cc ‘1290’ version of the LC8 V-twin that scrapes by on a mere 177hp in today’s Super Duke R, Super Duke RR, Super Duke R Evo and Super Duke GT is about to get hoicked out and swapped for a new ‘1390’ version in the 2024 evolution of those bikes. That means we can look forward to torque rising from the current 103lb-ft to somewhere in the region of 111lb-ft, while peak power should be somewhere in the neighbourhood of 190hp.
Although KTM has yet to make an official announcement about the 1390 Super Duke range, the 1390’s existence has been essentially confirmed by the appearance of the standalone 1390 LC8 engine in several KTM parts lists around the globe. Dealer websites, with parts sections that are probably automatically populated from a central list on official KTM servers, have revealed two distinct part numbers for the new 1390 engine and confirmed they’re due to be used in the ‘1390 Super Duke 2024’.
The two engines appear to be identical, but one version is listed as ‘Engine 1390 Super Duke CN 2024’ which suggests it’s one that’s manufactured in China – presumably at KTM’s joint venture factory, established with CFMoto. CFMoto already makes the 790 and 890 parallel twin LC8c engines, for use in both KTM and CFMoto machines, and its own 1279cc version of the LC8 V-twin that’s used in the China-only CFMoto 1250TR-G tourer.
The dealer website listings for the new 1390 Super Duke have emerged all over Europe, with UK dealers showing the engine alone would cost £8,179.86 in this country including VAT or £6,816.55 without VAT – the same amount as a 1290 Super Duke engine costs. In mainland Europe, the two engines are priced at between €8,806 and €9,028 but vary from one country to another.
BikeSocial asked the firm the inevitable question and received the inevitable ‘no comment’ answer, though lo and behold, all those dealer listings have disappeared… but not before we took some screen grabs.
KTM’s style of using ‘90’ at the end of its engine designations means we can’t be completely sure of the precise capacity. The current ‘1290’ LC8 is actually 1301cc, for example. However, the move to ‘1390’ means that the new engine will be closer to 1400cc than to 1300cc or 1500cc, putting it somewhere between 1350cc and 1449cc. Around the 1400cc mark is the most likely option. It’s not known whether that capacity is achieved via an increase in bore, a longer stroke or a combination of the two, but prototypes for the next-generation Super Duke have been seen on test with several handmade components on their engines including revised engine cases and a new water pump. The new bike also has revised styling with a headlight arrangement that will establish a new family look to be carried over to the rest of KTM’s street bike range in the coming years.
When will we see the new KTM 1390 Super Duke models? Since they’re set to be 2024 bikes, it might not be long before they’re given an official presentation. However, KTM – like many other manufacturers – has moved away from the tradition of launching entire model year ranges in one batch at large events like the EICMA show in November. Instead, individual models are presented when they’re ready for production, eliminating the gap between publicity and availability, so it’s impossible to guess at a precise unveiling date for the 1390 Super Duke.
The existence of the 1390 engine inevitably has implications for other KTMs, too. The 1290 Super Adventure is also likely to adopt the larger engine – albeit not until the 2025 model range – and the new Super Duke opens the door to a next-generation version of the Brabus 1300 R (presumably to be called Brabus 1400 R) that’s based on the Super Duke’s mechanicals.
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