When we tested KTM's Super Duke R model in '08 ("Battle Hardened", Aug. '08) we found that the ultra-aggressive standard model packed some performance but had a few rough edges that could be cleaned up. One of our complaints in particular about the bike was an abrupt off-idle response, which required a careful touch on the throttle. To remedy that-and see if we could uncork even more performance from the Super Duke R-we turned to KTM Twins in San Francisco, CA. The company offers all kinds of aftermarket goodies for, well...KTM twins and the 690 models, including parts from KTM's own line of PowerParts.
The first item on our list was an Akrapovic Evolution titanium slip-on exhaust, which is a KTM PowerPart and includes the 1-into-2 Y-bend as well as the two canisters. The slip-on mounted up easily enough, looks great, and shaved about 18 pounds from the rear of the bike. And it should be all that, as the Akrapovic pipe is not cheap at $1779. To match the exhaust we ordered a Power Commander ($369), with the aim of also using the fuel injection tuning tool to help tame the bike's throttle response. Finally, a G2 throttle cam system ($105) uses an eccentric cam to provide smoother control at small throttle openings. Installation of the throttle cam was easy enough, and we selected the middle of three optional cams to start.The Power Commander was provided pre-mapped for the Akrapovic pipe, but for a non-R model Super Duke. We took some time at the dyno to tweak the map for the R's upgraded engine spec, and took the chance as well to add some fuel at low rpm. We also picked up about four horsepower at the top of the rev range, a nice increase for a slip-on. The Akrapovic Evolution system has inserts that make the Super Duke not much louder than stock, at a price of about half that gain in power.KTM Twins also provided a set of R&G upper and lower frame protectors ($133 and $108 respectively), which mount to the Super Duke's engine mounts and provide some insurance in case of a tipover. The protectors are nicely made from nylon and billet aluminum, took just a few minutes to install, and look to be plenty sturdy. KTM Twins also sent a set of axle sliders for the Super Duke, but the R version comes standard with those installed, so we left well enough alone.The results: The combination of the Power Commander and throttle cam rid the R of most of its snatchy throttle response, although not all, making the bike much easier-and more enjoyable-to ride. KTM dealers offer a re-flash of the stock ECU to match the exhaust system, and our plan was to sample that combination next. Unfortunately, our test was interrupted and the bike had to be returned before we had a chance to experiment further. Still, we're happy with the results we attained.
Overall our Super Duke R looks and sounds even more aggressive than stock with the Evolution exhaust, but is more pleasant to ride and much less hard-edged. Now if we could only do something about that seat.