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New Models from KTM, Kawasaki and Triumph to be Announced This Month

No, this wasn’t a normal year … even for the motorcycle industry. Typically, new models are introduced in the Fall at live events in Europe or the U.S. This year, of course, most presentations were “virtual” over the internet, and several models will be introduced this month, rather than last Fall.

Tomorrow (January 19), KTM will present an 890 Duke. Last year, of course, the 890 Duke R made its debut and was tested by MD. Tomorrow’s announcement is regarding a non-R. Interesting, but perhaps not as exciting as something entirely new.

As for entirely new, KTM appears to be teasing two separate models for a January 26 unveiling, including a new 1290 Super Adventure (likely, in both an S and R version), as well as a 1290 Super Duke RR … a tarted-up version of the 1290 Super Duke R recently tested by MD. Some are even predicting a third model on the 26th, a redesign of the 1290 Super Duke GT, but we are less sure about this one.

Triumph is teasing an all-new Speed Triple 1200 RS for reveal on January 26. We expect this will be a ground-up redesign of the large displacement, naked triple with a displacement boost to 1200cc. Triumph hopes to compete with the world’s most powerful naked bikes toe-to-toe.

Finally, if you were disappointed by the November 2020 announcements from Kawasaki, and are hoping for a true KLR 650 replacement, your wish might be granted on January 26. In the video below, Kawasaki teases three quads and two new motorcycles, one of which appears to be a pure dirt bike, while the other a dual sport.

Needless to say, stay tuned to MD for all of the details when they are announced.

35 Comments

  1. J Wilson says:

    The great news is Kawi is probably replacing the KLR. The bad news is Kawi is probably replacing the KLR.

    One thing about the old dinosaur is that if you could fix a lawnmower you could keep a KLR running. One spark plug, a carburetor, as simple as a hammer. Probably an updated KLR would be injected, computer controlled, ABS, etc. as it probably should be, but dang if I break down in the Sonoran desert I’m not going to have a digital system to troubleshoot what went South ! !

  2. ABQ says:

    I miss the Triumph America and Speedmaster. Also the Thunderbird.
    I wish that Triumph would take another effort at midsized cruisers.
    Or, at least put a bigger gas tank on the Bobber.

  3. Jeremy says:

    The two Kawasaki’s interest me. It seems one would definitely be a KLR replacement. Kawasaki doesn’t have any dirt biased adventure bikes in their lineup which has to be an objective for them. I expect their 650 twin to be repurposed for such a bike as I can’t imagine them coming out with an all new engine. The big question though would be whether it leans towards something more capable like the KTM 690 Enduro, or something more adventure bike-ish like a Ténéré. I suppose it could also be something more in the (simple and adequate) spirit of the old KLR using the Ninja 400 engine.

    The dirtier bike teased really has me wondering. What’s missing from their lineup? They’ve just recently put out an entry level dual sport and trail bike with the 230, a mid level dual sport and trail bike with the 300, and two MX-based XC racers. Maybe it is a high performance dual sport along the lines of the Honda CRF450L and euro dualies.

    • Gary in NJ says:

      Kawasaki has released the KX250X off road bike based on the 250F. I would love to see a KX450SM but my guess is that we will get a KX450X. While I agree that the future of the KLR is probably based on the 650 twin engine, I would rather see a light weight single. The KX line are outstanding machines.

      • Jeremy says:

        The KX450X is already out of the bag (released with the 250X.) Those were the two XC/Enduro racers I was referring to. So it has to be something else.

  4. tim says:

    I want a KLR with a fairly wide, old-school-like KLR seat that’s all day comfortable, with decent leg room to the pegs, and decent wind protection (also like the old one). As far as the motor, fuel injected, maybe 700 or 750 cc and around 65 or 70 hp would be nice. Bring it in at $8,000 to $9,000, and they’d have a winner. Basically, a significantly less expensive Kawasaki version of the 890 KTM adventure. If they want to push the HP up to around 80 or 90 that would be great, but something in the range of 70 would be adequate. Something you could ride comfortably several hours on pavement to get to the interesting trails.

  5. RonH says:

    The new quads are big UTV’s obviously.

    The KTM 1290 SD RR will hit the $20k mark. Good luck.

  6. todd says:

    The KLR was/is popular because it’s a basic, hardworking, reliable, do-all single. I have no doubt they are going to change all that (using a 700cc version of their Ninja twin engine) and tart it up like an adventure rallye bike with an added 50 pounds.

  7. wjf says:

    I’ll consider the KLR if it comes with an umbrella woman from motogp

    • Motoman says:

      Me too. And you can have the KLR.

    • Jeremy says:

      Since low and inexpensive maintenance are hallmarks of KLR culture, I have my doubts about this umbrella girl accessory.

    • MEF says:

      But will it come with a milk crate bunjeed on the back? Asking for a friend….

      • cw says:

        An aluminum “milk crate” open box made to mount via hardware or with secure straps clips actually sounds like something that would sell and/or be a good marketing element for a new bike…like the New Beetle and the flower cup.

  8. mickey says:

    I’m betting whatever KTM unveils, it will be orange and pointy.

  9. Mick says:

    I don’t understand the whole idea behind teasers. For me they are simply a warning of future disappointment. If you have something that is really new and really exciting, you don’t need to tease it.

    I consider them an admission of guilt. We don’t think this mediocre new model will generate enough buzz on its own, so tease it first.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if I was wrong? I would love to be wrong.

    • Tommy D says:

      Possibly its done to keep the consumer from going to the competition and purchasing their product. Keeping any deal from happening is a strategy to stay in the game with sales. The term is FUD. To place Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt into the decision makers head and delaying a loss of a sale to the competition. These roadmap leaks are techniques to hold the audience from spending cash on another product.

    • Reginald Van Blunt says:

      100 % correct, maybe more. Not wrong.

    • mickey says:

      With your demands/expectations, you will never be wrong about the outcome of teasers

  10. My2cents says:

    Agee with fuel injection and massive weight reduction. Could go for the KLR bumped to 750 cc and a dual range gearbox.

    • Dave says:

      There isn’t much weight to lose from. a KLR, at least not without firing the money cannon at it after which, it’d no longer be a KLR.

  11. Kermit T Frog says:

    Chances are the Kawasakis will have tubed bias ply tires (WLR800?!) to keep me out and the Triumph Speed Triple 1200RS will weigh over 200lbs (wet or dry) just to piss off Mick! 😉

    I’m looking forward to the 2021 V85TT Guzzi with tubeless wheels. And Mick? He needs to hit the gym. 🙂

    If the Kawasaki KLR returns with a 650cc to 750cc counter balanced thumper or twiin motor, fuel injection, a BIG tank of 6 gallons or more, tubeless wheels, centerstand, triple disc brakes with ABS and throttle-by-wire with Cruise Control, I’ll give it a look-see.

    Otherwise the Goose is waaaaay out in front. 🙂

  12. GT08 says:

    I love the look of the Triumph Speed ​​Triple. Would just need a return to round headlights for it to be perfect.
    Now imagine this same motorcycle with one more cylinder and Kawasaki reliability …

  13. mickey says:

    the problem with replacing something as iconic as the KLR650 is you can’t just do a minor update. It has to be something almost totally new with the latest features without taking away the things that made it iconic in the first pace. ie: it’s hard to reinvent a legend successfully.

    • Grover says:

      Like fuel injection and 80# less weight for a start.

    • Kermit T Frog says:

      Well said, mickey.

    • Reginald Van Blunt says:

      Iconic – ‘not so great compared to Suz DR 650.’
      Mick is right, must be a new design, however what is intriguing, is the possible better design competition with the ancient, but excellent performing Suz DR 650. Maybe half way between the old KR and the Suz is the sweet spot.
      The KR always felt weak, heavy, poorly braked and terrible sounding, however I liked the minimal fairing and potential benefit from liquid cooling. Guess we will see someday, semi-soon.

      • Lawrence says:

        Having owned both the DR and KLR I never got the seemingly stronger/cult following for the KLR. Felt equal on road and the DR much better off, and I preferred the simpler air-cooled design. Somehow I have a sense that some KLR riders are frustrated BMW wanna-bes but cheapskates…

    • Motoman says:

      Great issue to discuss. I think Ducati did a pretty good job with the new Monster although I believe I’m in the minority.

      Go ahead, take your shots…. I’m wearing my helmet.

    • Jeremy says:

      An archaic icon is indeed a tough thing to replace. It needs to be totally different, but pretty much the same.

      • Stuki Moi says:

        Versys 400, with a 21/18 option, would be KLRish enough for me.

        As well as fairly simple, built from parts available in droves everywhere, and not too expensive.

        A HX, with a supercharged single, may be more attention grabbing, though……