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Unleashing the Beast: The Hidden Valve Tech in KTM’s Latest Super Duke R

Unleashing the Beast: The Hidden Valve Tech in KTM’s Latest Super Duke R

Introduction: KTM’s latest Super Duke R has been turning heads not only for its increased engine capacity but also for the hidden gem within its engine – a clever valve timing technology. While variable valve timing is not a novelty, KTM’s cam shifting system takes it up a notch, aiming to provide a broader spread of power and torque across the rev range. Let’s delve into the intricacies of this innovative technology that’s making waves in the motorcycle world.

The Dance of Duration and Lift: In the realm of engines, ‘duration’ refers to how long a valve is held open, while ‘lift’ determines how far it opens. KTM’s cam shifting system, inspired by car designs like BMW’s ShiftCam, ingeniously manages to alter both cam duration and lift. The goal? Achieving an optimal balance for a robust power delivery throughout the rev range, making it stand out even in the powerhouse category of the Super Duke R.

The Audi Connection: KTM’s design concept can be traced back to the Audi Valvelift System, which made its debut in 2008. The intake camshaft plays a central role, featuring a splined central shaft with cam lobes mounted on a sliding sleeve. This sleeve houses two cam lobes for each valve – a ‘mild’ lobe with less lift and duration, and a ‘wild’ one with more aggressive characteristics.

The Solenoid Symphony: The real magic lies in seamlessly switching between these cam lobes at precisely the right moment. KTM achieves this feat using two solenoid actuators and a pair of spiral channels machined into the camshaft’s sleeve. The solenoids, provided by external supplier ETO Gruppe, actuate the switching process in less than 22 milliseconds, ensuring precise and swift transitions.

The Ingenious Switch: The cleverly designed spiral channels allow the system to switch between lobes when the intake valves are closed, preventing any catastrophic collisions between engine components. Each solenoid can insert a pin into a corresponding spiral channel, moving the sleeve and engaging either the ‘mild’ or ‘wild’ cam lobe. Importantly, the design ensures that both solenoids don’t engage simultaneously, preventing potential chaos.

KTM vs. BMW – A Different Approach: While BMW’s ShiftCam uses an extension on the camshaft, KTM’s priority is maintaining a compact head for its V-twin engine. The spiral channels are ingeniously positioned between the two sets of intake cam lobes, with the actuators mounted on top of the cam covers. This strategic placement keeps the engine’s width in check and protects the system from potential damage.

Conclusion: As KTM continues to push the boundaries of motorcycle engineering, the cam shifting system in the Super Duke R stands out as a testament to their commitment to innovation. The marriage of duration and lift, orchestrated by solenoids and spiral channels, showcases a dance of technology that elevates the riding experience. With KTM’s relentless pursuit of excellence, riders can expect the Super Duke R to not only roar on the roads but also dance with precision under the hood.


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