KTM 1290 Super Duke spied in Austria

Dailies -



MCN has captured spy pictures of the new KTM 1290 Super Duke testing in its home country. According to the model plans that leaked last year, the bike will adopt the new 1290cc v-twin that’s also destined for the new, road-biased KTM 1290 Adventure. Power is expected to grow from the 123bhp of the current 990 to something around 150bhp, while the new bike will clearly carry over the compact dimensions and aggressive riding position. The 1290 Super Duke is expected to debut late this year (EICMA) as a 2013 model and will be imported to America.

  • robotribe

    I’m sure they’ll sell hundreds. I never thought I’d ever say it, but the big naked market is starting to feel crowded. The original Duke was interesting, but it never seemed to catch on.

    • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben W

      Well, much as it was well-reviewed, I recall seeing all kinds of issues crop up from owners. Electronic problems, fueling, etc. Not to say they’re bad bikes or those issues are insurmountable, but they made a uncertain bet less appealing when I last shopped.

      • Tom Fiegener

        I work at a KTM Shop, We have good luck with our Super Dukes, don’t believe everything you read on the forums…

        Cost of ownership goes up from say like a Speed Triple (everything does), but that is just because of parts being a little more and more stuff to pull off to service.

        • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben W

          Tom – When I looked, the words of warning came from two local owners, one of who was selling his bike. Also, one of the used Dukes I saw available at a dealer was in shockingly poor condition. I wish my experience had been better, as the SD was at the top of a short list until that.

          • Tom Fiegener

            We service a lot of these bikes. One guy who had problems and the ragged out bike at a dealer shouldn’t shy you away. It really is a great bike. If you don’t trust me, bring a six pack to your local KTM shop and grab one of the technicians. They’re not going to feed a guy bullshit who just bought them beer.

      • PenguinScotty

        Honestly, most of the things you hear are grossly exaggerated, for the most part.

        The LC4 from the Dukes are bullet proof, but the fueling of the new FI was horrible in the beginning. Just as every other First Gen FI bike.

        The LC8 in the SD is also virtually indestructible. Hell, it comes out of an Adventure bike. The only major concerns are water pump seal failures in the early EARLY models (Which the SD doesn’t even fall into anymore) and that’s about it.

        Honestly, for me, KTMs have been nothing but reliable over a total of 150k miles so far, on 4 different bikes.

        So, in essence, don’t believe everything you hear. Always take things with a grain of salt. I often don’t and end up biting myself in the ass for it :P

  • Kevin

    It’s looking more and more like the motorcycle industry is aping the car industry of the 60′s and 70s: just keep throwing displacement at the problem.

    I own a Multistrada 1200, and after owning the bike for a year I’d give up 50 horsepower for better wind protection and cruise control.

    Yeah, I know. Buy a different bike next time.

    • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

      I like having the extra HP when 2-up in the mountains of NH and VT — makes passing much less harrowing. But when I’m riding solo, it’s certainly overkill.

      Have you tried aftermarket windscreens or screen spacers? I use Aztec spacers with the stock screen. For me, they made a huge difference in terms of buffeting and wind noise.

      • Kevin

        I moved to a Cee Bailey screen, and while it definitely improved the situation I still can get off long interstate blasts with my ears ringing (despite wearing foam earplugs). It’s just a damn noisy bike above 70 mph or so.

        • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

          I hear ya.

          With my Aztec spacers, a Schuberth R1 helmet, and conical foam earplugs inserted backwards, I can do 500 mile days on my MTS 1200 without ear fatigue/damage.

          But I usually cruise in the low 70s. From about 75 on up, the noise goes WAY up.

    • PenguinScotty

      You definitely have a valid point there. I primarily ride a 450 EXC, which MAYBE, sometime, perhaps, somehow, had 45 horsies and i have more fun on the road, and off the road, than the big fattie bikes. My 950 Adventure is great for touring and such, but it’s just a heavy beast and 90+hp on the dirt are rather scary when you don’t know exactly what you’re doing.

      The industry itself may be going that direction, but if you watch closely, a lot of riders are going the other way, by getting things like Cafe racers, SuperMotos, stretching and somewhat “detuning” their liter bikes because they’ll scrape butt if they don’t.

      It’ll be interesting in the next few years, i think.

      • AHA

        +1. I have a 990SMT and you need to be committed to use most of the power on a track, never mind road use – unless you’re headed for jail or the morgue.

        Seems mfrs are upping power and making machines smaller – too much so. I’d prefer better fuel economy, sensitive & judicious electronic aids and ‘added lightness’.

        Multistrada 848 might be perfect.

        • Kevin

          The 1200 still has great power with the 100 HP map. With an 848 motor you’d get better than that with less cost and lighter weight, and you could mess with the seat height and tank size too. I’ve like the idea of a Multi 848 for a long time.

      • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

        Agreed. I had a 950 SM and a suped-up 625 SMC before I down-powered to my 690 Duke. My Duke is very tame in comparison, but suits my old bones better.

    • ontheroad

      My thoughts exactly. Seems like we really do live in a muscle-car era equivalent in terms of motorcycle evolution in the last decade.

      Big power is fun, but, like AHA mentioned, the 990 was already a handful. Dunno how much sense an ever bigger Duke makes.

  • Joe

    I’m more excited about the Duke 350 personally.

    • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]


      • http://twitter.com/tacotv69 Taco

        +1 Bring me the baby Duke asap.

        • PenguinScotty


          Now, would we ever see it in the US :P

  • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

    Speaking of KTM, this video of a Duke 200 parked, idling, and riding in 16 inches of water that was making the motorcycle interweb rounds last week is interesting.

    • PenguinScotty

      Hah, tests like these show that different countries require different things. Only a country where monsoon rains are common one would require that kind of testing.

      Love it. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    That is a whole mess of cc.

  • Robert

    We have a fleet of KTM’s and they are just like any other bike, with short comings and advantages, pros and cons,etc. IF any bike is taken care of on a regular basis it will perform better and last a lot longer. Our KTM’s have performed very well. We have had them since they were air cooled, drum brakes, and left side kick.
    I am a little curious if the 1290 motor will also be going into the RC -8R at some point, however, it’s already pushing 180 hp. It will be interesting.