KTM 1290 Super Duke R Hits The Track

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Watch from the perspective of an S1000RR as the KTM 1290 Super Duke R take to Austria’s A1 Ring for its first filmed track outing. Yeah, the BMW rider is holding back a bit, but man, this thing still looks fast.

Rather than the “180bhp” of last year’s concept model, along with its gas-charged Ohlins FGR forks and other bling, the production model being unveiled this fall should develop around 160bhp from its bored RC8 motor. You know, the whole “tuned for torque” thing. Look for it at EICMA or Intermot and US availability to be, well…maybe at some point in the future, hopefully, fingers crossed.

The above image is the best of that production model so far. Single-sided swingarm, realistic WP suspension, fancy radial Brembos and the world’s ugliest exhaust canister. We expect the production model to come equipped with paint.

It’s not terribly surprising that a 160bhp naked is a touch slower than a 195bhp superbike on track, but in this video, the KTM still appears to be capable of some serious drive out of corners and a very respectable amount of lean.

  • ghaash


  • Johnny Thunder

    I got so hyped up about this bike when I saw the top image a few months back and then I saw this post with lame as pic and the details about the BHP, this sucks…. I really wanted to get a bad ass naked to commute on to work and play on the track with.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      So get a Street Triple R.

      • Csorin

        Love my little Streety. Good commuter. Great track bike. This KTM does look ballsy though. I like that Johnny Thunder is disappointed in 160 hp. That is an obscene amount for what looks like a lightweight muscle bike. With some paint and an aftermarket exhaust this bike is gonna be rockin.

      • Johnny Thunder

        The Street Triple R is nice and all (looks horrible) but its not going to turn heads. I heard that when the KTM was unvelied 3 women left pregnant…. and they just looked at the bike, that’s how hot it was that day.Then the reveal that the bike is going to look like a plane jane with no added goodies and include “the world’s ugliest exhaust canister” to it.

        • Corey Cook

          I believe the bike you are looking for is actually a Hayabusa. It’s often referred to as “badass”, has many bright colors, has at least 300Hp, and definitely causes immaculate conception in women with plastic boobs.

          These are all facts. This is the motorcycle you really want good Sir.

      • MotoEnthusiast

        What are your thoughts on a 07 s2r800?

        • Dan

          Good for posing, not so much for riding. Gorgeous bike, and the single sided swingarm looks nice in front of the coffee shop. But a torquey 800cc twin combined with crap non-adjustable suspension and crap brakes means seriously compromised riding. If you’re looking used, I say bump down to the 620/695 for an intro bike, or step up to the s2r1000 (radial brakes and fully adjustable suspension) if you’re experienced.

          • MotoEnthusiast

            Whoa! Thanks for the advice. Almost pulled the trigger on a dud.

            • Dan

              Sorry – that may have been a bit harsh. The bike isn’t a total dud – it’s very nice looking, and has a fun, flexible motor. The problem is that that power is mated to low-spec running equipment. So you’d probably be happy for a few months (grinning about how fast it is), but then will start running into the limits of the package (frowning when you can’t slow it down).
              At that point, you’ll find that options for improving the front end compliance and braking are typically expensive and involved: the fork cartridges are sealed and the 2-piston non-radial brakes are beyond redemption. Especially now that these bikes are getting older, I think it makes sense to pay a little bit more up front for an S2R1000 and have a package you can be very happy with for years to come. Plus, since all the basic gear is in place on an s2r1000, upgrades are straightforward (revalving the forks, for example).
              If you’re looking for a middleweight naked, also check out the Triumph Street Triple (R version only – same explanation as above). That’s an amazing, lightweight, agile, quick and flexible bike that can do everything from commuting to trackdays. Plus if you’re patient you can occationally get a really good deal on one.


  • http://garrett-nelson.tumblr.com/ Garrett Nelson

    I rode a 990 Super Duke around the block and thought it was a pretty cool motorcycle. Kind of a big bike, (good for a big guy) but still felt light and had plenty of punch from the motor. I’m excited to see what this new one is like!

  • Jonathan Berndt

    the bike on the track is not the prototype, it has a brake light the prototype does not, so we are thinking its probably a production machine. that said if its only got 160hp it certainly is putting some distance between the BMW on the corners (granted the BMW still has some revs left…). the 1190 Adventure is putting out 148-150. im thinking the 1290 SD is probably going to be around 170hp or so…

    i cannot wait to ride one of these things!!

  • Chris Davis

    What it lacks in straight line power (did I just write that?) it seems to make up in braking confidence.

  • Jason 1199

    I’d rather have 160hp and a good useable midrange of torque than 180hp that’s mostly inaccessible on the street

  • Jono

    Man some of you guys are frustrating, you’ve looked at the colours of the ‘production’ picture and not the lines of the motorcycle. If the paint was matching the top/headline picture i bet many of you would have different things to say about its looks. The bottom pic Is obviously not what the final product will look like besides this is KTM, they’re not exactly conservative when it come to decorating their bikes….
    And can we please stop saying ‘only 160′ this thing will be torquey a monster

    • said alsalah

      According to Bike UK, they won’t even be using that color scheme, as it fades too quickly.

  • Corey Cook

    Insert vapid whining about the lack of $3,000 titanium Akrapovic racing exhaust system here:________________________

  • Sven Ram

    Intermot is not until 2014.

  • Jason 1199

    No doubt. I rode a Streetfighter 848 (132ish hp) before the panigale and rarely revved it over 8000rpm on the street.

  • devillock

    LOL, only 160hp and probably weighs around 410lbs dry… People gotta stop worrying about power numbers and learn how to ride. Reality: you choose most powerful sport bike with most impressive numbers and go up against Rossi on this SD or anything else for that matter and see where all that power gets you…