Leaked Online: 2014 KTM 1290 Super Duke R

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These photos, snapped by a member of the SuperDuke.net forum, fully reveal the production version of the upcoming 2014 KTM 1290 Super Duke R.

Shown as a concept last year (video below), the bike gathered huge buzz due to its radically aggressive styling and insane, 180 bhp power figure from its bored RC8 motor.

The bike in these photos now appears to have shed the concept’s impractical wildness for production-ready components like an actual headlight, huge exhaust canister and a positively hideous license plate hanger.

2014 KTM 1290 Super Duke R

Production horsepower is rumored to be in the neighborhood of only 160 bhp, still making this a strong rival for that other insanely powerful naked superbike — The Aprilia Tuono V4R — as well as the upcoming 2014 BMW S 1000 S that we exclusively spied yesterday.

Despite that maturation from flight-of-fantasy concept to production reality, the Super Duke remains relatively high spec. A steel tube frame wraps that liquid-cooled V-twin and is fitted with fully adjustable USD forks, radial Brembos and a single-sided swingarm. Typically edgy Kiska Design plastics and graphics make it look extremely aggressive, but both rider and passenger accommodation actually appear to be quite generous and there’s even huge mirrors located in exactly the right place for good vision.

2014 KTM 1290 Super Duke R

Overall, that swept-back headlight and large plastic cowlings remind us most of the styling of the Kawasaki Z1000.

The Super Duke is scheduled for official premier at the Intermot bike show on October 1, 2013.

Related Links:
Action Video: KTM 1290 Super Duke R Hits The Track

The Arch Rival: Aprilia Tuono V4R Review

The Accessible Version: KTM 390 Duke

  • Gus

    Maybe it’s just because I’m not familiar with KTMs, but can someone explain what the fluid reservoir on the left (clutch) hand side is, above the lever? Thanks.

    • Seb

      It’s a hydraulic clutch lever. No cables whatsoever. Its fluid similar to break fluids

    • Mark D

      If I had to guess, I’d say its for a hydraulic clutch. Nice light action while keeping heavy-duty springs.

    • Bruce Steever

      “above the lever… clutch hand side”

      Sir, i think you answered your own question

      • Gus

        Ha, thanks a bunch. I figured as I was writing it was a sort of hydraulic clutch, but didn’t want to make that assumption until I was for sure. Thanks for the info.

  • Stephen Mears

    That hanger looks no worse than anything else. That plate holder, however, might have been made on the same factory line as a tombstone pizza. No doubt KTM’s powerparts catalogue has a nice shiny orange bobbin to cure what ails. I would ride the f*!*! out of this bike, if only I could justify the likely $15k pricetag.

    • HellomynameisAG

      I love tombstone pizza, great thanks now I am hungry and it’s not 3am… Nom nom nom

    • Mitchel Durnell

      Cheap plate holders never bother me since I think we all know what happens to them after someone takes ownership of the bike.

  • John

    My whole body hurts just looking at how hard that looks. To me, KTM takes things to such extremes that their products become inaccessible from the moment you try to even sit on it.

    • Stuki

      They do have a tendency to only work really well, when ridden beyond what the design spec of most competing models call for. I can’t say I was surprised when I saw little KTM being the most represented make on the Badass bikes list published on this site a few weeks ago, to put it that way….

      • John

        Pretty sure I’m not worthy. Still, it’s the kind of bike I would love to have, except, first and foremost, a bike has to feel right to me.

    • Jonathan Berndt

      well the SDR is very uncomfortable but the regular SD is one of the most comfortable bikes ive had and ive owned it for 6 years now, the RC8 is also a very comfortable bike, lots of adjustable features.

  • Randy S

    Wow. KTM makes me drool.

  • Clint Keener

    I hope the crazy multicolored wheels are an option at least.

    • Mitchel Durnell

      YES but I wager they’re not. :(

  • Jesse Landreau

    That is one ugly bike. I like the old super duke R much better. And at 1290 it should be putting out at least 175hp.

    • devillock

      Personally I like the ugliness of it. Keeps the wannabes away. They can have their Ducatis with 2 inch chicken strips. It has more than enough hp for street riding. You’ll need to be doing over 220kmh for that type of hp to matter. Torque is where it’s at and even then, numbers on paper don’t mean much, it’s all in the delivery. My 2010 990SMT is quicker than my 2012 Speed Triple with 3 into 1 Arrow and yet is heavier, has less both hp and torque. Both bikes have Dunlop Sportmax tires. Personally I find this hp war just a marketing technique to get more sales for bragging rights by people who can’t ride. Truth be told I’m fastest on a 600cc race bike with 125hp…

      • Jesse Landreau

        It’s still fugly.

      • Mitchel Durnell

        +1 on torque curve for the street. My 600rr is fun when it takes off like a rocketship after 11k rpms, but I could never do that on the street without tons of risk. Lower the hp and give a big fat torque curve for the roads!

      • Stephen Mears

        How do you like your SMT?

        • devillock

          For the type of riding I do, it’s the perfect blend of bonkers fun and practical. It’s surprisingly fast with gobs of torque always ready to take off. Corners like its on rails and when comfortable with it can do surprisingly sharp turns. However, can easily oversteer on it. Front end gets a little flighty at speeds exceeding 180kmh but not an issue as I rarely go that fast on it.. Throttle is a little abrupt at speeds under 80kmh and FI can be a little jerky as well at lower speeds. Like its searching for right rpm range. Very minor annoyance though. Has a nice large 19L tank that will get decent highway km on it, but fuel reserve light comes on just over 200km if only city riding. It’s total overkill for only city riding. Comfort is decent but not as good as I thought it would be. You sit on it like you would a large motocross with straight back and no forward lean which put more pressure on lower back, legs and hips. The 1050 Tiger is more comfortable as it seats you with a slight forward lean, effectively removing body weight and positioning hips in a more relaxed position. I found my 2009 Speed Triple to be the most comfortable riding position. Its a very nice bike despite its ugliness but its probably the best bike I’ve owned. I do however miss the power of the 2012 Speed Triple but comfort and practicality is more important for me at this point so KTM wins.

          • Stephen Mears

            Thanks for the reply! Sounds like some new handlebars and you’d be golden. The SMT really seems like the perfect blend of what I want out of a road-bike, but now I just need to get around the price!

            • devillock

              Indeed price is an issue, look for a used one with low kms on it. I was able to get a 2010 with only 8000km on it at good price through dealer. Buying new bikes is simply not worth it in my opinion.

    • Stuki

      It just looks like any other KTM to me. Just turned up to 11. Or 1290.

      It’s just a different mindset than that of Ducati. Much like hearing Pavarotti singing Nessu Dorma, is very different from some Redbulled out madman just screaming ‘Rrrrraaaaaaahhhh’

      • devillock

        Different mindset indeed. KTM = Ready to Race. Ducati = Ready to Brag. Don’t get me wrong, they’re beautiful bikes with wicked performance. I just have yet to meet an owner who can actually ride it properly. Now that I think of it, it’s not so much the bikes that annoy me but the poser riders, otherwise I might actually get one but as it stands I don’t want to be associated with Ducati.

        • Stuki

          I am pretty certain, that if you took a representative sample of each brand’s riders, you’d find the KTM guys the most technically skilled, by quite a margin. Most of them seem to have grown up in dirtbikes, by 12 learning bike handling skills that most riders will never pick up.

          Someone once told me there are two components to safe, competent motorcycling; skills and judgement. KTM guys peg the meter on the first, but are often a bit too hopped up on Redbull to hae much of the second. While BMW and Honda guys trend opposite. And, attempting to shoehorn what you just wrote into that model, I guess what you’re saying is that many Ducatisti tend to suck at both…….

  • MrDefo

    I think it’s beautiful. It makes me want to grab the handlebars and thrash it about at high speeds.

  • Jason 1199

    Holy Christ on a bike that is awesome. Anyone poopooing 160hp on a naked should at least be riding something w more power to comment. I can say from xp 195hp is a waste if you value your license and this is a tempting trade :/

  • Sébastien Garcin

    Good they came with this beast, a little sad to see the huge gap between concept and production model… The front light was the main point making this bike aggressive, seems crazy they hadnt think that the speedo would really not fit and kill the line.. Looks more like a big duke than a superduke… The monster seemed to have stayed in Kiska..

    • Mitchel Durnell

      Meeting DOT/world roadworthiness standards means some things gotta go (or get added on)

  • http://twwhlspls.com/ Anders

    KTM: You need to relax the styling a bit, you’re trying to hard. Don’t hide the beauty of the engineering with white plastic panels and ‘edgy’ graphics

    • AHA

      On the other hand, once you take off the easiest bits to dump (plate hanger, plastic cowlings etc) is this not the hottest custom donor engine/chassis/suspension package we’re likely to see for many years?

  • Stuki

    Wonder what that thing weighs. Looks smaller than I for some reason expected. Looks fun as f too, for those who have the chops to ride like the video dudes without immediately wadding it. Something tells me this one, true to KTM form, will vault straight to the top of your soon to be outdated Badass bike list…..

  • CP

    nooooooo…. what happened…..

  • Dan

    Tasty. I’ll take one in black with a black or orange subframe, please.

    I’m glad that KTM makes bikes like this (and other impractical nutter bikes, like the 350 that kicks like a 450 but needs non-trivial engine maintenance every 15 hours). There are plenty of sensible options out there if you want something *comfortable* or *practical*. But if you’re an expert with cash to burn, never ride more than 90 miles at a time, and want something totally bonkers, good to see there are options for that too.

    Also, thank god our license plates aren’t shaped like that.

  • hopalongTragedy

    Graphics aside, I think it looks great. Looks like a decent seat too. Pricing will be… $15k?

    One thing I can’t figure out though is why all manufacturers haven’t done away with turn signals on the rear fender. Almost everyone does some kind of mod there and it’d be a lot easier if you didn’t have to buy a kit to relocate those lights. Maybe there is some law that I am not aware of and can’t be bothered with a 5 second Google search to find out about.

    • Jorn Bjorn Jorvi

      Needs to have a ‘fender’ and lights back there to be sold as street legal

  • Jon B.

    such a mess.

  • Jorn Bjorn Jorvi

    I love that the super naked (street fighter, hooligan bike, etc.) class has turned into an arms race. These types of bikes used to be the more sensible option for those looking to get a high performance bike. Now we have the duc streetfighter, aprilia tuono v4r aprc and, soon, this nugget of savagery.

    • devillock

      Some really awesome super nakeds coming out but honestly I find them more suitable for the track than for street riding. They’ve gone too far in the performance direction and these bikes no longer have any more practicality to them then full on sport bikes. That’s why I traded in my 2012 Speed Triple for a 2010 SMT990…

      • Jorn Bjorn Jorvi

        True, they are no more practical. But bars and risers are more comfortable than clip ons, the bikes all have interesting personalities and the insurance is typically cheaper.

        • devillock


  • AHA

    Note to KTM: please devise something approx halfway between this and the Adventure 1190. In exchange, I offer my 990SMT (2009 model, hardly ever raced) and my house.

  • Eduardo

    This really is a hooligan bike!
    and these orange vomit spattered wheels are atrocious!

  • enzomedici

    Horrendous looking.

  • V Twin

    probably has enough torque to pull the anchors up on the Ronald Reagan!