Reviews SportBike Riding

KTM 1290 Super Duke R 2017 – The Beast

KTM 1290 Super Duke R



KTM has carried out the demanding task of adapting its sporty model, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R to the environmental norm EURO4 with a very clear objective, to maintain its aggressive and powerful character seen in all his previous generations, with that, the new KTM 1290 Super Duke R stands As the most powerful and advanced model seen to date.

the KTM 1290 Super Duke R engine has undergone internal changes that improve its efficiency and performance, such as its new titanium valves, resonance chambers of larger cylinder heads that improve torque delivery at low and medium speed, a cone of the larger diameter crankshaft, Or your new exhaust system. In this way, it has been possible to raise the power of the engine up to 177 hp, set an incredible torque in 141 Nm at 7,000 rpm, improve the feel of the gas and also reduce its consumption and emissions.

As for its cycle parts, we continue talking about an effective multi-tubular chassis of chrome molybdenum steel, key in its extraordinary dynamic behavior along with its single light alloy swingarm, while its suspension has been revised to improve its behavior in high speed. Now its WP inverted fork has harder springs, while the preload of the rear shock absorber, also WP, has a new set-up.

For the brakes, KTM continues to bet on two Brembo M50 Monoblock and radial anchor with two 320 mm floating discs and radial pump, while for the rear axle is mounted a single 240 mm disc clinch by a Brembo of two-piston caliper, both of which are managed by Bosch ABS 9.1 MP with curve assist, calibrated for sporty riding, and can be used in ‘Supermoto’ mode, which allows the locking of the rear wheel.

KTM 1290 Super Duke R technological package

Regarding its technological package, KTM gives its new 1290 Super Duke R all the necessary elements so that the rider can choose at any time to express the full potential of the machine in circuit, or to practice a more logical and safe riding on road, all under the inescapable framework of the most advanced electronics of the moment.

In this electronic section we find an effective traction control (MTC) sensitive to the angle of inclination of the motorcycle and linked directly to riding modes and electronic throttle control. In this way, we have three modes of riding, the ‘Sport’ mode, with the 177 hp at your disposal in a very direct way and with traction control calibrated to allow skidding, the ‘Street’ mode that maintains All the power but delivering it in a softer way, and the ‘Rain’ mode, with which the power is reduced to 130 hp, delivery becomes much sweeter, and the traction control acts more intrusively. Even with all this, KTM allows the rider the wishes to completely disconnect the traction control to give full control over the gas.

Following the electronic option, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R equips a motor brake regulator (MSR), acting as opposite to the traction control. Also optionally,  you can count on a pack called ‘Track’, which includes a engine map also called ‘Track’ focused on an on-circuit use, the possibility of disconnecting the anti-wheelie, a launch control, a control sliding of the rear wheel, and the possibility to configure the mapping of the electronic injection system and consequently, power delivery.


Keeping ourselves on the technological plane and as a novelty in its design, we come across a new front optic LED, of super compact size, and with a central part of aluminum that acts as heatsink. It comes with daytime LED and at night riding offers a high intensity and wide spectrum of lighting, ensuring a safe night riding.

The display is a color TFT screen with a complete information and easy navigation. One of the peculiarities of this screen is that it changes its color scheme in function of the ambient light, doing the same the bar of revolutions. Also on the left is a cruise control, which can be activated in 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th between 40 km/h and 200 km/h.

As an aspect that is becoming common in this type of high-end motorcycles, the ignition key, lock, and gas cap become electronic, facilitating such maneuvers. Also the new KTM 1290 Super Duke R has automatic turn-off of the indicators, tire pressure control system and the KTM My Ride system, in  which we can link our smartphone to the bike to see on the screen incoming calls and functions Of audio, all controllable from the handlebars.

KTM 1290 Super Duke Design

For the design, KTM has sought more straight lines, emphasizing its radical and extreme character. To this end, the side fairings become sharpened by elongating forwardly, while the tail section becomes thinner and raised by exposing the tubular framing of the sub-frame.

The KTM 1290 Super Duke R has a very aggressive riding position, and is that in this new model its handlebar has been lowered 5 mm and forwarded 18.5 mm, achieving a greater control on the front axle. In addition, both the handlebars and the foot pegs are adjustable, allowing to adjust their parameters to our liking. Meanwhile, the seat is located at 835 mm from the ground, without problems to reach the ground with the feet if you round the 1.80 m hight.

Its suspension system works perfectly, providing a lot of information and a clearly sporty taring, while its powerful set of brakes allows us to rush the braking with a confidence and safety as the best superbikes of the moment.

Its electronic component also works perfectly, this means that hardly notice its performance when it is required, allowing to strengthen to the maximum and within your capabilities of sports riding.