Review: KTM 1290 Super Duke R

Review: KTM 1290 Super Duke R

The KTM 1290 Super Duke R is the embodiment of raw power, advanced engineering, and unadulterated aggression. As a flagship model in KTM’s streetfighter lineup, the Super Duke R has earned a reputation as the “Beast” for its unparalleled performance and uncompromising attitude. From its distinctive design to its ferocious engine and cutting-edge electronics, the Super Duke R redefines the limits of naked bike excellence. In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve into every aspect of the KTM 1290 Super Duke R, from its design and engine prowess to its handling, technology, comfort, and the exhilarating riding experience it delivers.

🔥 Design & Appearance

The KTM 1290 Super Duke R’s design is a symphony of aggression and innovation. The muscular stance, sharp lines, and exposed components create an aesthetic that’s both menacing and captivating. The bike’s distinctive LED headlight, angular bodywork, and minimalist tail section emphasize its streetfighter persona.

The trellis frame, orange accents, and signature KTM elements contribute to the Super Duke R’s unmistakable identity. Every detail is meticulously crafted to enhance both form and function, resulting in a design that’s a reflection of its untamed nature.

⚙️ Engine & Performance

The beating heart of the KTM 1290 Super Duke R is a ferocious 1,301cc V-twin engine. With an impressive power output of approximately 177 horsepower and 103 lb-ft of torque, this engine delivers an adrenaline-pumping acceleration that’s unrivaled in its class. The LC8 engine’s Ride-by-Wire throttle technology ensures sharp and responsive throttle control, allowing riders to harness its power with precision.

The Super Duke R’s engine is equipped with multiple riding modes and a quick-shifter, offering a versatile range of performance and an exhilarating riding experience.

🛞 Chassis & Handling

The KTM 1290 Super Duke R’s chassis is designed to harness its immense power and provide unmatched handling capabilities. The steel trellis frame strikes a balance between rigidity and agility, ensuring stability during high-speed runs and confidence during aggressive cornering. The bike’s suspension system, featuring top-tier components, offers adjustable settings to suit various riding styles.

The Super Duke R’s lightweight construction and well-balanced weight distribution contribute to its nimble handling, allowing riders to confidently navigate both city streets and winding roads.

Electronics & Tech

The electronics package of the KTM 1290 Super Duke R is a testament to its advanced engineering. The bike features a comprehensive suite of rider aids, including cornering ABS, traction control, launch control, and multiple riding modes. The TFT display provides essential information in a clear and customizable format, while the full LED lighting enhances visibility and aesthetics.

The Super Duke R’s advanced electronics not only enhance safety but also empower riders to fully exploit its performance potential.

🏍️ Comfort & Ergonomics

Despite its aggressive nature, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R offers a level of comfort that’s suitable for extended rides. The upright riding position provides a commanding view of the road, while the well-padded seat ensures support during long journeys. The bike’s wide handlebars and intuitive controls contribute to rider comfort and control.

The Super Duke R’s ergonomics are designed to allow riders to enjoy both short bursts of adrenaline and long-distance tours without sacrificing comfort.


Engine Liquid-cooled V-twin, 4-stroke
Displacement 1,301cc
Power Approx. 177 hp (132 kW)
Torque Approx. 103 lb-ft (140 Nm)
Transmission 6-speed with quick-shifter
Frame Chromium-molybdenum steel trellis
Suspension WP APEX front forks, Rear monoshock
Brakes Dual front disc brakes, Single rear disc brake with Cornering ABS
Wheels 17-inch front and rear
Seat Height Approx. 32.9 inches (835 mm)
Weight Approx. 417 lbs (189 kg)

How does the KTM 1290 Super Duke R Ride?

The KTM 1290 Super Duke R offers an adrenaline-fueled riding experience that’s nothing short of electrifying. The engine’s explosive power, combined with its visceral torque delivery, creates an acceleration that’s as exhilarating as it is addictive. The Super Duke R’s quick-shifter enables seamless gear changes, enhancing the bike’s overall performance and engagement.

The chassis dynamics and suspension system provide exceptional feedback and control, allowing riders to confidently lean into corners and unleash the bike’s potential on both straightaways and twisty roads.


In conclusion, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R is a symphony of power, technology, and aggression that’s designed to thrill and captivate. Its design exudes an unmistakable presence, while its engine’s raw power redefines acceleration and speed. The advanced electronics package ensures safety and control, even when pushing the bike to its limits.

The Super Duke R is not for the faint-hearted; it’s a machine that demands respect and rewards riders with an unmatched adrenaline rush. Whether you’re seeking to dominate the track, conquer the open road, or simply experience the pinnacle of naked bike performance, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R is a beast that delivers an unforgettable journey every time you twist the throttle.

Score: 74/100

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