2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R Review

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The Austrian manufacturer had a superlative field day at the EICMA in Milan, Italy. Taking the covers off the KTM 1290 Super Duke R, KTM shows of having no plans to be dethroned as the brand that gives us outright thrill seeking motorcycles along with being competitive.

When the flagship Super Duke was released in 2014, it blew us away and reigned supreme in the super naked market. It was a lethal weapon and had to be tamed. This time, it has got ton loads of updates for 2017 making this animal go berserk. KTM prefers it to be called ‘The Beast 2.0’.

STYLING

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KTM has always walked along the edge of extreme looks, and for 2017, it has given its flagship major visual updates and aesthetically the most notable change is the all-new headlight with a split design that has LED running both on DRL and the mains. Bodywork is more aggressive and mental than the outgoing model and includes sharp design language with tank spoilers, and the new air intakes all made to cut just through anything. In fact, there is hardly any body panel, and the powder-coated Chromium-Molybdenum-Steel trellis frame is exposed to give that nakedness.

The tail section is chiselled and lacks any tail panels, exposing more of the detachable subframe. Exhaust pipes carry the weld burns giving the raw appeal. Single sided swingarm looks beautiful and exposes the 17-inch orange die-cast wheels on the other side.

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Another big note is the full TFT colour display instrument cluster. It takes the cockpit and displays all the information you could ask for and in a manner appropriate for a bike of this level. it comes with a digital speedometer, fuel gauge and 2 trip meters, an analogue tachometer, low fuel, oil and battery indicators and a high oil temperature indicator. The inclusion of keyless-ride system makes way for 2017. It also includes the KTM MY RIDE which helps connect your phone and media player to the bike’s display through Bluetooth.

Make Model 2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory Ducati Monster 1200 S Stripe
Length 82.3 in 81.5 in 81.3 in
Width 29.1 in 31.9 in 28.14 in
Height 45.1 in 42.5 in 44.30 in
Wheelbase 58.8 in 57.1 in 58.4 in
Seat height 32.8 in 32.5 in 31.3 in
Wet weight 449 lb 461 lb 465 lb
Fuel capacity 4.6 gal 4.9 gal 4.36 gal

POWERTRAIN

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Power mill on this is the same 1,301cc, 75-degree V-twin running since 2014 but with 10 mm shorter intake flange, new resonator chambers and reworked cylinder head designed for broader and smoother power delivery even at low rpm. The updated LC8 engine will now be able to churn a 179.45 bhp at 8870 rpm of power and 104 pound-feet of peak torque out of which 74 comes at just 2500 rpm. This is the most powerful motor ever muscled into a street bike by KTM.

Thanks to the new flat designed titanium inlet valves with a chromium nitride coating, the compression ratio has been raised to 13.6:1 and the Super Duke is now Euro IV complaint. It is mated to a six-speed gearbox through a hydraulically-operated PASC slipper clutch. It reaches 0-200 kph mark in just 7.2 seconds.

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There is an Evaporative Emission Control System ‘EVAP’ system that prevents fuel evaporation, a new Bosch fuel pump and a new CAN BUS system from the Moto3 WSBK with love. This engine has a contactless cranking mechanism to reduce wear and tear. This rev loving engine now gets state-of-the-art tech and a few segment firsts that can make other contenders sweat in their pants. A new ride-by-wire system ensured excellent throttle response and smoother acceleration.

Make Model 2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory Ducati Monster 1200 S Stripe
Capacity cc 1301 1077 1198
Bore/ Stroke in 108/71 76/55.1 106/67.9
Output 179 bhp @ 8870 rpm 172 bhp @ 11000 rpm 150 bhp @ 9250 rpm
Torque 104 lb-ft@ 7000 rpm 89 lf-lb @ 9000 rpm 93.1 lb-ft @ 7750 rpm
Type 2-cylinder, 4-stroke, spark-ignition engine, 75° V arrangement, liquid-cooled V4 65°, 4-stroke, liquid cooled, double overhead camshaft /DOHC), four valves per cylinder. Ducati Testastretta 11°, L-Twin, 4 Desmodromically actuated valves per cylinder, Dual spark, Liquid cooled
Clutch type Wet- Multiplate with PASC (TM) slipper clutch, hydraulically actuated Multiplate wet clutch with mechanical slipper system. AQS Aprilia Quick Shift electronic system Slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch with hydraulic control
Transmission 6-speed 6-speed with autoblipper electronic downshift assistance. 6-speed with quick shifter and auto-blipper

RIDE AND HANDLING

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KTM is world renowned for giving us bikes that love going around corners and this Super Duke R can hunt apexes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Made to rule the streets and the track on the fast lane, handle bars are slightly wider and have been moved lower and forward for a more aggressive and sporty position. The steering angle of 66 degrees will allow you to kiss the apex, although we highly recommend that to be left to professionals. Everything from the split LED headlights to the naked tail is designed for lightweight, and the ultra-lightweight yet extremely stable Trellis steel frame does the job of holding the bike intact even when you go ruthlessly on this Duke.

The Duke R is bolstered with three riding modes – Rain, Street and Plus along with a ‘supermoto’ mode that cuts ABS at the rear and allows the rider to lock and slide the rear wheel. If the performance figures do not float your boat, then KTM will boost it with “performance pack” having a quick shifter for up and down shifts and torque control motor slip regulation (MSR). Additionally, there is a “track pack” which includes a track mode rider setting for engine mapping, wheelie control, traction control slip adjust and launch control.

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Given the bike’s performance ideas, KTM has stiffened the suspensions for sportier settings. Upside down WP USD 48mm with steering damper does the job at the front and a mono-shock at the rear for better handling and both can be adjusted for rebound and preload. Massive stopping power is derived from the Bosch 9ME braking system combined with multi-stage and lean angle-sensitive ABS on the 320mm, twin disc, Brembo monoblock having 4 and 2 piston radial fixed callipers. The large wheelbase of 58.8 in of the tailor-made Metzeler M7RR tires gives fantastic grip and stability on the asphalt.

Make Model 2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory Ducati Monster 1200 S Stripe
Frame Design Chromium-Molybdenum Steel trellis frame, powder coated Aluminium dual beam chassis with pressed and cast sheet elements Tubular steel trellis frame attached to the cylinder heads
Suspension / Front WP 48mm Suspension Up Side Down Öhlins NIX upside-down fork, 43 mm fork body Adjustable spring preload, independent rebound and compression. 48mm Öhlins fully adjustable usd fork
Suspension / Rear WP Suspension Monoshock Aluminium alloy swingarm with progressive linkages. Öhlins STX 46 single shock absorber with remote reservoir, adjustable spring preload, independently adjustable compression and rebound. Progressive linkage with Öhlins fully adjustable monoshock, Aluminium single-sided swingarm
Brakes / Front 320 mm Twin-disc brake with radially mounted four-piston brake callipers, Two-channel Bosch 9.1 MP ABS 330 mm floating double disc with the aluminum carrier. Brembo M50 4-piston monoblock radial callipers, C-ABS Bosch 9.1MP 2 x 330mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted monobloc Brembo M50 callipers, 4-piston, radial pump with Bosch Cornering ABS as standard equipment
Brakes / Rear 240 mm Single-disc brake with two-piston brake calliper; fixed brake disc, Two-channel Bosch 9.1 MP ABS 220mm disc. Brembo 32 mm 2 isolated piston calliper, C-ABS Bosch 9.1MP 245mm disc, 2-piston calliper with Bosch Cornering ABS as standard equipment
Tyres / Front Metzeler M7RR 120/70 ZR 17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso III, 120/70 ZR17
Tyres / Rear Metzeler M7RR 200/55 ZR 17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso III, 190/55 ZR17

PRICE

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At $17,999 the 2017 model is $ 600 more than the outgoing model and honestly, we have no complaints there.You can increase the weaponry arsenal on this insane streetfighter by opting the optional packages which will bring the MSRP at $ 19000. Will be available in two colour formats – White, Orange and Black, Orange.

COMPETITION

Depending on who you talk to, the KTM Super Duke R is the best of the bunch when it comes to crunching the apex. But it is hounded by the Aprilia Tuono 1100 Factory, the direct descendent of the RSV4 and Ducati’s Monster 1200.

Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory

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Operating under the Piaggio umbrella, this one-time bicycle, moped and scooter manufacturer now focus its efforts on building large, powerful racing machines – such as the 2017 Tuono V4 1100 Factory. The Aprilia “super-naked” line sprang from experimentation with Aprilia’s then-flagship superbike, the RSV Mille, and evolved over years of Tuono 1000 R production. This newest Tuono benefits from years of successful race experience, and it represents the latest generation of Aprilia ingenuity.

It is also getting an update for 2017 with new Euro IV engine, ECU, powerplant delivers electronics and bigger brakes with an Ohlins NIX fork powerplant delivers a massive claimed output of 175 bhp at 11000 rpm, backed by an even more impressive 121Nm of torque at 9000 rpm. The bike is designed to give crisper steering and more agility while adding high-speed stability.

You can score a Tuono in the Grigio Portimao (grey and black, with red highlights) colour scheme for $16999. It comes with a two-year, unlimited mileage warranty and one year of roadside assistance from Road America.

Ducati Monster 1200 S Stripe

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Just right to give vent to your real sporty attitude, the Monster 1200 S Stripe has the perfect personality to win each day’s challenges. For those who accept no compromise between style and performance, this is the one. The new Monster 1200 visibly communicates sophistication, modernity and substance via advanced technical solutions and premium materials.

The new Monster incorporates the very latest innovative Ducati technologies, including the famous Ducati branded Riding Modes, Ride-by-Wire (RbW), Ducati Traction Control (DTC), multi-calibration 9MP ABS and the graphics on the instrument panel.

The new Monster 1200 family is powered by the second generation of Testastretta 11° DS engine, smoother and with dual spark plugs and a secondary air system. Monster 1200 S features a dedicated RbW mapping allowing 145 hp of power @ 8750 rpm and 91.8 lb-ft of torque @ 7,250 rpm.

Ohlins fully adjustable 48 mm USD forks, Progressive linkage with fully adjustable Ohlins mono shock, dual 330 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Monobloc Brembo callipers. All of this for MSRP $17195.

VERDICT

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With the super-naked category running as hot as ever, without a doubt, has become the most competitive and crowded class in the motorcycling arena. When launched in 2014, the Super Duke R grabbed top honours in the segment filled with bikes that ooze ultra-high technology and bonkers performance figures.

And with the release of this dragon, KTM has positioned themselves as a fierce competitor even to come close to with all that is being offered. The 1290 Super Duke R is in a clear lead when it comes to the fun factor and thrill seekers will give due respect for this machine. With 9500 miles as the service cap, riders will have the composure to hoon it and surprise themselves with the capability of this beast.

  • Leave it
    • Long strides at a time
    • Pillion ride

(topspeed.com, https://goo.gl/FaKON5)

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