2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R First Ride Review : The Beast that ate Qatar

As soon as you begin mentally mapping the featureless layout of the Losail International Circuit, it gets dark, the floodlights come on and the track layout changes in a surreal manner. A desert haze drifts through the infield, and in addition to remembering if the approaching corner is the slow left one or the fast left one, you’re also now looking through faceshield glares and the occasional glimpse of you passing your own shadow. Steadfast among all these nocturnal distractions is the familiarity of the Super Duke R’s performance, its booming exhaust note, and that deliciously torquey V-Twin.

The Beast 2.0 is the next-gen super-nasty naked from KTM – an upgraded version of what is arguably the most dominant naked streetfighter this side of an Aprilia Tuono. Messing around too much with a model already in possession of the class mantle is a way to either ensure continued dominance or to self-sabotage by delivering unpopular changes.

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