KTM 1290 SUPERDUKE (2013-on) Review

Published: 07 January 2014

"Massive leap forward over the old Super Duke but blighted by early faults and the electronics hinder the fun"

KTM 1290 SUPERDUKE  (2013-on)

"Massive leap forward over the old Super Duke but blighted by early faults and the electronics hinder the fun"

  • At a glance
  • 1301cc  -  160 bhp
  • 45 mpg  -  150 miles range
  • Medium seat height (835mm)
  • £13,499

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

It’s a massive leap forward over the old Super Duke which was far from a bad bike. The new 1.3 litre KTM has arm-ripping power, the best mid-range and roll on speed figures we’ve ever tested and is the most powerful naked bike on the market. It also has a flip side. It’s relatively light, easy to ride and perfectly fuelled. It’s just a shame the electronics hinder the fun.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The handling is much more forgiving than you’d expect for such a ‘beast’. It’s actually relatively light and easy to manage on the road. On track, the fully adjustable WP suspension can be easily tweaked transforming the naked bike into a sports bike. Only when really pushed hard on track do you feel the limitations of the standard Dunlops and the front feels a little vague.

Engine 5 out of 5

The 1301cc, 75-degree V-twin takes your breath away it’s so mind-bendingly powerful. The figures speak for themselves: a tested 160.46bhp at the back wheel with 99.40 arm ripping ftlb or torque. There’s so much power it sends the front skywards in the first three gears with minimum effort once the electronics have been deactivated and takes just 4.79 seconds to get from 30-100mph in third gear. That beats any other road bike we’ve ever tested.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

The biggest gripe with the old bike was the poor fuelling, but that seems to have been rectified with the new version which is arguably the best fuelled KTM to date. The 1301cc V-twin is entirely new; therefore it’s impossible to comment on the reliability, however KTM has a growing reputation for producing reliable bikes and the quality and finish is high, as is the level of components used.

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

£14,000 makes the new Super Duke an expensive naked bike, considerably more than its closest competition, Aprilia’s Tuono, not forgetting both BMW’s basic naked S1000R and Triumph’s Speed Triple which are both under £10,000. If you want the most powerful naked bike out there, KTM are going to make you pay for it!

Insurance group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

ABS is standard (and can be switched off) and there’s a ‘Supermoto’ mode which allows you to lock the rear. Traction control is also standard as are the three riders modes which effect the power and traction control intervention. The problem is you can’t switch off the traction control or ABS on the move and it always resets when the ignition is switched off.

Owners' Reviews

2 owners have reviewed their KTM 1290 SUPERDUKE (2013-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

i love this bike

17 August 2014 by toppo

got to be the most fun ive had on a bike , smooth and fast if u need it to be, handles well, nice power , and slow speeds fun to :) Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Incredible machine

25 May 2014 by SteveW19

This is the first naked bike I've had for many years. I've been running litre sports bikes and super bikes for years. But this KTM is just amazing. I'd expected to struggle at speed with no fairing, but I feel as comfortable as I do on my S1000RR... Read more plus there's more leg room due to the riding position. Brakes and handling are as you've read in the tests - beyond most of our abilities. The sheer grunt of the motor has to be experienced, I'm no wheelie king so when I'm planning and achieving wheelies simply by winding the throttle on it has to be one serious engine. Gearing is good but I notice that I'm usually in 4th gear on the open road which just reflects how fast this thing is at the top end. The only niggle that I have is the speedo accuracy which is a tad more optimistic than you'd expect. Hopefully that will be corrected in a future software update. Other than that I can't fault it, even the toolkit is impressive. Yes it's expensive but I challenge anyone to ride one and then be in the least bit hung up over the price. The standard exhaust sound good with a lovely burble and popping on the over-run. I've yet to play around with the 2 position handlebars but the levers are easily adjustable - the gear lever in particular can be set to your preferred height in a minute.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
Read all 2 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2013
Year discontinued -
New price £13,499
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 160 bhp
Max torque 99 ft-lb
Top speed 159 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 10.93 secs
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Specification
Engine size 1301cc
Engine type 8v V-twin
Frame type Tubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Seat height 835mm
Bike weight 189kg
Front suspension Fully adjustable WP 48mm
Rear suspension Fully adjustable WP
Front brake 2 x 320mm
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/50 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2013: model introduced

Other versions

None

Photo Gallery

  • KTM 1290 SUPERDUKE  (2013-on)
  • KTM 1290 SUPERDUKE  (2013-on)
  • KTM 1290 SUPERDUKE  (2013-on)
  • KTM 1290 SUPERDUKE  (2013-on)
  • KTM 1290 SUPERDUKE  (2013-on)
All related bikes for sale