KTM 990 SUPERDUKE (2005-2013) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"If all of life were like a KTM Super Duke it would be a short, barely glimpsed blur of action"

KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Riding

"If all of life were like a KTM Super Duke it would be a short, barely glimpsed blur of action"

Overall Rating 5 out of 5

If all of life were like a KTM Super Duke it would be a short, barely glimpsed blur of action-packed vignettes. There is surely nothing more frenetic on two-wheels than the KTM 990 Super Duke short of sticking a nitrous kit, a jet turbine and a flame-thrower into the frame of a fold-up bicycle.

 

Watch the KTM Super Duke take on Suzuki's B-King and Yamaha's R1 and XJR1300 models in our group test

 

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

Staggeringly responsive. You just need to glance at a corner on the KTM 990 Super Duke and BANG! you’re there. The WP suspension is spot-on, with plenty of feedback through the wide bars. The four-piston Brembo brakes are superb and never seem to lose their ferocious bite. Even the little nose fairing on the Super Duke works well over distances. Forget pillions, though, and bigger riders might struggle to fit the KTM Super Duke.

Engine 5 out of 5

To call the KTM Super Duke's 999cc, DOHC V-twin a mere ‘motor’ is a bit like saying atomic warfare is bad for the flowers. Twisting the throttle unleashes such incredible accelerative forces on the KTM 990 Super Duke it’s possible to give yourself wrinkles over your body. The fuel economy is laughable, often 80 miles to reserve, but frankly you’ll be enjoying yourself too much to care.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

KTM built their reputation on well-engineered, high-specification off-road machines and those enduring qualities shine through on the KTM 990 Super Duke. It will run and run.

Insurance, running costs & value 5 out of 5

Expensive when new, secondhand prices on the KTM 990 Super Duke reflect a large initial hit of depreciation that stabilises after a year or so, making a used Super Duke an excellent buy. Bear in mind that tthe KTM Super Duke is not a machine bought to tickle about on, so check it carefully for crash damage and knackered head bearings from landed wheelies. Find a KTM 990 SuperDuke for sale.

Insurance group: 15 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 5 out of 5

The KTM ‘Hard Parts’ catalogue is packed with extras for the KTM 990 Super Duke like Akrapovic race exhausts, crash bobbins, luggage and carbon-fibre bodywork.

Owners' Reviews

26 owners have reviewed their KTM 990 SUPERDUKE (2005-2013) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your KTM 990 SUPERDUKE (2005-2013)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.9 out of 5
Engine 4.9 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.8 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.9 out of 5
Equipment 4.5 out of 5
5 out of 5

stonking bike

05 November 2014 by fitztheviking

i narrowed my bike choice down to a speed triple 1050 or a 990 and after testing both i bought the 990. My god. what a motorcycle. Bought an untouched 2009 with 17000 miles on the clock for £4k. Puts a massive grin on my face every time i go out on... Read more it, look at it even think about it. I am 6"4 with lanky spindle legs and it fits me like a dream, really comfy riding position. a little small for a pillion and legs get a little close to the exhaust but if you take pillions regularly then it might be enough to put you off. but my passengers have too much fun to care. the handling and brakes inspire confidence. I have michellin radials on and they have loads of grip when properly warm, takes a while to get there though. The engine is great. sounds good and loads of power throughout the rev range, being a 2009 the original ecu map is a little jerky but i am used to it now and take it as part of the charm of the bike. Only issue i have had is the water pump which is a common problem. look for rebuild recipts as they go roughly every 15000 ish miles same with any lc8 motor. easy to sort yourself if you can hold a spanner, the hardest part was getting the air out of the coolant system but loads of vids and helpful forums with walkthroughs. The repair kit was 50 sniffs from ktm. Dont buy if pregnant of have a heart condition. should be availiable on NHS as a cure for depression.

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

Wibble, wibble, fish

23 November 2012 by Anonymous

That's right you'll turn mad. The drive and shove out of corners is just addictive. You go hunting for more and more. It's like a little puppy, all excited wanting more and racing around everywhere. Jumping on its rear end is very easy but only if... Read more wanted, just keep forward and it stays down, just. Frisky is the word I've been hunting for, it's just so alive and fun. Build quality is very good. Regularly get mid 30s riding A and B roads rapidly. Servicing isn't cheap but the quality of the dealers I have found to be high. Tyre wear no different to my 1000s were, but I find more sensitive to manufacture. Think it down to the quality WP suspension making you really involved, never given a monkeys on other bikes. Corsas didn't like (but they were in last half of life), Vipers ok, Sportsmarts fab, currently on racetecs, super as long as weather dry. But back to the madness and the only disadvatage of the bike and that's the fuelling. It's so clean and smooth as long as you're accelerating but it hates being on constant throttle at low speed. You do get use to it but the riding experience far outweighs this disadvantage. Get one you'll love it

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Superduke

24 October 2012 by lukejr1

I currently ride an R1 and before riding this I was conviced I would never get off a sports bike, however I was wrong... The power this thing produces down low is awsome, its not slow by any means but it'll keep you more on the right side of 100mph... Read more and youll have more fun doing it. The handling is genuinely quicker and better than the R1 and its more comfortable, I can't fault the bike whatsoever but the only niggle is that you NEED to invest in a steering damper (Not on the R version) I had more tank slappers in 2 hours on this than in my whole biking career put together.. On the whole dont think too much and just buy one, you wont regret it.

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

Keep both wheels down!!

23 March 2012 by Anonymous

I've rode alot of bikes, and had the SuperDuke 08 just over a year now and done 6000miles. I wanted to change it and tried everything but nothing gives me the same buzz!!!So i'm taking it to Lemans this year, We will see if my mates new speed 3R can... Read more keep up)))!!!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Bang for the Buck

22 February 2012 by Stangbuster

I have owned a few different bikes over the last 10 years and this is by far the most fun bike yet. It gets tons of looks and comments everywhere I go. No one knows what it is here in the states. It sounds mean, looks mean and is mean. Don't... Read more discount this bike because its a v-twin. It is a force to beat around the streets and a wheelie machine at that. This bike hooked me on KTM and they will have my heart until they do me wrong(can't foresee it). Test ride one if you have the chance. Brembo brakes, WP suspension and Marchesini wheels just to name a couple of high end components standard on this bike. Add a Scotts Damper and an Annatori quick shifter and you have a bike ready to do some serious riding. KTM also makes all kinds of PowerParts for the bike to spruce it up if need be. I have the +2 sprocket in the rear which is nice since Im not a top-speed kind of guy, it makes it more snappy around town and on the twisties.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Biking is for fun.

11 May 2011 by krg222

If your idea of biking is for fun then look no further. The KTM Super Duke is sheer excitement, yes it is fast, but with great handling, braking and acceleration in any gear to overtake, every ride will make you smile. It makes me laugh every time i... Read more ride it.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

nice to be different

17 December 2010 by Scooboo81

After writing off my '07 zx-10r I felt it was time to try something a bit different. I still wanted all the fun and fine handling / braking of a top superbike, but with more comfort and individuality. Something that still looks aggressive,is well... Read more built with quality components....and most importantly! does'nt break the bank. I managed to find a brand new '08 unregistered model for £7500. Bargin....the 2010 models, which are exactly the same are now going for £10250!!! Do what I did and you'll bag yourself a cracking bike that ticks all the boxes....you wont regret it!!

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

Thanks Guys

30 December 2008 by ipcress

I read all the reviews on the SD with interest and found them very helpful. Briefly the last bike I really had fun with was a ZX10R 05 which I sold, then a ZZR1400 07 (disappointing), tested a ZX10R 08 (for two months whilst the ZZR was getting... Read more fixed) could not work out the front end. I tried a blade and an RI and finally settled on a GSXR1000R 05. Perhaps my love affair with sportsbikes was waining but after 4 months on mixed roads and no Summer I realised that I was not enjoying my riding anymore. Enter the SD 08 which I got 2 days ago, same roads covered in mud but the fun is back. I am running it in so taking it easyish but the handling and suspension are top notch. I can honestly say for me anyway the sports rep is a thing of the past, happy days are here again!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Sell the sportsbike and get a SuperDuke.... do it now!!

31 October 2008 by hudds

A couple of months ago I had my CBR 1000rr Fireblade stolen. Can't live without a bike but fancied something different.. read reviews, test rides etc of a load of different bikes.... finally settled on the Superduke and bought one.. Guys... it's... Read more all about KTM now the Honda t-shirt has been burnt the baseball cap fed to the dogs and it's all about the Orange. I am aware this sounds a little weird but seriously ditch the litre sportsbike and get a Superduke they are seriously great machines. Read the reviews and what they say is absolutely spot on it'll keep up with your mates on their litre sports bikes on a ride out and on trackdays (unless they've got a massive straight - but then you ride back round them on the corners!) The best things is on the british roads, it'll ride the roads you love on the sports bike but you'll also love it in the twisties and on those roads you hate riding a sports bike on. The suspension is excellent (white power as standard - can't argue with that!) Anyway, my rant is now over... stop reading people, put your Blade/R1/ZX/GSXR on ebay and start loving everthing orange. (the orange KTM colour makes it go faster - FACT!!)

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Sell the sportsbike and get a SuperDuke.... do it now!!

31 October 2008 by hudds

A couple of months ago I had my CBR 1000rr Fireblade stolen. Can't live without a bike but fancied something different.. read reviews, test rides etc of a load of different bikes.... finally settled on the Superduke and bought one.. Guys... it's... Read more all about KTM now the Honda t-shirt has been burnt the baseball cap fed to the dogs and it's all about the Orange. I am aware this sounds a little weird but seriously ditch the litre sportsbike and get a Superduke they are seriously great machines. Read the reviews and what they say is absolutely spot on it'll keep up with your mates on their litre sports bikes on a ride out and on trackdays (unless they've got a massive straight - but then you ride back round them on the corners!) The best things is on the british roads, it'll ride the roads you love on the sports bike but you'll also love it in the twisties and on those roads you hate you sports bikes. The suspension is excellent (white power as standard - can't argue with that!) Anyway, my rant is now over... stop reading people, put your Blade/R1/ZX/GSXR on ebay and start loving everthing orange. (the orange KTM colour makes it go faster - FACT!!)

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
Read all 26 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2005
Year discontinued 2013
Original price £8,945
Used price £4,500 to £6,300
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 15 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 120 bhp
Max torque 73 ft-lb
Top speed 151 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.4 secs
Average fuel consumption 34 mpg
Tank range 130 miles
Specification
Engine size 999cc
Engine type 8v V-twin, 6 gears
Frame type Aluminium trellis
Fuel capacity 17.5 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 179kg
Front suspension Preload, rebound compression
Rear suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Front brake Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2005: KTM 990 Super Duke model introduced.

Other versions

None.

Photo Gallery

  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Riding
  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Riding
  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Engine
  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Brakes
  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Brakes
  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Instruments
  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Suspension
  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Front view
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  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Riding
  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Riding
  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Riding
  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Engine
  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Brakes
  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Brakes
  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Instruments
  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Suspension
  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Front view
  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Riding
  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Riding
  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Riding
  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Riding
  • KTM Super Duke motorcycle review - Riding
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