BRABUS 1300 R Masterpiece Edition (2024 - on) Review


  • Seriously exclusive
  • Beautiful detailing
  • Utilises KTM’s mighty 1290 Super Duke R Evo platform

At a glance

Power: 177 bhp
Seat height: Tall (33.3 in / 845 mm)
Weight: Medium (434 lbs / 197 kg)


New £37,000
Used N/A

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Brabus are all about creating 'modern, individual luxury'. Known for giving their stealthy, aggressive stance to some of the biggest car brands in the world, their catalogue covers everything from supercars to globe-trotting superboats. And now, with their third venture in the two-wheeled arena, the Brabus 1300 R Masterpiece Edition super naked continues that trend, oozing a sense of exclusivity and luxury that just about matches the monstrous £37,000 price tag. There will be just 50 models up for grabs, with 25 of each of the two colour schemes, ‘Onyx Black’ and ‘Diamond White’ on offer.

Much like how they operate in the four-wheeled world (taking an existing model and sprucing it up) the Masterpiece Edition is essentially a KTM 1290 Super Duke R Evo, sharing the same thumping LC8 engine, chassis and suspension.

Pretty much all of the Super Duke R Evo componentry, from those chunky, Monobloc Brembos, to the WP semi-active Apex suspension to the Bridgestone S22 tyres remain the same, in order to comply with homologation rules and make life easier for the (relatively) small Brabus outfit to fire it out of their doors.

As with the previous generations of motorcycles from Brabus, it's then been given an aesthetic overhaul, that makes the Masterpiece Edition's silhouette look incredibly distinctive. Although it instantly demands attention from afar with its sharp lines, it's up close where the Brabus looks so special. From the perfect detailing on the seat to the red backlight on the KTM branded dash, it really does cut the mustard in terms of eye candy.

Brabus 1300 R Masterpiece Edition in German forest

As you’d imagine, the Brabus performs incredibly well dynamically, with that pounding, torquey 1301cc playing the central role. In ‘Street’ mode the Masterpiece Edition is impressively docile, with a smooth throttle pick-up that only judders at the very lowest reaches of the rev range.

Yet in ‘Sport’ mode, the engine is scintillating in its eagerness to arrive at licence-losing speeds very quickly, even with slight inputs on the throttle grip. It’s a truly addictive motor, that is supremely suited to a super naked, being eager, yet still playful, with an electronics package that helps to keep everything in check without being too aggressively intrusive.

But it handles mightily well too, with a myriad of settings available from the electronically adjustable WP Apex suspension. The softer, ‘Comfort’ mode offers an impressive level of plushness on bumpy roads, while the more aggressive modes are far more suitable for track use, and plusher tarmac. Adjustability through the dash is an absolute doddle that only takes seconds through the easy-to-use switchgear, and the swanky, red TFT dash.

Brabus 1300 R Masterpiece Edition right side

This isn’t a machine built for regular bikers, oh no. This is an exclusive toy, aimed at the very wealthiest petrolheads on the planet – an accessory, to go alongside their Brabus car, and even boat. Think of it as an alternative the £42,000 Norton V4CR, and it makes far more sense.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

In terms of the ride quality, the Brabus handles the roads just as efficiently as the Super Duke R Evo that is hidden under those lashings of carbon. The suspension is divine too, especially in its softer, ‘Comfort’ mode on the bumpy, German roads. You do get the ‘Track’, ‘Advanced’ and ‘Auto’ options as standard which offer another level of adjustability, and on the road the ‘Auto’ function is incredible in terms of its durability of prepping the suspension for rider inputs.

Saying that, if you want to ride a bit more aggressively and throw some activities into the mix such as excessively hard riding and wheelies, the pre-set rider modes such as ‘Street’ offers a little more in terms of familiarity.

The riding position is immersive, with a focussed nature that doesn’t feel far removed from a faired, litre superbike thanks to the high, Giles rearsets. Saying that, the plusher, Brabus seat is incredibly comfortable, and there are no issues in terms of vibration through those big, wide, ‘bars. As with all supernakeds, wind protection is minimal which gives a heightened feeling of speed.

Brabus 1300 R Masterpiece Edition front

One thing to note is that although the Brembo calipers offer a monumental amount of feeling and bite, with the cooling ducts they do take a little extra time to get heat in, and therefore lack a little bite on a cooler day. Saying that, on a hot summer ride (where this bike will most likely see the light of day) they will be perfect and reduce any fade, especially if the Masterpiece Edition is ridden hard.

The tyres are also the same as what comes OE on the KTM, with the Bridgestone S22s offering an impressive amount of grip and feedback from cold, although they take a bit of time to warm up, and don’t retain their heat as well as some of their competitors.

The only detraction comes in the form of the mirrors, which are placed below the ‘bars. Although they work well at civilian speeds, when pushing on they sit in my arm line and restrict vision, which isn’t ideal.

Brabus 1300 R Masterpiece Edition rear on the road


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Thanks to that monstrous 1301cc V-twin motor, the Super Duke R is one of the very best super nakeds in the business in terms of fun - and the Brabus retains that incredible playfulness.

Forget the power figure, it’s that mighty delivery of torque that makes the Brabus so impressive, kicking forward with every twist of the wrist. Although Brabus are keen to move into the realm of offering a little more in terms of the tuning side (as they do so impressively with their four-wheeled offerings), due to the hoops of homologation and the small amount of manpower that actually goes in behind the scenes, it's something that we’re all going to have to wait for with future models… hopefully.

But that’s no bad thing, and as with the KTM it still retains that impressive usability. It’s surprisingly soft at the lower end of the rev range and although it does judder a touch below 3000rpm, the clutch is light and it’s easy to manage, thanks to the smooth throttle connection.

Brabus 1300 R Masterpiece Edition left side in white

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

In terms of build quality, the 1300 R Masterpiece Edition is a mighty beast. From the detailed stitching on the seat, to the near-perfect carbon weave on the panels, to the small plaque on the rear wheel, the Brabus oozes a unique sense of hand-crafted goodness. In that respect, the Masterpiece Edition does have a special feeling about it, much like how they craft their models across other forms of transport.

Yet there’s still a slight trepidation in terms of reliability, especially considering the issues that MCN had with their 1290 Super Duke R Evo long termer machine, that had a flurry of issues. Owner reliability is high however, and all servicing and spares are available through the KTM dealer network.

Brabus 1300 R Masterpiece Edition rear design

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Value is subjective, especially on a machine built by such a prestigious brand that carries the Brabus logo. Although it’s a difficult justification for most motorcyclists, the Brabus doesn’t sit alongside the usual super nakeds, nor does it comply to the usual price and spec sheet trade-off.

Think of the Brabus as an exclusive, luxury accessory that sits alongside the likes of Norton’s pricier V4CR, or an MV Agusta Rush 1000. In those terms, it’s priced correctly, yet it’s still a tough pill to swallow considering that in reality, it is only a facelift on an £18,499 SDR Evo.

Yet the Brabus brand is bigger than that – it’s a brand built on selling incredibly personalised, performance machinery to people with endless wallets. And in that case, it makes perfect sense, especially considering the exclusivity.

Brabus 1300 R Masterpiece Edition wheel detail

Consider the £90,000 Praga ZS 800 as a competitor (it too is destined to become a garage accompaniment to a supercar) and the Brabus  suddenly looks like excellent value for money - especially since the Praga is based on a lowly Kawasaki W800!


5 out of 5 (5/5)

In terms of equipment, the 1300 R Masterpiece Edition is absolutely stacked, with just about everything that is expected of a premium, supernaked machine. Not only does the dash come equipped with a fancy red Brabus colour scheme, but it’s incredibly easy to navigate.

Which is handy, as you have a plethora of rider modes and aids, covering everything from a magnitude of suspension changes to a track mode that includes the opportunity to even initiate launch control too. This is alongside an IMU that powers the likes of corning ABS, adjustable traction control and other useful aids, such as cruise control.

Oh, and it has the best-looking brake lights in the business, which are delivered through the tidy and small indicator lights.

Brabus 1300 R Masterpiece Edition cornering


Engine size 1301cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled V-twin
Frame type Tubular steel frame
Fuel capacity 16 litres
Seat height 845mm
Bike weight 197kg
Front suspension 48mm WP APEX semi-active forks, fully adjustable
Rear suspension WP APEX semi-active shock, fully adjustable
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs with radial four-piston Brembo Stylema Monobloc calipers, carbon ducts and cornering ABS
Rear brake 240mm disc with dual-piston Brembo caliper and cornering ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 200/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 39.8 mpg
Annual road tax £111
Annual service cost -
New price £37,000
Used price -
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 177 bhp
Max torque 103 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 140 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2022: Brabus 1300 R first introduced

2023: Brabus 1300 R Edition 23 is unveiled

Other versions


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