KTM 1290 SUPERDUKE GT (2016 - on) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Annual servicing cost: £630
Power: 173 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.9 in / 835 mm)
Weight: Medium (452 lbs / 205 kg)

Prices

New £16,299
Used £8,000 - £14,500

Overall rating

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

The Super Duke GT is a sports tourer that is genuinely capable of touring but with an emphasis on the sports element, which in-turn means fun, which it delivers by the bucket load.

Impressive power and torque combined with versatile WP semi-active suspension and class leading rider aids mean it has the personality and enjoyment of the Duke R but with added comfort and greater safety.

Getting to your destination in comfort has never been so much fun, but it will cost you more than the competition.

In May 2019 KTM announced you could install their suspension configuration from the latest version of the bike to this Superduke GT too, meaning better reaction, response and agility from the WP semi-active setup. Since the hardware is common between the two generations of bikes, it's a simple software change that takes 30 minutes of a dealer's time - so that's how much it costs.

The upgrade features new algorithms that triple the number of damping curves on offer, which KTM claim takes the strain off the bike's ECU. The Street riding mode has had the anti-dive feature removed, with the damping updated at the same time.

Ride quality & brakes

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

Don’t let the upright riding position and panniers confuse you, this is a ballistic 173bhp V-twin.

With a full 23-litre fuel tank the GT initially feels a little top heavy but once on the move, and as the fuel depletes, the handling is impressive. The two road semi-active suspension settings Comfort and Street are designed for road riding, mainly to promote comfort, and safety rather than performance. The semi-active WP suspension works overtime to keep the bike level constantly changing compression and rebound on the move, and it works hard to reduce fork dive under heavy braking. It works really well, and is more than sufficient for fast road riding.

Whilst you’re having all this fun you have the peace of mind of safety in reserve thanks to the cornering ABS and traction control. The ABS is always constant, doesn’t change via the modes and can’t be changed on the move.  However, the traction control is linked to the rider modes, Sport, Street and Rain.

On the motorway the ergonomics feel natural, you’re sat in the bike not on top of it, the bars are wide and comfortable, and they’re also adjustable. The pegs aren’t up near your backside, and at motorway speed there’s little vibration from the twin.

Engine

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

The new GT uses the same LC8 engine platform as the Super Duke R and Super Adventure. The modified fly-by-wire motor now produces a claimed 173bhp, the same as the Super Duke R with a whopping 106ftlb of torque. While the figures match the R, the torque has moved lower in the rev range to suit the GT’s sports touring focus. There are also three rider modes (sport, street and rain) to help deliver all that power in the best possible way.

Reliability & build quality

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

The standard Super Duke, on which the GT is heavily based, has proven reliable, without any major issues. KTM has a growing reputation for producing reliable bikes and the quality and finish is high, as is the level of components used.

Value vs rivals

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

At £16,299 it’s a comparatively expensive way to tour at speed when you compare it to BMW’s award winning S1000XR; even Ducati’s all-new 2018 Multistrada 1260 is cheaper.

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

Traction control, cornering ABS and WP semi-active suspension come as standard. The fuel tank has increased to 23l and the GT receives a manually adjustable screen. Additionally, there are heated grips, cruise control, quickshifter (up only) and tyre pressure sensors – all as standard. There’s even integrated indicators and adaptive LED cornering lights, which illuminate progressively dependant on the bike’s lean angle. 

Specs

Engine size 1301cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled,V-twin
Frame type Steel trellis
Fuel capacity 24 litres
Seat height 835mm
Bike weight 205kg
Front suspension 48mm, WP Semi-active
Rear suspension Single WP Semi-active
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs with four-piston radial Bremob caliper.
Rear brake 240mm single disc with two-piston Brembo caliper.
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 44.5 mpg
Annual road tax £101
Annual service cost £630
New price £16,299
Used price £8,000 - £14,500
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term 2 years

Top speed & performance

Max power 173 bhp
Max torque 106 ft-lb
Top speed 155 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 225 miles

MCN Long term test reports

MCN Fleet: The KTM 1290 Super Duke GT is good, but not perfect

MCN Fleet: The KTM 1290 Super Duke GT is good, but not perfect

I couldn’t believe my luck when I was entrusted with KTM’s 1290 Super Duke GT. Grabbing the keys in early February, I couldn’t wait to put its 173bhp V-twin to the test on track and lose my European touring virginity. It was going to be epic. Fast forward to early March 2021 and there’s been one rai

Read the latest report

Owners' reviews for the KTM 1290 SUPERDUKE GT (2016 - on)

17 owners have reviewed their KTM 1290 SUPERDUKE GT (2016 - 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.

Review your KTM 1290 SUPERDUKE GT (2016 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.9 out of 5 (4.9/5)
Engine: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.4 out of 5 (4.4/5)
Equipment: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Annual servicing cost: £630
5 out of 5 What a hoot!
06 June 2022 by Roscoe Skipper

Year: 2017

I can’t say its a gentlemen’s tourer, but it’s fully capable of taking someone who doesn’t need all touring amenities. It’s incredibly fun and in a way is the Holy Grail of travel bikes: travelers always regret they couldn’t bring a more sporty bike once they get to the ‘fun’ roads. Well, with the GT it will never cross your mind!

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

What a great ride! Other than it’s propensity to feeling somewhat like a big trailie, it still handles so well, really flickable and neutral in corners. The brakes are first rate. The seat is too hard, so I used an air pad for long distances. I could never go the distance of a tank though, because at six gallons one can go over 200 miles before the reserve light comes on. And I have to say the bike vibrates a good bit, so that limited its effectiveness for me. Results may differ for others, I’m pretty susceptible to vibration.

Engine 5 out of 5

What a hoot. The first ride I took on my friend’s was the first time I laughed out loud when riding someone else’s bike! It has so much stomp you’re always wanting to get serious.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

I’ve read horror stories, but my bike, and my friend’s bike, have gone up to 50,000 miles with no serious problems. Never left me stranded.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

There’s a big, expensive service at 18,000 miles which I didn’t make on my bike, my friend declined to perform his, still kept going and going. KTM is a great bike maker for DIYers, the service manual is well written, and the engineers built the bike so that things for the most part are easy to get to. Parts are expensive though: an oil change filter kit is $75 USD! Plus the oil!

Equipment 3 out of 5

KTM has a lot going for it with this bike, but they didn’t really nail the needs of the long distance tourer. The panniers are weirdly shaped, and even though they hold a full-face helmet, their pointy shape to accomplish this makes it so you’re packing things within in ways you never thought about before. And they don’t hold near enough. I got a rack and top case, but even with that it was tough to pack enough just for me for a two week trip, I have no idea how a rider and passenger could manage it. Maybe with the next generation they’ll lose their uncompromising stand and realize they don’t need to rewrite the touring guidebook, just follow along: the engine and handling is enough to distinguish it from the pack.

Buying experience: Private purchase, easily done. I paid $14,400 in Feb 2020 for a 2017 with 7,000 miles with an extended warranty until 2023.

5 out of 5 Magnificent bike. The ultimate super-fast all-rounder.
09 May 2022 by Will

Year: 2017

Magnificent all-rounder. Extremely fast and capable, yet comfy and well-mannered. It’s a do-anything bike, from touring with the missus on the back to ultra-fast road riding and track days. Possibly the best all rounder since the VFR800FI and much faster. I usually replace a bike after a year or two, but I’m totally happy with the GT. May have found my forever bike!

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Superbly comfy considering the performance. All-day comfy and the missus likes the (optional) heated seats on cold days. Adjustable suspension works very well - just remember to dismount before adjusting (can break the shock if you’re sat on it).It’s at its best on fast, sweeping A-roads. The insane torque and sweet handling make it an absolute joy to ride.

Engine 5 out of 5

Absolute monster. Extremely powerful and torquey. Giving it full throttle in Sport mode never gets old. Laugh-out-loud fun.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Generally it’s been fine. It does eat batteries if you don’t keep it on a conditioner, and if the battery weakens it can cause electrical gremlins. The one fault I had was the starter sprag clutch failed. Easily replaced though.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Annual service is reasonable at around £300. The 17k is more because of valve clearance checks.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Lots of great electronic features to tinker with. Highly adjustable and easy to configure. Recommend a rad guard, they are vulnerable to stones and not cheap!

Buying experience: Bought used from a KTM dealer in Suffolk. Great experience.

4 out of 5 KTM’s secret weapon
03 December 2021 by Andrew King

Year: 2018

Great performance, excellent ride and very quick. The screen could be a bit higher for taller riders like me. Plenty of room. Cruise is handy. Lacks the bulk of the adventure. It’s a keeper although I do fancy the Aprillia Tuono Factory, mainly for it’s ridiculously powerful V4 but I’m worried it might be a bit small!

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

The bike loves technical routes with speeds between 20mph to 80mph …..it will of course get into license losing speeds very, very quickly and feel like you are doing 50mph but you are actually already doing 120mph. It is rock solid and does not get upset with rubbish surfaces - just switch from sport to comfort for an easier ride.

Engine 5 out of 5

Awesome, so much grunt always available in any gear at any speed! So much engine braking I rarely touch the brakes. It has never missed a beat and is always looking for a bit more speed …..,very naughty!

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

A well built bike, no corrosion, very reliable.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Not cheap but you get what you pay for as the service personnel are very dedicated and thorough.

Equipment 5 out of 5

More toys than I really need, quick shifter handy when carrying a pillion otherwise rarely used in anger. Semi-auto suspension is great a real plus it having the faff of adjusting stuff for different loads and riding styles, the main reason I bought a GT instead of the straight Superduke.

Buying experience: I bought from Fowler’s and they were great. The bike was a 2018 model bought new in January 2020 with a great discount.

5 out of 5 What can possibly beat this?
02 April 2021 by scham-scham

Year: 2016

Should probably be 4 stars because of the electronics issues I've had (buy an extended warranty!), but it's way too good to give an 80% overall grade.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

I had a 2014 MT-09 before this, and convinced myself to trade it in partly because I figured the SDGT's ABS would eventually come in very handy. The brakes are mad powerful, at least the front ones. Ergonomics are fine, I have an R12GSA, and the SDGT is not quite that comfortable, but it's also ludicriously faster. I've done 400 mile days on it, no issues really. Phoenix to LA, no sweat (except for the sweat!). The best part about this bike, in addition to the ridiculous acceleration across the entire rev range, is its lovely top end (the tall 6th gear is a godsend). I absolutely carve up traffic on the freeway... I am constantly laughing/screaming inside of my helmet. It's absolutely priceless.

Engine 5 out of 5

Yeah. What can I say about the LC8 engine that hasn't already been said. Sure, it rumbles a bit cruising low speed below 4,000rpm. So don't run it below 4,000rpm, problem solved! Everything you've ever read about this engine lauding its performance is, in my experience, justified. It's highly gratifying.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

OK, here is where I'll take a couple of points off. I had the classic MTC failure (exhaust servo problem) that nearly paralyzed me on a trip, but it's fixed now. Still having a minor electric warning ("FrontBrak Switch") I need to get attended to, but man this thing is way too much fun and too good to let that be a deal-killer.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

I bought mine with 11,000 miles on it, I'm at 16,000 now, so I'm due for a major service pretty soon, we'll see how that goes. I've changed the oil twice and-- mostly for peace of mind on a 175bhp, 108ft-lb torque bike I bought used and daily exceed 100mph on-- I just changed out the chain and sprockets, but I did that stuff myself so it wasn't super expensive. If you don't encounter any electronic demons, you should be all set!

Equipment 5 out of 5

KTM brilliantly designed these hard bags to fit a L full face helmet almost perfectly, but still look totally badass and cut the wind nicely at 100mph+. My Schubert C4 Pro (size L, and a large L at that) snugly fits in either one. It sounds trivial, but having those bags makes this thing both a commuting-shopping-daily-driving tool, not just a fun toy (which it also is.) Heated grips, cruise control, and another big big deal: that 6 gallon gas tank! It truly is a Gran Turismo, 250 mile range if you push it. I keep thinking to myself: isn't there something else? What is next? Do I want to sell this before it gets even more miles on it? But I keep looking and looking for what would be next (S1000XR, an H2)... it would have to have the luggage and touring capability, but also be as fast or faster than this 173HP, 108ft-lb behemoth. Even Ducati's new V4 Multi doesn't necessarily best the SDGT, though I should probably ride one of those before I say too much more. Anyway, I feel like I've struck gold with this, especially for the price (used).

5 out of 5 SuperDuke GT - The bike that changed my mind.
01 April 2021 by Toto_Africa

Version: Gen 1 - 2017

Year: 2017

Annual servicing cost: £400

I have now owned the Mighty 'GT for a year and even though a certain pandemic has blunted the miles I would've done, my overall thoughts of the bike remain the same as the day I dug out my wallet and get one.Basing the majority of the bike on the insane SuperDuke 1290 R - its an adaptation on a theme that somehow has made an amazing bike. Usually a manufacturer will take a full-blooded superbike engine, scallop the top end and bulk out the mid-range. We've been told that is what we want for 2 decades or more - but now I think that we've been lied to all this time! We DO want all of the crazy, but with adding serious electronics and cycleparts, we end up with something more different and brilliant than we thought we could. And having tested the competition myself I cannot argue with KTM's approach. The bike is simply excellent for my type of touring - and I know that this is where some people find a few weaker areas vs. say, a BMW XR or similar.For me, there will always be a boring hour on a motorway but it will be punctuated with some fast A & B road action and this is where the bar shifts towards the SuperDuke GT. Very comfy on the boring stuff, but very comfy on the fun stuff as well, it really challenges the traditional view of Sports Touring with something that IS fun and IS comfortable and IS usable.I have been a SV1000S owner anf had a couple of SV's (before and after a slew of litre Superbikes) and while I still harbour dreams of surfing roundabouts and going through 2 pairs of ceramic sliders a year, its not my be-all as it once was (but I still do from time to time!). The GT takes up the mantle as the fast blitz bike it was meant to be, having done 2 tours on it and nearly 5000 miles (just missed out!) I can say that it will be there to stay. The whole bike shouts quality and it is uniquely styled, designed and feels like being a class of its own. The only downsides I'd say would be what other bikes like the other HyperSports Tourers suffer (quite heavy and quite hot to ride in summer). Being a V Twin rider, the engine is better suited for my style and feel over a BMW S1000XR, Triumph Tiger Sport, Kawasaki 1000XS/Versys, Honda VFR800 or Yamaha Tracer GT. I have ridden all of those before choosing the "SDGT" - and I'd make that choice every time.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Now. Where to start here?The ride is so impressive on the bike, my front tyre chicken strips are about 10mm riding 2-up. More? All of the expense in this bike really is in the electronic systems that run the show. The electronic suspension is bloomin' good - perhaps not the best out there in 2021 but then again it is 5 years old now. A simple 30 min dongle-plug-in will update the systems to the Gen 2 bike which is excellent value and will be doing that this year.Stopping power is pretty good, again, usually 2-up will push the limits of what you can do but this bike performs amazingly well and one-up you will never stretch the limits of the electronics (which, I guess is what you want really).The rider modes are decent, although "Comfort" mode is fairly pointless, however the rain mode is a decent balance and Street mode is good for fuel economy for me at least. Sport mode is aggressive as heck.

Engine 5 out of 5

If the electronics are one half of this bikes story, then the engine is the other. That mega 1301cc lump is anything but the traditional "Sports Tourer" from the 90's. It spins up quick, lays down massive power supported by clever electronics and will drive forever. First gear feels very short but you realistically wont be using much of it, getting onto a motorway from a slip road is effortless, composure in fast A/B road is bizarrely easy as well. I've managed some very tidy power slides and I have yet to think "that was too close" when I've opened the throttle. There is little different on the Gen 2 other than having a 2-way quick shifter, which being a traditionalist, have not got much use out of.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Build quality is superb on these bikes, all the materials are very very nice. Some small bug bears aside (who puts a cruise control set button on the right hand side???) There is little I'd change on the bike. I usually use a fair bit of ACF50 on my bikes and even though I've been caught out a few times in the wet its not shown rust or oxidizing yet. The thickness of the painted surfaces is excellent and I feel will last a long time. Some of the electronic parts of the bike have had niggles from other riders but I have not encountered any (yet?) on my Gen 1 bike. Although the stock battery is risk and you should keep the bike regularly charged up to avoid flattening it.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

The biggest downside (although it is shared by almost all of its competition) is the service costs as to do a simple oil & filter changes requires the complex tank set up to be removed to access. A pain in comparison to older bikes I've ridden which would be simple and easy. However with a good set of Torx keys, a semi-able person will still be able to do it. The major service intervals are nicely spaced apart and should manage 2 years on most average riders mileage. I never take bikes to a "dealership" for servicing as £80 an hour labour is ridiculous! Find a good quality place and you wont pay any more than £400/500 for a major service.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Its easier to say what needs changing, which is very little. I wouldn't recommend the "Ergo" seat sets as they genuinely are harder and not much fun on longer rides. They are heated, however if you would want any more heat, I'd say there's something wrong! The engine will give you plenty to keep warm over.The Heated grips are 3 positions when used - Off - Low, Med, Max. If I liken them to how well you like a steak, then it would be; Blue, Rare, Well Done. If they had a 4th for "Medium rare" I would prefer that.The Panniers are a little tricky on some helmets (Suomy's, some Shoei, some AGV's) and they are not fully able to stop rain for getting in if it is a proper deluge.Other than that - everything is the best I've ever experienced.

Buying experience: Bought Privately and knew it was perfect from the off. I rode from a dealer previously and even though it was 6 degrees and raining I knew that it was the one.

4 out of 5 Love the bike, not so keen on KTM
28 November 2020 by Peter

Year: 2016

Not the best reliability but great fun blasting around UK and Europe.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

Really disappointed with KTM attitude when the shock dumped it oil a month out of warranty. They messed me about for a couple of weeks then said they weren’t interested. The dealer was much better and looked after me pretty well.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Prefer Michelin Road tyre to OE

Buying experience: Bought new from Wayne Mounter M/C in Pontypridd. They’ve looked after me really well ever since.

5 out of 5 There is only one Duke worth buying.
07 November 2020 by Doffa

Year: 2017

I came from a 2011 Fireblade and this is just a quick with real character and far more comfortable while touring, one or two up.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

With the semi active suspension and 3 adjustable modes, you can always find one of them to suit your mood or the terrain.

Engine 5 out of 5

Bags of grunt from low down to help you fire out of corners, love it.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

All good so far.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

The OE luggage panniers blend in nicely with the sporty stance of the bike. Changed the exhaust can for something a bit more fruity. The Motowrox factory approved sticker kit on my bike looks awesome and makes it stand out from the crowd. Heated grips come in useful, along with the 3 riding modes. I could go on all day it’s such a great bike.

Buying experience: Bought from Fowlers in Bristol, really good experience, would recommend. Bike was registered in December 2017, I got it in May 2018, zero mileage with £4,300 off list.

3 out of 5 Only for V2 fans. I hate the engine
19 October 2020 by Bernie

Year: 2017

I would not recommend it to a friend, because of the V2 engine.It may be comfy and fast, but in the real (slow) world the v2 engine rattles and shakes. Bought it used 2 Weeks ago and will sell it now. Hopefully i can buy a s1000R instead.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Good brakes. The chassis is ok. The suspension is excellent in sport mode. But it's not as stiff as a supersport bike. You cann feel the chassis get screwed by the engine in certain situation's

Engine 2 out of 5

It's a V2 with inline four characteristic. The engine works from 4000 rpm on upwards. Below 3000 there is no working engine. Small speed range with long gears. The 5. and 6. gear are of no use.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

I've driven it about 200 miles an had the first issue with the rev counter. That allways show plus 2.500 rpm.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

As a used bike it is quite cheap to buy and the running costs are not that high in germany due to the 15000km intervals

Equipment 4 out of 5

Quickshifter, heated Grips, abs traction control with imu, Elektric supension. Everything comes standard. Except blipper.That comes with the new modell.

Buying experience: Bought it used for a reasonable price.

4 out of 5 All the road bike you'll ever need
01 May 2020 by chrisontwowheels

Year: 2017

Annual servicing cost: £700

In the real world you'll never need a faster bike. It's sports bike fast, has character, carves corners, has the ability to do serious miles and it'll keep you comfortable doing it. It's a practical commuter, composed and relaxed in an urban environment, capable of easy filtering due to its compact dimensions. Luggage capacity is decent and pillions report reasonable comfort. Service intervals are high (9k miles) which is just as well as dealer services aren't cheap. They seem solidly built, 30k miles on mine through all seasons with zero problems. On the negative side it goes through tyres quickly, its not particularly frugal, 40 mpg is average. Legs can get a little cramped if you're tall, also the screen keeps the wind blast off but generates turbulence, use earplugs for motorway. Suspension works really well in most situations, its not serviceable though so may be expensive at some point.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Sportsbike performance yet refined enough to be used in city traffic. A trackday brings out the best in this bike

Engine 5 out of 5

Formidable power, somehow not intimidating

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

ridden all year round, 30k miles, nothing has fallen off. Some paint flaking on inner clutch cover

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

interval servicing yourself will save you loads. Tyres, chains, sprockets make it expensive

Equipment 5 out of 5

everything you need, heated grips, cruse control, suspension modes, power modes

Buying experience: Dealers are expensive but good

5 out of 5 KTM 1290 Super Tourer Exceptional.
14 February 2020 by Quick Dick

Version: 1290 SuperDuke GT

Year: 2018

Annual servicing cost: £650

Before buying my sports tourer I did some serious testing of the other competition. This model left me with a super grin every time I took it out and wound it up. I found some things which tended to niggle me a bit but they didn’t stop the love affair. Quality finish along with versatility made the bike special. Long distances are a real buzz. Stripped naked on a Sunday morning provides most fun and grins. The Akrapovic exhaust is a must as the extra sound pleases and possibly adds to the performance. I found the standard Pirellis difficult to warm up on the roads and special care was needed when exiting mid speed corners. Currently on Michelins which are great in the dry but care needed in the wet. Braking is so balanced especially in Sport mode when the anti-dive is off with hard braking into bends an absolute dream and rear wheel drifting very controllable. Loaded with full luggage it makes a superb tourer. The heated gel seats (option) permit 6 - 8 hours a day.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

semi active suspension is a must when pushing the bike hard as it allows you to compensate for different road types. For example, sport mode will make the ride difficult when the road surface becomes uneven at speed, so just changing to street makes her more stable. Comfort mode is a welcome option when on a very bumpy minor road. Brakes are faultless when required. Engine braking is so good and controllable using MSR. I don’t use the quick shifter as I prefer to do everything myself. I don’t really carry a passenger but can ride for up to 8 hours a day with 3 breaks, depending on the type of ride/road.

Engine 5 out of 5

The V twin took me about 20 minutes to get used to. Love the torque and power once you rev it out. 6th gear is almost never used at less than 60 so 5th gear gets a lot of use. You need to keep the revs in the right torque range for most fun but acceleration in 5th or 6th is very good for touring at mid range speeds. Even at 13.1:1 compression ration, standard unleaded performs superbly. Some guys use super high octane but the engine performs better on standard.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Finish was superb with a blemish on the screen resulting in immediate replacement under warranty. No reliability issues however the battery sometimes seems to cause the starter to stall especially when the engine is hot. Optimate seems to help when garaged. No sign of corrosion any where however I am probably OTT with cleaning after the bike has been out and it lives in a heated garage.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

This price includes a set of tyres, additional oil and filter change as my preference. It can be hard on tyres but the massive torque and my riding style are probably to blame.

Equipment 4 out of 5

I purchased a lot of luggage for touring and I have to say that maybe doesn’t beat BMW in quality but it just works the way it is meant to. The easiest luggage to fit and remove that I have ever seen. Looks good as well. I have only scored 4 here as some of the instrumentation is a bit awkward, headlight could be better, screen is a bit lacking in protection, but doesn’t spoil the bike too much.

Buying experience: Purchased new from my local KTM dealer, McCallen Motorcycles. Sales team and Philip himself were great to deal with. I added a lot of extras but I was given a significant discount on these which was appreciated. When the 2019 model was launched I was asked to give this a good comparison test and I can honestly say that all the small niggles had been fixed, even down to the shape of the main beam switch which I keep catching and accidentally putting on main beam. As KTM were heavily discounting unsold 2018 models I could not afford the £6000 asking price to change, otherwise I would have made the swap. I would recommend anybody to give the Super Duke a serious consideration as I thoroughly enjoy my 1290 every time I start the engine. Thanks KTM.

5 out of 5 Very happy with my purchase of this 1290 GT
26 August 2019 by David Marquez

Version: GT

Year: 2017

Annual servicing cost: £750

Versatile and comfortable, spectacular engine, 40 mpg seem reasonable for a 1.3 liter tremendous power-plant, sweet in low speed around town and super aggressive acceleration with open gas (capable of catching up with the new super-bikes). For me this has been an awesome opportunity of getting a brand new large engine touring bike which was in my list of favorites for only £12,300 (MY17 with zero miles purchased July 2019).

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

This 1290 SD GT is awesome at highway speeds and winding roads because it is light and chassis is superb (please consider my past bikes are older BMW GSAs 2003 and 2009 models, I have not ridden other sport touring bikes other than in short test rides). Excellent riding quality, just a little bit of vibration from the engine, nothing too bad (engine likes living in the 2nd half of the tachometer) Top level workmanship, no complaints. M50 Brembo brakes are top of the shelf, hands down (OEM brake pads are cheaper than those of the BMW R1200GSA which are also Brembos and they are even a more upscale model) WP semi active suspension is excellent with all the different programs (1-2 passengers, with or without panniers, sport, comfort, street, etc) Seat is more on the sporty that the touring side (have ridden in 3-4 hour rides and can stand it no problem but consider I come from doing that since more than 12 years ago). Have not ridden with passenger, sorry cannot speak about that.

Engine 5 out of 5

Easy to ride around town, tons of torque and power when accelerating hard. Just to put in perspective, the engine at 100 mph feels as sleepy as my 2009 R1200GSA at 60 mph, what I mean is that a 100mph is barely waking up and does not even sound, it seems it is still shut down. Does not like to cruise at less than 3,000 rpms, as long as you keep it above that it will be a happy engine. Again, cruising around town in my 2009 R1200GSA you can shift at 2,000 rpms and keep it cool, you can do the same with the SD GT but at 3,000 rpm; at the end this bike is more for open road ah...?

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Perfect so far, though only passed the 600 mile first service mark. I need to recognize that was a bit skeptical about KTM brand in general (no bad opinion only thoughtful) before I got this SD GT which was my first bike of the brand and so far, the brand´s quality, fit, finish, etc. has grown on me and at this moment with only 600 mile and zero issues I can say it is as premium as BMW bikes; I know time will tell. Also I have been investigating on long term 1190s/1290s but only found 50/60K miles bikes which have been impeccable but are still on the low mile side ah...?

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

This amount only reflects 1 year insurance (expensive from my point of view) because 600 mile revision was complimentary (see the note below) This 1290 SD GT 2017 was purchased 1 month ago (July 2019) with zero miles under a special promotion from local dealer (£ 12,300 including side panniers, 600 mile service, 1 Shark full face helmet)

Equipment 5 out of 5

Would add hand guards for wind protection; I think the 2019 model has them from factory already. The foot pegs could be larger (I am seeking to upgrade) because OEM are more on the sport type) The seat is not too bad, although more sporty than touring I ordered the touring comfort seat before the new bike was delivered and once I rode it I cancelled the touring comfort seat because I changed my mind and it is no need for the 3-4 hr rides I do.

Buying experience: Experience with the KTM dealer was perfect. All promises were delivered. Consider this was a MY17 zero mile purchased new in July 2019, free 600 mile service #1, 1 Shark helmet and side panniers (excellent value for £12,300). I think this was a lot of 15-18 bikes which KTM Mexico got from KTM US, but absolutely uncommon pricing offer, and thanks to that I am enjoying my new SD GT even 2017 model I do not care, I love it.

5 out of 5
01 June 2019 by Faisal

Year: 2019

One of the best bikes I have ever driven or owned. The power, comfort, handling, and reliability (for the time being), it is just perfect. The only downside of the bike is that it is HOT, and when I say hot I mean REALLY HOT. I have decated and tuned the bike but there is no way of getting away from that heat from the rear cylinder. Your calves will get somewhere from medium well done to extremely well done depending on the ambient temperature. And I rider in 40 - 50 degrees Celsius weather. I haven't had the chance to try it in the winter yet. The temeperature in winter here drops to around 10-15 degrees Celsius, so I don't think the heat should be a problem in the winter. I purchased the side bags for my Super Duke GT and they have decent space l. A full face helmet will fit in each luggage compartment snuggly. Nevertheless, the heat does not stop me from riding this bike every single day. It is just that good. Power is there when you need it, the handling is pinpoint perfect, and the suspension comfort along with rider comfort features make this bike the best sport tourer I have ever ridden. You won't regret purchasing one.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 Don't buy an adventure bike
26 May 2019 by Richard Long

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £1,000

Best features are everything about this bike other than the seat. The engine and fuel injection are sublime, suspension and brakes fantastic, cannot fault anything yet other than well yes, back to the seat - I have the optional ERGO seat on my GT which looks much better but after about an hour my ass is completely numb. Having sat on a stock seat I believe that may be even worse. How a manufacturer with such engineering abilities as KTM can produce a touring bike with a seat as bad as uncomfortable as this one is beyond me. I am considering buying an aftermarket air saddle which is just plain annoying. But as I said overall this bike is amazing, I love riding it and is exactly what I wanted - a high tech touring bike thst is a blast in the twisties.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Giving the bike a 4 because of the seat. But that is probably a relatively cheap and easy fix. Have not had a pillion on the bike yet.

Engine 5 out of 5

Power delivery, engine torque, its sublime. Some people I have spoken to were horrified at the 175hp numbers. But unless I am mistaken, even with all the electronic aids, one still has control of the throttle. The engine is fantastic, pulling out of turns at low RPM has me grinning from ear to ear and the engine braking is so good going into corners that quite often I don't need to touch the brakes. Plus the booming engine sound on overrun is addictive.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

So far so god. Early says yet

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Not the cheapest bike out there but considering all the top of the line components, electronics and build quality the KTM Superduke GT is probably a decent value.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Heated grips Heated seat TFT dash / computer is awesome. Electronically set ride modes, suspension, miriad of options is exactly what I wanted. Engine Suspension Brakes

Buying experience: Dealer. Experience has been OK so far.

5 out of 5 The Refined Beast
17 May 2019 by Bill

Version: US

Year: 2019

Traded 2017 R1200GS for this and never looked back. Power and handling are amazing. Tears up twisties without a thought.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Ride all day with no complaints.

Engine 5 out of 5

The bike never runs out of power or torque and sounds like it isn’t even working.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

TFT, keyless ride, lean angle ABS, electronic suspension, TPMS, heat grips, bought optional heated comfort seats, cruise control. All functional and work as advertised.

5 out of 5 KTM 1290 Super Duke R review
12 May 2019 by Georg

Year: 2019

This bike performs in every setting. Be it on a cold day on alpine passes with heated grips and seat or on a trackday with specialised trackday bikes. Out of the corners it outperforms most racebikes! It is a do it all bike and you can really load it for a long trip, commute, or go on a trackday. Solo or two-up, bags or without, touring or racing, commuting or strolling, B-roads or highway. It has it all to excel everywhere.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

The active suspension is great. Whatever situation it will master it. Brakes are pretty good and even after a long trackday they haven't changed in performance.

Engine 5 out of 5

If you like two cylinders this is the most powerful and refined you can find. Coming from a big Ducati, this motor is sublime. It hits you out of the curve but you can also cruise without loosing your teeth. On trackdays it gets you out of curves a lot quicker than most four-cylinder bikes.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

I've covered 2000km so far, with 500 of those trashing on a racetrack and I've had no faults whatsoever. Everything seems bolted on and stable. Even the side bags are sturdy and fit two helmets.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Until now it seems good value. On a racetrack it is less thirsty than other bikes.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Get the heated seats and track electronics and you have all what you need.

Buying experience: It’s 3 months since I bought it and I just love it more every day. It is so easy to ride and handle, but also so comfortable in any circumstances. The looks needs a bit of time, but then you could not imagine it any different.

4 out of 5 18 months living with a 1290 GT
13 June 2018 by anotheronetoday

Year: 2017

Annual servicing cost: £300

Very good but not perfect

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Brakes give good feel and confidence, handling is good for a bike this size. With the active suspension great 1 or 2 up, luggage or no luggage. At high speeds i found the screen and my helmet incompatible with significant turbulance. Seat height a bit on high side (inside leg 30")

Engine 5 out of 5

Torque, Torque plus some more Torque Easy to ride in and out of town as smooth in low gears at low speeds and minimal changes required for overtaking

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Panel fit is poor for a bike at this price point only failure light switch

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Depreciation is by far the biggest cost when buying new as you might expect so insurance, service etc are irrelevant.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Bad standard exhaust looks terrible (fix akrapovic but expensive) Seat not up to long distances (comfort seat is better plus 1-2 hours extra) Headlight poor for fast bike the LED 790 and 390 are better. Good Clear display Good optional electronic add ons very wide range of luggage and power parts

Buying experience: Great experience from a well known main dealer

5 out of 5 Would buy it again!
05 June 2018 by After75

Year: 2018

Paint quality could be better here and there, but overall it is a laugh to ride and comfortable enough not being a super enduro.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Great all-round bike, you have to be shot to get off it especially with the optional heated gel seats.

Engine 5 out of 5

State of art, a sweet bull with much less vibrations than Ducati's 1200 for example.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Fuel consumption is great for the engine it has.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Suspension and cruise control are great, maybe the panniers could be a little better when closed.

Buying experience: First bike that brought me into the orange world, great availability and courtesy for test rides, really well done KTM, keep up the good work!

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