KTM 1290 SUPERDUKE GT (2019 - on) Review


  • Punchy 1301cc V-twin engine
  • Sportiest model in its class
  • Impressive two-up levels of comfort

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.1 out of 5 (4.1/5)
Annual servicing cost: £320
Power: 175 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.9 in / 835 mm)
Weight: Medium (461 lbs / 209 kg)


New £16,799
Used £8,800 - £16,500

Overall rating

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

The KTM 1290 Super Duke GT is so astonishingly good, it could be the best road bike you can get. Punchy performance, poise, cultured handling, adjustable comfort, easy, effective electronics – we could’t criticise any in our first ride.

All the updates are welcome, effective and good value – particularly the TFT screen, which was derived from the Super Adventure range. At its launch, the BMW R1250GS and Ducati Multistrada 1260 S both cost more than the KTM Super Duke GT, too. On paper it’s perfect – if only it had the Ducati’s looks, kudos and class or the BMW’s reputation, residuals and dealer experience…

Riding the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT at its launch

But what's the KTM Super Duke GT 1290 like to live with? Your questions answered:

We've been living with a 2020 Super Duke GT since late February and, in that time, have covered over 4000 miles of countryside, motorway, commuting in almost all weather conditions. The bike remains unchanged from the 2019 model, with an updated version likely inbound for 2021 taking cues from the latest KTM 1290 Super Duke R.

In that time, it's been largely faultless - delivering never-ending, thick dollops of torque in every gear for months of fast, practical performance. That said, there have also been some quirks to contend with - including phantom warning lights and an unresponsive key fob. Check the video below to get a flavour of our progress thus far.

Ride quality & brakes

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

Being a V-twin, the GT is manageable and respectably light – far less imposing and intimidating than a comparable four such as Kawasaki’s Z1000SX or Versys 1000BMW’s S1000XR or the big boxer R1250GS. Neutral and 'just right' in fact. The layout of the engine also helps shorter riders gets a firm footing, with the bike being physically narrower than its four-cylinder competition.

Add the that a supermoto-style attitude (the GT is a development of the KTM 1290 Super Duke R), protective fairing, top notch electronically-adjustable WP suspension and race quality Brembo M50 brakes, plus some of the most intuitive and effective electronics in the business, and the GT adds up to a brilliantly handling and truly versatile – and comfortable – street bike.

Even the tank range and Pirelli Angel GT tyres are faultless - allowing us to cover countless hours of endless motorway and twisty back roads in all weathers as part of our long-term testing. This comfort and ease of use is likely to be improved further by the optional ergo seat.

Riding the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT


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

The familiar LC8, 1301cc V-twin now boasts lighter titanium inlet valves which help raise the rev ceiling by 500prm, in turn boosting peak power a smidge to around 173bhp (not that it was exactly lacking before).

Though on face value a gruff and fearsome beast, open the GT’s taps and it’s immediately revealed as incredibly rapid and effective – and surprisingly refined, too.

The Super Duke GT features a 1301cc V-twin

Street mode delivers the full ponies but with the response softened a touch from the more instant Sport mode. Rain mode knocks it down to 100bhp. But all impress thanks to perfect fuelling and slick delivery.

After 4000 miles of extensive testing, having both the power and suspension in Sport have become the favourite combination - dropping the springs to Street on more rutted roads for a little more cushioning.

Reliability & build quality

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

At the launch of the Super Duke GT, tester Phil West was left impressed by the build-quality, however was unable to comment on the reliability.

Suffering the same fate as some Italian exotica brands, the KTM comes tarred with a brush of questionable longevity from birth. We've been running a GT as part of our long-term test fleet since February 2020 and for the first 3000 miles, almost all negative allegations proved false - barring a couple of phantom warning lights.

Unfortunately, a short while after this, the bike broke down in a petrol station during a groupo test - the key refusing to communicate with the bike after refuelling. Undoing then reattaching the battery re-set it all, but it’s not something we’d expect from a five-month-old bike costing £17,200.

We've got one KTM Super Duke GT 1290 owners' review on the site, and it's a 5 stars out of 5 score.

Value vs rivals

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

At its launch, the second-generation GT was not cheap - but a Multistrada or BMW GS with the same spec was actually more. For a £500 hike over the old machine you also got a TFT display, LED lights, improved screen, new quickshifter/auto-blipper and slight performance improvement. Not bad at all. It literally wanted for nothing – it even has heated grips – and, on paper, was beyond criticism.

By 2020, the price had risen to £17,199 - making it still marginally cheaper than the £17,395 Ducati Multistrada 1260S, but slightly more than a BMW R1250GS TE, which begins at £16,655. It's also more than the BMW S1000XR TE, which starts at £16,220.

How does it stack up against the 2020 BMW S1000XR?

The BMW S1000XR and KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

The Super Duke's closest rival is arguably the XR, which was updated for 2020 to incorporate a 162.7bhp version of the current S1000RR superbike engine minus its ShiftCam variable valve timing. There’s also a revised chassis, fresh electronics, less mass and a new look.

Unlike a big GS, the XR is fully road-biased, with 17in rims like the KTM. We tested both bikes together to see which came out on top.

Both are capable of touring two-up with luggage, as well as sticking it to the power rangers on a back road or trackday - making them some of the most versatile long-distance bikes on the market today.

With its superbike-derived engine, superior refinement and newer switches, the BMW is the one to go for if you are wanting a more well-rounded, practical package with hair-raising oomph. Plonked alongside rivals like Kawasaki's Versys 1000 it feels explosively fast too, but if sporty riding is a priority, you cannot beat the KTM.

Although slightly rougher round the edges, it pulls harder than the XR and is more engaging through the bends. Many buyers want more than just savage power though and – despite the KTM offering greater seat comfort – questionable reliability and less refined suspension mean the XR must take the overall crown.


5 out of 5 (5/5)

An all-new front cowling/fairing holds not only a flashy new 6.5in colour TFT dash derived from that used on the KTM 1290 Adventure S but also an improved, enlarged, adjustable screen, uprated LED headlight plus keyless ignition and a couple of surprisingly useful cubby holes.

The backlit switchgear has been uprated to work in tandem with the new dash while KTM have also taken the opportunity to sensibly reposition the cruise control onto the left bar (being awkwardly on the right was among the criticisms of the old bike).

A view of the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT switch gear

While the quickshifter now operates up and down with dramatically more aplomb, there are also mapping and suspension tweaks, a new optional Track mode (not on our test bike), USB charging point, plus a conspicuous improvement in fit and general finish.

There are even heated grips as standard - although these are activated through the TFT menu, which can draw your eyes away from the road for an unnecessarily long period.


Engine size 1301cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8v 75º V-twin
Frame type Tubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity 23 litres
Seat height 835mm
Bike weight 209kg
Front suspension WP 48mm forks semi-active, electronic damping adjust
Rear suspension WP 48mm forks semi-active, electronic damping adjust
Front brake 2 x 320mm Brembo front discs with Brembo 4-piston radial calipers. Cornering ABS
Rear brake 240mm Brembo rear disc with Brembo twin-piston caliper. Cornering ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 43 mpg
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost £320
New price £16,799
Used price £8,800 - £16,500
Insurance group 17 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 175 bhp
Max torque 104 ft-lb
Top speed 180 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 215 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2016: GT introduced as a sports-tourer based on Super Duke but with fairing and luggage options. Phenomenally potent and well-equipped.
  • 2019: Updated version gets new fairing with revised adjustable screen, new TFT display, revised switchgear (now with cruise control on left bar, LED lights, subtle engine and electronics improvements and more.

Other versions

There are no other versions of the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT, it is largely based on the KTM 1290 Super Duke R super naked.

Watch our 2017-2019 KTM 1290 Super Duke R review here

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 (2019 - on)

8 owners have reviewed their KTM 1290 SUPERDUKE GT (2019 - 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 (2019 - 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: 4.9 out of 5 (4.9/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.1 out of 5 (4.1/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Equipment: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Annual servicing cost: £320
5 out of 5 Great Allrounder
29 February 2024 by Supadave

Year: 2021

Annual servicing cost: £300

Moved from an Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 factory due to reliability issues. Also the GT gives better comfort and touring options. The KTM has good engine, brakes and attitude. It handles pretty well for a taller bike and the Michelin Road 6's suit the bike perfectly. The dealership network is poor and spare parts have been slow on occasions. The key failed to talk to the bike, initially but that has now been resolved. Whether you recommend the bike depends on what you are looking for, but some wind protection, touring capability, track and road riding with attitude and decent handling and performance make this bike a good choice. I have recommended it to a friend.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Semi active suspension appears very good at soaking up the bumps and pot holes. I run it in sport mode and find that gives a nice ride. Tank range is around 210 miles and comfort will support that distance. Brembo's are very effective on the road with plenty of power and feel. The bike is a pretty good all rounder and will do most things well. It is especially good on smooth swooping roads and punching out of slower corners.

Engine 5 out of 5

I don't think there are any bad engines these days. The V twin is much smoother than I expected, especially around town. Punch out of slower corners is good as it makes power lower in the rev range. Torque is pretty decent all through the rev range but things tail off at the upper end. I still need to give the throttle a "good hand full" to really get it to go, but it does respond positively.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Compared to the Aprilia it's on another planet reliability wise. I have had issues with the key not communicating with the bike and poor dealership back up with heated seat and wiring. Overall in my first 4000 miles it's been very reliable and the switch gear and electrics do not stop working every time I wash it. No signs of corrosion after 11,000 miles and three winters. It's never broken down and build quality looks pretty good.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

It's only had one service but the price was very reasonable - it's now out of warranty so I take it to an independent garage. I swapped the tyres for Michelin Road 6's which are brilliant and suit the bike well. Insurance and tax same for any large bike and fuel economy is good considering the weight and power. KTM second hand prices tend to fall quickly so depreciation will probably be high.

Equipment 5 out of 5

It comes with all the standard electronic gadgets. Quick shifter is useful both up and down. Heated seats and grips always good for touring, along with the fitted panniers. I fitted a tail tidy - but now get covered in filth. A smoked screen looks good and an Akrapovic end can reduces weight and looks better. I replaced the OE tyres with Michelin Road 6's - absolutely brilliant and suit the bike perfectly.

Buying experience: Bought from a dealer via distance selling regulations, as it was several hundred miles away. No relationship with the seller, bike didn't appear to have been PDI'd properly as the number plate fell off on my first ride out. If you can find a dealer locally that would be better, as you can establish a relationship. I paid 14K with a couple of thousand pounds worth of extras.

5 out of 5 KTM Superduke gt
06 November 2021 by Nick Brown

Version: Gen 2

Year: 2020

Annual servicing cost: £250

The GT is the perfect bike for me. Seating position is comfortable, due to adjustable bars, and good footpeg position. TFT is easy to read, with switches well placed, and lit at night. Power is phenomenal, the bike pulls like a train in all gears. It loves being ridden with enthusiasm, but is equally good when common sense prevails. The electronics are excellent, all rider modes work well, the suspension is top notch, though not quite up to new Superduke R standard. Quick shifter is really smooth. So many extras available in power parts catalogue, to make a great bike individual to you.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

I have had no problems so far in 7000 miles since February.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Mine serviced by Teasdale's Thirsk, recommended.

Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5 The best real world all rounder?
07 June 2021 by Steven916

Version: GT

Year: 2020

I got to the Superduke GT after cancelling my order for a Ducati Multistrada V4. It all came down to the deal and Ducati offered a poor trade in for my Supersport S and poor financial deal. It is huge fun, very capable and a lot easier on my old bones than the Supersport S.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

The ride is a little firm even in comfort mode. KTM do an ‘ergo’ seat and I plan to explore this possible change. Just done a 1300 mile tour of Wales and the 300 mile commute was a bit hard on my arse. A true GT, open roads a joy but fiddly stuff can be a pain. The 200 mile plus tank range is about enough.

Engine 4 out of 5

Mid range performance is superb. Get much above 8000 rpm and it gets a bit vibration prone and there’s not a lot of point of normal roads. I’ve got a few track days to look forward to and I’m sure things will be different then!

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

I’ve done just over 2000 miles so far. Apart from a few minor false error messages (easily resolved by switching the bike off and back on again, tell me of an electronic device that doesn’t misbehave from time to time!) the bike has been tip top.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Only had the 621 mile (1000km) so far. I suspect the rear tyre will need replaced before the year is out! 103 ft/lb of torque will do that.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Loads of toys as standard! Heated grips work just fine and once you memorise the button pushes they are no distraction. Quick shift is good but doesn’t like part throttle use. Hard luggage very good to use and looks part of the bike. Keyless fuel flap a surprise, so useful.

Buying experience: Laguna showed the way to manage a new bike purchase. Ducati need to take note. The customer pays for their business and Laguna clearly know this. Ducati not so much…

3 out of 5 So nearly there
05 February 2021 by bob76

Year: 2020

Should be a fantastic bike,a genuine 3 bikes in 1 but cannot recommend due to it's reliability.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

top rate semi active suspension and quality brakes make it right at the top for ride quality.

Engine 5 out of 5

The only thing against the engine and gearbox is it should not have 6 gears,you cannot put it in 6th unless you are doing at least 65mph so if you want to go touring forget it as you will have to spend most of your day in 5th revving it higher so using more fuel,it's a real shame because the engine is a peach.

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

Reliability is a real concern already,it does not bear thinking about when it is out of warranty.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Do not know yet as it is not old enough but if i can get it reliable i think it will be fairly cheap to run.

Equipment 5 out of 5

suspension and the vast array of info you can see on the clocks.By far the worst feature of this bike is the KEYLESS ignition who ever thought it was a good idea to put it on a bike wants shooting.

5 out of 5
29 January 2021 by Jeff Brown

Year: 2019

Much more capable than I am . This is my 3rd GT , the 1st one we rode to morroco and back with no problems and in comfort and did track days on it keeping up with sports bikes . The 2nd got stolen after 4 days so now on number 3 ! but only managed 900 miles so far

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Very impressed with both

Engine 5 out of 5

Instant power and torque

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Not had any problems on any of them so far

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

Angel GT tyres suit it well

Buying experience: All 3 bought from Laguna in Maidstone Kent and very happy with the service

5 out of 5 Orange, the new Red, (Going from Ducati to KTM and also now MotoGP hahahaha) )
26 August 2020 by Bill

Year: 2019

Had the 2016 GT doing over 40,000 ks and loved it but did have a few niggles which this 2019 GT has fixed.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

bloody magic brakes. full stop..... Wife absolutely loves being a pillion, comfy mode (helps when upgrading bikes) we tend to do over 250 k's before coffee stops when touring. Used to always have two road bikes, one for touring 2 up, eg Triumph Tiger 1050 and a sports bike, Aprilia's, Ducati's, KTM Super Duke 990, Now the KTM GT does both extremely well.

Engine 5 out of 5

Bloody awesome, just cant get enough of that bigggg V twin. Tend to have it on "Street Mode" as it smooths out the power delivery but retains full HP power. I'm an old fart now....

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Like the 2016 GT, had the fault warning light come on the odd time when starting the bike but reset instantly on the 2019 GT were the 2016 stayed on and the dealer had to reset. (long story)

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Services were quite reasonable, but eats tryes, hahaha but by comparison my 2014 Ducati 1200S Monster services was shocking $$$$$ and kept going into "Limp Mode"

Equipment 4 out of 5

Small things really, like the Pannier bag metal logo getting hooked up and bent it. The petrol liters usage gauge on the screen is crap, drops 20 to 30 k's at a time and the Auto blinker turns off to soon.

Buying experience: Traded 2014 Ducati 1200S Monster for the new 2016 GT (wife was not a fan of being pillion on the Monster but totally loved the GT as a pillion, then traded up to this 2019 GT, great dealings with Boyd's Hamilton NZ KTM dealers and give magic service on all aspects, parts, tyres, service, chin wags n coffee etc and will more than likely upgrade in 2021 to the updated GT, hmmmm i hear the wife saying.

5 out of 5 It does it all.
20 August 2020 by G33KeH

Year: 2019

I love the whole thing - Performance, Aggressive looks Capability - go to the shops, carry the Mrs, hoon about, tour Europe, it does it all. Definitely recommend the bike as a 'does all' but it wont suit everyone, if they have a specific need, for say, 'serious touring' or 'off-road' or 'pose down the seafront'

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Brakes are fab, only niggle is the odd squeak and the rear calliper got a little winter corroded and one of the pads stuck a bit (I'm an all year round rider) Passenger - The only thing i worry about is losing the Mrs off the back with the acceleration!.. could do with a sissy bar for her to lean back on.. but that wouldn't look right. Great road presence - Bright lights and wide front profile get you spotted sooner. The wide profile is great for keeping you dry too, in spite of the 'smallish' screen.

Engine 5 out of 5

This bike is confidence inspiring, it has great throttle response manners when working through traffic or when opening up on a great road. Eats miles - If you need to get from A-B without needing to look at the scenery, you will be surprised how smoothly and efficiently you arrive at B, esp motorways. Fuel economy is great - 23litre tank, 220miles approx per tank.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

A sticky exhaust valve caused warning lights and 'limp home' mode, however, it is fixable by yourself, if you have the confidence. (some winter riding corrosion around the exterior valve components caused the stickiness) Also had a random sticky handlebar lock issue that wouldn't let the bike start. only the once, right outside the dealers (luckily)

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

You buy this bike know it will cost to maintain. However, I get.. Angel GT tyres 7.5k miles per set (on 2nd new set, £220 per set) 54 mpg 'usual UK' riding 59mpg 'Euro, watching for cameras' riding 48mpg 'disgusting blast' mileage :) All pretty impressive for 1300cc 175hp bike. Brake pads changes at 13k miles (£200)

Equipment 5 out of 5

All the kit you could need.. Quickshifter - great when you dont want you Mrs to bang you on the head with upshifting Cruise Control - The biggest positive for me, enables me to rest my right hand for a few seconds, meaning I can ride (potentially) for hours. Panniers are bit odd-shaped inside, could use a better cargo net or something.. but you don't buy this bike for the carrying capacity, right? ;)

Buying experience: Bought from Dealer, a glitch in pannier supply from KTM was the only hiccup. I paid RRP, trading in a Yamaha Tracer 900

5 out of 5
22 July 2020 by TJ515

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £420

Out of my collection ( ST 4, 1000DS, and KLR) it gets picked to do every and anything. Tours excellent and runs to the corner store just as well.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Love the different ride and suspension settings

Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Slight issue with the handle on one bag, I’ll see what happens with a warranty claim.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Canadian $ this was for the first service

Equipment 5 out of 5

So much usable power, passing the large trucks here in Canada is a breeze.

Buying experience: Dealer was easy to work with.

Back to top