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, BMW’s S1000XR or the big boxer R1250GS.
Neutral and ‘just right’ in fact. 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 tyres are faultless.
The familiar LC8, 1309cc V-twin now boasts lighter titanium inlet valves which help raise the rev ceiling by 500prm, in turn boosting peak power a smidge to 175bhp from 173 (not that it was exactly lacking before).
Though on face value a gruff and fearsome 175bhp beast, open the GT’s taps and it’s immediately revealed as incredibly rapid and effective – and surprisingly refined, too.
Street mode delivers the full 175 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.
Early days so it’s difficult to say with any certainty, but while KTMs of yore have been a little blighted by stories of warped discs and leaking engines it’s also true that this is a refinement of the old and fit, finish and general build quality have all improved. Ultimately, though, only time will tell.
Not cheap but a Multistrada or BMW GS with the same spec is actually more. What’s more, for the £500 hike over the old you get TFT screen, LED lights, improved screen, new quickshifter/auto-blipper and slight performance improvement.
The GT literally wants for nothing – it even has heated grips – and is, on paper, beyond criticism. The only question marks are against residuals, dealer experience and reliability.
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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).
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.