KTM 1290 SUPERDUKE (2013 - 2016) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£290|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
It’s a massive leap forward over the old Super Duke which was far from a bad bike. The new 1.3 litre KTM has arm-ripping power, the best mid-range and roll on speed figures we’ve ever tested and is the most powerful naked bike on the market. It also has a flip side. It’s relatively light, easy to ride and perfectly fuelled. It’s just a shame the electronics hinder the fun.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The handling is much more forgiving than you’d expect for such a ‘beast’. It’s actually relatively light and easy to manage on the road. On track, the fully adjustable WP suspension can be easily tweaked transforming the naked bike into a sports bike. Only when really pushed hard on track do you feel the limitations of the standard Dunlops and the front feels a little vague.
Furthermore, we’ve also ridden the 2019 KTM 1290 Super Duke R on Bridgestone S22 tyres.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The 1301cc, 75-degree V-twin takes your breath away it’s so mind-bendingly powerful. The figures speak for themselves: a tested 160.46bhp at the back wheel with 99.40 arm ripping ftlb or torque. There’s so much power it sends the front skywards in the first three gears with minimum effort once the electronics have been deactivated and takes just 4.79 seconds to get from 30-100mph in third gear. That beats any other road bike we’ve ever tested.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The biggest gripe with the old bike was the poor fuelling, but that seems to have been rectified with the new version which is arguably the best fuelled KTM to date. The 1301cc V-twin is entirely new; therefore it’s impossible to comment on the reliability, however 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 rivalsNext up: Equipment
£14,000 makes the new Super Duke an expensive naked bike, considerably more than its closest competition, Aprilia’s Tuono, not forgetting both BMW’s basic naked S1000R and Triumph’s Speed Triple which are both under £10,000. If you want the most powerful naked bike out there, KTM are going to make you pay for it!
ABS is standard (and can be switched off) and there’s a ‘Supermoto’ mode which allows you to lock the rear. Traction control is also standard as are the three riders modes which effect the power and traction control intervention. The problem is you can’t switch off the traction control or ABS on the move and it always resets when the ignition is switched off.
|Engine type||8v V-twin|
|Frame type||Tubular steel trellis|
|Fuel capacity||18 litres|
|Front suspension||Fully adjustable WP 48mm|
|Rear suspension||Fully adjustable WP|
|Front brake||2 x 320mm|
|Rear brake||240mm disc|
|Front tyre size||120/70 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||190/50 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||45 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£290|
17 of 17
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||160 bhp|
|Max torque||99 ft-lb|
|Top speed||159 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||10.93 secs|
|Tank range||150 miles|
Model history & versions
2013: model introduced
Owners' reviews for the KTM 1290 SUPERDUKE (2013 - 2016)
7 owners have reviewed their KTM 1290 SUPERDUKE (2013 - 2016) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£290|
Annual servicing cost: £300
Best feature for me is its powerful motor. It’s reliability over the winter months is questionable.
A bit firm but what do you expect from a sporty bike?
Stonking motor, but at low revs the big twin judders a bit. Perhaps I’m just not used to big twins.
It’s gone back to the dealership 3 times in 3 months. Always for electrical issues. I’ve been running it during this hard winter and the switch gear is suffering. It’s at the dealership awaiting its second set of electrical switches.
Not yet had its annual service so don’t know yet. However I’m getting mpg in the high fifties.
Pretty well equipped. But why on earth KTM on a 14 grand bike do you charge extra to activate the already installed quickshifter+ and Bluetooth connectivity? still the quickshifter is one of the best I’ve tried.
Buying experience: Buying experience from Drysdale Motorcycle (only Scottish dealership) was ok. The initial after sales experience could have been better. However, it seems to be getting better. Time will tell.
Annual servicing cost: £290
This is the bike of dreams.
Ride is firm(ish) but comfortable & brakes are pull your face off good.
Nothing to report, gone through winter & still looks good
It's not the cheapest but it's sooooo much fun
The 2017 model has a few bits i'd like but i wouldn't change it.
Buying experience: I would like to see a few more main agents in NW England but the Rocket Centre was great to deal with if just a little far for servicing.
Annual servicing cost: £280
Tried the batch super makers but the Superduke was just too much fun & i had to have it... 2 years, 8k miles later i'm still grinning like a Cheshire Cat 👍
Its never going to be as comfy as a big touring machine, i can ride for over 3 hours without discomfort, but then it's a hooligan machine & designed for lunatics 👍
Soooooo much power
Main beem switch broke but Rocket Centre sorted it asap
It's a beast so don't expect CB125 running costs, its expensive to buy but it's cheaper to run than most of its European rivals.
Exhaust sounds awesome on over-run. Save a few quid on tail tide & crash bungs at Evotech (better than oem parts)
Buying experience: I had to haggle but got a good price through the Rocket Centre.
Glad that I have this bike, I love the big twins. I have owned the Honda VTR, Suzuk SLR and the Tuono R,, but the KTM SDR shines through, With the smooth power delivery, at slow speeds you can just roll on in 3rd gear and the bike just pulls and pulls, Spend most of the time in 3rd,4th and 5th gear, Easy to turn and very planted in the bends,
Build quality is good everything works as it should,
will be changing the tyres as soon as the dunlops run down
Buying experience: KTM Birmingham were great, friendly and always there to help
A true Sports Tourer. Some minor niggles but pretty perfect and less of a compromise than the Adventure Sports class. Perhaps not very pillion friendly with pannier only luggage. Design of the S/S swing arm makes chain lubrication tricky, really needs a centre stand. Droopy front end design is an acquired taste but the headlight throws a great beam.
The semi active suspension works. Handles and stops brilliantly due to the lowish weight.
The awesome 1301 twin defines this bike. Smooth yet punchy overall better than the 1200 DVT Ducati even though it isnt at its best below 4k revs. Geared for high speed top end cruising (6th is good for >80mph) gearing down to 16T front makes it better for UK roads.
Warranty claim for side stand.
The standard screen works and can be easily adjusted on the move. Shame the QS is up only (no auto blip). Power Parts catalogue has all you need. Looks much better with aftermarket tail tidy.
Buying experience: KTM dealers still sparce and they still cant match solus dealers like BMW.
got to be the most fun ive had on a bike , smooth and fast if u need it to be, handles well, nice power , and slow speeds fun to :)
This is the first naked bike I've had for many years. I've been running litre sports bikes and super bikes for years. But this KTM is just amazing. I'd expected to struggle at speed with no fairing, but I feel as comfortable as I do on my S1000RR plus there's more leg room due to the riding position. Brakes and handling are as you've read in the tests - beyond most of our abilities. The sheer grunt of the motor has to be experienced, I'm no wheelie king so when I'm planning and achieving wheelies simply by winding the throttle on it has to be one serious engine. Gearing is good but I notice that I'm usually in 4th gear on the open road which just reflects how fast this thing is at the top end. The only niggle that I have is the speedo accuracy which is a tad more optimistic than you'd expect. Hopefully that will be corrected in a future software update. Other than that I can't fault it, even the toolkit is impressive. Yes it's expensive but I challenge anyone to ride one and then be in the least bit hung up over the price. The standard exhaust sound good with a lovely burble and popping on the over-run. I've yet to play around with the 2 position handlebars but the levers are easily adjustable - the gear lever in particular can be set to your preferred height in a minute.