KTM 1390 Super Duke R wheelie control tested | Can electronics turn you into a stunt god?

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I’ve been dying to try to my KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo’s new wheelie control system.

The electronics (part of the bike’s £1086.36 Tech Pack) use information from the six-axis IMU to hold the front wheel in the air at five predetermined angles: Very Low, Low, Medium, High, Very High and will keep it there, no matter how much throttle you dial in. Well, that’s the idea.

I’m at airfield to see how it works and discover if it makes me into a wheelie king

Pulling a wheelie on the 2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo

You could still flip it

Not easily, but if you dump the clutch aggressively with a big handful of V-twin power, the front comes up very fast, even in the Low setting.

The wheelie control only regulates power and doesn’t dab the back brake for you. If you’re ham-fisted, it could still throw you off the back.

2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo performs a wheelie

Once the electronics have figured out the wheel is too high they feather the power to bring it back down and you have to wait until it’s landed before it gives you the power back.

You can’t hold a ‘balance wheelie’

Low, Medium and High settings only get the front wheel hovering. Very High takes you to a place that will feel high to anyone who hasn’t wheelied before, but the electronics kick in before the balance point.

That means you can only wheelie for as long as the revs last in that gear. You can hold it there through the gears, but at that point you’ll be going very fast indeed.

An onboard shot of the 2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo

The only way to get high enough to balance a wheelie and keep it there, is to turn the electronics off.

It glides you back to earth

Aside from flipping, the most dangerous phase of a long wheelie is bringing the front back down. If you slam it down from the redline it’s easy to get into a tankslapper.

Instead, you need to have enough revs in hand to ride the wheelie out, as you glide gently back onto two wheels, with a gentle chirp from the tyre.

2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo TFT dash

Happily, the KTM’s electronics do exactly that and slowly decrease the power as the front wheel gets to its predetermined angle.

It gives you the feel for doing wheelies

If you can wheelie, the KTM’s electronics are too intrusive, but if you can’t they work well enough to safely (in a controlled environment) give you a taste of what it’s like to do a ‘wheelstand’, as the Aussies would say.

Once you get used to that feeling you can get more adventurous by going higher through the electronics and eventually turn them off… being sure to cover the back brake, just in case.