First ride of KTM’s new 1290 Super Duke R next week

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MCN Senior Road Tester Michael Neeves will be riding the new, second-generation KTM 1290 Super Duke R at its world launch in Qatar on Monday. 

It’s hard to believe, but the current model has been around for two years already, so it’s time for some updates, including a new Euro 4-spec LC8 engine, which, far from being strangled, is actually more powerful – up from 160 to 177bhp. But, on the flip side, it’s also put on close to a stone, weighing in at 6kg more.  

Here’s what we said about the new Super Duke R when it was revealed in Milan earlier this month.

Just like the rest of KTM’s 2017 range, the £13,999 Super Duke R gets new twin LED headlights, as well as a host of styling tweaks to give a leaner, meaner look. It also has a new keyless ignition, TFT dash, tweaked WP suspension and an off switch for the electronic rider aids, so you can have fun when nobody is looking. Tick the options boxes and you can also have electronic engine braking control, a quickshifter and an autoblipper.

We tested the latest super nakeds earlier in the year and the Aprilia Tuono continues to dominate, with the new Yamaha MT-10 a surprise new entry to the podium in runner-up sport and the BMW S1000RR in third. Will the new Super Duke R have what it takes to beat its rivals? We can’t wait to find out.

Check back here next week and on MCN’s social media channels to discover our first impressions and read the full test in the December 14 issue of MCN. 

Super Naked Rivals

Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory


Ever since its launch in 2011 the sublime Tuono has been at the top of MCN’s super naked tree. It grew to an 1100 last year and moved even further ahead of the game.

BMW S1000R Sport


Launched in 2014 the BMW is the closest here to the true streetfighter style: it’s an angry S1000RR with the fairing ripped off and straight bars fitted…and that’s about it.

Ducati Monster 1200 R


Launched last year this is the most powerful, high-spec Monster ever produced and every inch the spiritual successor to the now discontinued Streetfighter S.

Triumph Speed Triple R


The bike that started the whole super naked party back in 1994, the evergreen Speed Triple has been updated this year with a slimmer, shorter fuel tank. Power and torque is up slightly, too.

Yamaha MT-10


The new kid on the block. Based on the current crossplane crank-engined R1 the MT-10 is the cheapest of all the hardcore European super nakeds. It’s Japan’s first proper super naked and offers all the unbridles thrills you’d expect from what’s essentially a naked R1. 


Looking for the perfect two-wheeled companion? Visit MCN Bikes For Sale website or use MCN’s Bikes For Sale App.

MCN News

By MCN News