MILAN SHOW: KTM debut aggressive 1290 Super Duke GT

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KTM’s have unmasked a thunderous new take on a road-going fast tourer. Somewhat different to most companies' approach, the Austrian firm have stormed the stage with this 173bhp 1301cc V-twin 1290 Super Duke GT, which will arrive in 2016.

The bike packs a retuned version of the monster 1301cc V-twin seen first in the naked 1290 Super Duke, and much of the rest of the bike has been modified to suit the touring ambitions of the bike for increased comfort and range.

KTM 1290 Super Duke GT highlights

  • Touring version of blistering 1290 Super Duke
  • 173bhp | 106ftlbs | 228kg
  • Semi-active suspension
  • 23 litre fuel tank
  • Stronger subframe for hard panniers
  • LED cornering lights

The fairing and adjustable screen have been designed to keep most of the windblast away from the rider, the subframe has been specifically strengthened to work with the tailor-made hard panniers, and the fuel tank has been enlarged to a massive 23-litres. The GT gets sports-touring Pirelli Angel GT tyres for good wet grip and improved mileage.

KTM have tweaked the ride-by-wire fuelling for the 1290 GT engine to help it meet Euro4 emissions regulations, and also to suit the more touring nature of the bike. Three riding modes of Comfort, Street and Sport are available, and cornering-ABS comes as standard, along with semi-active WP suspension, Brembo radially-mounted calipers, cruise control, a quickshifter, tyre pressure monitoring system, heated grips and LED cornering lights. In addition to the standard equipment is optional Hill Hold Control which electronically holds the bike stationary on a hill start, and Motor Slip Regulation (MSR) which allows the rider to adjust the engine braking.

The semi-active suspension has been designed by WP (which is wholly owned by KTM) and works in the same way as the 1290 Super Adventure’s system, with the system’s brain working to maintain constant damping control according to the mode selected, rider inputs and the road surface. The information the system needs to work is relayed from front wheel sensors as well as a series of accelerometers.

The hard panniers are an accessory option but they have been specifically designed for this bike to offer large carrying capability but also to allow decent ground clearance for faster and harder cornering. A raft of KTM accessory luggage and tuning options will also be made available to increase touring practicality but also performance.

MCN has already tested a prototype version of the GT, and we were highly impressed by its blend of towering performance and comfort.

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Andy Downes

By Andy Downes

Former MCN Senior Reporter