Spy shots: 2021 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT looks to gain chassis and engine from 2020 Super Duke R

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KTM’s raucous 1290 Super Duke GT looks set to receive a revised chassis and new Euro5-friendly engine courtesy of the 2020 Super Duke R, after fresh spy shots revealed test rider Jeremy McWilliams aboard the new machine alongside the Austrian firm’s ballistic R naked. 

Although KTM UK declined to comment on any new models, the photos appear to show the 2021 GT, which looks to gain a new trellis chassis and subframe, tweaked 1301cc V-twin engine and the latest TFT dash, all wrapped-up in a familiar styling package, featured on the bike since its inception in 2016.  

Starting in the middle of the bike, the trellis chassis appears to have changed from the centralised three-pronged structure found on the first two GTs, to the more minimalist design of the 2020 SD R, which houses the engine as a stressed member for a claimed three-times the torsional stiffness.

With wider tubes than the previous design, the latest structure helped KTM save 2kg on the 2020 Super Duke R. 

Moving backwards, the grand tourer also appears to use a new subframe, which still features a trellis design, unlike the aluminium unit on the R model. This will likely have been altered for the GT in order to accommodate more regular pillion usage and heavy luggage for distance touring.

Moving down from there, it’s possible the latest GT will also feature the current R’s swing arm, which is now 15% stiffer than the old unit and complete with a 5mm raised pivot for improved stability under acceleration. The wheels have also been taken from the naked.

The 2021 bike looks set to be based on the 2020 KTM 1290 Super Duke R

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Housed inside that new trellis structure appears to be the same Euro5-compatible engine found within the latest 1290 Super Duke R. This is indicated by a revised exhaust layout mimicking the naked, as well as a wider split between the LED headlights, which is also featured on the R to incorporate a central airbox intake.

Adding to this argument is the end can, which looks to be the same. There also appears to be a larger radiator up front, too. It’s likely this engine will be slightly tweaked for more road-biased, touring duties, but don’t for a second think it will be dull though, with the latest R producing a claimed 177.5bhp and 103.3ftlb of torque.

Away from the engine, the bike shown comes dressed in Pirelli Angel GT tyres, which already feature on the second-generation GT as standard - suggesting the next machine will remain with a 190-section rear tyre. This differs from the R, which comes shod with a 200-rear Bridgestone Battlax S22. Pirelli don’t produce either version of the GT as a 200.

Elsewhere, the suspension also looks to remain semi-active, with wires clearly protruding from the chunky blacked-out front forks, which will almost certainly be WP units. As will the rear shock, with the current GT featuring a WP semi-active set-up.

Away from this, the third GT also appears to receive KTM’s latest 5in TFT dash layout, which was revised for the 2020 Super Duke R. Never a bad system to begin with, this should boast all of the vital information you require, alongside mobile connectivity. 

As always, MCN will aim to bring you the latest news on the new bike as soon as it becomes available. Keep an eye out for a full and comprehensive review in the coming months. We would expert deliveries to begin in early 2021, priced at an estimated £17,500 (slightly up on the 2020 £17,199 OTR tag).

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Dan Sutherland

By Dan Sutherland

Senior Writer (motorcycling), sportsbike nut, currently riding a FireBlade