Brabus 1300 R: High-end German car tuning house joins forces with KTM

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Over the last 45 years Brabus have established themselves as one of the world’s most respected car tuning firms, but in 2022 the company will make their first move into bikes with this machine – the Brabus 1300 R.

If you think it looks like a KTM 1290 Super Duke R, that’s because it’s a restyled and uprated version of that bike, with Brabus forming a connection with KTM that mirrors their relationship with Mercedes in the car world.

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Although there’s been no official announcement, the Brabus move to bikes has effectively been confirmed by documents including a trademark for the name ‘Brabus 1300 R’, which registered at the European Union Intellectual Property Office in December 2021, specifically to be used on motorcycles.

Even more importantly, the bike has been type-approved for road use with a listing that gives its name as the Brabus 1300 R but shows the maker as KTM.

The approval document shows that the bike is heavily based on the 1290 Super Duke R. It features the same 1301cc V-twin engine, with unchanged performance of 177hp at 9500rpm and 103lb.ft of torque at 8000rpm, and the dimensions listed on the document show it’s also largely the same in overall size.

Distinctive Brabus wheel design is carried over to the bike

The only changes are fractionally narrower bars – 816mm across instead of 843mm – and a 5mm reduction in wheelbase. The rear end is straight from the Super Duke RR, complete with the same carbon-fibre subframe and the use of carbon around the bike means it weighs just 205kg – 5kg less than a Super Duke R.

The WP Apex suspension appears to be the same ‘SAT’ semi-active kit seen on the 2022 Super Duke R EVO.

While there has been speculation that the bike in these spy pictures might be a new Husqvarna Vitpilen 1301, fuelled by the use of a circular headlight like those used on Husky’s other models, that doesn’t add up.

Husqvarna’s bikes might be KTM-derived, but they all feature entirely new bodywork. In contrast, this Brabus machine shares the original KTM hardware, simply adding new carbon-fibre side panels, a cowl around that round headlight and a small lower cowling, plus a new end can with twin exits.

The wheels are also unique to the machine and are designed to perfectly match the Brabus Monoblock Z Platinum Edition car rims (above).

The bike’s market position and performance will put it into a similar bracket to the limited run of 500 Super Duke RRs that sold out in less than an hour when they hit the market last April despite a £21,499 tag.

Ben Purvis

By Ben Purvis