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KTM Officially Unveils 1290 SuperDuke R: 180 HP in a Lightweight Naked!



You can faintly hear a collective groan of ecstasy let loose by horsepower junkies worldwide. KTM has taken the wraps off its 1290 SuperDuke R and published full specifications. Does 180 HP in a 415 pound (claimed dry weight) naked do it for you? Appropriately called “The Beast” by KTM, this new monster gets top drawer components to go along with its stupendous 1,301cc v-twin engine.

Sophisticated electronics, of course, including much needed adjustable traction control and ABS. The brakes are superbike-class Brembos, and the suspension includes a massive 48mm WP fork.

Most recently, we posted a video of the big Duke playing on a racetrack with a BMW S1000RR which you can see in our story posted here. Below are the specifications released by KTM. You can also follow this link to a special web site set up by KTM with all the details. We currently have no information on U.S. price or availability.



ENGINE TYPE 2-cylinder, 4-stroke, V 75°
BORE/STROKE 108/71 mm
POWER 132 kW (180 HP) at 8.870 rounds/min
STARTING AID Electric starter/12V 11.2Ah
ENGINE LUBRICATION Pressure lubrication with 3 Eaton pumps
COOLING SYSTEM Liquid cooling
CLUTCH PASC slipper clutch, hydraulically operated
ENGINE MANAGEMENT/IGNITION Keihin EMS with DBW, double ignition



FRAME Chromium-Molybdenum-Steel trellis frame, powder coated
HANDLEBAR Aluminium, konifiziert Ø 28/22 mm
FRONT BRAKE 2 x Brembo four piston, radially bolted caliper, brake disc Ø 320 mm
REAR BRAKE Brembo fixed mounted two-piston brake calipers
CHAIN X-Ring 5/8 x 5/16″
WHEEL BASE 1.482 ± 12 mm
TANK CAPACITY 18 l Unleaded premium fuel (95 RON)



  1. Mr.Mike says:

    Wow, this bike and my poor impulse control would be a very bad combination.

    • Norm G. says:

      no worries, you’ll only do it once. someone driving a range rover or some other 4-wheeler will straighten you right out.

      hint, time for a thread about the NY incident (it’s now gone national) and the long-term ramifications to motorcycling created by irresponsible behavior.

  2. JPJ says:

    Another great KTM bike that will probably not see the shores of North America anytime soon. Of course if it does ,I will guess $18,000+ for a base model, if available. ABS, TC, selectable power mode, upgraded HP / brakes/ & suspension, i.e. R-Spec $20,000+ . I do love the bike, but more customers would do better with a 690 Duke, 200 EXC playbike, and still have some $$$ left in there pocket.

  3. SecaKid says:

    Why did KTM build a bike like this? Because they can. The same reason Harley built the Blast. Companies like to show the world what they are capable of building.

  4. Bud says:

    An open letter to the designer of the Kawasaki Ninja 1000’s exhaust system:

    See how not-ugly the KTM’s muffler is? How tidy the little sheet metal cat shield is? That’s how it’s done.

  5. Gutterslob says:

    If motorcycles were dogs and I was a vet, one look and I’d be able to tell this KTM was suffering from rabies.

    • Paddy O'Maddy says:

      🙂 Yeah, definitely a case where human euthanasia would be the kindest outcome. But then, I think the dame about mots bike with this look, maybe I’m getting so old the vet should do the same for me.

    • Richard says:

      This bike puts the Ducati Monster to shame and the new Yamaha FZ9 doesnt even compare.

      180 hp at 415 lbs…..power to weight ratio is huge

      Rabies ? you clearly dont understand the KTM product…cutting edge design that others follow and performance specs that make them a leader in innovation…you need to ride one to clearly get it.

      Trading in my 2008 Superduke 990…first on the list

      • Gutterslob says:

        Whoah there, rabid fanboy!!
        I meant rabies as a good thing. You know the “goes like a rabid dog” saying?

  6. jake says:

    I guess producing this bike means KTM does not subscribe to the “its more fun to ride a slow bike fast, than a fast bike slow” theory of biking.

  7. takehikes says:

    I’m guessing most of us would never use (or need) 5 of the 6 gears. Jesus I can’t imagine this for my daily driver. Nice to know it can be built but not sure for who.

  8. casatomasa says:

    This motorcycle has no practical purpose at all……….that’s why I love it so.
    This “Creature” has become the MMA Cage Match Master of motorcycling. Orange has become my favorite color. OOPS, sorry I’ve just wet my jeans.

  9. Hair says:

    In a way, it’s a good think that I am getting older and my fear of death is real.

  10. ed says:

    Better get to know your local tire dealer….real well.

  11. Matt says:

    I love it. I’am in the market for a new naked bike. it will be this or the Tuono.

  12. David Bogue says:

    “but, I would still take another “American Made” 2004 Buell XB12S Lightning over this KTM motorcycle.. because you never had to over spin my Buell to have a fun ride, along with it’s maintenance free design. Those who had one like me or still do know what I’m talking about. There is no replacing.. a motorcycle that weighs only 395 lbs dry, with it’s low rpm V-twin air cooled engine, and high torque, that can develop 103 HP in a compact machine.”

    Not to mention, ……….the Buell Blast!

    • Richard says:

      too bad they dont make them anymore….parts are a nightmare to get and the value has hit the basement over the last 2 years…fun bikes to ride…Buell was a

    • Cynufo says:

      Comparing a Buell XB12S to the new Super Duke; is like comparing a Model T Ford and the latest Formula 1 car. Dudes got to quit running with the Dinosaurs.

      I hope they finally went to a linker shock instead of the direct attached shock.

      The lines of the bike look killer and the seat height looks a lot lower of which a lot of my friends did not like how high my 2007 Super Duke seat was. I always wanted more power on my Super Duke but 180 ponies ought to do just fine! Hmm any one looking for a 2007 Super Duke?

  13. David Duarte says:


  14. chun says:

    Good Gravy, when I look at this thing I run out of skin

  15. Ozfest says:

    This is one of those machines that can only be authentically commented on after actually riding it. I very strongly suspect it would be such an amazing riding experience that it’s colour or shape will be irrelevant to anyone who’s just pulled up after a fast fang.

  16. sl says:

    This thing is the ( . )( . )s.

  17. Wendy says:

    That’s okay, I really don’t need a big wad of money, or my driver’s license.

  18. Lenz says:

    This offering to the Motorcycling Gods by KTM is indeed a thing of bone, muscle and menace. The feeling I used to get before a speedway race – excitement / want to / serious sh!t’s about to happen, this bike would do it to me every time I walked to it.

    There is no antidote for a severe dose of LUST – wants one – real bad.

  19. Al says:

    This looks like some mid-90’s predecessor model of the actual 990 Super Duke…I think it’s about time KTM should get rid of Kiska Design.

  20. Modsquad says:

    I’m calling it the Jimmy Durante, for that schnoz of a headlight.

  21. halfbaked says:

    Will this engine fit into a 990 Adventure.

  22. John says:

    I predict there will be many exciting YouTube events, like this one –

  23. Provologna says:

    Absolutely incredible…as in, incredibly ugly!

    • Stratkat says:

      ya know im so guilty of saying stuff like this… “its so freakin ugly”, or whatever.
      i do it all the time. but im telling you, go ride one of these. KTM just does it right, they are comfortable, fast as hell and have top shelf components.

      • Provologna says:

        I admit I’ve been bikeless since a few years ago when I sold my Yamaha WR250X. The following experience I had on my mountain bicycle could never happen on motorized transportation: I’m riding on my favorite mountain bike trail, single track running N-S on the Wasatch Range (Rockies) about 1M E of where I sit typing. A “wildelife fence” is on the W edge of the trail (downside).

        Generally wildlife remains E of the fence, civilization W of the fence. After about 40 minutes of continuous steep climbing I’m heading N and just approaching a fast, straight, light up/down section. At the exact moment I look W and see a herd of six elk fifty yards W, the heads of the elk turn and spot me. The elk had passed through a hole in the fence about 1M N of our location.

        The elk ran NW to escape through the hole then up the mountain. At first they were in no extreme hurry, but this part of my trail is more or less flat, allowing me to accelerate to close the gap. Now we’re almost parallel, they turn it on, and I’m riding about 75′ from a herd of mostly adult elk running at full gallop.

        Hearing the sound of twenty four hoofs, and feeling the earth shake was a high point I’ll not soon forget. If I only had a helmet camera and microphone…

        If I was on on motorized bike they would have heard me a mile before we met, and would have been gone.

  24. Gronde says:

    I think KTM needs to hire an Italian to help with the design of their bikes. The performance is there, but the ugly factor is also off the scale!

    • jake says:

      KTM is going for the masculine, rough, unfinished looked (like the 5 o’clock shadow on a macho man) blended in with hints of futurism along with industrial and aerodynamic cues. An interesting mix, but in this an Italian would not have helped. Italians are not known for the overly masculine, rough, unfinished, industrial look. The more mechanical Germans are to an extent though.

      Nope, Italians, along with the French, are known more for the speedo look – not the look KTM was shooting for.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I think the KTM looks meaner than anything out of Italy. Perhaps not prettier, but meaner. This bike was made to put foot to arse, and I think the designers nailed the style. It works for me.

    • Neil says:

      Hold that thought while I go powder my nose. It’s designed by Austrian men. Hiking the Alps. Surviving winter storms. Not letting neighboring countries take them over. Having an empire at one time. I believe people critiqued my 919 for being too “nice”.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        “Not letting neighboring countries take them over.”

        Really??? Sorry. Had to say it!

      • Gronde says:

        I believe that it’s more of the “emperor has no clothes” story. Everyone is thirsting for such performance that we make up excuses and say that it’s a wonderfully clothed machine, when in essence it’s anything but.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          I think it is an “eye of the beholder” story. What works for me may do the opposite for you. I’d like the design just as much if they were tucking the old 990 LC8 into the frame.

  25. VLJ says:

    Oh, and one other thing. For the love of all that is good and holy, two things must now happen:

    1. Norm G. and mickey both have to buy one of these Teutonic space shuttles (mickey’s being the traditional KTM orange model shown above, while Norm G. gets that wild red, white and blue “Captain America” version we saw a couple of months ago), along with a pair of Go-Pro units.

    2. After attaching the Go-Pros to their faux mohawk-bedecked Rossi “Mugello” Replica AGV lids, they must then film their very own version of the Big Sur TT…and none of this mamby-pamby time-trials wussification stuff, either. Nope, Our Heroes will set out together from the parking lot of Hearst Castle, banging bars all the way up Hwy 1 to Bixby Bridge. The winner won’t receive anything as crass as money, oh no. Nope, instead, he will receive spiritual enlightenment, for starters, plus his pick of his favorite Monster umbrella girl for a weekend bacchanal in the otter tank at the Monterey Aquarium.

    I’m all in.

  26. Hot Dog says:

    Whoa! Boy,is my wife going to be pissed when she sees what I came home with! Oh wait, I don’t have a fun warden. This bike is to die for!

  27. VLJ says:

    This may be the first full-zoot, no apologies, no “tuned for midrange” (meaning: detuned) naked superbike to come down the pike. The Tuono comes close. The B-King wasn’t really a sportbike. Buell? Ummm…no. The naked version of BMW’s S1000RR hasn’t arrived yet, and we don’t know whether it too will receive the usual neutering during its transformation from Godzilla to Rodan.

    I always expected hp-monger Kawasaki to be the first major manufacturer to do it, and if not Team Green then perhaps the Boys from Bologna, but nope, it looks like KTM beat everyone to the punch.

    Kudos to those psychotic Austrians and their massive “melons” for stepping up and producing this bike. – Tom Sykes

    Looking at that enormous text-based information cluster, though, one question does spring to mind…

    Does it get

  28. allworld says:

    Hang on………. OMG!

  29. denny says:

    BIF, that’s what I like!

  30. Jim says:

    Why does it have to be so ugly?

    • denny says:

      We are approaching day of judgement, that’s why! If most are ugly, those who are average will look pretty.

    • jake says:

      An effort of KTM to be different and standout from the crowd – and the young, affluent before their time buyer or the older, balding dude trying desperately to hang on to his youth, which this kind of bike will mainly attract, want to stand out from the crowd.

      The lines on this bike are irregular, but it’s still a pretty good looking bike in my opinion. As BMW has proven time and time again, high quality fit and finish and paint can make even ugly, asymmetrical bikes look fairly attractive.

      • Dave says:

        Count me in as an older balding dude:) But I have had a soft spot for insane motorcycles my whole life so nothing new. And the youth was gone long ago, but the fun just keeps on going!

      • Stratkat says:

        KTM IS different and DO stand out from the crowd, lol, thats what they do best! its a good thing!!

    • goose says:

      Because if KTM could style their bikes they’d take over the motorcycle industry. Lots of people would be out of work all over the world.

      Not my cup tea but I can see why others are excited. Less than 2.5 pounds per HP? Wow


    • Neil says:

      Many of us looked in the mirror this morning after years of sun and wind pulverizing our faces as we rode into the sunset and asked ourselves the same thing! It actually looks a bit like a hawk racing down to sink its talons into its prey! Arrrgh! This would draw a crowd even in the Harley parking lot! This thing is so hot, you’d stop at a light, raise your visor and the beautiful lady in the car next to you would give you the “Meow!” Look. To which you, with that idle rumbling would reply, “Oh Behave!”

  31. endoman38 says:

    Fifteen large, at least.

  32. Austin ZZR 1200 says:

    I’m losing my license just looking at it…cubist brutality. C’mon lottery!

  33. Gary says:

    I might have bought one if it only had a beak.

  34. Dave says:

    I test rode a Diavel last year and thought that would be a great bike if they put it in a good chassis. Enter the 1290 Superduke R! Already have my deposit down. I am a huge fan of v-twin motors so this one does the trick for me! Properly setup this think is going to set off a lot of car alarms!!!!

  35. JR says:

    Interesting.. but, I would still take another “American Made” 2004 Buell XB12S Lightning over this KTM motorcycle.. because you never had to over spin my Buell to have a fun ride, along with it’s maintenance free design. Those who had one like me or still do know what I’m talking about. There is no replacing.. a motorcycle that weighs only 395 lbs dry, with it’s low rpm V-twin air cooled engine, and high torque, that can develop 103 HP in a compact machine.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “because you never had to over spin my Buell to have a fun ride”

      Which is good because the Buell can’t spin. Which I also think makes them quite dull. That is no more fun than a peaky powerband in my opinion. Plenty of bikes that weigh as much or less than the Buell are both torquey AND can rev out. The KTM will likely weigh a full 20 lbs less than the XB12 and make twice as much power. It is too soon to know for sure, but I suspect there will be enough power on tap that you won’t need to twist the KTM to have fun either unless your idea of fun is opening a wormhole.

  36. Daytona James says:

    It occurs… an odd looking unicycle with an optional front wheel.
    Hammer should have one.

  37. Daytona James says:

    Wow!!! (and lots of other less intelligible expletives accompanied by prodigious drooling.) Great observation Motowarrior… even the small number of riders who can and will ride this beast can have unattentive moments and when something goes sideways at this level, it will go sideways very quickly. I hope the electronics rider’s aids can forgive on the same scale as this bike’s power. Posers need not apply… or else.

  38. The Dude says:

    Funny they release ti just in time for Halloween, nice orange.

  39. dug says:

    Wow! What a hot bike I’d love to put some miles on. Sure it has insane power, but I bet it handles like a dream. KTM is putting out some top notch products these days.

  40. Jeremy in TX says:

    Complete and total overkill. I must have one!

    Plenty of power for the power-mad, super-light for the weight watchers. What are you guys going to find to complain about on this one. Oh, wait, it doesn’t have a centerstand! NO DEAL!

    • Motogrin says:

      What, no centerstand?! How can I tour on it?

    • VLJ says:

      Ummm…no self-cancelling turnsignals?

      Yes, I have actually witnessed people on this very website list that one as a deal-breaker.

    • Selecter says:

      A chain drive???? No deal without the shaft drive, fairing, hard luggage, stereo, and GPS? And why does it weigh so much????


    • Pork Chop Express says:

      Don’t worry, there will be plenty who complain about it. Me personally, I love it! I think it looks amazing and the power to weight is off the charts. If the riding position is anything like the outgoing Super Duke model then it should be a comfortable ride too.

    • John says:

      I see where you’re headed with that one……

      Actually, I think it’s absolutely spot on for the intended concept. If it were ostensibly an off road bike, then I’d have complaints.

  41. Jay says:

    Is this engine going into an RC8? Is the RC8 going to be the tamer little brother?

  42. Tuskerdu says:

    please, something other than orange. . .

  43. John says:

    Also, is it still called a supermoto when it has cast rims, SSS, v-twin engine, tubular frame, 5″ of suspension and a metal gas tank?

    I think we have what is called “category drift” going on here.

  44. John says:

    This will make for most excellent and expensive to produce YouTube videos.

    Charles Darwin approves.

  45. OneWhoKnows says:

    As the saying goes… nothing exceeds like excess!

    This thing is way too much and I like it.

  46. Dave says:

    It’s obscene and offensive, immoral and irresponsible. Nobody should be allowed to have something like this in public!

    I can’t stop looking at it..

  47. david says:

    can someone explain to me how a V-twin engine can generate that much horse power? Unbelievable!

    • BlackCayman says:

      ask Ducati

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Hopefully not by pushing the power into the stratospheric portion of the tach like Ducati. That’s fine for a pure sportbike, but I’d like to think this is going to be a torquey beast as well, more Tuono than Pannigale.

        • BlackCayman says:

          they moved the power up higher to make it more ride-able…before the torque was so nasty it couldn’t be handled as smoothly – these are WSB riders we’re talking about.

          I prefer a more “street-able” motor myself…I was only responding to the question.

    • Norm G. says:

      Q: can someone explain to me how a V-twin engine can generate that much horse power?

      A: HP=(torquexRPM)/5252. elementary my dear Wats… err… David.

  48. Tom R says:

    Wow, the power-to-weight ratio of this bike makes it waaaaay overqualified for all but a handful of talented riders.

    Hope it’s got wheelie control.

  49. Victor dR says:

    Damm!!! this one hot bike… I hope there will be more color combos besides de classic orange…

  50. Motowarrior says:

    Wow! There may be a few riders who follow this site who can take advantage of the performance of this bike, but I’m guessing very few. I’m certainly not one. Still, those of us who got into riding years ago because of the speed rush never imagined a naked bike like this one. Glad I’m not 20 years (or so) younger, or I’d be tempted, and the outcome may not be pretty. 180 hp at 415 lbs? Unreal. Buyers beware!

    • OhEmmGee! says:

      “Buyers beware!” Really? Why? What about BMW’s S1000RR.. or Ducati’s Panagale? They have more power than the new SDuke.

      I suppose a man has to know his limitations.

      • Motowarrior says:

        Well, considering I had a friend killed on a BMW S1000RR, I think “why” is a pretty ridiculous question. And yes, he was a very experienced and fast rider. He just overestimated his skill level in comparison to the bike’s capabilities.

        I have nothing against this motorcycle. It’s just that all of you think you are qualified to ride it, and only a few are right. In the hands of the extremely skilled, it is very likely an amazing bike. If you still don’t understand “buyer beware,” you probably should give some thought to buying one. Knowing my limitations has served me well in over 500,000 miles of riding.