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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.

    Report this comment

    • 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.

      Report this comment

  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.

    Report this comment

  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.

    Report this comment

  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.

    Report this comment

  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.

    Report this comment

    • 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.

      Report this comment

    • 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

      Report this comment

  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.

    Report this comment

  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.

    Report this comment

  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.

    Report this comment

  9. Hair says:

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

    Report this comment

  10. ed says:

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

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  11. Matt says:

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

    Report this comment

  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!

    Report this comment

    • 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

      Report this comment

    • 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?

      Report this comment

  13. chun says:

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

    Report this comment

  14. 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.

    Report this comment

  15. sl says:

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

    Report this comment

  16. Wendy says:

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

    Report this comment

  17. 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.

    Report this comment

  18. 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.

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  19. Modsquad says:

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

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  20. halfbaked says:

    Will this engine fit into a 990 Adventure.

    Report this comment

  21. Provologna says:

    Absolutely incredible…as in, incredibly ugly!

    Report this comment

    • 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.

      Report this comment

      • 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.

        Report this comment

  22. 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!

    Report this comment

    • 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.

      Report this comment

    • 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.

      Report this comment

    • 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”.

      Report this comment

  23. 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.

    Report this comment

  24. 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!

    Report this comment

  25. 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

    Report this comment

  26. allworld says:

    Hang on………. OMG!

    Report this comment

  27. denny says:

    BIF, that’s what I like!

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  28. Jim says:

    Why does it have to be so ugly?

    Report this comment

    • denny says:

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

      Report this comment

    • 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.

      Report this comment

    • 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


      Report this comment

    • 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!”

      Report this comment

  29. endoman38 says:

    Fifteen large, at least.

    Report this comment

  30. Austin ZZR 1200 says:

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

    Report this comment

  31. Gary says:

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

    Report this comment

  32. 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!!!!

    Report this comment

  33. 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.

    Report this comment

    • 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.

      Report this comment

  34. Daytona James says:

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

    Report this comment

  35. 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.

    Report this comment

  36. The Dude says:

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

    Report this comment

  37. 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.

    Report this comment

  38. 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!

    Report this comment

  39. Jay says:

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

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  40. Tuskerdu says:

    please, something other than orange. . .

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  41. 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.

    Report this comment

  42. John says:

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

    Charles Darwin approves.

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  43. OneWhoKnows says:

    As the saying goes… nothing exceeds like excess!

    This thing is way too much and I like it.

    Report this comment

  44. 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..

    Report this comment

  45. david says:

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

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  46. 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.

    Report this comment

  47. Victor dR says:

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

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  48. 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!

    Report this comment

    • 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.

      Report this comment

      • 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.

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