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Production KTM 1290 SuperDuke R Pictures Released

In the wake of several photos leaking from an Austrian factory event for U.S. KTM dealers, a designer for KTM (Kiska) was authorized to release these photos of a seemingly production version of the 2014 KTM 1290 SuperDuke R.  You can see more photos on a Kiska designer’s blog. With passenger seat, instruments, turn signals, headlight and license plate holder, this is in all likelihood the production bike that will be officially unveiled at EICMA in Milan in a few month’s time. Rumor is this beast could have close to 185 horsepower at the crank. Presumably enough for even the most rabid naked bike aficionado. The unit pictured is sporting a “Patriot” paint job specially designed by Kiska for the U.S. contingent.


  1. LuckyPhill says:

    Just found out today that the twin (seperate) exhausts shown on the race prototype will be a genuine Powerparts accessory! As will the two-colour wheels. Even more fuel for my fire!!!!

  2. Charles says:

    Rear suspension looks scary. Shouldn’t any bike with this much power and performance have a progressive linkage? Could be an unpredictable bike when pushed really hard. There’s a reason KTM ditched the PDS shocks when they wanted to get serious in racing, both in motocross and superbike with the RC8.

  3. LuckyPhill says:

    Absolutely hooked! Only 75 coming to Australia in the first quarter of 2014 and I’ve paid my deposit for one of those. Currently own an 07 R1 and can’t wait to add this to my collection. Yes it’s different looking but looking back in time, haven’t all bikes from all manufacturers gone through some weird and wonderful evolutionary changes? Even the first generation of fully faired bikes were heavily criticized by some yet now they make up a huge percentage. Counting down the days till it arrives!!!

  4. old hooli says:

    Saw,sat on and listened to the 1290 at Goodwood Festival of Speed.This is the Animal bike that is gonna bring me back to biking after a 14 year break.You have heard and seen nothing like this baby,up until now and let me tell you it was worth the wait.I simply could not take my eyes off it.

  5. proheli says:

    I like it. But how much will it cost? I’ve got a 1098SFS, and this is just my opinion, but the name of the game is fueling. Most folks don’t want to have a low end that jerks them around and runs like dog doo. I think this will sell quite a few bikes if the price point can stay under $15k AND the fueling is good, but if it can’t then you might as well get the Ducati. Plus we already know the Duc rocks, plus it looks like Ducati is coming out with a new 1200cc monster next year, so there is a bit of stuff happening in the naked big twin market. But really I think it is all about fueling. KTM is already an obscure company, and if people have to do anything else to make it run right… well I don’t think they will buy it.

    • 1290 Fan says:

      KTM. Obscure? You know they’re now the largest European manufacturer right? Go have a test ride on the new 1190 Adventure if you want an idea of how much work has been done on the new LC8 engines fueling and their rideability. You’re correct though, the fueling makes the bike and it was a real let down on 990cc KTMs.

      • Stratkat says:

        … nah, couple of tweaks here and there and the fueling is perfect, 30,000 miles on my 07 Super Duke!

  6. drbyers says:

    This is a hot bike and I don’t even like standards/hooligans. I’m actually considering buying one if the price tag isn’t too steep.

  7. TS says:

    The stars and strip paint job was only for the presentation to the American dealers
    that attended the Dealer Meeting in Austria. This is a one off paint scheme. The bike
    in person is a very well put together motorcycle.

    • Norm G. says:

      actually, looks good. it’s not like we ever see a ktm that isn’t some variant of orange. who knows, could be a hit with military riders.

      • Norm G. says:

        ps guys, this has about as much “beakage” as an F117. beakage factor set to zero. transformer factor…? okay ya got me.

  8. frostbite says:

    WTF ? Why don’t you “STYLING DEPT” guys take a couple of Aspirin and go have a lie down for a while …. Sheeeeesh! Enough Already …..

    • Lenz says:

      Every new model offered to potential motorcycle purchasers must address the engineering / componentry and style / appearance mix ie form Vs function

      My view is for motorcycles to take the line of “less is more” with high component and material strength throughout. This ultimately results in high power to weight ratios, reliability and durability in the field. However the decisions made on styling can make or break the commercial viability of motorcycle models. eg the latest offering by Buell with the highly visible cooling intake shrouds – the bike probably worked well but it turned potential buyers away in droves.

      Endless verbage on styling merits – “To Beak or not to Beak, to Cowl or not to Cowl” yes I guess it’s all too much for some of us but manufacturers spend a fortune on design accents all to SELL PRODUCT. Sometimes it works commercially and sometimes it don’t ….

  9. markt says:

    I will have one!!!

  10. Lenz says:

    The “bone and muscle” / “ripped” look of this bike is absolutely on the money as far as I’m concerned. I’m not a big fan of the angular cowls that extend the line of the tank down over the radiators but it’s a minor thing. For a bike thats gonna be capable of serious road performance I’d like to see a non “billy-goat head profile” (ref the SMT)half or quarter fairing for rider protection / headlight enclosure.

    These styling suggestions are realistically of minimal concern. Perhaps also little more conservative paint job than the “Patriot” scheme however when one is confronted with a Ferrari in RED one does not “limp out” the wrist and ask if it comes in “sunset lemon”

  11. pearsonm says:

    Looks like something an American Olympic gymnast would ride. The Origami styling theme ran it’s course a long, long time ago.

  12. Derestricted says:

    It wasnt designed for the US continent, it was designed as a one off for the US dealer meeting. Thanks for posting it though 🙂

  13. Razor says:

    I had the old 999SuperdukeR. Best bike ever. If you like formula 1 handling, GO FOR IT. I defo will be checking this beut out.

  14. Azi says:

    The great thing about the SuperDuke is the decent sized fuel tank. Much much better than the teacup used on Ducati Monsters.

  15. MrD says:

    I have no doubt this would be a riot to ride, without question I would love to. But it kinda looks like that GSXR we’ve all seen, in the ditch after flipping 12 times missing most of the bodywork. Must be that blue/white combo.

  16. Gronde says:

    No beaks! No beaks!

  17. Joe Dillingham says:

    I didn’t know it was October 31st already!!

  18. Katomic says:

    I don’t get it. People gabbing on about the ‘transformer’ styling and the ‘beak’ and and and… KTM are, and have been producing a ‘style’ of road bikes since they started developing bitumen carvers. They are different, quirky, and unique.

    Why do we want each manufacturer to produce ‘soft’ styled bikes that appeal to ‘everyone’? Can’t happen. Humans are humans, and all have different tastes.

    The 1290 SD is a perfect evolution of the first incarnation! It compliments the existing shapes and angles, and just pushes the envelope a little more! If you liked the first one, You’ll probably love the new one for the same reasons!

    If you don’t like the angles etc… Triumph have a rounded kidney bean with old skool head lights for you!

    Just accept, everyone has different tastes. I Love it! Personally, I’m bored with honda, suzuki, Yam and Kwack… bring on something a little outrageous. I’m putting my name down!

    • Pork Chop Express says:

      The truth of the matter is there are a lot of sissy-Mary’s out there that need to convince themselves that they don’t need or want a bike as powerful, fast, good handling, and down right awesome looking as a 1290 Super Duke! For me this bike is everything motorcycling is about. For those that don’t like it, go find yourself a nice scooter to putter around on. This is a pure performance street bike. Either you like it or you don’t but don’t whine about some styling nonsense that has nothing to do with the true spirit of what motorcyling is all about!

      • Dave says:

        Look around. There are many versions of “what motorcycling is about”. The version that this bike speaks to is a small minority. Most of the guys who will be able to afford this are older and smarter than to use it to anywhere near it’s capabilities on the street. Like most high end sport bikes, this will be a man-purse for most of it’s owners.

        • Pork Chop Express says:

          It’s a performance motorcycle, not a commuter, or a an adventure tourer (although technically it’s based on the same platform as the 1190 Aventure). It’s not meant to appeal to the 300cc market looking for great gas mileage and cheap insurance. It’s meant to get people in the dealer showrooms to check out the latest monster naked bike. They may or may not buy it but it’s what guys dream of riding and it’s what gets them in the dealerships. KTM will sell 10 times as many small displacement streetbikes as they do 1290 SD’s but that doesen’t matter. No one get’s all excited and runs to the showroom over a 125cc street bike but they will to see the SD. If you don’t get goosebumps over the thought of riding a bike like this then you don’t have a pulse. His isn’t about practicality it’s about motorcycling. It’s the most fun thing you’ll ever do in your life. Save the practicality for your Subaru.

          • Dave says:

            You are the one calling other riders “sizzy-Mary” and making assumptions about how other’s come to their opinions about this bike (I think it’s pretty cool, though not for me).

            I was just pointing out how uncool it is to look down on another motorcyclist’s experiences or taste is. If someone finds enjoyment on a cruiser or scooter, what difference does it make to you? Ride what you like, be safe, take care of your business and be happy that guy on the bike you think is stupid isn’t texting in an 8,000lb SUV..

          • Pork Chop Express says:

            Settle down there Dave, the sissy-Mary comment was a joke. I was simply stating there are a lot of guys that need to find a way to justify to themselves why they don’t want a bike that’s not the one they currently own. They do this by criticizing bikes they probably actually like as a way of convincing themselves they don’t need it. All of the “beak” comments were making me nauseas. It’s like casting aside everything that is great about a machine like the 1290 SD over a completely subjective judgement on its appearance.

            I’m not “looking down at another motorcyclist’s experiences or tastes.” I agree with your comment about riding what you like. The 1290 SD is not a utilitarian bike for the masses. It’s for people that are passionate about performance streetbikes. You’re the one who called it a “man-purse”, now who is judging who?

        • Katomic says:

          Thats Right. There are many different versions of “what motorcycling is about”. I personally own a 1982 CB900F Bol d’Or, for the odd times I want to ride a big heavy carburetor fed bike that brings a different smile to my face than my current 990 KTM Super Duke!
          It’s not about picking on or saying “why is this designed for the minority?”, it’s about embracing the fact that it exsits in the first place, and, there is the choice! Isn’t it great that there is a bike out there to suit everyone’s needs and tastes?!
          Again, don’t pigeon hole. “Most of the guys who will be able to afford this…..” Well, I’m young enough, and smart enough, and can ride well enough to get quite a bit out of any bike I ride, and to be honest, who cares if its a man purse for some owners… aren’t “most” Ducati’s, sports bikes and for that matter any motorcycle?
          Motorcycling is all about the freedom and experience it brings to the motorcyclist. That… is “what motorcycling is all about”.

          Anyways, Naf to all that.. The 1290 will go like stink, looks hot, and I want one!

  19. Norm G. says:

    no faster way to shoot one’s eye out… right then, where do I sign…?

  20. starmag says:

    If I put my thumb over the top half of the bike, I really like this. You can see the whole motor! Great v-twin sounds. Stupid power for the street. I have nowhere to use even my ZRX’s 122hp.

    The-most-transformers-headlight-ever. KTM, you win! Please stop now that you’ve won.

    I’d say this looks like it was rear-ended, but it must not have been because the hideous taillight bracket is still there. How high can tail sections go? The sky’s the limit!

    So close, but so far.

    • Montana says:

      Can’t be easy to make a tall tank and wide radiator shrouds look good,
      but can’t someone come up with a styling compromise between a grasshopper and a ladybug.

  21. ducatidon says:

    I doubt that there is a more naked AND faster bike out there. And I doubt that any will disagree that the EPA has pretty much ruined the chances of ever seeing a good looking exhaust design on a naked bike ever again.

  22. red says:

    Where are the beak-haters? Is it still a “beak” if you mount a headlight in it? Profile says BEAK..

    Cool bike, but I don’t care for the styling. Curves are out and angles are in with the whipper-snapper designers.

    • Provologna says:

      Several of us stated clearly it’s ugly. I include the beak in that description.

    • mickey says:

      I think I mentioned the headlight looked beakish from the side

    • falcodoug says:

      Ant face

    • stratkat says:

      heres the thing. i hate the beak mostly because it does nothing at all. in most cases, its not a fender, maybe
      in some cases the airbox is fed through it but its become a non functioning design element that looks stupid, and is repeated ad nauseum. on the Superduke it is a functional part of the motorcycle, it is the headlight. i dont like it as much as the current SD but its not as hideous as the Tuono i to my eye.

  23. allworld says:

    We are going to need a shoot out with this and the Aprilia Touno V4 Let the good times roll. 🙂

  24. SausageCreature says:

    I wish modern bike designs weren’t so completely polarizing. Some people love this look, but it seems just as many, if not more, really hate it. And if you’re in the “hate it” or even somewhere in between, it feels like designers are just leading us around by the nose. “This is the current style because WE say it is. Deal with it.” You’d think the manufacturers would read some of the comments (and not just from the internet crowd, but also magazine reviews) decrying the whole manga/Transformers trend in motorcycle design.

    Yes, some aspects of form are dependent upon function, but not in this case. I’m pretty sure this bike would go, stop and turn just as well with fewer point bits sticking out in all directions. Maybe some graceful curves and flowing lines would be better for a change, instead of something that looks like a scrap-metal sculpture constructed by the crazy hermit who lives on the edge of town?

    • stratkat says:

      its always been like this. either you like something or hate it. the diff now is you can express that right away on forums as opposed to just discussing it with your buddies.
      if you dont like it, dont buy it, its always been your decision. me i cannot stand the look of the Tuono, i have ridden it though and its a fantastic machine, cant get past the looks though. thats the beauty of being able to decide for ones self. its interesting to read everyones opinions but they never sway me, unless something is mechanically unsound or unreliable.

      • BlackCayman says:

        look at Honda Accords….designed “not to offend” anyone…BORING

        Don’t like it? Don’t buy it. If enough agree it will fail – The Free Market solves its own problems.

        Dukes are unique, beautiful bikes.

        I want that in an SM-T PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • guuu says:

      Bikes are not sold to people who dislike them or love them. Those people don’t matter. Bikes are sold to people who love them. This is always going to be a small minority, but then again no bike is sold by the millions.

  25. Tom R says:

    Wow, what a wheelie machine this will be. Way over-qualified for the likes me, but it would an impressive sight to see a skilled rider wringing out this bike’s potential.

  26. Neil says:

    Beautiful machine. I can never get comfortable with high bars and high pegs though. My legs push me into the tank. As the hands come up, the legs have to move down a corresponding amount. Hence the comfy nature of the new VStrom. The headlight is pretty hideous and I am not sold on those side panels. But it’s a cool machine. Can that twin run well down low. My brother and I agree that his 07 Multistrada does not want to run well around town in 25-35 mph traffic. I was amazed how smooth it was shifting at high rpms into third gear at 70 mph. It just wanted to be ridden like that. This bike may be the same. My 06 Honda 919 will pull smoothly all the way from 2000 rpms.

    • BlackCayman says:


    • Azi says:

      Agree re: streetfighter riding position. Rearsets + forward sloping seat with trailbike height handlebars = makes me feel like I’m bent backwards at the waist doing the limbo. Harder to ride in the city compared to a GS500, yet harder to handle at speed than a proper sportbike. That’s my experience of a Tuono and Speed Triple anyway.

  27. mike says:

    Keep it under $15k and this will be a winner. Much over $15k and the Tuono looks like a true bargain.

  28. takehikes says:

    hate it, but then I hate all this type of bike…the styling is horrid…fly a frigging 747 between the rear wheel and fender….everything looks tacked on, no symmetry or flow at all to the design. I’m quite sure its a superb bike but ugly is ugly.

  29. mickey says:

    Headlight nacelle looks rather ” beakish” from the side don’t you think?

  30. Bill says:

    Work of art… sexy.

  31. HotDog says:

    If I knew I was going to get old, I’d have tried to like this sort of thing earlier.

  32. allworld says:

    This bike is nice, very nice, the tail section, needs a serious after market clean up, but other than that, I’m sold.
    This is just the type of bike that EBR and HMC should be offering. Come on Eric time to break out the big guns. 🙂

  33. Tim says:

    Nothing says America quite like an Austrian motorcycle.

    • stratkat says:

      perhaps you missed the part where it is a one off for the American dealer visit.

  34. DucTech says:

    The wheels rock! colors are cool but loose the flag.

  35. Wendy says:


  36. TimC says:

    Black/orange – follow the “blog” link in the writeup. I am not normally a fan of KTM black/orange but that version looks pretty hot.

    • TimC says:

      Granted, to a certain extent this is due to lack of lights, minimal exhaust, what looks to be no instruments (?) etc. But squinting/imagining that paint job on the “Patriot” street version, I still think I like…

  37. Provologna says:

    epic fail, gross, ugly…is this the Austrian interpretation of an “Evil Knevil Memorial” paint scheme?

    Other than the paint scheme, I’d describe this as Austria’s version of a V-twin Suzuki B-King, minus about 75 lbs…

    I’d probably be happier with the tractability and overall reliability of the B-King, regardless how much better this Super Duke handles and brakes. Besides, I don’t see this twin equaling the power of BMW’s S1000 and Suzuki B-King (Hayabusa) 1300cc, both I-4 cylinders (both make about 185 hp).

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I think it is aimed more at bikes like the big Brutale and Tuono, not an S1000 or Hayabusa. Given the rwhp figures I’ve seen published for the B-King around the 165hp mark, I would expect the new Duke to make competitive power unless the 185 claimed hp is at the at the brochure instead of the crank.

  38. Gutterslob says:

    Nothing against the Stars-n-Stripes/Evil-Knievel look, but I prefer black & orange.

  39. MGNorge says:

    I know many that visit here, at least the regulars, seem to be gaga over KTMs in general. But I have to say that this bike for all its hooligan qualities is too little for too much. A very niche bike that will find relatively few homes which probably suits those willing to pay the tariff.

    • stratkat says:

      … but we are a rabid, loyal few, and the current machine is fantastic. i cannot wait/imagine for this one

  40. HARRYISCOOL says:

    Erik Buell work for KTM?

  41. Tom K. says:

    That thing would scare the bejeezez out of me, and I ain’t afraid of nothin’…

  42. mark444 says:

    I like it (not the paint……but the concept and the HP). Why put a pillion seat on this BEAST… is meant to go solo and go fast. When it does come out to the public, I doubt it will look like this one…..???

    • Pork Chop Express says:

      More than likely they’ll offer a single and two seat version. People said the same thing about the previous SD (which I own) but it’s actually a decent two-up ride for a sport bike. I love the look and reported power of the new bike and my understanding is the red/white/blue bike in these pictures pretty much is the production model. The color scheme is a one-off for a US dealer show but otherwise what you see is what we will be able to buy next year.

      • stratkat says:

        yes it is supposed to hit the euro showrooms in december, and seeing as it looks very similar to the test mule which has been around for months, i feel confident that are looking at the final version.

  43. ApriliaRST says:

    Got a sport-touring version of that bike?

    • Shaunock says:

      Yes. It’s called the KTM 990 SM-T.

      • BlackCayman says:

        KTM 1290 SM-T in white, wiht black frame

        For that, I’d make a payment again.

        What if that was waiting in the wings for 2014 model year release???

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