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2023 KTM 1290 Super Duke RR Promises Ultimate Naked Bike Performance  

Limited to 500 units worldwide, the 2023 KTM 1290 Super Duke RR promises ultimate naked bike performance from its 180 horsepower v-twin with massive torque and power available at street rpm levels. Carbon fiber bodywork and other measures minimize weight. Take a look at KTM’s website for additional details.

Here is the press release from KTM:

Following the roaring success of the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE RR in 2021, 500 units of the 2023 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE RR will go into production, promising the same levels of ferocity but with a meaner, darker look.

The KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE RR will once again rip into the tarmac, leaving a deep, lasting impression as the ultimate numbers-limited Hyper Naked motorcycle in the KTM stable. The numbers tell the story – 1,301 cc, 180 hp, 180 kg, and 140 Nm, with a phenomenal 1:1 power-to-weight ratio, making it every bit as beastly as its predecessor, but with a darker shadow. 

Sporting a gloss black and matt carbon base, contrasting white graphics, and striking orange accents, the 2023 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE RR casts an ominous shadow with menacing intentions. This is further exaggerated with a collection of unique custom-made components, which are specific to the RR, adding more aggression and attitude. 

With the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE RR being 11 kg lighter than a standard KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R EVO, it is equally at home decimating lap times as it is carving up mountain roads, providing riders with the ultimate Hyper Naked package. 

However, it’s the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE RR’s collection of WP Suspension’s finest components that take it from a backroad brawler to an accomplished track day terror. Upfront, a fully adjustable WP APEX PRO 7548 Close cartridge fork has been tailored specifically for the RR, while a custom-made WP APEX PRO 7746 Shock takes charge of the rear. The WP APEX PRO 7117 steering damper keeps things in check and offers 30 clicks to dial it into your specification. 

Carbon fiber is used extensively, with the subframe also receiving the lightweight carbon treatment, creating a unique single-seat unit. The LED taillights are incorporated into LED turn signals, as well as KTM’s adaptive brake light as standard. 

As an added extra to enforce the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE RR exclusivity, owners will be presented with a bespoke carbon fiber box containing the keys to their new BEAST. 

For the absolute power-hungry, a full system Akrapovič EVO line exhaust system is available as an optional extra, which adds even more bite to THE BEAST. 

Notable features on the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE RR include: 

  •  1:1 power-to-weight ratio 
  • Akrapovič Slip-on exhaust
  • Exclusive carbon fiber bodywork
  • Lightweight lithium ion battery
  • Ultra-lightweight forged wheel 
  • Carbon fiber subframe with a single seat
  • New, black CTG
  • Limited to only 500 units
  • Unique, branded carbon key box 
  • Factory triple clamp
  • Adjustable CNC-machined rearset

Not only impressive when it comes to hardware, the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE RR boasts the most complete track-orientated electronics pack ever seen on a KTM motorcycle – as standard, adding advanced TRACK and PERFORMANCE MODE. While the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE RR already boasts a full range of exclusive components and bodywork, riders looking for more ferocity can browse a full range of specially developed KTM PowerParts, along with a dedicated range of KTM PowerWear. This includes a custom leather race suit, specifically completed with unique KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE RR branding and matching design. 

The 2023 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE RR will be available globally. Orders open today, 13 March and can only be secured through a select number of authorized KTM dealers.


  1. RD SHOW says:

    EBR 1190 185 hp.. 8k

  2. Neil says:

    Bottom line?
    It’s a Ferrari. Kids are not riding. Bikes are not selling.
    We drove AMC Gremlins and Toyota Corrollas.
    Lots of things in life are beautiful.
    Who has the money?

  3. Mr.Mike says:

    I don’t have the skill to ride one of these things at the limit, but I hope to live long enough to enjoy the experience of hanging on for a full speed run while an AI works the controls.

    • Artem says:

      Just on tracks. AI would not even know where are you speeding because of absence Internet.

    • Curt says:

      Almost no one has the skills to ride these at the limit. No worries, they ride great at any speed. Just enjoy, if you get the chance.

  4. FNFAL says:

    Super Duke RR or Streetfighter V4S?

  5. gregoory says:

    Hey Ron,do you have sex with tomatos?

  6. Jorge says:

    The Viagra blue frame is an interesting concept. Of course that would require”stiff” suspension and the need to call your doctor if you spent more than four hours on it. Might be worth it, though.

  7. Hot Dog says:

    I wish it had a Viagra Blue frame, I’d at least have an excuse for how it makes me feel.

  8. harry says:

    We all have opinions, as previously stated there is no wrong or right answer. My comment is that it’s more fun, for me, to ride a more modest bike at the limit than keeping a high end bike below its limit. This bike can only be driven at its limit on a closed course otherwise one ends in jail. Just being practical.

    • Mick says:

      The more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow mantra is actually quite popular. I’m more or less on that bandwagon. There are more than a few bikes that can crush any speed limit in first and have five more gears to save you some gas. If I were in to doing road race track days I guess I would buy one of those. But my track days are spent doing single track, dirt track, ice race track, supermoto, and observed trials. All on what the street bike guys would slow bikes. I also really get a kick out of mountain biking on what you would call a very slow bike indeed. I basically want my bike to fit well in whatever venue I am riding.

      Other guys like bringing a water cannon to a squirt gun fight. I guess that might be fun on a lark. But I tired of the 916 Ducati that I had because it didn’t like the constrains of public roads. And at about 105hp it is a “slow” bike by today’s standards. Old Super Duke up there would sift it through its air filter and blow it out as a red mist.

      • harry says:

        You are correct. Different stokes for different folks. In my 50’s bought a 2003 Yamaha YZF-600R for its upright seating and high windscreen (precursor to the R6). For me its was a smooth, basically vibration free, inline 4 600cc with around 105 ponies. I took it to a shop and installed a Hindle complete exhaust system, pre-catalytic converters, had the carburetors re-valved. This increased the power and actually increased the mileage with consistent 50+ mpg. I took a month vacation and toured the US putting 10,000 miles on the bike over the month stopping and tent camping at the major national parks in the western states. My goal was putting 500+ miles each day, easy since the 5 gallon tank meant stopping 1-2 times to refuel. Will never forget those times. The second year rode out to Alaska on the AlCan highway.

  9. Jorge says:

    Different bikes for different riders. As the old saying goes, “opinions are like as***les, everyone has one”. If Todd chooses to dislike a bike and Gregory chooses to like it, that’s their opinion. Neither are right nor wrong. We are lucky to enjoy the diverse variety of high performance motorcycles that are currently available. Like Todd, l have my opinions. Like Gregory, l too have ridden just about everything out there. If we all had to ride the same bike, our favorite activity would be much less interesting and satisfying. Ride on!

    • Mick says:

      I would say that there is a diverse variety of motorcycles built along a very limited number of themes. There is quite a lot that you cannot buy at all.

      What boggles my mind is what is and what is not considered safe to sell to the street bike buying public. Then if you really take a close look at what is available as off the rack street bikes. You’ll see the the industry does indeed break their own very strange set of rules. But only in very limited market segments. This has frustrated me for decades.

  10. Fastship says:

    Buy one if you can. You will not be disappointed. I wasn’t!

  11. RonH says:

    I want one.

  12. Wes says:

    Not sure why there’s hate here…if I could afford it…it would be in the garage. For that matter they all would be if that was the case. I’d love to take this beast for a spin. Pure adrenaline. You can’t see it when you are riding it anyway.

    • Motoman says:

      Really don’t get it when people look at the specs of a bike like this and say they wouldn’t ride it because it’s ugly. WTF? Better to look like a pirate and ride a bike that can’t go around a corner I suppose?

      If someone is that concerned about how they look when riding a bike they would not be riding with me or my riding buddies. Rubber side down.

      • My2cents says:

        No problem if look’s don’t matter as long as the performance is good? Last call and you can have the fat broad, after all she knows how to dance and has a great personality.

        • Motoman says:

          Seriously? Is that the best you can do?

          Doesn’t surprise me though that you would think someone who is overweight shouldn’t be on your bike if you focus on appearance. What would everyone think of me if my passenger wasn’t a perfect “broad”?

          • Tom K. says:

            “I like a woman you can grab on to”
            Furio Gunta

            “You grab onto Ginny Sac, your hands will disappear”
            Paulie Walnuts

            Same argument, different ride.

      • Mick says:

        I don’t understand what is so compelling about this bike. What specs are supposed to make me what to ride it if I think it’s ugly? There are better looking bikes that make considerably more power and this bike isn’t any lighter than any other off the rack street bike. So, I don’t get it.

        I guess if I were to comment on the looks I would say that KTM needs a new headlight design. Nobody likes this one. The radiator shrouds are a bit overdone. And for the love of anything holy can we get a tail section that keeps the rear tire from pumping water and road grime all over the rider every time it rains. So you have questionable styling elements forward, amidship, and aft on a bike that makes less power than a twenty year old open class sport bike with considerably less engine displacement. And it isn’t even any lighter dispite the lack of bodywork.

        The past called to say they make jokes about the future.

        Who would have ever thought that being able to remember the past would doom one to be unimpressed with the future? At least the car guys have some forms of progress to point at. You can buy 500hp grocery getters now if you are so inclined. The motorcycle guys are supposed to be impressed with how many different ways the not all that impressive performance of some new gee wiz bike can be limited by its electronics package.

        Anybody know where I can buy a ticket to another planet? Heck, I’m sure that some of the guys here would gladly buy me one, just so long as it was only one way.

  13. Scott says:

    If only I were unbreakable.

  14. Rob says:

    Surely there must be someone at KTM that thinks that headlight is hideous, yes? Because it is awful!

  15. TP says:

    I can’t see why anyone would want to ride what looks like a blind insect.

    • Bob says:

      Some of us are more concerned with riding bikes than staring at them in your garage.

      You should try it once in a while…

  16. L. Ron Jeremy says:

    Its “less orange”, so I guess it looks better than more orange.

  17. dt 175 says:

    i don’t know if this thing is stanced, woke or swole, but i think i want one…

  18. todd says:

    hello , i am here to get you what you want

  19. My2cents says:

    That frame looks awesome, the front fender, exhaust, and mono swing arm as well. The praying Mantis headlight and body panels aren’t my cup of tea. I do believe 180 hp might enable me to ignore the visuals I don’t appreciate.

  20. SpeedEasy says:

    1/1 power to weight took me back to the late 50’s when Chevy was the first American manufacturer to pull 283 HP from 283 cu. in. My 2014 ZX14r ran about 3 lbs. per horse, and it was an absolute rocket, albeit a very manageable one. I’ll never know the tractability of this RR as light weight casts are astronomical, not to mention the supply/demand thing. It would be fun to experience, for sure.

  21. Reginald Van Blunt says:

    I’m impressed with the twists and turns of the exhaust system. Would make a neat picture on its own off the bike, with a little colored lighting.

  22. Tom K. says:

    I never possessed the skill level, and I no longer possess the testicular fortitude (or simple reckless regard for my own safety), nor a young man’s reflexes or spine (either physical or mental) to justify owning one of these. But I do possess the ability to be awed by such a fantastic piece of motorcycle engineering. Just Wow. Operator’s license evaporation on my mark in 3, 2, 1…

    To dismiss it simply as an overcompensation for some perceived deficit of physical endowment is, well, dismissive (and maybe a bunch of Sour Grapes). Is it excessive? Sure, but no more so than a Shelby or Hellcat, and measured on a “grin per dollar” basis, is a much more sensible purchase than any one of the exotic supercars. Does anyone really need more than a hundred hp on the street? Nah. Is having more objectively better? Hey, it’s still a Free Country (although that seems to be changing rather quickly). If I were younger, I’d like to own one simply for the stories to tell my grandkids. But knowing that I never had the self control to not twist that thing on the end of the right bar to full stop on any bike I ever owned while on the street, my guess is I would not have lived long enough to HAVE grandkids, but that’s a different argument. “Too soon old, too late smart”, I guess. But still, Good on KTM.

    • paquo says:

      i dismiss the whole super naked segment
      i mean trying to hang on to a bike at 120 and accelerating and fighting the windblast is stupid

  23. Nick says:

    Mmmm, another bike for those who have something missing in their lives. Or simply a screw loose.

  24. mike d says:

    What Jim said. 🤣

  25. todd says:

    Meh. I wasn’t impressed by the regular 1290 Duke and its slow steering and rather bulky feel and styling. I guess this is still aimed at the “fast between stoplights” crowd.

    • Jim says:

      My, what rarefied air we must move through to look down on a 1290.

      • todd says:

        Maybe you would like the Rocket III or a Boss Hoss, those are even bigger engines, if that’s your thing.

        • SpeedEasy says:

          People tend to want a good supply of power/torque at reasonable RPM. Most older adults anyway, my demographic. At 74 I want to twist the throttle and get moving with out a lot of noise and RPM. For the most part, that takes engine size. I rode a Ninja 600 once and it sounded like I was riding a chainsaw. My current ride, a M109r, gets it when I want it. Quietly and as forcefully as I choose. If that takes 1.8 litre, so be it.

          • Dave says:

            Agreed. Once one stops getting hung up on hp/cc they see that a larger engine producing a lower peak hp yields a much broader spread of power and usually better efficiency, too.

          • todd says:

            I ride, almost exclusively, on tight canyon roads. A bike like this is actually slower and more tiring to ride through roads like this than something like the 690 Duke. I have ridden bikes like the 1098 Streetfighter and have confirmed it is actually slower through a fun road. The 1290 SD I borrowed reminded me of that Ducati. Engine power has very little to do with performance on a tight road or track where light weight and light/quick turning is preferred over heavy turning and more weight.

        • Jim says:

          Nice straw man, but your slow steering and bulky feel comment has nothing to do with engine displacement.

          • Motoman says:

            Sure it does/can.

            Identical bikes in every respect will feel different with different displacement engines. Reciprocating and rotational mass greatly affect the way a bike handles. Obviously so does chassis geometry, tire size, profile, compound, etc

    • Motoman says:

      “aimed at the “fast between stoplights” crowd.”

      Disagree. It is obviously not set up for quarter mile runs. Just because you don’t like the way it handles doesn’t mean it’s not good in the twisties and on track. Most modern sport bikes are a different set of tires or minor chassis tweaks away from anyone’s preferred setting.

      • Dirck Edge says:

        He’s wrong. This is the new chassis introduced a couple of years ago. I’ve tested it and it goes around corners extremely well. It won the race track comparison with a group of open-class nakeds last year by a very respected, and fast, journalist.

      • Mick says:

        I’ll second (third?) that. I was really disappointed with the 916 Ducati that I bought until I picked up a nail after only a couple hundred miles. I swapped out the tires for tires with a different profile. They totally transformed the bike. It handled very well after that.

        I was kind of surprised that none of the reviews at the time ever mentioned that the bike wasn’t really compatible with the tires that it was delivered with. But then the journalists might never have ridden the bike with the actual stock tires on it.

        • TimC says:

          Most reviews can’t really be honest; it’s a known thing esp in the bigger buff books. It’s always the same pattern – praise everything good, MAYBE mention a couple non-ideal things barely (but always followed by something else it does well). Then MAYBE when the new model comes out you can THEN say what was wrong with the old one, that the new one now fixes.

          I know a guy that was a tester/editor at Automobile for some time that confirmed that it’s exactly how it looks from the outside; they are very restricted in how critical they can be.

          • Dave says:

            That’s one way to look at it. Another way to look at it is through a lens of charitable assumption. No company aspires to cut corners and deliver bare minimums, they all try to compete and deliver the best product they can.

            It serves nobody to publish unnecessarily negative content bashing a product or a brand. That just takes everyone down a notch.

    • Dave says:

      The guy in the photo sure seems to know how to get it to turn. I don’t imagine a GP bike is any fun to ride at street speeds and I suspect this thing has the same quandary. It must be pretty hard to tune a bike’s handling so that it’s fun and easy enough at mortal/street speeds but also correct for the power and speeds a bike like this can generate.

      • Curt says:

        I haven’t ridden an RR, but I’ve owned two “regular” Super Duke Rs. The capacity for insanity is present. What’s surprising is the general stability, tractability, and ease of use at a dawdling pace. These are well-sorted machines and will happily ride a conservatively as you’d like. Even the latest version with the quick-turn throttle. No biggie. Just pleasant all the time.

        • Mick says:

          I have always been surprised at KTM’s general knack for making kittens with big teeth. It’s sort of their brand.

      • todd says:

        The guy in the photo is demonstrating the available cornering clearance on a sweeping turn. What you don’t see is the extra level of effort it takes to keep this bike leaned over or how difficult it is to transition to another corner. Bikes with fat tires and “stable” handling are usually slower than a “quick” bike with less power – especially when there are more turns than long straights.

        • Curtis says:

          The SDR in stock form is plenty stable, yes (if not overly agile, it’s no slug, either). There’s plenty of information out there on chassis setup and improving steering sharpness. On my EVO, I simply set the rear shock preload to “auto-high” and BAM, she corners like a scalpel (maybe not quite like THE scalpel – I haven’t ridden the 890R and, after riding my new 890 ADV R, don’t really want to – the 890 wouldn’t likely be the sporting platform of my choice) whether I’m riding solo or have my wife along for the ride. This RR seems to have adjustable ride height and that should be an even better approach. Anyway, there are a LOT of ways to make an SDR turn pretty much how you’d like.

        • Mick says:

          Yup. While it’s fun to paint in broad strokes from time to time. Riding bikes with a 160 or less rear tire is a real eye opener on what fatter tires bring to the table, and what they clearly do not. They are fashion in a lot of cases, any bike with 90hp or less. The fashion of poor choices. Unfortunately it has been all the rage for the last several decades.

          • Curt says:

            Agreed, a lot of bikes seem to have more rear tire than they need. And the SDR is the exception that proves the rule – when you need it, you need it. I wouldn’t want to connect this v-twin with the asphalt with anything less than a big, fat, sticky tire, with careful attention to chassis/suspension setup and tire profile to maintain the improbable agility of which it is capable. On a long ride, the (normal) SDR pulls so hard I’ve sometimes gotten to the point of dreading second gear corner exits. Oh no, here we go again! Hang on! Whoosh!

        • Dave says:

          You’re right. I don’t see any of that.

          Maybe you got a dud? Incorrect tire pressure? Bad sag settings? Everyone raves about how much fun these bikes are to ride in corners. 180 and 190 section tires aren’t “fat”, they’re standard. Literally all high-performance bikes have a 120/70 up front and a 180 or 190/55 in the rear.

        • Jim says:

          Well todd, until they make more plated 125GP bikes, I guess we are just stuck with terrible handling.

    • gregoory says:

      Tod your probably not the best rider out there…I’ve owned gsxr’s,zx10’s Ducati’s and every thing in between.Ive owned track bikes and spent many hours on a race track and countless hours on twisty canyon roads.My current ride is a 2019 1290r and i have more fun on this bike than most of the other bikes I’ve owned.Its fast agile and too much fun…in the twisties.I ride with buddies on gsxr,s and r1’s and there aint much difference,except top speed.Spectacular Motorcycle..

      • Curt says:

        There are a fair number of nay-sayers regarding these bikes. I wonder how many have ridden them? Most reports from owners are glowing. Certainly my experience is, like yours, extremely positive. I can’t really imagine a MUCH more enjoyable motorcycle.

        • todd says:

          I can and I bought it. The 690 Duke is more enjoyable to ride and easier to ride fast, on my roads, faster than the 1290. I have definitely ridden worse bikes (a number of Ducatis come to mind) and the 1290 SD was actually pretty good. However, if you’re not just hung up on HP numbers on a wide open stretch of road, bikes like the 690 Duke and SMC-R are much more enjoyable and easier to ride just as fast.

          It’s probably safe to say that everyone here isn’t the fastest rider out there either!

          • Curt says:

            I ride all bikes about the same speed. Has to do with my sense of self-preservation and desire to keep my license. Anything over about a 300 will do plenty on the street. I ride to get a certain feeling, as I suspect most of us do. It’s a good thing we have a nice variety of choices in motorcycles!

      • Bob says:

        Shame you ride better than you spell. Also: Grammar is not your enemy.

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