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2020 KTM 1290 Super Duke R

2020 KTM 1290 Super Duke R

KTM’s flagship hyper-naked model has a new chassis, improved electronics, and reworked engine

Austrian bike builder KTM revamped its top shelf naked bike — the 1290 Super Duke R — for MY2020, and it treated the world to a first glimpse at 2019 EICMA. This newest Super Duke R represents a natural evolution and a rather radical reimagination of KTM’s flagship hyper-naked model to include a new chassis, revised electronics, and reworked engine that together deliver more of what made the Super Duke R such a popular machine in the first place. All of this comes with re-imagined aesthetics that adds new visual elements to the unmistakable KTM panache.

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2021 KTM 890 Duke R

2021 KTM 890 Duke R

KTM Unveils Its "Super Scapel"

KTM added to its mid-range naked-sportbike bracket with the 890 Duke R, and it looks like it’ll make it over to our side of the pond just in time for the 2021 model year. Essentially, the factory took its proven 790 Duke and buffed it with fully-adjustable suspension, racier ergos, and better anchors. An all-new powerplant gives a boost in power and torque along with a handful of rider aids to add an element of control over the ride characteristics.

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2016 KTM 690 Duke / Duke R

2016 KTM 690 Duke / Duke R

KTM’s Strongest Single Cylinder

KTM’s engineers punched out the 690 engine ahead of MY2016 and shortened the stroke for more power. They apparently did well enough that the “new” engine is, so far, a direct carryover all the way into MY2019. In spite of its dirtbike origins, the Duke family has abandoned all but the vestigial details in favor of a naked-sportbike build that brings top-shelf performance to the supersport size bracket. A modern electronics suite rounds out the “R” variant. The base 690 Duke comes without most of the suite in its stock configuration, but comes with said electronics as part of its optional “Track Pack” equipment package.

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2019 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

2019 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

Wherever Your Journey Takes You, Make Sure The Road Is Twisty

KTM has proven itself capable of producing competitive dirtbikes and popular streetbikes, and 2019 sees a next-gen Gran Turismo that targets the sport-tour genre for domination. Sure, the previous model set a pretty high standard, especially if you like your sport-tour Super Duke GT. Comfort and convenience were buffed along with the instrumentation, all with even more race-tacular tendencies due to the revised V-Twin powerplant and improved electronic aids

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2018 - 2019 KTM 790 Duke

2018 - 2019 KTM 790 Duke

KTM’s First Parallel Twin: Race-Ready And Rearing To Go

KTM launched a fresh assault on the mid-displacement, naked-bike market with the 2018 790 Duke, first of its name. The Austrian bike builders nicknamed it “The Scalpel” for its precise control over power delivery and lean angle with a race-tastic chassis and new, 100-plus horsepower mill. A robust electronics suite brings an alphabet soup of goodies to the table, and ABS, traction control, and variable power-delivery ride modes are just a few of the features on the menu. Even with the dearth of body panels, it’s easy to see the Duke DNA in the details that leave no doubts about its heritage. A bold move in such a competitive market, so let’s see what else KTM throws in to sweeten the deal and be competitive in a crowded field.

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2019 KTM 1290 Super Duke R

2019 KTM 1290 Super Duke R

Racing Or Just Around Town, There’s Something For Everyone In The New Super Duke R

KTM updated its 1290 Super Duke R ahead of MY2017, and that revised model carries over into MY2019 with a minor change in graphics, but little else. The factory tweaked some hardware on the 1,301 cc V-twin powerplant and increased compression for greater output than the outgoing version. Suspension also was buffed to deliver a stiffer ride with the full spectrum of adjustments so you can dial in just what you want as far as preload and damping values are concerned. The base model comes sans electronics for the most part, but the factory offers dealer-installed packages that address the lack of stock fandanglery and round out the electronics, plus there’s some race-related gadgetry to boot so there’s something for everyone on the new Super Duke R.

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2017 - 2018 KTM 390 Duke

2017 - 2018 KTM 390 Duke

Smooth Engine, Plush Suspension

The value of indoctrination is not lost on KTM, evidenced by the fact that they’ve updated and generally spruced up their entry-level unit, the 390 Duke in 2017, and those improvements carry straight over into the 2019 season. New upside-down stems float the front end along with larger, more powerful brakes to help manage the energy from the 44-horsepower engine and 328-pound dry weight. Ride-by-wire tech makes an appearance for a bit of tech you normally don’t see at this price point. Add to this a fresh new look and you have a recipe for success, or so KTM hopes. Let’s dive in and see what else the Austrian bike maker has in store for us.

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2018 KTM Duke 790

2018 KTM Duke 790

Nicknamed ’The Scalpel’, its a brutal twin-cylinder fury

The Austrian manufacturer had a superlative field day at the recently concluded EICMA in Milan, Italy. Taking the covers off its brand new 790cc Duke, KTM shows of having no plans to be dethroned as the brand that gives us outright thrill seeking motorcycles in a compact and functional package.

This is KTM’s entry to the hot naked middleweight market that has been all been currently roped up by the Street Triples and the Monsters. They better get ready for a battle because this Duke is here to stay.

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2017 - 2018 KTM 125 Duke

2017 - 2018 KTM 125 Duke

Small-Displacement Ride With A Big-Bike Attitude

The battle of the flyweights rages on as KTM stays in the fray with its race-tastic 125 Duke. KTM takes much the same tack as the competition and builds its entry-level ride to resemble the machines it has to offer further up the licensing chain. The angular Duke bodywork and exposed Trellis frame set the stage for the key player, the 11 kW powerplant that keeps the 125 Duke within the A1 performance envelope and turns it into a weapon in the fight for the zenith of the nadir, ie, the entry-level masses yearning to breathe free. KTM has established quite a name for itself as the King of Thumpers with a proven off-road record, but today I’m going to take a look and see how the littlest Duke stacks up against the rest of the 125 cc streetbike field.

Continue reading for my review of the KTM 125 Duke.

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2015 - 2017 KTM 690 DUKE ABS

2015 - 2017 KTM 690 DUKE ABS

Each version of the Duke since 1994 shed more and more of its vestigial ’dirt bike’ features, and this latest version is a straight-up streetbike. This ride highlights the no-frills pragmatism of the designers with minimal body paneling, exposed frame and afterthought-class rear mudguard. The result is an unimpeded view of the wheels, frame and engine that leaves little to the imagination, and plenty of easy access for maintenance and repairs. Made since 2012, the Duke IV represents the current branch of the family tree, with the 690 Duke serving as the midrange-displacement sibling. Quick and light, the 690 Duke is intended for the entry-level streetbike market.

Continue reading for my review of the KTM 690 Duke.

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2015 - 2016 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R ABS

2015 - 2016 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R ABS

KTM has long been famous for building competitive offroad/dirtbike machines, and the Duke line actually started off as such. With each successive Duke model, the factory has moved further away from its dirt roots and into the domain of street bikes. The 1290 Super Duke R represents the pinnacle (so far...) of KTM’s naked bike streetfighter development, and it proves that the factory has fully grasped what it takes to build a truly competitive street machine with the cutting-edge design features demanded by today’s sportbike riders.

Continue reading for my full review of the KTM 1290 Super Duke R.

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2016 - 2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

2016 - 2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

When you add a Gran Turismo suffix to the name of a bike, it had better be more than just a streetbike with a set of bags, and it seems that KTM agrees. The new-in-2016 Super Duke GT sports the same 1,290 cc, 173-horsepower plant and much the same chassis as the rest of the family, but the factory boosted the tourability with a set of hard-side panniers and cruise control to go along with a host of comfort- and safety-related features, to include ABS, traction control and more. Best of all, the engineers managed to retain much of the sporty attitude and ability associated with the range to produce a true sport-tourer, so without further ado, let’s check out the details.

Continue reading for my review of the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT.

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