2019 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT
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 machines heavy on the sport, but our Austrian friends managed to raise the bar even more with a handful of improvements this year in the 1290 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. It’s a hotly-contested market that the “GT” looks to compete within, so today, I’m going to dissect this “spawn-of-Beast” and see how it stacks up.
Continue reading for my review of the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT.
2017 - 2018 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S
Many adventure-bike manufacturers try to cover all the bases with a single model, but Austrian bikebuilder KTM splits its efforts to produce the 1290 Super Adventure S. Released for MY2017, KTM built the “S” to deliver long-distance comfort for riders who are looking for more than they can get from one of the Dukes. Wind protection, storage options and electronic safety systems take care of the usual ride-ability concerns, but this is a KTM folks, so you know it’s going to be very well-endowed in the power department as well, to the point of qualifying as a ’super’ adventure. Think I’m overstating the situation? Read on and find out how wrong you are.
Continue reading for my review of the KTM 1290 Super Adventure.
2018 KTM 790 Duke
KTM launches a fresh assault, this time on the mid-displacement, naked-bike market with the 2018 790 Duke, first of its name. The Austrian bike builders have 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.
Continue reading for my review of the KTM 790 Duke.
2018 KTM Duke 790
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.
2017 - 2018 KTM 125 Duke
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.
2017 - 2018 KTM 390 Duke
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 for 2017, and those improvements carry straight over into the 2018 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.
Continue reading for my review of the KTM 390 Duke.
2017 KTM Freeride E-XC
KTM is bringing its electric enduro to the States. This fun little ride has been entertaining European riders for a few years now with its 2.6-kWh lithium battery and 21-horsepower electric motor, and now American buyers have an opportunity to see what all the hubbub is about. At least when it comes to the brown; the E-XC doesn’t meet U.S. requirements for street-legal use in spite of its headlight, taillight and turn signals. Still, it’s a glimpse of the possibilities within the sector.
Continue reading for my review of the KTM Freeride E-XC.
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.
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.
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.
2017 KTM Duke 390
It’s been four years since KTM introduced the Duke series and since their launch, they haven’t received any big change except few cosmetic jobs that came in the form of new colour schemes. Yet, they sold like hot cakes.
Like we all expected, KTM unveiled the completely new 2017 Duke 390 at the EICMA motorcycle show last year, and it inevitably attracted all the attention because of its aggressive new sharper styling and plenty of exciting features.
The naked bike has gone through a decent amount of mechanical upgrades and surely has gone through a major overhaul regarding styling. The new Duke 390 has received its styling inspiration from the bigger and more aggressive 1290 Super Duke which happens to be the most powerful naked streetfighter in the class. The 390 is here to continue that legacy even at the bottom of the fight and doing so, KTM has made sure they leave everyone in the dust and bruised.
2017 KTM Duke 250
When the first Duke hit the streets a few decades ago, it was not here to make friends. The bike changed the game and re-wrote the rule books. A bold call to all to head to the straight narrow and embrace the life that lives at the very limit.
In 2011 the Duke family gained a new member, namely the small 125 Duke and was followed by the 690 Duke and the 990 Super Duke R in 2012. We got the first Duke 200 in 2013, and since then there has been no turning back for the Austrian Orange. Releasing the refreshed 390, they had completed the goal of leading the boards of the segment. But, looks like KTM had other things in mind for us.
Now in 2017 came a surprise from KTM when they launched the Duke 250 along with their updated 200 and the new phenomena called the 390 Duke. Although KTM had once rubbished news about the brand planning to get the Duke 250, this launch has been a wild card. Meant only for the South Asian markets, the 250 could make a scene on American roads too and is built in India by Bajaj.
2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R
The Austrian manufacturer had a superlative field day at the EICMA in Milan, Italy. Taking the covers off the KTM 1290 Super Duke R, KTM shows of having no plans to be dethroned as the brand that gives us outright thrill seeking motorcycles along with being competitive.
When the flagship Super Duke was released in 2014, it blew us away and reigned supreme in the super naked market. It was a lethal weapon and had to be tamed. This time, it has got ton loads of updates for 2017 making this animal go berserk. KTM prefers it to be called ‘The Beast 2.0’.
When talking about KTM’s 390 Duke — the smallest Duke available in the U.S. market — everyone within my earshot who has ridden it says the same thing, that’s it is fun to ride. That’s no less applicable in 2017 as it was in previous MYs.
Looking at it spec-wise, it looks like a good entry-level bike and a sporty around-town bike — which it is — but it is also a very freeway-capable bike making it a choice for commuting and just plain having fun. Experienced riders like it because it is lightweight and easy to throw around, it has awesome power and torque for a single-cylinder engine and it is surprisingly smooth at highway speeds.
Made by Bajaj, a manufacturer in India, and rebranded by KTM, I wasn’t expecting much from the 390 Duke. Boy, was I surprised.
Continue reading for my review of the KTM 390 Duke.
KTM continues to expand and refine its adventure bike line with its 2017 1090 Adventure R and the 1290 duo, the Super Adventure R and Super Adventure T. Revealed to the world at the 2016 INTERMOT show in Cologne, Germany, these bikes benefit from KTM’s not-inconsiderable experience with off-road bikes and its more recent foray into the world of naked street/superbikes. The engines punch above their weight, and the electronic magic really shows the genius of Austrian engineering, which is a lot like German engineering. (...just with a sense of humor?).
Continue reading for my review of the KTM 1090 Adventure R, 1290 Super Adventure R and 1290 Super Adventure T.
Indoctrination works best when it starts at the earliest opportunity, and KTM goes to work on the entry-level with its RC 125 and RC 390 sportbikes. Both come completely street legal, and though it doesn’t affect the U.S., some buyers will be glad to hear that at 15 horsepower, the RC 125 falls at the top of the power bracket for A1 licensing. Though neither bike is built for what you might call blistering speeds, they really shine when it comes to the handling performance. Each can serve not only as an entry-level streetbike, but as a race trainer as well and the smaller cc engines make sporty commuters. The race to the bottom-tier market is hotter than ever and KTM is working to stay competitive in such a populated bracket.
Continue reading for my review of the KTM RC 125 and RC 390.