Brabus KTM Breaks Cover Ahead of Schedule

Brabus 1300R is a Gentrified KTM 1290 Super Duke R EVO

We’ve known about the tie-in between KTM and Brabus since December last year and, one day ahead of the official reveal, images have been leaked online giving us the first look at a more civilised Beast.

KTM-based Brabus 1300R Images Leaked

Brabus KTM Breaks Cover Ahead of Schedule
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Brabus 1300R
Brabus is a renowned tuning house working mainly on Mercedes-Benz cars. KTM makes some of the hairiest naked sports bikes.

The KTM 1290 Super Duke is nothing if not a snarling beast of a motorbike. The Brabus tuning house does nothing but turn Mercedes-Benz cars into snarling beasts. Therefore, a marriage of KTM and Brabus would logically produce a 1290 Super Duke that is an even more hardcore bike than it is already. It seems, however, that Brabus has given the Super Duke a sheen of respectability.

Brabus KTM Breaks Cover Ahead of Schedule
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Brabus 1300R
Brabus has taken the KTM 1290 Super Duke R EVO and attempted to inject a bit of class and style into what is seen as the ultimate hooligan’s bike

First indications that Brabus were working on the 1290 Super Duke R EVO came in December 2021. The official unveiling was set for Friday 11th February, but it seems someone had other ideas and released images of the bike a day early. The images were quickly taken down but not before we all managed to have a good look and save the pictures.

Brabus KTM Breaks Cover Ahead of Schedule
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Revealed a Day Ahead of the Official Launch
The official release was meant to be on Friday 11th Feb, but someone thought it would be a good idea to leak images online a day early

So, what do they tell us?

Surprisingly, Brabus has tried to gentrify the wild and in-your-face naked sports bike, with a look that is somewhere between a Ducati Diavel and something Husqvarna might have done with the Super Duke, especially given the single round headlight that could have come straight off a Swartpilen.

Brabus KTM Breaks Cover Ahead of Schedule
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Single Round Headlight
Controversial droopy headlight of the original replaced with a single round headlight, resembling those Husqvarna equip the Swartpilen with.

The Super Duke’s angular and aggressive styling has been toned down and the side profile looks heavier with the new bodywork and blacked-out trellis frame and overall dark grey colour scheme, with only the petrol tank wearing any colour.

Naturally, there’s plenty of carbon fibre, while the wheels are of Brabus’ own design and resemble those on the aforementioned Ducati. The exhaust is new and finished in gunmetal grey.

Brabus KTM Breaks Cover Ahead of Schedule
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As this was an unofficial reveal, there are no specs listed so we don’t know if Brabus has chosen to enhance the already massive 180bhp output of the 1290cc KTM v-twin engine. What’s fairly certain is that the Brabus 1300R will continue to use the WP Apex electronic suspension and all the electronic trickery as found on the EVO version of the Super Duke.

Brabus KTM Breaks Cover Ahead of Schedule
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Brabus Exhaust
The KTM exhaust has been replaced with a custom Brabus design. Carbon fibre is used extensively on the 1300R

Brabus describes the 1300R as having the ‘Heart of a Beast, Soul of a Gentleman’, which we are presumably supposed to translate as a more civilised Super Duke, if that is even possible.

Brabus KTM Breaks Cover Ahead of Schedule
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KTM 1290 Super Duke R EVO
Brabus 1300R uses the ’Beast’ as the basis and manages to change the outward character from hooligan to gentleman’s express.

With only 77 examples being built, expect the price tag to be pretty hefty and definitely for the man who wants a bespoke bike to sit alongside his bespoke Mercedes: something for the man who has everything!

Friday 11th Feb will no doubt confirm all this.

Harry Fisher
Harry Fisher
Motorcycling Contributor
Born and raised in England, he has lived in South Africa with his family since 2002. Harry has owned examples of Triumph, Norton, BSA, MV Agusta, Honda, BMW, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Kawasaki and Moto Morini motorcycles. He regrets selling all of them.  Read full bio
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