2017 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R

2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke REditor Score: 94.75%
Engine 20.0/20
Suspension/Handling 13.5/15
Transmission/Clutch 9.5/10
Brakes 9.75/10
Ergonomics/Comfort 9.75/10
Appearance/Quality 9.5/10
Desirability 9.75/10
Value 8.0/10
Overall Score94.75/100

As soon as you begin mentally mapping the featureless layout of the Losail International Circuit, it gets dark, the floodlights come on & the traông xã layout changes in a surreal manner. A desert haze drifts through the infield, và in addition lớn remembering if the approaching corner is the slow left one or the fast left one, you’re also now looking through faceshield glares và the occasional glimpse of you passing your own shadow. Steadfast among all these nocturnal distractions is the familiarity of the Super Duke R’s performance, its booming exhaust note, và that deliciously torquey V-Twin.

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The Beast 2.0 is the next-ren super-nasty naked from KTM – an upgraded version of what is arguably the most dominant naked streetfighter this side of an Aprilia Tuono. Messing around too much with a model already in possession of the class mantle is a way khổng lồ either ensure continued dominance or khổng lồ self-sabotage by delivering unpopular changes. Thankfully, KTM seems to lớn have sầu chosen the better route of polishing the rough edges of its flagship model, while also gifting the SDR with a variety of useful electronic upgrades, thus avoiding any fall from grace such as what happened with Suzuki’s SV650 to Gladius misfire.

The 2017 Super Duke R is obvious by way of its new headlight, tank shrouds, và (lack of) rear bodywork. The headlight is fashionable as well as functional, the split kiến thiết allowing for airflow through the center khổng lồ help cool the LED lights, reflectors and light control units.

Changes khổng lồ the 2017 mã sản phẩm were reported in our November previews of the Super Duke R, so having now ridden the xe đạp, let’s focus on the performance và usefulness of these upgrades. And to lớn begin we go right to lớn what we love most about the SDR, its 75° V-Twin LC8 engine.

A compression ratio bump of 0.4 (13.6:1 vs 13.2:1), new pistons & exhaust system reportedly gives the SDR a claimed increase of four more horsepower, while KTM says torque remains the same at 104 lb-ft of torque. Having no năm 2016 Model with which lớn make a direct comparison, it’s awful hard to lớn say if this minor increase can be felt, và that’s largely because of how powerful và user-friendly last year’s engine was already known lớn be. What we know for certain is beneficial is the extra 500 rpm the Twin has lớn spin up to lớn. This gain in over-rev allowed a few sections of Losail to be taken in a single gear, whereas the năm nhâm thìn SDR most likely would have sầu required an brief upshift before arriving at the corner.


The 500-rpm-higher rev ceiling was realised by virtue of new titanium intake valves, working in conjunction with shorter intake tracks và a new intake resonator. An added benefit is an engine that’s willing lớn spin-up faster while smoothly delivering gobs of torquey, forward thrust. KTM also claims better fuel efficiency for the 2017 engine.

Sticking with performance we move sầu on to lớn what are the performance highlights of the 2017 model: Electronics. Cornering-ABS (C-ABS) was actually introduced on the 2016 model, but deserves mention again. EiC Kevin Duke and I tested this công nghệ earlier this year on a specially equipped 1190 Adventure & came away convinced of its safety advantages on the street. Also integrated inlớn last year’s Mã Sản Phẩm were traction control & ABS, but these were tied khổng lồ the selectable ride modes with premix parameters and no way to lớn adjust for personal preferences other than switching them off. For 2017, the base model SDR comes with selectable ABS with two modes, Road và Supermoto, as well as Off.

The Road setting keeps ABS and C-ABS functional at both wheels, & it works best at street speeds and braking forces. For the trachồng you’ll want khổng lồ switch khổng lồ the Supermoto lớn setting as it turns off ABS at the rear wheel, C-ABS altogether, & allows for much more aggressive front-kết thúc braking. The difference between the two settings is night and day. Forgetting lớn check which brake setting the bike was in before leaving for session two, I promptly returned khổng lồ the pits thinking something was wrong with the front brake, only to learn it was in Road mode và not Supermoto lớn. Switching to Supermoto lớn solved the problem, which was the only issue I experienced with the SDR during the entire traông chồng session.


After an initial outing in Thể Thao mode, I switched khổng lồ Track mode with Traông xã throttle sensitivity, Supermokhổng lồ brake selection, & kept anti-wheelie engaged most of the time. In Track mode, TC is adjustable on the fly via the familiar left-handlebar-mounted controls. Track throttle sensitivity seemed smooth as butter, without the abruptness oftentimes associated with aggressive sầu R-b-W throttle settings.

Further personalization is realized with the purchase of the optional Traông xã Package, which includes Track ride mode (in addition lớn Street, Thể Thao, Rain), the option khổng lồ disengage the anti-wheelie function, Launch Control, adjustable traction control, & a choice of Street, Sport or Trachồng throttle sensitivity. Switching off the anti-wheelie function enables the hooligan in most riders, but even with anti-wheelie working the SDR will loft the front wheel inkhổng lồ a shallow wheelie when powering out of corners (see main image).

The SDR’s Bosch traction-control system worked fine on the previous model Super Duke R, but the added benefit of adjusting the system to lớn account for changing traông chồng or tire conditions is a function we’ve sầu been fond for years. The SDR system works quietly in the background, keeping things from getting out of h& (which is easy to do when cranked into a corner on a xe đạp with this much torque) with the only indication it’s working being the flashing light on the instrument cluster.


Engage Launch Control. Hold the throttle wide open, release clutch carefully, keep the throttle pinned or the system disengages. It takes a while to lớn force yourself not to lớn roll out of the throttle when the front end starts lifting.

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The other optional package is the Performance Pachồng that includes the quick-shifter+, the motor-slip regulation (MSR), and smartphone integration known as KTM My Ride. First và foremost is the quick-shifter+ that makes rapid-fire upshifts easy, and auto-blipping downshifts just as easy. It’s a technology that once you’ve sầu ridden with it in a traông xã setting, it’s hard going bachồng to lớn not having it. The Losail experience proved the track-worthiness of the SDR’s quick-shifter+, but how the system functions in a street-legal environment is yet to be seen. If, like other quick-shifters, the system proves khổng lồ be fussy at anything less than full throttle, the system can be shut off for better use of the clutch via the traditional lever.

According khổng lồ KTM, some of the functions (Quickshifter+, MSR, My Ride) can be purchased individually. Prices for the packages or individual items, however, were not available at press time.


The new full color TFT display is informative sầu, functional & attractive sầu. The information displayed changes when switching to the optional Trachồng mode. During our short street ride I had no problem with legibility even though I was wearing both sunglasses and a tinted faceshield. cảnh báo the adjustable handlebar settings.

A new electronic feature that comes standard on the base model Super Duke R for 2017 is cruise control. Located on the left handlebar just above the traditional switchgear, the system requires at least third gear be selected khổng lồ be operational và will maintain speeds between 38 & 1đôi mươi mph. The system went untested during this press launch, but we’ve sampled other KTMs with cruise control, và we expect the SDR’s lớn function as well as those. What remains lớn be seen is how easily reachable the buttons are or if there’s some other idiosyncrasy giving us reason khổng lồ complain.


New handlebars are 20milimet wider, 5milimet lower & have been placed 18.5milimet further forward. The more aggressive sầu positioning was welcomed during our traông chồng ride but remains khổng lồ be seen if the new positioning makes longer street ride less comfortable than its predecessor. chú ý the lachồng of an ignition switch. The new Dukester goes keyless with a remote fob.

Chassis dimensions, curb weight & the estimable Brembo monobloông xã M50 calipers remain the same as before, but KTM did see fit to lớn change the WPhường shoông xã and fork. The shoông xã comes with a stiffer preload setting (which is adjustable), while fork spring rates were increased slightly. The new fork also boasts the separation of compression and rebound damping into the left and right fork legs, respectively (this was already an attribute of last year’s fork).

On the track the new Super Duke R felt very much like the old Super Duke R. By itself, it’s an incredibly formidable otohanquoc.vn, but without any geometry changes lớn this new version, we expect the SDR khổng lồ feel slightly less nimble when ridden in the company of some of its more agile competitors. Again, this is no revelation, as in previous shootouts it’s been well documented that the SDR owns the longest wheelbase và most relaxed rake/trail numbers. But for the comtháng street rider occasionally taking his Super Duker to lớn a trackday, does it matter? Not at all. My recommendation is to install KTM’s available rearsets, because you may run out of ground clearance on the traông xã with the stock units. And don’t worry too much about decreased legroom as the SDR has room khổng lồ spare.


The new Super Duke R rolls on Metzeler M7 RR rubber. During our Losail trackday, the tires proved up to lớn the task handling the Duke’s immense amount of torque, while providing excellent grip.

A one-day trachồng outing usually isn’t enough to proclalặng anything definitive sầu about any otohanquoc.vn. Except maybe this one. New features such as cruise control, upgraded suspension and a few more horsepower will certainly help the base mã sản phẩm SDR stay competitive sầu in future shootouts. Outfitted with the optional Performance và Track packages, there’s little doubt of any other naked streetfighter giving the Super Duke R much competition except for it Italian nemesis, the Aprilia Tuono (which also enjoys some upgrades for 2017).

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2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R
+ Highs 500 more revs on an already stellar engine Track/Performance Paông xã with full electronics adjustability và quick-shifter Cruise control – Sighs No electronic suspension Performance & Trachồng packages are optional, not standard MSR is nice, but making it adjustable would be better

At $17,999 the 2017 SDR’s MSRP increases $600 over the 2016 mã sản phẩm ($17,399). Add the two optional packages (the combined price we’ve been told will come in under $1k), & you have the most awesomest streetfighter currently available for less than $19k. The only suggestion we have sầu for KTM to lớn improve sầu upon the Super Duke’s current iteration is by including the two optional packages as standard equipment và outfitting the SDR with semi-active electronic suspension for the $18k MSRP.


Riding Gear: Alpinestars GPhường Plus leathers, GPhường. PRO R2 gloves, SMX-Plus boots

2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R Specifications
MSRP $17,999
Engine Type 1301cc, 75° V-Twin, DOHC, eight-valve
Bore and Stroke 108mm x 71mm
Fuel System Keihin EFI (R-b-W throttle toàn thân 56mm)
Compression Ratio 13.6:1
Valve sầu Train DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Horsepower 177 hp
7,000 rpm (claimed)
Transmission 6-speed
Final Drive Chain
Front Suspension WP-USD 48milimet fork
Rear Suspension WPhường shoông chồng absorber
Front Brake Dual Brembo Monoblock four piston, radially mounted caliper, brake disc 320mm
Rear Brake Brembo two piston, fixed caliper, brake disc 24mm
Front Tire 120/70 ZR 17
Rear Tire 190/55 ZR 17
Rake/Trail 65.1°/4.21 in
Wheelbase 58.3 in
Seat Height 32.9 in
Curb Weight 468.2 lbs (measured năm nhâm thìn model)
Fuel Capacity 4.7 gallons