KTM 1290 Super Duke R Review


KTM 1290 Super Duke R

The KTM Super Duke 1290 R is a bonkers bike, very quick and great to ride!

- Rating: 10 / 10
Engine, loads of usable low down power, handling, brakes, electronics package
×Standard tyres lack feel, standard seat is “solid”, pretty thirsty
Deals, specs and pics

What Is It?

The KTM 1290 Super Duke R is a top of the range naked bike and is powered by a Euro 4 compliant liquid cooled 1,301 cc V-Twin engine, producing 174 bhp / 130 kW at 9,750 rpm and maximum torque at 7,000 rpm.

Launch RRP: £14,000

Top Speed: 185 mph / 298 km/h

Economy: 40 mpg / 7.1 L/100km

Range: 160 miles / 257 km

Seat Height: 835 mm / 32.9 inches

Dry Weight: 195 kg / 430 pounds

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What Is It Like?

KTM 1290 Super Duke R

What’s good

It’s a great bike, with stonking performance, great around a track and on the road. Being a naked it lacks any bodywork so may be tough on long journeys if done at speed, but at legal speed limits the bike is fine!

The bike is easy to ride, but like any twin you need to use the gears, you can’t stick it in top like an inline four and just use the throttle. The gears are needed to keep it buzzing but having had twins for years it’s not an issue.

It pulls like a train from corners and gives a punch in the back as it lifts off. Even with the various electronic aids on it’s still easy to lift the front wheel if you give it a fist full!

KTM 1290 Super Duke R

Before the camo graphics


The original seat is like sitting on a plank, it’s rock solid and I quickly changed it for the comfort seat which transformed the bike.

The standard tyres are okay but lack a bit of feel. The USB charging port, below the seat, went faulty but was fixed under warranty.

The standard exhaust is too quiet, I got caught out a couple of times when first riding as the bike is so quick and you lack that sense of speed (noise).

Common faults reported by owners:

  • Busted radiator from wheelies
  • USB charging port
  • Oil leaks

KTM 1290 Super Duke R

Changes / additions

  • KTM tail tidy and comfort seat
  • HP corse extreme exhaust - I’ve left the cat on, it’s loud enough
  • Rear seat cover
  • Motogadget mirrors - the designer must have had the afternoon off and the tea lady designed the standard ones
  • SM Motech front spoiler
  • Evotech
    • Radiator guard
    • Lever
    • Rectifier guard
    • Exhaust hanger - rear pegs have been removed
    • Bar end weights - stops the buzzy feel
    • Engine guard
  • Clock cover - without it the clocks are a “fly catcher”
  • MotoProWorks camo graphics

One addition I didn’t get, but many do, is the track pack which enables turning off anti wheelie etc.

- Michael J, 2020

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Price Guide

Part Ex


Cleaning your bike properly

Choosing the right helmet

Related Bikes

KTM 1290 Super Duke GT - Touring friendly model based on the Super Duke R.

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