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KTM 1290 Super Duke R Review (2020)


KTM 1290 Super Duke R

The Super Duke R is a fantastic bike all round. An absolute weapon, but not for the faint hearted!
- Rating: 10 / 10

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 177 bhp at 9,500 rpm and maximum torque at 8,000 rpm.


  • Seat Height: Average (835 mm / 32.9 inches)
  • Dry Weight: Average (189 kg / 417 lbs)
  • Economy: Average (45 mpg / 6.3 l/100km / 15.9 km/l)
  • Range: High (160 miles / 257 km)
  • Top Speed: Very high (185 mph / 298 km/h)


  • Loads of usable low down power
  • Electronics package
  • Suspension
  • Handling
  • Brakes


  • No pillion grab rail
  • High seat
  • Economy

What Is It Like?

KTM 1290 Super Duke R

KTM Super Duke R 2021 Gen3

Tell us a bit about you

I'm a 53 year old male, 5’11. I have been riding 30 odd years on and off with 10 bikes over the years.

Why did you choose it?

I wanted a fast naked bike.

What is good about it?

It's a brilliant bike which is light, fast and it handles well. It also looks good. An absolute beast of a machine.

What could be improved?

Nothing for the rider but it could do with a pillion grab rail. My pillion is comfortable but doesn't like using my love handles to hold on!

Any mods or upgrades?

  • Austin racing end can (it sounds sweet)
  • Ergo seat
  • Crash bobbins
  • Headlight protection
  • Tank paint protection
  • Radiator guard
  • Tail tidy
  • Grip puppies
  • Quad lock phone holder

What is the economy like?

It drinks fuel, but it’s not an economical cruiser!

How is the engine?

It's a fantastic engine. The power and torque is incredible!

How does it handle?

The handling is brilliant, light and flickable.

What are the brakes like?

Brakes are fantastic.

Is it comfortable?

The standard seat is okay but I have fitted the KTM power parts ergo seat. It’s a bit softer and looks good with the orange sides.

How reliable have you found it?

I've not had it long but no issues yet.

What's the servicing frequency and cost like?

The service frequency is okay, a year or after so many miles. The service is a bit pricey but you get what you pay for!

How would you sum up the model?

The Super Duke R is a fantastic bike all round. An absolute weapon, but not for the faint hearted!

- Andrew B, 2021

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