Our 2014 Motorcycle of the Year, KTM’s 1290 Super Duke R, is getting a new stablemate to join the recently added 1290 Super Adventure. The prototype in these photos is a hybrid of the other two KTM Supers, sharing the bones of its brothers like the 1301cc V-Twin engine, steel trellis frame, single-sided swingarm and Brembo M50 monoblock brakes.

2014 Motorcycle of the Year

These photos were shot near KTM’s factory in Austria, and they reveal the GT maintains KTM’s aggressive persona. Considering the increased amount of time spent in the saddle of a GT model, a larger fairing and windscreen will provide better protection from the elements and increase rider comfort. However, both the footpegs and handlebars seem unchanged from the SDR, probably because the SDR is already comfy and lowering the footpegs would decrease cornering clearance. KTM could easily be testing different handlebars to determine the best setup, so what is brought to market could change from what we’re viewing here.

Here is an animated gif showing the comparison of a Super Duke R and the Super Duke GT, which show more similarities than differences. Gif by Dennis Chung.

Here is an animated gif showing the comparison of a Super Duke R and the Super Duke GT, which show more similarities than differences. Gif by Dennis Chung.

Being a GT model, we expect it might carry more fuel than the Super Duke R’s 4.8 gallons, but not as much as the massive 7.9-gallon capacity of the Super Adventure. Borrowing from KTM’s off-road background, the fairing might also double as an extension of the fuel tank, as it too appears to be a blending of SDRs minimal fairing and the SA’s substantially larger one, though it appears wider at the top but not quite as deep as the SA’s.

The new model’s subframe is obviously modified from SDR, with added bracing to support the addition of hard luggage, which surely will be accessories offered by the factory. The GT’s tail light appears identical to the SDR’s. The muffler appears to be the same as the Super Duke’s, but the pipe routing seems to be slightly tweaked to make room for saddlebags.

We love spy shots, but we fear they are now being used as part of the marketing hype machine. If you were in charge of an OEM trying secretly testing motorcycles, would you display the logos and colors of the brand, as the riders in these shots are.

We love spy shots, but we fear they are now being used as part of the marketing hype machine. If you were in charge of an OEM trying secretly testing motorcycles, would you display the logos and colors of the brand, as the riders in these shots are.

The state of tune of the GT’s engine might be a blending of the Super Adventure’s 160-hp lump (with 4.4 more pounds of rotational mass) and the 180-horse motor in the Super Duke. Or perhaps KTM will give us the SDR’s full monty. Either way, it will include R-b-W throttle, ride modes, slipper clutch and traction control. Other technologies most likely to be included are ABS/C-ABS, cruise control, heated grips, and a tire pressure monitoring system. Optional equipment on the Super Adventure includes Hill Hold Control and Motor Slip Regulation, which we also expect to be available on the GT. The SA’s semi-active suspension might also make its way to the GT, but it looks like the LED cornering lights won’t.

Still to be confirmed is the bike’s official name: either 1290 GT or Super Duke GT, but we’ll guess at the latter due to the enviable reputation built by the Super Duke badge. We’re anxious to ride it no matter what it’s called! Full details will be revealed by the time the EICMA show rolls around this autumn, if not sooner.

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  • 12er

    Now thats what I call a replacement for the SMT

  • DickRuble

    If they just slap a tall windscreen and some afterthought bags, that wouldn’t be enough. They need to add a full fairing and relax the rider triangle.

  • JMDonald

    Sounds interesting. Looking forward to viewing the final specs.

  • Larry

    I mean I literally posted one of these same photos in response to one of your stories a few months ago. Good job on staying on top of what’s happening in the moto world.

  • Amir

    Brilliant speculative review and presentation.
    Looks like KTM is following the BMW lineup with an answer for every model. Higher powered and technologically matched (almost)…
    R1200GS=1290SA, 1290SDR=1000R, This one looks set to tackle the BMW 1200RT or 1200R.
    Refinement and design still remain largely a question of taste though in my opinion BM still has the more processed and refined product,.
    Apple to Samsung so to speak, close features, but not quite the product feel and refinement.

    • Stuki

      This one’s for the 1200RS recently launched, which has always been a more popular layout in Europe than here.

      Barring something genuinely disruptive, they’ll do an RT as well. But that will take more time and effort, as the RT formula plays more to BMW’s traditional strengths than to KTM’s. It is a big seller for BMW, though. And only set to become more important, as well off motorcyclists continue to age, and the Adv fad crests and goes into decline. It’s be interesting to see how Kiska/KTM attempts to make the stodgiest of stodgy look and feel badass…..

      Heck, just realized attempting to make a run for it, might become an even less attractive proposition if Ponch and John rolls around on 1290s……..

  • mugwump

    Oh sure whenever I think I decide on my retirement present to myself something like this comes along.