The KTM train just keeps on rolling. The other day we published spy photos of the forthcoming 390 and 790 Adventure models, while KTM posted a video of its upcoming 790 Duke.  And rumor has it that KTM may be developing a Super Duke powered by a version of its MotoGP V4 powerplant. The biggest competition the current Super Duke R has comes from within its own company. For now, though, the 2017 Super Duke R remains the benchmark of naked bike desire.

2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R First Ride Review

Our 2014 Bike of the Year, and winner of numerous shootouts, KTM’s Super Duke R gets a nice performance bump for 2017 in the way of two optional packages: Performance Pack and Track Pack. The Track Pack includes a Track ride mode (in addition to Street, Sport, Rain), the option to disengage the anti-wheelie function, Launch Control, adjustable traction control, and a choice of Street, Sport or Track throttle sensitivity. The Performance Pack includes quick-shifter+, motor-slip regulation (MSR), and smartphone integration known as KTM My Ride (quickshifter+, MSR, and My Ride can be purchased individually).

Pricing for both packages is said by KTM to be less than $1k, but the 2017 model is already burdened with a $600 price bump from $17,399 to $17,999. Otherwise, the addition of cruise control, a new TFT display, keyless ignition, and a variety of small engine improvements ensure the SDR’s continued dominance as king of the streetfighters. A future shootout with its nemesis, Aprilia’s Tuono V4 1100, which also enjoys a variety of electronic upgrades for 2017, will determine which company has edged out the other. It’s Aprilia vs KTM again next year.

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KTM Communities

  • schizuki

    Been watching the races on Velocity. Incredible. Thank God something like this still exists in this pussified world.

  • spiff

    Now go get an S1000R, Tuono, and an FZ-10SP and get to it. One last thing. It seems we know most of your opinions of these bikes. While they will be valuable to consider when comparing these refined models, maybe I should help. I’ll give an unbiased opinion.

  • john phyyt

    Just to be clear. When you set it up (electronically) TC. Anti-wheelie etc. and you walk away with the fob in your pocket. When you go pack and press the start button. It does stay at last setting, Doesn’t it?

    • From what I was told, your settings are retained.

  • Sayyed Bashir

    How do you lock the handlebar with keyless ignition?

    • Born to Ride

      Usually bikes with keyless ignition have a solenoid actuated deadbolt that locks the forks.

  • Old MOron

    Good video. But you guys cut away too quickly at about 5:04, when you got to “performing”. That grin sneaking onto you face speaks volumes. It’s too bad you didn’t let us read your countenance a little longer. I think I was starting to smile with you.

  • JMDonald

    This is what a motorcycle should be.

  • spiff

    Kevin, found another one. Yes, I admit it. I search the Super Duke every morning with coffee. Notice the first pic is the promo shot reversed.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K05gcxH5_QM&t=43s