Brace Yourself for the KTM Super Duke GT

John Burns
by John Burns

KTM Italy has released information about the new Super Duke 1290 GT, a bike that will show up in its finished form next month at EICMA in Milan. According to our virtual translator, this one’s “dedicated to a sporting public that, while traveling in comfort, wants to be always ‘Ready to Race’!”

Basically, what’s going on here is KTM taking MO’s 2014 Motorcycle of the Year Super Duke R and turning it into a quasi-Sports Tourer in the best possible way.

Instead of no fairing at all, the GT will have a frame modified to accommodate a good-sized eight-way-adjustable windshield, not unlike the one on the 1290 Super Adventure we recently tested in our Ultimate Sports Adventure Touring Shootout. A bigger fuel tank is designed to better shield the rider’s legs and increase range. A new handlebar will also increase long-distance comfort. The subframe’s been stretched to accommodate luggage and a passenger, and new seating for pilot and pillion alike is designed for increased comfort. A low exhaust system makes room for the right saddlebag.

We found little to complain about re: the SDR’s bodice-ripping 150-plus hp, 90-lb-ft-plus 1301cc V-Twin, but the new GT will be benefitting from an updated version with new heads said to improve combustion efficiency, and EFI retuned for enhanced “fast public tourism,” with three riding modes, Sport, Street and Rain. Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC) will integrate Traction Control (four options) with four-option ABS (Street, Sport, Rain, Supermoto). Cruise control is standard equipment.

To go with the “We Brake for Nothing” theme, WP semi-active suspension will serve up four optional ride modes, choosable on the fly. LED daytime running light, cornering lights and “LED arrows” (we’re guessing that means turn signals) integrated into the tank add to the show. Of course, there will be heated grips and all sorts of other options like Hill Start Control. And for those who wish to minimize their carbon footprint, be happy that the GT will comply with Euro 4.

KTM versus BMW is our favorite border skirmish in years.

John Burns
John Burns

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  • Born to Ride Born to Ride on Oct 09, 2015

    I would love this bike, but ~160 rwhp and the likely 20k price tag is just excessive. I wish Ducati or KTM would just build a bike like this with a smooth 120 hp V-twin, a solid chassis, some quality hard bags, and good suspension for 15k or less. I love the old sport tourers so much more than all these SAT bikes that the industry is producing these days. This bike, sans the massive thirsty engine and computer controlled everything, would have me trading in my Sprint tomorrow.

  • Gary Gary on Oct 12, 2015

    I hope this bike looks a lot better once they remove the "cammo." Otherwise, it seems like a great bike. No doubt it will put the FJR and Concourse to shame.