2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R Video Review

Tom Roderick
by Tom Roderick

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.

Tom Roderick
Tom Roderick

A former Motorcycle.com staffer who has gone on to greener pastures, Tom Roderick still can't get the motorcycle bug out of his system. And honestly, we still miss having him around. Tom is now a regular freelance writer and tester for Motorcycle.com when his schedule allows, and his experience, riding ability, writing talent, and quick wit are still a joy to have – even if we don't get to experience it as much as we used to.

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