Just two days ago, MO’s own Dennis Chung leaked the collaboration between KTM and the German automotive tuning house (or is that haus?) Brabus and their creation of the 2022 Brabus 1300 R. Today, that collaboration was made official as KTM sent out the below press release detailing all there is to know about the Brabus 1300 R.
German vehicle emissions documentation confirms that a new KTM 1290 Super Duke RR is on the way, adding a higher-end variant to join the already-impressive Super Duke R. (UPDATE Feb. 1, 2021: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has also certified the Super Duke RR, confirming the same state of tune as the Super Duke R.)
A couple of weeks ago, you had the opportunity to read the book. Now, thanks to the tubes of the internet, you can see what the introduction of the 2020 KTM 1290 Super Duke R looked like in all its HD glory. See the day start in pea soup fog before moving to scenic coastal highways. Later, watch the SDR handle the challenges of the Portimao circuit. Finally, watch Evans tie it all together in the end-of-day briefing in front of a picturesque backdrop. There’s even some talk about this being the film to beat in next year’s Oscar race.
If you’re a fan of naked bikes or sport-tourers, odds are that you’re familiar with the offerings from KTM. Both motorcycles eschew the velvet glove and deliver the iron fist of sporting performance to riders. For 2019, the 1290 Super Duke R returns essentially unchanged while the 1290 Super Duke GT gets a raft of upgrades, bringing it in line with the R.
As soon as you begin mentally mapping the featureless layout of the Losail International Circuit, it gets dark, the floodlights come on and the track layout changes in a surreal manner. A desert haze drifts through the infield, and in addition to remembering if the approaching corner is the slow left one or the fast left one, you’re also now looking through faceshield glares and the occasional glimpse of you passing your own shadow. Steadfast among all these nocturnal distractions is the familiarity of the Super Duke R’s performance, its booming exhaust note, and that deliciously torquey V-Twin.
But soft! What shiny LED headlight through yonder video doth break? It is the Beast – the new 2017 KTM Super Duke R – and Juliet Brasfield is at EICMA to tell us all about the new stuff that makes our 2014 Motorcycle of the Year even more fair than he, including more power, updated suspension, and the welcome upgrade of color TFT instrumentation.
This category is one of our favorites here at MO, and it proved to be the tightest contest of our 2016 MOBOs – we initially decided to give it the second tie in the eight-year history of MO’s annual Best Of awards. After all, our recent face-off between KTM’s Super Duke R and the Aprilia Tuono 1100 Factory was a virtual tie, with their scores separated in our rankings by just 0.1%! And, in pure subjective terms, our two testers were divided.
Of the world’s finest naked sportbikes, the KTM Super Duke R and Aprila Tuono 1100 Factory stand above the rest of the streetfighters on offer from major manufacturers. This might be an overly bold statement had we not already published four comprehensive shootouts and almost 45 minutes of video in this category during the last two years.
To date, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R’s perch atop Streetfighter Mountain remains unassailable. Last year’s two-time winner – Bike of the Year and Best Streetighter/Hooligan – returns this year retaining its Best Streetfighter title. From our initial First Ride Review of the SDR to its winning three shootouts last year ( 2014 Super Streetfighter Smackdown + Video, 2014 Super Naked Street Brawl + Video, 2014 Ultimate Streetfighter Finale + Video) the SDR has proven to be the benchmark in the Streetfighter/Hooligan category.
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.
In its first year of existence, KTM’s 1290 Super Duke R doubled down by winning both our 2014 Bike of the Year award and Best Streetfighter/Hooligan trophy. Now, the Super Duke R has become the choice machine for Best Streetfighter/Hooligan bike among MO readers – a triumvirate of accolades!