First ride: KTM 1290 Super Duke R review — Road Tests: First Rides — Visordown

11 Фев 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи First ride: KTM 1290 Super Duke R review — Road Tests: First Rides — Visordown отключены

First ride: KTM 1290 Duke R review

KTM and I play the photographer’

KTM’S 1290 Duke R is the most intimidating-looking I’ve seen in a decade.

angular, sharp, stocky and It’s bright orange. It a 1,301cc V-twin engine and As if that wasn’t enough; a KTM.

Remind me of the last KTM you rode? Exactly.

When were building this KTM dubbed it ‘The Beast’. McWilliams, who has been deeply with the project, said it had torque than any bike ever ridden. The press uses words like endless power, radical and sharp.

You just know there’s no messing around this one.

Sat in the press listening to the detail on the new Super R, it conjured up memories of a time at a party, with a bunch of where things had become a bit everyone was having a good and then one bloke passed We stitched him up, drew stuff on his emptied a can of shaving foam his trousers, gaffa taped his to a chair and the bedside table. But amid the chaos, someone along with a razor and his eyesbrows off.

The laughter Everyone knew that was a too far but you’re all in it now and there’s no going Well, KTM’s 990 Super R feels like that party; everything’s a bit lively but just about under

Then the SD1290 bursts in the with a mad grin on its face, a Gillette Mach3.

Now c’mon. Is really neccessary?

The original Duke, released in 2005 was by a 999cc V-twin engine, 120 bhp. No-one ever it was bland. No-one. Now this one 180bhp.

Surely that’s silly, isn’t it?

Although an all-new design, the SD1290 is territory, it’s unmistakably Duke in shape, no other has the same hunched-forward, muscular

The SD1290’s engine is built the RC8R’s 1,195cc engine. The has been increased from to 108mm and the … has been from 69mm to 71mm. KTM the new motor produces more at 2,000rpm than the old Super did at maximum output.

Cue anxious around the press conference.

isn’t just a case of out the RC8R engine, the SD1290’s are almost 10% lighter than in the RC8R. The oscillating weight of the is 30% lower than the SD990. the larger pistons, it’s set to rev and harder than KTM’s superbike.

Of course, a new bike be a new bike without a deluge of and the SD1290 is no different. It features by Wire throttle, three power modes, SPORT, and RAIN. There’s traction which can be switched off, which, while you’ve got the TC on, be switched off but with TC off, the will wheelie.

More of later. There’s also which can also be switched off but one of the features is Supermoto mode, retains the front ABS but allows you to the rear and therefore back it in. As you do.

else about the bike is the high quality specification come to expect from WP suspension front and rear, monobloc brakes, a slipper and WP steering damper.

You’d with a 40% larger engine, the would be larger, but KTM have a lot more into a chassis no bigger. The bike is compact and its weight well.

As I tickled the out of the car park, I felt more I was sat on a bison, holding onto its knowing that any second it was to have KTM stamped on its arse a red hot ….

I was holding that ….

But had forgotten to leave it in the fire for enough.

I expected the cold Dunlop Sportsmart2 to smear along the motorway sliproad and the to leap up and try and headbutt me the moment the Dunlop had found some but the SD1290 ploughed forward a tsunami when I was expecting an eruption.

I was in STREET mode. explains it. So I switched to SPORT an tried again but although the surged forward with a extra vigour, there no huge explosions, no spitting of molten lava.

I was still

Alive and slightly puzzled.

this thing produce torque at 2,000rpm than the What happened to the endless the radical, the extreme? Where is The

No doubt, it’s quick but not in the way I had expected. The way the promo videos, releases and marketing hype had me it would be.

Sure, you have to any manufacturer’s pre-launch hype a tablespoon of salt but there’s no that potent 1,301cc is there?

Well, in some there is.

So my first taste of the wasn’t quite as I had expected, because I’m here this when I thought it have finished me off.

The MTC traction control is on in every mode and wheelie control is woven in. The front will in 1st, 2nd and 3rd. If you happen to run anything larger than a chubby ant, the front come up in 4th, too. But Mr will see to it that your is computer controlled and safer mowing the lawn.

That’s no

Now the guys from KTM defend and probably rightly so. Afterall, a journo, a bit of an … and in the bike we’re the 1% and this is for the 99%. Of I like to hoist the front I can, I don’t have to pay for plates or headrace bearings, so not able to switch the anti-wheelie off is a big deal to me, not to you, the buyer.

While I see KTM’s point of I don’t think it’s true. But this isn’t about anti-wheelie it’s feeling that you’re told what you can have, than having what you What you ask the throttle to do and what it does are two different things. If you in 40% of twist, you get just over 20% of

Open it up to 60% and you get 40%, at 80% you get 65%. at 100% open you get 100% but the journey to 100% feels a bit Coke’ when you were the real thing .

Jeremy said that on a 1 to 1 ratio, the was almost unrideable (not his words, I hasten to add) and I that, for some people, a 1,301cc V-twin off the line result in them left where they were, their SD1290 cartwheel the road. So that makes me why they bothered with a engine in the first place?

probably isn’t a modern out there, especially those Ride by Wire, where, it comes to power delivery, you get what you ask for but on the SD1290, it feels a bit I’ve been shortchanged.

You can off the MTC and you’ll get your wheelies but it doesn’t change the power and you won’t have any traction Not that you need it, really, you I spent half of my time on the without the traction control on and once thought I’d be for my own electronically unassisted ….

Well ok, maybe once but you what? That’s half the

The chassis is brilliant. The SD1290 has THE riding position of any … I’ve ridden. KTM might designed it to fit me and not told anyone but I doubt it. It’s just .

KTM 990 Duke RR

The bars are wide without ‘washing line’, the seat is but what really hits you in the is the lack of wind blast. cruising, sat upright? Easy.

I don’t know how they’ve it because the headlight looks an air-plough but doesn’t act like

Our suspension settings were as standard and I wouldn’t change for regular road riding. On the of it, the SD1290 looks like be a bone-breaker but the feel and feedback is but lavish, you and the bike are as one. For road ridng I’d a touch more weight the front and a tiny bit more on the rear.

The bike isn’t the steering isn’t lazy and the rake and trail aren’t so a sliver of extra flickability is for the taking. The WP damper may get worked a bit but you won’t give it a headache.

All I to say about the brakes is that Brembo M50 radial Monobloc. You not require anything else.

I had a few when changing power where the buttons would get caught in the housing and a couple of I swear the traction control itself back on halfway a ride when I’d for it to be off, but those are minor that KTM will no doubt out before production starts. At I hope they do.

You don’t buy a … bike and worry the cost of petrol or perhaps you do. By my estimate, I got 30-35mpg on a fairly run. That’s about 135 until you’ve run the 18-litre down to fumes, 150 if you tickle it.

Which you won’t.

What I ironic about the 1290 Duke R is that it is the best-fuelled, tractable, usable … KTM ever ridden. They forgot to talk about because they were too busy uploading videos of it an S1000RR and producing marathon-length burnouts and when they doing that, KTM were rumours of it breaking into old houses, not tipping the waiter and being a menace to society.

It is an good road bike doesn’t need the endless of ‘nasty boy’ hype. in the past have suffered twitchy throttle response, gearboxes and an all-or-nothing power The SD1290 doesn’t have any of issues and yet KTM didn’t think to about that.


The has power delivery that’s intense than I was expecting but not snatchy or hard to get balanced. It like KTM were worried breeding a full-on 1,301cc animal and then letting the take it out for a stroll, so halfway the project, they had second brought in the electronics bods and the whole thing down.

of me thinks ‘I’ll be the judge enough and what’s too much, you very much’ but at the same I can forgive the fact that inputs are diluted because easy to get your head and makes for an easier bike to A jerky or snatchy throttle is impossible to work with and at a pain in the arse, at worse, dangerous. I’ll take over outright power, day of the week.

It isn’t just the usable road bike KTM produced, it’s one of the most … bikes that ever ridden. Underneath of electronics it’s packed of character and despite the electronics, of that character shines on

It’s not the animal I wanted it to be but I’m glad it’s not mental. If you want to pull everywhere and still have traction control, buy a Ducati SP or an Aprilia Tuono V4R but with two you’d be missing out on some of the of this engine. It’s a the SD1290 doesn’t have a mode, to go with the SPORT, and RAIN modes.

I’d to see a RACE mode with a more aggressive map, traction control, anti-wheelie off and the ABS set to Supermoto mode. Then be able to unleash The Beast KTM talking about.

If wheelies and a hooligan aren’t your then this is a bike seriously enjoy pushing your limit. If you like but don’t want to switch the control off, then constantly hit the electronic buffers and be frustrating for you. Despite the intention to intimidate, it’s usable than a 990 Super R and the best KTM road bike ridden.

It’s superbly but it’s not intimidating. I really think I’d be saying

Model tested: KTM 1290 Duke R

Price: £13,999

December 2013

Contact: / 01280 709500

KTM 990 Duke RR
KTM 990 Duke RR
KTM 990 Duke RR
KTM 990 Duke RR


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