KTM 1290 Super Duke R Top Speed

KTM 1290 Super Duke R Top Speed

Are you a thrill-seeker looking for a motorcycle that can unleash blistering speed on the open road? Look no further than the KTM 1290 Super Duke R – a naked sport bike that takes performance to the next level. With a top speed of 289 km/h (180 mph), this Austrian beast is one of the fastest production motorcycles on the market.

Designed for experienced riders who crave adrenaline and power, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R combines eye-catching styling with cutting-edge technology. Whether you’re carving through twisty back roads or stretching its legs on the highway, this bike delivers an exhilarating ride like no other.

Design and Styling

The KTM 1290 Super Duke R’s design exudes aggression and muscularity, with sharp lines and angular bodywork that command attention. The bike’s striking looks are complemented by a rider-focused ergonomic layout that provides a comfortable yet sporty riding position.

Notable design elements include:

  • Menacing twin-LED headlights with sharp, modern lines
  • Exposed trellis frame that showcases the bike’s raw power
  • Adjustable wide handlebar with four positions over a 22mm range
  • Sculpted fuel tank with knee recesses for better grip

This attention to detail extends to the bike’s overall fit and finish, with premium materials and high-quality components that exude a sense of refinement and durability.

Engine and Performance

Top Speed Uncaged

The heart of the KTM 1290 Super Duke R is its potent 1301cc, liquid-cooled V-twin engine. This power plant propels the bike to an incredible top speed of 289 km/h (180 mph), making it one of the fastest naked bikes on the market.

Achieving such blistering velocities is made possible by the engine’s impressive power output, aerodynamic design, and lightweight construction. While top speed figures are impressive on paper, it’s the visceral thrill of accelerating to these speeds that truly sets the Super Duke R apart.

Blistering Acceleration

When it comes to acceleration, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R is a true rocket ship. With 177 horsepower and 140 Nm of torque on tap, this bike can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in under 3 seconds, leaving many supercars in its wake.

Quarter-mile times are equally impressive, with the Super Duke R covering the distance in just 9.5 seconds. Whether you’re blasting out of corners or overtaking on the highway, the relentless surge of power is sure to put a smile on your face.

Powerful V-Twin Engine

At the heart of this performance beast lies a 1301cc, 75-degree, liquid-cooled V-twin engine. This powerplant features advanced technologies like twin-spark ignition, dual overhead camshafts, and four-valve cylinder heads to maximize power delivery and efficiency.

The Super Duke R’s engine is mated to a slick-shifting six-speed gearbox that delivers seamless gear changes, whether you’re banging through the rev range or cruising at highway speeds.

Key Specifications

Engine1301cc, liquid-cooled, V-twin
Power177 hp @ 9,500 rpm
Torque140 Nm @ 7,000 rpm
Transmission6-speed manual
Front Suspension48mm WP APEX telescopic fork
Rear SuspensionWP APEX shock absorber
Front BrakesDual 320mm discs, Brembo 4-piston calipers
Rear Brake267mm disc, 2-piston caliper
Seat Height835mm
Dry Weight191 kg
Fuel Capacity18 liters

Riding the Beast

While the KTM 1290 Super Duke R’s performance figures are undoubtedly impressive, it’s the overall riding experience that truly sets this bike apart. From the moment you twist the throttle, you’re greeted by a torrent of power and a deep, throaty exhaust note that sends shivers down your spine.

Despite its menacing demeanor, the Super Duke R is surprisingly agile and nimble, thanks to its lightweight construction and well-sorted chassis. The bike’s suspension setup, which includes a fully-adjustable WP APEX fork and shock, provides a plush yet controlled ride, inspiring confidence in the corners.

Braking performance is equally impressive, with dual 320mm front discs and Brembo calipers delivering incredible stopping power. The bike’s anti-lock braking system (ABS) and traction control assist in maintaining control, even in less-than-ideal conditions.

While the Super Duke R is undoubtedly a performance machine, it also offers a surprising level of comfort for a naked bike. The adjustable handlebar and well-padded seat ensure that long stints in the saddle are a pleasure, not a chore.

Owner Reviews

What Owners Love

Owners of the KTM 1290 Super Duke R are quick to praise the bike’s incredible power and acceleration, with many citing the visceral thrill of unleashing the engine’s full potential as a highlight. The bike’s handling and agility are also frequently mentioned, with riders appreciating the confidence-inspiring chassis and suspension setup.

“The Super Duke R is an absolute beast. The power delivery is intoxicating, and the way it handles is simply sublime. It’s a bike that rewards skilled riders but is also surprisingly forgiving for those looking to push their limits.” – Steve, California

“Build quality is top-notch, and the attention to detail is evident in every aspect of the bike. From the premium components to the sleek bodywork, the Super Duke R exudes a sense of refinement that belies its raw performance.” – Sarah, New York

Areas for Improvement

While the KTM 1290 Super Duke R is a remarkable machine, some owners have expressed concerns about potential electrical gremlins and quality control issues. There have also been reports of clutch wear and indicator switch problems, though these seem to be isolated incidents.

“My Super Duke R has been mostly reliable, but I did experience some electrical gremlins early on. KTM’s customer support was great, and the issues were resolved promptly.” – Mike, Texas

“The only real downside is the cost of ownership. Maintenance and service can get pricey, and consumables like tires don’t come cheap for a bike of this caliber.” – John, Florida

Stacking Up Against Rivals

When it comes to top speed, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R stands tall among its naked sport bike rivals. With a top speed of 289 km/h (180 mph), it outpaces competitors like the Aprilia Tuono V4 R (270 km/h), Ducati Streetfighter V4 (268 km/h), and Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS (265 km/h).

In terms of performance, the Super Duke R’s powerful V-twin engine and lightweight construction give it a distinct advantage over many of its rivals, particularly in the acceleration department. However, bikes like the Aprilia Tuono V4 R and Ducati Streetfighter V4 offer a more exotic, high-revving experience that some riders may prefer.

When it comes to pricing, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R strikes a balance between affordability and performance. With a starting price around $20,000, it undercuts many of its direct rivals while still offering a generous helping of cutting-edge technology and premium components.

Unleash More Power

Performance Upgrades

While the KTM 1290 Super Duke R is a formidable machine straight from the factory, many owners choose to unlock even more performance through aftermarket upgrades. Popular modifications include:

  • Exhaust systems from brands like Akrapovic and SC-Project, which can add a few extra horsepower while enhancing the bike’s already throaty soundtrack.
  • High-flow air filters from companies like BMC and K&N, which improve airflow and engine breathing.
  • ECU tuning and engine remapping, which can optimize fuel delivery and ignition timing for increased power and efficiency.

For those seeking the ultimate in performance, more extensive engine modifications like high-compression pistons, camshafts, and ported cylinder heads can extract even more power from the Super Duke R’s V-twin powerplant. However, these modifications often void the factory warranty and should only be undertaken by experienced professionals.

Customization Options

In addition to performance upgrades, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R offers a wealth of customization options to help riders tailor the bike to their specific needs and preferences. Popular visual mods include:

  • Custom paint jobs and graphics kits to give the bike a unique, personalized look.
  • Aftermarket windscreens for improved wind protection and aerodynamics.
  • LED lighting upgrades for enhanced visibility and a more modern appearance.

Ergonomic upgrades are also popular, with many riders opting for adjustable rear sets, different handlebar options, and custom seats for improved comfort and control.

Pros and Cons


  • Blistering acceleration and top speed
  • Agile, confidence-inspiring handling
  • Striking, aggressive styling
  • Premium components and build quality
  • Adjustable ergonomics for a personalized fit


  • Expensive to maintain and service
  • Potential reliability issues (electrical, clutch)
  • Lack of wind protection as a naked bike
  • Firm ride quality may be uncomfortable for some

Top Alternatives

While the KTM 1290 Super Duke R is undoubtedly a standout in the naked sport bike segment, it’s not the only option for those seeking ultimate performance and thrills. Here are a few top alternatives to consider:

  • Aprilia Tuono V4 R: With its high-revving V4 engine and advanced electronics, the Tuono is a formidable rival to the Super Duke R.
  • Ducati Streetfighter V4: Ducati’s take on the naked sport bike formula, with a punchy V4 engine and unmistakable Italian flair.
  • BMW S 1000 R: A more refined and technologically advanced option, with a potent inline-four engine and cutting-edge rider aids.

Ultimately, the choice will come down to individual preferences, riding style, and budget. The KTM 1290 Super Duke R is best suited for experienced riders who prioritize raw power, acceleration, and an engaging riding experience.

Pricing and Support

The KTM 1290 Super Duke R carries a starting MSRP of around $20,000, though pricing can vary depending on your location and any additional options or accessories.

KTM offers a two-year, unlimited-mileage warranty on the Super Duke R, providing peace of mind for new owners. However, as with any high-performance motorcycle, regular maintenance and scheduled service are crucial for ensuring optimal performance and longevity.

KTM’s global dealer network provides support and service for the Super Duke R, with trained technicians and access to genuine KTM parts and accessories.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the top speed of the KTM 1290 Super Duke R?

The KTM 1290 Super Duke R has a top speed of 289 km/h (180 mph), making it one of the fastest production naked sport bikes on the market.

How quickly can the Super Duke R accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h?

The KTM 1290 Super Duke R can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in under 3 seconds, thanks to its powerful 1301cc V-twin engine and lightweight construction.

What safety features does the Super Duke R have?

The KTM 1290 Super Duke R comes equipped with advanced safety features like anti-lock brakes (ABS), traction control, and multiple riding modes to suit different conditions.

Can the Super Duke R be made even faster with modifications?

Yes, there are various aftermarket performance upgrades available for the KTM 1290 Super Duke R, including exhaust systems, air filters, ECU tuning, and even more extensive engine modifications. However, these may void the factory warranty and should be performed by professionals.

Is the Super Duke R suitable for beginners?

No, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R is not recommended for beginner riders due to its immense power and performance capabilities. This bike is best suited for experienced riders who can handle its raw performance and aggressive nature.

Final Verdict

The KTM 1290 Super Duke R is a true performance beast, combining blistering acceleration, impressive top speed, and agile handling into a package that is sure to thrill even the most seasoned riders. While it may not be the most practical or comfortable option for daily commuting, this naked sport bike is purpose-built for those who live for the thrill of the ride.

With its striking design, premium components, and cutting-edge technology, the Super Duke R stands out from the crowd, offering a visceral riding experience that few bikes can match. However, it’s not without its flaws, as potential reliability issues and expensive maintenance costs may give some buyers pause.

Ultimately, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R is a bike for those who prioritize performance above all else. If you’re an experienced rider seeking a machine that can unleash your inner hooligan while still offering a refined, premium experience, this Austrian missile is worth serious consideration.

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