EICMA: KTM 1290 Super Duke GT





KTM ends the record-breaking year of 2015 by launching an exceptional highlight model for the upcoming season, sending the next strong impulse to the top level of the motorcycling world with the newly developed 1290 SUPER DUKE GT. The technical and strategical base is once again the highly advanced LC8 two-cylinder platform. After its appearances in the RC8R racer, the ADVENTURE travel enduros and the SUPER DUKE R naked bike, the full-grown LC8 now also shines in the 1290 SUPER DUKE GT. Bringing yet unique top model to the KTM stage to help the brand unlock new groups of customers. At first glance, at the “GT” betrays a distinct, extremely aggressive base of the 1290 SUPER DUKE that became famous as the “Beast”. Even though it was drafted as a separate model, the GT approaches touring from a sporty angle. No ifs and buts. And just to let you know up front: the core of the SUPER DUKE GT will always be incredible dynamism. This KTM is the cutting-edge interpretation of a sport bike fit for travel. The 1290 SUPER DUKE GT is not a slimmed down super tourer with racing stripes, it is an extremely sporty real world champion, which for the first time masters the seemingly impossible split between mountainous twisties, comfortable long distance motorway travelling and breathtaking track day use, thanks to intelligent and innovative design and technology solutions. This unique design becomes possible also through the integration of intelligent electronic assistance systems like special ride and power modes, semi-actively controlled WP suspension components, a lean angle sensitive ABS and for the first time, a quick shifter for upshifting.



With its versatility, the 1290 SUPER DUKE GT poses new standards. Based on the LC8 power pack of the 1290 SUPER DUKE R, the V2 engine of the GT is right up there with the ‘beast’ at 173 hp of peak power, but in addition, it distinguishes itself with an exemplary, smooth power delivery and an incomparably wide ‘mountain’ of torque with a peak value of 144 Nm. The 75° V2 with electronic engine management and ride-by-wire function combines breathtaking performance and convincing touring capabilities so perfectly that its range of operations stretches from inner city traffic to the race track. At just 228 kilograms of weight fully fuelled, the amply equipped 1290 SUPER DUKE GT reaches a power-to-weight ratio currently unmatched by any other sporty mile muncher.

In true KTM tradition, the chassis of the GT combines an extremely lightweight but torsionally highly rigid trellis frame and a beautiful, single-sided aluminium swing arm with the highest quality WP

suspension components, unsurpassed Brembo brakes and sticky Pirelli Angel GT tires. The semi-active suspensions opens up previously unexplored dimensions regarding precision, safety and comfort. Using a switch on the handlebar, the rider may choose between the damping settings ‘Comfort’, ‘Street’ and ‘Sport’. The electronic damping control SCU (suspension control unit) ensures the damping values are permanently matched to the rider’s style and the road surface in real time. The necessary information is delivered by suspension travel sensors on the wheels as well as front and rear accelerometers. In all this, the spring settings are continuously matched to the damping: whenever more payload is added, SCU increases the damping accordingly. This way, the 1290 SUPER DUKE GT’s suspension makes just as great an impression fully loaded on bad back roads as during quick motorway blasts or aggressive solo riding.



The incredibly wide operational range of the 1290 SUPER DUKE GT is not the least a result of its comprehensive equipment with riding assistance and safety systems. It includes the ground breaking stability control MSC which ensures that the C-ABS anti-lock brakes and the traction control MTC are controlled with respect to lean angles, meaning they keep working even while cornering. This way, within the physical limits, MSC prevents the wheels from slipping when accelerating or braking while leaned over. In addition, several ride modes for different uses are available that influence engine response, traction control, ABS action and damping. Then there is the standard equipment of the 1290 SUPER DUKE GT with an electronic cruise control, a quick shifter for upshifting, a tire pressure monitoring system, heated grips, LED cornering lights combined with LED indicators with automatic reset. A 23-liter fuel tank, the extended rear subframe with integrated mounts for the optional pannier system, comfortable seats and effective wind and weather protection including a height adjustable windshield provide appropriate long distance capabilities. In addition, the optional Hill Hold Control (HHC) and Motor Slip Regulation (MSR) are available, the latter of which prevents the rear wheel from losing grip, should the rider chop the throttle or dump the clutch when downshifting. At the current state of the art, it would be hard to find any other motorcycle that successfully combines these levels of touring stamina and performance, with such sophisticated assistance and safety systems.



It is in the nature of crossover concepts to combine many talents but also having to compromise a lot. The 1290 SUPER DUKE GT does not: concessions of any kind are basically unnoticeable when riding this bike. Those travelling on it neither have to live with the restricted comfort of a stiff suspension nor the razor sharp response of a highly stressed engine. And those who take the GT even to a closed course can rely on the top precision of the chassis, brakes and engine. Its groundbreaking electronics take care of that. The end result is a long distance machine that proudly roars past the top of the food chain, hungry for more. For miles. The faster, the better. A bike that is equally happy chasing horizons, as it is chasing supersports bikes. And crushing them.


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