Smart, faster and more versatile. The KTM Super Duke R may well be the new global naked bike benchmark.

See our KTM 1290 Super Duke R video review here.

What we like:

• Magnificent power
• Razor sharp steering
• Reasonable comfort

KTM 1290 Super Duke R 2021 review

Room for improvement:

• Headlight design… Huh?
• It ain’t cheap
• More fuel range please

KTM 1290 Super Duke R 2021 review

Pretty aptly given the moniker of The Beast 3.0 by KTM, the 2020 Super Duke R is the third iteration of the Austrian brand’s legendary V-twin powered tour de force. It’s now even sportier, a track day specialist, without making it a pig around town. Quite a feat.

It’s all about the engine here. The 1301cc LC8 75-degree V-twin knocks out 132kW at 9500rpm and 140Nm at 8000rpm. It’s all there in the numbers. Yes. Performance hounds will be hard to please if they find the new Super Duke lacking in the power department. In fact, sign up for MotoGP if that’s the case. We reckon you are not going to outride this thing.

KTM 1290 Super Duke R 2021 review

Harnessing all that performance had to be a priority for the boffins in the KTM design department. Crucially, The bike is now a leader in the area of electronic rider aids, making all that brutal kilowattage pretty tameable.

One of the significant electronic updates for 2020 is the inclusion of a six-axis IMU (previously a five-axis) that improves how ABS or traction control engages while factoring slide control into the revised TC algorithm. The Super Duke R features cornering Road ABS, nine-level lean-angle-detecting traction control, cruise control, and heated grips. Launch control and Supermoto ABS are accessed through the optional track mode.

KTM 1290 Super Duke R 2021 review

An all-new, stiffer chassis has deliver the the Super Duke R of more track credentials, without sacrificing café street cred. Again, it defies the rules, but there you have it. There is no doubt that the Super Duke R lifts the sporting naked bar. And a long way at that.
At $28,095 ride away, well you would expect something a bit special. And, trust us, this thing will change your life, road and track.

Photography and videography by i4Media, Shannon Hill.

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