KTM has always found its niche as the toughest and edgiest mainstream motorcycle manufacturer, with the 1290 Super Duke R being the hardest of the Austrian brand’s hardcore range. For 2024, the bike KTM nicknames ‘The Beast’ has been replaced with a pair of bigger and more powerful third generation models, the 1390 Super Duke R and the 1390 Super Duke R EVO.
With a bigger, 1350cc, V-twin motor, the 1390s pump out a claimed 190bhp – pushing the Super Dukes close to the previously unthinkable 200bhp supernaked club occupied by the likes of the Ducati V4 Streetfighter and BMW’s S 1000 R.
Launched with a series of promo shots showing burnouts and wheelies (on a closed runway, of course) KTM has always been about aggressive, compromise free design. The latest Super Dukes carry on that tradition with stripped back looks and the company’s traditional fireball orange livery. As well as the new, 2mm bigger bore, motor the latest generation Super Duke gets new suspension, upgraded electronics and more aggressive styling, including a compact LED headlight and MotoGP style aerodynamic winglets to increase downforce and reduce wheelies under acceleration. The ‘EVO’ version differs by having semi-active electronic suspension, compared to the standard bike’s already high end 48mm WP Apex forks and fully adjustable rear shock.
Although not a machine renowned for its practicality, the 2024 Super Duke is said to be more economical than the outgoing model, while it also gets a new 17.5 litre fuel tank, 1.5 litres more than found on the 1290. Additionally, the EVO’s electronic suspension can be adjusted at the touch of the button, allowing the rider to switch from ‘Comfort’ to ‘Sport’ mode in seconds. The suspension also has a launch assist feature, which reduces preload at standstill to put more weight on the rear wheel for improved acceleration off the line. Five ride modes come as standard, while optional electronic aids include wheelie control, mappable engine brake tuning and customisable ‘Track’ and ‘Performance’ modes.
And the new KTM should certainly be a lot of fun on a track day. It comes equipped with sporty dual-compound Michelin Power GP tyres as standard and will cost £17,999 for the base model (£19,599 for the EVO) when they arrive in showrooms from January 2024.