I recently was pleased to get the chance to ride the KTM 1290 Super Duke R – machine that truly lives up to the name “The Beast”, yet shows enough comfort to be a potent touring machine, if you could mount bags and a windscreen to it.
That thought is exactly what drove KTM with its latest model, the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT, which takes the 173hp streetfighter, and gives its bags, more fairing, and a windshield — all for 502 lbs, ready to ride.
Unless the Austrian massively botched this relatively easy task, this could mean that the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT is the best sport-tourer on the market.
A segment that is seemingly giving way to the “adventure-sport” category, sport-tourers seem to be a compromise between two opposing goals.
This has created two sets of machines: tourers that are too heavy or too underpowered to be fun and sporty machines, or sport bikes that have high-octane blood, but no manners for long-term comfort.
With fourth-gear power wheelies, no one can accused the KTM 1290 Super Duke R of being slow, and the streetfighter has a surprisingly comfortable riding triangle that makes longer trips a piece of cake – and you can go quite far on the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT’s 6 gallon tank.
Judging from the changes done to make the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT the touring capability of this machine has surely been increased. Pannier mounts are integrated onto the GT, and the windshield is adjustable.
Similarly, the footpegs are lower for better space for your legs, as we’ve already mentioned, more fuel capacity has been added for longer trips on a tank, and you can adjust the handlebars by 22mm with its four different positions.
Suspension is handled by WP Suspension, and includes a semi-active electronic suspension system for the 2016 KTM Super Duke GT – something even the Super Duke R doesn’t have.
Other wiz-bang goodies include the Bosch MSC “cornering ABS” system, LED cornering lights, tire pressure monitoring, automatic turn indicator reset, hill hold control, heated grips, cruise control, a quick-shifter, and a motor slip regulator, which works with the slipper clutch to maintain control of the motorcycle during aggressive downshifts.
There’s no word on pricing yet, but the 2016 KTM Super Duke GT will be coming to the USA. Woot!