KTM have unveiled their new 1290 Super Duke GT, which they say is a “lightweight and agile marathon sprinter with plenty of power [and] a vast package of the latest riding assistance systems.” A sport-touring machine based on the 1290 Super Duke R, the GT gets a big, 23-litre fuel tank and high-tech electronics including stability control, traction control and C-ABS, the last two also being lean-angle sensitive. Since the 1290 GT is meant for long-distance touring, it also gets a lengthened rear subframe with integral mounts for the panniers, heated grips, cruise control, plusher and more comfortable seats, an adjustable windshield for improved weather protection, and LED DRLs and cornering lights.
The star of the package is still, of course, KTM’s 173-horsepower and 144Nm LC8 75° V-twin engine, which is barking mad. With the 1290 Super Duke GT weighing in at a fairly reasonable 228kg (with fuel and all fluids, ready to ride…), the power-to-weight ratio is not bad at all and KTM say that the bike combines “breathtaking performance and convincing touring capabilities so perfectly that its range of operations stretches from inner city traffic to the race track.”
In addition to its brilliant engine, the KTM 1290 GT also features semi-active WP suspension. Once the rider chooses between damping settings (comfort, street or sport), the WP system matches damping values to the rider’s riding style and road surface in real time. The suspension control unit (SCU) uses travel sensors mounted on both wheels as well as front and rear accelerometers to deliver its electronic wizardry, controlling compression and rebound damping automatically, even compensating for the weight of a pillion ride in case you happen to be travelling with a friend.
Other bits on the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT include its stiff, lightweight steel tube trellis frame, single-sided aluminium swingarm, twin 320mm brake discs at front with Brembo 4-piston monobloc calipers, and 17-inch cast-aluminium wheels with 120/70 (front) and 190/55 (rear) Pirelli Angel GT tyres. KTM say that this is a fast, furious sport-touring motorcycle like no other on the planet, and we agree with that!