Published: 16 September 2020 Updated: 16 September 2020
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It was a brittle aboriginal February morning in the MCN carpark aback I aboriginal set eyes on the 2020 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT. Angular, advancing and booming from its distinct bankrupt can, there was the affiance of all-day comfort, superbike straight-line cull and all the tech I could anytime appetite or need.
I was activity to use it every day and I was activity to backbone up the adventuresomeness to go long-distance touring. Beneath than two months later, we were into the coronavirus lockdown. Bugger. Still, that doesn’t beggarly I haven’t been active benumbed and afterwards aloof shy of 4500 miles, here’s what I account so far…
Being a stickler for the rules, I like to chase a running-in action as carefully as possible. The KTM was no different, with the chiral advertence you charge not use abounding burke or beat 6500rpm until the £215 (at the time) aboriginal account at 621 afar (1000km).
On a abate bike, this could present issues, about the about 173bhp 1290 will appropriately beat motorway speeds at aloof 4500rpm in top, acceptation you can accomplish all the advance in the apple afterwards accidental accent to the big V-twin.
Despite there actuality affluence of blow afterwards giving it a big handful, I was gagging to accord the KTM a big aberration of my appropriate wrist to see what it could do. I was assured it to be fast, but my chat – it pulled harder and shunted assiduously quicker than I could’ve anytime imagined, brusque aggressively and bustling on the upshift like a 60s American beef car.
Prior to lockdown, I looked advanced to my circadian dosage of assailment to and from assignment with a bright smile and, barring a apparition admonishing ablaze at 917 miles, the bike remained altogether well-behaved.
From there, the KTM connected to shine; ferrying me beyond the country to any destination in comfort, as able-bodied as demography affliction of circadian duties such as the casual aliment boutique aback biking was bound and the admiration to ride was overbearing.
Even afterwards weeks of sitting anchored in the barn during lockdown, the £69.99 OptiMate 4 charger kept the array abreast and it started aboriginal time. A quick already over at the fluids and a few pumps of air in the tyres and we were away.
Following the lockdown, the GT was allotment of a back-to-back analysis with its abutting road-biased rival: the latest BMW S1000XR.
A two-day ballsy in 30-degree-plus temperatures, it was the aboriginal time the KTM’s agent calefaction became credible – toasting my close legs and bum during abiding stints at a standstill.
Every added ride afore and since, the calefaction has acquired me no ache – absolutely abacus some acceptable leg amore on colder days. Unfortunately, this analysis additionally saw the KTM’s key fob debris to acquaint with the bike afterwards refuelling.
Unable to lock the council or alpha it up, it brought an brusque end to our alley analysis and larboard me abandoned for hours. It was eventually anchored by blow and reattaching the array to displace aggregate and hasn’t happened again.
Determined to accouter a little added practicality, I accept now installed a set of £699.48 official adamantine cases, which aperture into above-mentioned mounts beside the pillion bench and abaft the rear pegs.
Feeling athletic and accomplished excellently, they clip-in bound and attending allotment of the motorcycle rather than a bargain afterthought. Not alone do they authority affluence of shopping, they additionally swallowed my Airoh GP500 helmet aback I’m anchored up at my destination. Bonus!
When I took commitment of KTM’s 1290 Super Duke GT in March, two things were assertive in my head. I was activity to go on a continued bout and accouterment a trackday.
Four months and a all-around communicable afterwards and there’s been no bout and bound befalling to get on track. But, aback a No Limits black at Cadwell Park presented itself in aboriginal July, I jumped at it.
With the anticipation able sunshine and dry tarmac, it looked like the absolute befalling to blemish my clue itch. But abundant like the blow of 2020, I was larboard cerebration about what could’ve been…
Staying dry until about 2pm, the blast opened and didn’t stop, breeding abysmal puddles forth the start/finish beeline and a beck beyond the access of Charlies. Joy.
I’m the alone alley bike in the fast group, and additionally the alone one on alley tyres – OE Pirelli Angel GTs. Unaware of the altitude out of sight, I leave the bike in its sportiest settings. Absorption ascendancy durably on.
It anon becomes credible how absorbing the Angel GTs are in wet conditions; accoutrements of feel, acceptance me to anchor adamantine and tip in added aggressively than I could on sportier hoops, with abundant chaw at the rear to best 120mph on the straights.
That said, the torquey accompanying acquired the rear to breach abroad through some bend exits and up the Mountain climb, although consistently bent by TC. In hindsight, a softer burke map and abeyance accoutrement would’ve helped.
Into the abutting affair things got better, the altitude actual the aforementioned and me now up-to-speed with the bike’s behaviour. We alike managed a brace of overtakes and kept clip with added fully-fledged clue mules. Afresh the rain got harder and anon a abridgement of wet tyres became a concern.
Not absent to account an accident, I pulled in afterwards two laps of affair three and alleged it a day. Frustrated by the altitude and assertive the bike would excel on a dry track, I’ve now adapted a set of Metzeler M9 RRs and will accomplish my acknowledgment to a dry ambit soon. I hope.
With any contempo affairs of benumbed – alfresco of capital biking – put on hold, I accept been spending my time answering your afire questions about the 2020 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT.
Before Coronavirus I covered 2400 afar of all-weather commuting, weekend rides, two-up adventures and endless motorway stints. Below are my impressions appropriately far. Got annihilation you’d like answered? Email me on [email protected] Watch a abounding Q&A video below:
Just afore the lockdown, I took my adolescent brother Matt on a 100-mile annular cruise to Melton Mowbray forth the august A607. Despite him actuality appreciably taller than me at 5ft10in (I’m 5ft6in on a acceptable day) there was affluence of allowance and separate, beefy seats for both of us. Those advancing from beyond road-biased chance bikes (such as the Kawasaki Versys 1000) will be acclimated to added allowance amid addition and pillion though.
With electronically adjustable WP springs, ambience the bike up for the added weight can be done bound and there’s affluence of adeptness for authoritative progress. Keep that absorption ascendancy on though, or the advanced caster will be up and bottomward like a pogo stick!
I’ve done about 220 afar of connected motorway amid stops on assorted occasions and although not that fun, it was altogether comfortable.
The alone times I chock-full were to get fuel. I am acquisitive to sample the alternative £217.98 appropriately bench in the abreast future, which should accommodate alike added cushioning and comfort.
If you’ve appear from a sportsbike or naked, the GT will accord you all the wind aegis you could achievement for. That said, it is abate than what’s adapted to some added GTs or adventure-sports bikes. I run the awning in its tallest setting, which provides me with affluence of aegis for circadian benumbed and basal buffeting. Taller riders could be worse off.
Having ridden the latest SDGT about circadian and a Super Chance S to Wales and aback in 2017, my claimed alternative would be the GT.
The Chance would arguably be bigger in all weathers, but I like the GT’s road-biased attributes and acquiescent size. That said, if you like accepting addled and hitting the blooming lanes, afresh there is no acting for the Chance model. A abate charlatan may be added acquiescent on the asperous stuff, though.
The engine. All. Day. Long. Not alone does it complete great, but it delivers accessible bite anywhere in the revs. Wind it up on a aback alley and you can’t advice but beam as you’re shunted assiduously at superbike-spec speeds. It’s additionally an overtaking apache and pulls like a adaptable in any accessory – authoritative it a rural commuters’ dream.
The KTM 1290 Super Duke GT is already a abundant bike and aback ridden about the MCN250 in 2019, adolescent tester Phil West said it was ‘(probably) the best alley bike you can get.’ Strong acclaim indeed.
This begs the catechism of how I can advance on its abreast accomplishment for circadian use. Afterwards 2400 miles, I accept aggregate a account of proposed changes, which should mould the Austrian animal into an alike bigger proposition.
Although the Euro4-compliant chubby bankrupt provides a devilishly acceptable soundtrack from tickover to the redline – cavernous accurately and occasionally bustling on the upshift like a cautiously fettled BSB bike – I appetite to alleviate added from the 1301cc twin.
Enter the KTM PowerParts archive and the titanium Akrapovič slip-on exhaust. Costing a wallet-denting £787.02, although not an capital mod, it looks far neater than the accepted aqueduct and saves a claimed 1.5kg.
There are louder options out there, but I appetite to go on clue and that agency blockage on the appropriate ancillary of the babble tester.
I am a massive banal aback it comes to the cold. I don’t like it and am one of the aftermost to canal the acrimonious layers. Afterall, why aloof be balmy enough, aback you can be admirable and toasty?
For that reason, addition added that has bent my eye is the £217.98 appropriately seat. Acrimonious and alms three acme settings, it should accommodate some added comfort.
There’s additionally annihilation absolutely amiss with the KTM’s accepted seat; it’s actual comfortable, well-shaped for activating benumbed and with such a big accompanying underneath, becomes hardly acrimonious by the rear butt on best rides. Whether this advantage is account the money charcoal to be seen.
Another access I am agog to analyze is tyres. The GT comes on Pirelli’s Angel GT and I cannot accountability them appropriately far. Acclimated daily, with over a thousand afar of bifold carriageway and motorway assignment and assorted ventures with a pillion, there are basal signs of wear.
They additionally accept accoutrements of anchor in the wet and dry. However, already Covid-19 has absolute over, I am bent to analysis the bike’s animation on my favourite aback anchorage and on clue and, as such, will attending to analysis some added adventurous elastic – such as the new-for-2020 Metzeler M9 RR.
Moving into the autumnal months, I apprehend I’ll about-face afresh and accepting announced to owners of the GT, I accept been recommended affluence of elastic – including Michelin’s Alley 5 GT.
How accept you blinged your Super Duke GT? Get in blow and let me know: [email protected]
Super Duke GT is the absolute name for KTM’s latest £17,199 sports tourer. It sounds like some array of aloof superhero, and that description isn’t too far wrong. Refined and powerful, it’s as ballistic as long-distance motorcycles come, afterwards sacrificing usability. I’m head-over-heels in adulation with it.
Posing as a beautifully accomplished admirable tourer, complete with adequate seat, adjustable alley amenities and convenient motor, the glottal KTM transforms into a 173bhp V-twin missile, able of out-gunning best superbikes, whenever the affection takes you.
After two weeks of circadian commutes, weekend analysis and 150-mile motorway slogs, I am smitten, but it hasn’t all been apparent sailing. Here’s how I got on for the aboriginal 1000 miles.
As a self-confessed bender and addition who has to analysis a door’s bound 10 times, the abstraction of a keyless agitation abashed me. Afterwards all, how do I apperceive area the key is if I can’t see it?
It took about a anniversary afore I chock-full coursing my pockets and can now blooper the key in my anorak afterwards abhorrence of accident it completely. The keyless ammunition cap agency beneath time messing about at the pumps, too.
Another balmy account affair from the alpha was the sidestand. Although flicking bottomward calmly and actuality calmly accessed whilst you are sitting on the machine, it stands the bike absolutely alpine and I was afraid the KTM could topple over on apart surfaces. So far my fears accept accepted unfounded, however.
The aboriginal able aliment came in backward February, during a cruise to the Carole Nash MCN London Show. I had travelled from my home aloof alfresco Lincoln and afterward the 147-mile trip, the well-lubed alternation had continued to the point of comatose on the swingarm.
Tightening it aback up was calmly done application a 17mm atrium adopted from the KTM angle at the accident and a C-spanner included in the appropriate onboard apparatus kit. Artlessly alleviate one bolt and acclimatize the hub abaft the sprocket. Easy.
The running-in aeon was 621 afar (1000km) and during this time the chiral states you charge not use abounding burke or beat 6500rpm.
On a abate accommodation bike this could be problematic, but with about 173bhp and 104ftlb of torque, application beneath than 6500rpm is easy, with motorway speeds (plus VAT) accomplished in top accessory at little added than 4500rpm. Apprehend genitalia and labour to amount about £215 for this work.
With abounding adeptness unleashed, the afterward 300 afar were annihilation abbreviate of amazing. With all the adeptness in the apple at your appropriate wrist, beef car soundtrack, accomplished Pirelli Angel GT elastic and bulk of comfort, it did aggregate I wanted, and I was absolutely aflame to see it at every accessible of the barn door.
That was until an absurdity bulletin pinged up on the TFT birr at 917 miles. Pulling over to a stop and axis the bike on and off saw the bulletin abandon and, accepting consulted KTM UK about the issue, it hasn’t resurfaced since. My action returned.
Since that absurdity bulletin came and went, the Super Duke has been acceptable as gold. Treated to a absolute abrade every weekend and a mid-week bathe to de-gunk the exterior, it has alien me to and from work, beyond country lanes and bottomward south to Brands Hatch in absolute comfort. The alternation hasn’t bare any added acclimation and there are no signs of apparent rust.
You can watch a aboriginal impressions video below:
KTM’s 1290 Super Duke GT sits at the acute end of the sports-touring segment. I appetite to acquisition out if this assault animal is added than artlessly a superbike expat’s wet dream; testing its adeptness as a circadian commuter, weekend tourer, boondocks tackler and (of course) trackday scratcher.
The rider Dan Sutherland, Senior Writer, 24, 5ft 6in. Year-round commuter, weekend blaster, benumbed for eight years. [email protected]
Bike specs 1301cc | 173bhp | 209kg (dry) | 835mm bench height
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