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2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R and 390 Duke | First Look Review

Jenny SmithNovember 08, 2016
2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R

2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R. (Photos: KTM)

KTM’s lineup of naked Duke models have represented the sharp, orange edge of hooliganism since the first Duke 620 appeared in 1994. For 2017, KTM has announced updates to its 390 Duke and fire-breathing 1290 Super Duke R that focus on power, handling and aggressive good looks.

The 2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R: unleash your inner hooligan!

The 2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R: unleash your inner hooligan!

2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R
The 1290 Super Duke R was already a force to be reckoned with, but KTM has endowed it with a reworked cylinder head and intake, so the 1,301cc LC8 V-Twin now makes a claimed 177 horsepower, with smoother response at low rpm and a broadened power band. New 48mm fully adjustable WP upside-down forks contain separate damping circuits with stiffer fork springs, and a new WP rear shock is also fitted with a stiffer spring for a balanced chassis in aggressive riding situations.

Read our Road Test Review of the 2015 1290 Super Duke R.

2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R.

2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R.

Helping to control all that power and performance, the Super Duke R is now equipped with Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC), with cornering ABS by Bosch. Ride modes, including Supermoto mode, and multi-stage, lean angle-sensitive traction control remain as standard equipment as well. A new optional dealer-installed Performance Pack adds Motor Slip Regulation, Quickshifter+ (for clutchless up- and downshifts) and KTM MY RIDE, which connects via Bluetooth to the rider’s smart phone to control audio playback and accept phone calls.

Read our Rider Comparo of the 2015 Aprilia Tuono V4 R APRC ABS, 2015 BMW S 1000 R & 2015 KTM 1290 Super Duke R.

For 2017, the 1290 Super Duke R gets a facelift, including a new split LED headlight.

For 2017, the 1290 Super Duke R gets a facelift, including a new split LED headlight.

Track riders can also add on the dealer-installed Track Pack (for closed course use only), which adds a Track riding mode with three additional Drive Modes, turns wheelie control off, and adds Traction Control slip adjust and launch control.

The Super Duke R's engine was reworked with a new cylinder head and intake.

The Super Duke R’s engine was reworked with a new cylinder head and intake.

Other changes include a new split LED headlight, multifunction TFT dashboard, cruise control, new bodywork, a wider, lower handlebar positioned farther forward, new Metzeler M7RR supersport tires and the new RACE ON keyless ignition system. US pricing and availability were not immediately available.

2017 KTM 390 Duke.

2017 KTM 390 Duke.

2017 KTM 390 Duke
Don’t need 177 horsepower, but still looking for fun and performance? The 2017 KTM 390 Duke and its class-leading power and torque might be right up your alley.

Read our Road Test Review of the 2015 KTM 390 Duke.

It's almost too much fun whipping the little Duke through corners.

It’s almost too much fun whipping the little Duke through corners.

For 2017, the little Duke was endowed with Ride-By-Wire for a smooth, more refined throttle response, and a slipper clutch helps keep accidental rear wheel slides to a minimum. New 43mm open-cartridge WP front forks improve an already well-rounded suspension package. The 390 Duke was also given a larger, 320mm front brake disc for improved stopping power and feel. A new ultralight steel trellis frame with bolt-on rear subframe looks great and provides the base for the little Duke’s excellent handling characteristics.

Light, narrow and powerful, the 390 Duke has "fun" written all over it.

Light, narrow and powerful, the 390 Duke has “fun” written all over it.

Other changes include a new LED headlight, multifunction TFT dashboard, adjustable levers, larger steel gas tank (3.5 gallons vs. 2.8 on the previous model), revised rider and passenger seats, side-mounted exhaust with increased cornering clearance and the optional dealer-installed KTM MY RIDE, which connects via Bluetooth to the rider’s smart phone to control audio playback and accept phone calls. US pricing and availability were not immediately available.

2017 KTM 390 Duke.

2017 KTM 390 Duke.

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