What makes it possible to hang two suitcases, to tease with the acceler ‘a Mig-28, to make the road a long time without breaking your wrists, and to transform the turns into big 8 accelerated? A hypersport with a frame for luggage? The creation of a workshop coupling Samsonites and turbos ?
Not long ago they wanted to create a completely crazy, overpowered, beastly roadster, and that resulted in the 1290 Superduke R. With a huge twin and horses like it was raining. But these engineers are like kids. You leave them two minutes with connecting rods, boiling brains, a rail of adrenaline, and they give you a new way of thinking about Grand Touring. At Katoche, it promises to be demonic, ballsy as it is not allowed, and this machine has a name: Superduke GT. Nominative imagination side, there was nobody that day. Normal, everyone probably wanted to taste the virtues of tourism with a barrel of powder. Test confirmed huge potential and adrenaline on demand.
This machine for tourists in a hurry and / or very athletic recover the twin cylinder of the big SuperDuke and Super Adventure. Can we conclude that it is a fusion of streetfighter and maxi-trail? Far from there. Only the motor is common. And to properly sit the sulphurous side of the machine, the 1301 cm3 engine spits out exactly the same ardor as on the roadster. Under the handle await 173 horses. Outch! Heavy ! At the beginning, this block sent 180 nags. But the Euro4 standard has eaten up a few watts. Suddenly, SuperDuke and Superduke GT will be content with 7 hp less. No big deal; the LC8 still has plenty to put your guts into orbit. Here, it grants itself new cylinder heads, a revised crankshaft, a relaxed injection and some improvements to give a more road consistency to its temperament..
Double ignition, anti-dribble clutch, Formula 1 pistons, Ride-by-Wire, 13.2: 1 crazy compression, over 14.7 mkg of torque … the connecting rods are on fire. But how does this Superduke assert its GT orientation ?
Sit on board. Don’t be afraid of her. As powerful as the roadster, the beast "routierized" seems more imposing, more pot-bellied. And it is. By becoming GT, broad shoulders developed on its flanks. The bust is threatening: incisive, forked like a trident, thick without being heavy. A warrior, protector of his crew and vilifier of the ladies of tourism. An indispensable assistant then made his appearance: a bubble with courtesy dimensions, adjustable by hand and provided with several fixing anchors. The little invitation to travel comes in two acts. Can the first really allow long-term getaways? KTM seems to want to demonstrate that it does, with a more generous tank claiming 23 liters (+ 5 L) and 400 terminals of autonomy. Other settings are devolved to the crew. Thus, the passenger is entitled to more space and lowered footrests. The pilot can adjust his handlebars to 22 mm and 4 positions; shifter and brake pedal on 3. A set of softer saddles, a reinforced rear frame, extended, with what it takes to anchor optional cases, heated grips and cruise control as standard – all that whets your appetite to go do a big round.
But these are appetizers. Because Katoche makes this Superduke GT a demonstration of all its technology. We take passion here, tourism there, and we box everything we can as long as it manages to be grafted on. Here, the EDS suspensions. We know them on the Adventure and we like to see them grafted here. These are the semi-active WP, whose mission is to adapt the damping in real time. 3 programs are defined to adapt to the mood of the day: Comfort, Street and Sport. The names bluntly describe how the 48mm fork and White Power monoshock will react and respond to the road..
Very strong: the system detects the on-board weight and automatically adjusts it. The suspensions benefit from a travel of 125 mm at the front and 156 mm at the rear to demonstrate their capacity. Important values for the category, able to eliminate any dry reaction and provide quality work.
And the result is dizzy as the audience is numerous. The brand put in the Superduke GT everything it had: traction control and ABS that take into account the angle of the motorcycle to determine their degree of intervention, a Supermoto mode in the braking system to be able to lock the rear wheel without losing the anti-lock lock in the front wheel, tire pressure monitoring, a shifter, an anti-dribble clutch, flashers that stop by themselves after 10 sec and 150 m, and adaptive lighting with LEDs. The transparent claws on the sides of the tank light up according to the turn. Each optical unit contains three segments of LEDs which intervene progressively according to the angle taken by the machine.
Worse than a car the SDGT: in the options corner, you can still type in the overbidding with a hill start aid, or the MSR which allows to leave "slip" the motor in the event of too much torque feedback on deceleration.
Strong technological added value on this bike. Too much perhaps. What should we think when engineers provide the means to civilize a monster on demand? Because before being GT, the 1290 SuperDuke wants to ensure its bestiality in act 2.
It is after the intermission of road, comfort and co-pilots of all kinds that the foundations return to the assault. Because although largely equipped, this impressive machine retained all the spice of the fury of Mattighofen. We have seen that its monstrous engine wanted to be a little more delicate in order to stick to less extreme use. Under the avalanche of equipment, however, nothing seems more vindictive than the Superduke. Its tubular chrome molybdenum trellis frame, its Brembo monobloc M50 brake calipers, its large cavalry more or less tempered by the driving modes (Street, Sport, Rain and Supermoto), its superb single-sided … big ladle between each turn. We dream of getting caught up in the game, of transforming each stage into a rally special. However, there are other things besides the suitcases to bring rider and front wheel back to earth. This acronym, this claim GT conditions the appearance of 16 kilos more, or 228 all full facts. As well as Pirelli Angel GT tires, very well made but less sporty than the Dunlop SportSmart2 mounted on the brother streetfighter.
"A long distance rocket". This is how KTM defines its Superduke 1290 GT. With everything she has in her stomach and in her stomach, one would be tempted to believe it. Are we witnessing the birth of a new category, mixing the fury of a hypersport, the versatility of a roadster and the traveling capabilities of a roadster? A Grand Tourisme Streetfighter, or a totally unreasonable machine capable of atomizing 95% of the motorcycles on the market while allowing you to go to Berck-Plage or Chamonix on weekends. A motorbike which feasts on a Ledenon in the morning, climbs the Virolos du Ventou by drifting in the afternoon then returns comfortably to the Cap d’Agde campsite in the evening? Utopian but not so far from its prerogatives. Katoche loves this kind of challenge, and the addition requested is also part of it. The rich endowment and performance will be at the top of the range. The SMT 990 seems to have found a progeny, much more muscular.
M.B – Photos and manufacturer video
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1290 SUPERDUKE GT 2017
Model marketed in
about 250 km / h
The technical aspect
KTM 1290 SUPERDUKE GT 2018
- Tank: 23 liters
- Wheelbase: 1,482 mm
- Dry weight: 205 kg
- Weight in running order: 228 kg
- Train before
- secondary by chain
- Rear axle
(108 x 71 mm)
at 9,500 rpm
at 6500 rpm