Just when we thought adventure bikes had rendered sport-tourers obsolete, they’re back. Further evidence of the resurgence of pure-street sport-touring motorcycles is the return of the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT to the American lineup. Refreshed last year in Europe, the 2023 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT brings high performance to a class with a growing number of participants. Let’s see what the GT has for the United States market.
KTM’s LC8 1301cc V-twin found in the 1290 Super Duke R and the two 1290 Adventure models powers the GT. It’s a muscular powerplant, with 104 ft-lbs of torque on tap at 7000 rpm, making it easy to carry a passenger with plenty of oomph to spare. If you’re running light and like to rev, the peak output is 175 horsepower at 9750 rpm from the short-stroke powerplant.
Three standard and two optional modes let the rider dial in the performance required for the job. Sport, Street, and Rain are standard, with Track and Performance (a streetable version of Track) as options. Track and Performance modes bring with them launch control, nine levels of traction control, high-performance throttle response, and the ability to defeat wheelie control.
The optional Tech Pack brings together desirable features for simultaneous purchase. Tech Pack bundles Track mode, a quickshifter electronic engine braking control, and hill hold. These features work with the standard six-speed transmission and slip-and-assist function clutch.
A seven-inch TFT dash on the 2023 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT presents the rider with the information needed to best exploit the electronic rider aids. Further assistance for the rider comes via a six-axis IMU-informed Bosch Corning ABS that incorporates a Supermoto setting, plus cornering traction control. Turn-by-turn navigation is part of the system when you pair the dash to your smartphone via Bluetooth and use the KTMconnect app. The switchgear is updated to ease display navigation. A fob is needed to power the Super Duke GT on.
The WP suspension is also electronically enhanced. It’s a semi-active setup, with three damping modes—Sport, Street, and Comfort—and four position shock spring-preload settings (Rider; Rider & Luggage; Rider & Pillion; Rider, Pillion & Luggage).
Lightweight cast aluminum wheels are shod with Continental ContiSportAttack 4 rubber.
Standard touring-friendly features on the 2023 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT include an adjustable windscreen, cruise control, a 6.1-gallon fuel tank, handguards, and heated grips. Color-matched side cases are optional, so the GT can be described as an upright, faired sportbike in purely standard trim.
While we don’t have a price for the 2023 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT, you could be seeing the sport-touring motorcycle at your dealer as soon as December.
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Motos and Friends—the weekly Podcast brought to you by the editorial team at Ultimate Motorcycling.
My name is Arthur Coldwells.
In this week’s first segment, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the much anticipated Yamaha MT-10 SP. That’s the model with the Ohlins semi-active suspension. It’s only been available in Europe for the last couple of years, but finally the good news is, that it’s coming to America. The big question is, whether the extra 3k you’re going to have to pony up for the Ohlins is actually worth it, or perhaps there’s just not that much improvement over the stock KYB suspension that has suited the Yamaha MT-10 so well until now?
In the second segment, Associate Editor Teejay Adams chats with Val Collins. Val grew up on motorcycles and learned to love speed, however her real love is Formula 1 tunnel-boat racing. These are the guys and gals that are strapped into a tiny cockpit and then hurtle down the straights at 120 mile per hour and pull 5G in the corners. We attended the recent season finale in Lake Havasu and watched our friend Mike Quindazzi try to take the win. Val chats with Teejay about her love for two-wheels and tunnel-boats. Yeah, it’s crazy stuff.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode and have a great Thanksgiving Holiday!