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World launch – Australian exclusive 2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R | Bike Tests | Latest Tests

Naked bikes are big business, and the biggest in the business is the 1301cc V-twin known affectionately to its creators as, the Beast.

The Super Duke R has always been a barmy bike with serious performance, and has always been an acquired taste both visually and contextually. Is it a street fighter? Is it a sports bike? Is it a supermotard on steroids? Is it all of the above? For 2017, the Super Duke R has received a major redesign. The visuals, while still ostentatious, seem more traditionally attractive and less confronting. And for those still confused with the Beast’s intentions, KTM kindly help us put all of their products into context with one simple all-encompassing slogan – ‘Ready to Race’.


Flying halfway around the planet to attend the launch of Beast 2.0 at the crazy desert-marooned racing circuit of Losail, Qatar – home to the insane spectacle of MotoGP and WSBK under lights being performed in front of three Sheiks and a camel – I knew that the nutty dessert I’d be enjoying after midday mezze would be Orange nut job surprise, with extra fruit. To understand my excitement, you have to appreciate just how much fun this circuit is. It’s fast and flowing, with the dichotomy of a liberal coating of desert sand covering the fly-paper sticky surface. And did I mention it’s fast?

Read the full story in the current issue of AMCN on sale now 5 January 2017