2024 marks 30 years of the KTM Duke nameplate and to celebrate the milestone AMCN's David ‘Wattie’ Watt is heading to Almeria in Spain to ride the range on road and track.
What?! 30 years of the KTM Duke. Where does the time go? To celebrate this milestone AMCN’s Wattie is about to jump on a plane to Spain to ride the KTM Duke range both on the road and on the tricky but fast Almeria racetrack.
According to KTM, its Duke range can be summed up in one word: Evolution. The first bike to carry the Duke nameplate was launched in 1994 and it featured a big-bore 609cc single-cylinder engine in a package that straddled the line between supermoto and streetfighter, with an exposed trellis frame and minimalist bodywork.
That original Duke proved a sales success and so a more powerful Duke II version was launched in 1999 with sharper styling. A few years later the Duke line-up would be expanded with the introduction of models with different capacity engines, starting with the introduction of the 990 cc LC8 V-Twin Super Duke in 2005, which was followed by the Super Duke R variant in 2008.
2008 also saw the introduction of the KTM 690 Duke, described by KTM as “a hunkered down, powerful single-cylinder machine, with an underslung exhaust and aggressive, elbows-out riding position”.
Smaller capacity Duke models soon hit the market, with the 125 Duke landing in 2011, the 200 Duke in 2012 and the popular 390 Duke in 2013.
A year later the mighty 2014 KTM 1290 Super Duke R was launched with a stonking 1301cc V-twin engine at its core, a model referred to by KTM as The Beast. A touring variant of this model was developed in the form of the 1290 Super Duke GT which landed in 2016.
In 2018, KTM launched The Scalpel, a 790 Duke featuring a powerful parallel-twin engine and cutting-edge electronics.
Now, 30 years after the arrival of the original Duke, KTM is launching three-anniversary models with dedicated ‘30 Years of Duke’ livery: the new 390 Duke has been endowed with a revised single-cylinder engine and electronics package; the 990 Duke scores an all-new LC8c parallel-twin, bigger dimensions and more tech; and the 1390 Super Duke R and 1390 Super Duke R Evo models have more power than ever before.
So what will Wattie get to ride in Almeria, Spain? The line-up will include the 2024 KTM 390 Duke, KTM 990 Duke, KTM 1390 Super Duke R and KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo models.
Keep an eye out for Wattie’s report in an upcoming issue of AMCN.