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KTM 1290 Super Duke GT facelift spied

Whether you love or hate those distinctive vertically split headlights, KTM is committed to spreading them across its entire range and the next bike to get the family look is the 1290 Super Duke GT.

The split headlamps with built-in LED daytime running lights certainly set the KTM’s products apart. Aggressive, angular and instantly recognisable, they work wonders for marque recognition, but not many people would describe them
as attractive.

These new spy shots show how the 1290 Super Duke GT will adopt the new look. It’s very much a facelift rather than a significant update – headlights apart, much of the bike looks similar to the existing GT.

Starting at the front, the lights are obviously new. There’s also a reshaped screen; taller and wider than before, it should do a better job of keeping the wind blast away. Behind the screen lie new clocks, almost certainly a flat-panel TFT colour display.

It would be easy to write the side panels off as unchanged, but in fact they’re new. While the built-in cornering lights are carried over, largely defining the shape of the bodywork, the plastic they’re mounted in is reshaped. The side panels also blend into the fuel tank differently, suggesting that the tank itself could be new.

There’s some bodywork missing at the lower front, as we’d expect to see at least a vestigial belly pan on the finished bike.

Technical changes aren’t much in evidence. The WP semi-active suspension appears identical, although that doesn’t preclude internal or software alterations. The same applies to the Brembo brakes, and the fact that the existing bike’s exhaust system is carried over suggests there won’t be notable changes to the engine either. Although with 127kW on tap already, we’re not clamouring for more power from the 1301cc twin.

The shots here suggest that the Super Duke GT is just a few decals away from being showroom ready. Will KTM make us wait until the 2019 model year? It looks like the revamped Super Duke GT’s launch could be a lot sooner than that.