01. Engine & Exhaust
The KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT's BEAST-derived LC8 V-Twin powerplant perfectly fits its sovereign appearance. Reworked for reduced emissions without sacrificing power, it is as much a superbike slayer as it is a coastal road cruiser. A unique mix of the highest quality components, such as titanium inlet valves, have also combined to create overall reliability and allow for service intervals of 15,000 km. That's a lot of touring!
An absolutely key element in the outstanding performance and smooth response of the 1,301 cc 75° V-twin are the unit's cutting-edge four-valve cylinder heads. These combine twin-plug ignition, flow-optimized ports, lightweight titanium valves and resonator chambers for the smoothest twin in town.
The responsiveness and free-revving nature of the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT's engine is thanks to the low reciprocating weight of its crankshaft.
We borrowed Formula 1 technology in creating the pistons in the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT. The forged piston structure,results in a high loading capacity, despite the extremely short and lightweight design. Furthermore, the piston skirts have a state-of-the-art, hard-anodized finish. Not only does this reduce friction, it is also particularly hard-wearing with a consequently a positive impact on durability.
The twin-plug ignition system controls two differently sized spark plugs in each cylinder head independently of each other in such a way that more efficient combustion and a smoother, optimally controlled combustion sequence are achieved at all times. The result: more power, better control, lower fuel consumption and lower emissions.
The Ride-by-Wire system on the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT goes the extra mile. By electronically translating throttle commands into optimum throttle valve positions for the current riding situation, it processes throttle twist grip movements with the help of electronic sensors and activates the throttle valves accordingly using servo motors. This means smoother throttle response, reducing the chances of low-rev jolting and involuntary wheelies. Voluntary front wheel antics however, could easily be a thing of your future.
When you’re traveling two-up, the last thing you want is a jerky throttle. KTM have worked the EFI mapping, in combination with the plain bearing and timing, to transfer low-down power to the road with less vibration and reduced engine noise.
Not only does the slipper clutch open when the engine back-torque becomes too high, it also assists when you open up the throttle. The former prevents destabilizing rear wheel chatter when braking sharply or decelerating; the latter reduces the hand force required for changing gear, allowing the clutch to be controlled with one trigger happy finger.
The KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT's exhaust system is made entirely from rustproof stainless steel and meets the latest emissions homologation. Hundreds of test bench runs and complex simulations ensured that the exhaust system, which is using an exhaust flap, contributes decisively to the extremely smooth torque curve and excellent emission values of the powerful twin-cylinder. And did we mention the sound? While it whispers at low revs, it will take your breath away reaching for the high notes.