1390 SuperDuke

Duking It Out. The KTM 1390 Super Duke.

KTM Duke

No Replacement for Displacement…


OK OK! We hear you! Cliche’ They cry. And correctly so.

But this bike just proves the saying again, and again, and again…

By now, if you have the means and the interest you’ll have read up on all the bumf about this bike. We read it too, but even that did not quite prepare us for what we experienced.

The 1390 Duke really is something pretty damn special.

It’s difficult to explain. OK, no we lie. It’s easy to explain. 

The big Duke has always been one of those bikes that moves your soul. It’s one of this publication’s all time favourites. The new one moves it even more.

You can read Séans take on the 1290 right here…

We spent more than a week in the saddle, with our editor racking up more mileage than anyone. More than 2000 KM’s to be exact. 

We simply could not convince him to get off the bike. Given what the dude has been through, you’d think that a 1390 would be too much, too soon…

Not so.

The fact is – in his words, “This bike just makes life easy. It’s comfortable, with everything just so sensible. And every time you ride it, it’s difficult not to get the grin off your kisser. So small chunks of massive joy every single time you ride.”


There are some mixed reactions around KTM 1390 Super Dukes  new headlight design, but we remember when the split light came out and even that took a while to get used to. Opinion here: We love it. Modern, transformer and it suits the bikes character perfectly.


It’s a super naked that accelerates effortlessly out of corners in taller gears. It steers beautifully and stops on a penny. Brembo Stylema front calipers remain, but there’s a new two-way adjustable Brembo MCS master cylinder.   

It’s a lot more comfortable than your average superbike too, which makes sense for larger riders and maybe the slightly more mature folks who can afford it too.


Power is immediate. No seriously, just like that. Surprisingly smooth with so much grunt that you find yourself not really using the lower gears. Accelerating in anger results in your grin stretching and a battle just to avoid flapping from the bars.

KTM Duke 1390
Big rider - six foot odd, comfortable bike.

We hear you say, “A Naked bike shouldn’t be that big.” 

Well – someone should tell KTM that…. And WHY NOT anyway?

They have a habit of breaking away from what is perceived to be normal.

It says 1390 on the plastics, but the V-twin is a 1350, up a mere 49cc from the old 1290, thanks to a 2mm bigger bore.

And they aren’t the only ones fiddling with big bore joy, there’s that German lot dabbling with a 1300 engine too…

KTM Duke 1390
Choose your mode...
All pretty simple to navigate

The fact is that the old days of wild uncontrollable big-bore mania are gone. We live in an era where manufacturers are focussed on chassis and suspension refinements. The 1390 has a new WP Apex rear shock and 48mm forks with a five-way dial on top of each fork leg to adjust rebound and compression damping.

And then there’s all the tech wizardry that has appeared over the last decade. KTM has polished them up to make life with the 1390 Super R that much easier.

So you can now fit seventeen million (OK 187 BHP to be more precise)  into a naked chassis and still live to tell the tale.


“I didn’t pen this phrase. I gave the bike to our photographer Stefan for a quick flit up and down a very quiet country road.” His description of the new 1390 Super Duke:

“It’s like standing right next to the stage at a Heavy Metal concert.”


That’s the new 1390 Superduke. 

No Bull. It’s an amazing piece of equipment.

If you get the opportunity, go and ride one.

We’ll do a more track focussed review soon.


Next up, the 990… Watch this space.


www.ktm.com for a dealer near you.

KTM 1390 Super Duke
Yes, we took it to the track, it's even more fun there... More soon.

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