KTM Celebrates 30 years of Duke

KTM Duke
The Duke that started it all...

In 1994, KTM bust into the street scene with the first motorcycle to carry the DUKE nameplate. That featured a big-bore 609 cc single-cylinder engine, with ergonomics and styling that straddled the line between Supermoto and street fighter. It brought true hooligan personality to the street, unapologetically naked and “Stripped back to the bare essence of what a motorcycle should be.”


At the time, the 1994 KTM DUKE was a radical departure from traditional motorcycle designs. Featuring an exposed trellis frame, minimalist bodywork, and a single-cylinder engine, it was an anomaly in the market. However, it instantly captured the attention of riders seeking a raw and unbridled riding experience.


30 years later, three-anniversary models enter the fray. At the entry-level, the KTM 390 DUKE boasts its biggest advancement to date, with distinct styling, an amazing electronics package, and great performance.

The KTM 990 DUKE – not to be confused with the KTM 990 SUPER DUKE of old – is powered by an all-new LC8c parallel-twin, bringing the fight directly to the 1,000 cc Naked segment. It boasts bigger dimensions, more tech, and more street presence.

Lastly, the KTM 1390 SUPER DUKE R and its stablemate, the KTM 1390 SUPER DUKE R EVO, have evolved to be the ultimate pair of hyper-naked motorcycles with big power, big electronics, and an all-new direction in design.

90 lucky members of the worlds motorcycle press were invited along to experience the whole Duke vibe and to ride the new bikes, both on track and through those wonderful twisty mountain roads in Almeria, Spain. To add to the fun – as they do, KTM included some motorcycle royalty in the form of GP man Jeremy McWilliams and KTM Ambassador, stunt rider Rok Bagaros  to entertain the crowd.

30 years of Duke
Rok Bagaros has some skills...
30 years of Duke
It's not every day that you get tips from Jeremy McWilliams

Day one saw riders cover 115 km on Spain’s finest coastline and twisty passes on the KTM 390 DUKE. then they got to have some fun on the Gymkhana circuit. 

                                               Duke 390 eating up the twisties

Day two, saw the group experience the KTM 990 DUKE out on a dedicated road ride led by KTM team, with the other half staying on track with Jeremy McWilliams to test the KTM 1390 SUPER DUKE R and KTM 1390 SUPER DUKE R EVO… Unreal!

What an event! Techs and specialists on hand to explain the designs and upgrades and, of course, the opportunity to swing a leg over the saddle and see what the bikes are all about – on some of the greatest motorcycling roads on the planet.

It’s easy to understand why KTM has become such a force to be reckoned with, this dynamic company has roped in experts from all around the globe to ensure that it all works – just have a look at how many of our South African friends have joined the KTM Austria fold.

A fitstpump for SA's Riaan Neveling Head of Global Marketing KTM at KTM
SA's Gareth Davidson. Product Marketing Manager Street at KTM

KTM also rewarded 3 lucky DUKE fans by giving away a KTM 390 DUKE, a KTM 990 DUKE, and a KTM 1390 SUPER DUKE R via its digital platforms.

How cool is that? The bikes get here soon – and we’ll tell you all about them.


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