When KTM released the 1290 Super Duke R a few years ago, everyone had to stand up and take note. This was a bold move for a smaller company that until then had a limited selection of street bikes.
She is an incredibly powerful naked motorbike and really lives up to her nickname “The Beast.” KTM realized they could make an amazing motoGT too, if only they could add some comfort; So they handed that idea over to their design partners at KISKA and soon after the Super Duke GT was born. “The Beast” improved, at least in our opinion.
Now, 5 years later, the motorcycle is in its third generation and KTM seems ready to update the machine in some key areas. Here’s what we hope to see updated on the 2021 beast.
If you want to sell motorcycles in the near future, this is essential. The GT logically gets the same tweaks the Super Duke R needed to meet specs.
This is indicated by the new exhaust design and slightly wider dashboard, allowing for a center-mounted air box. These small changes that were initially made to the R helped keep emissions low, but still produce the (insane) 180 horsepower that has been the trademark of “The Beast.” Certainly, as the GT will make the power in a different way, adapted to the type of machine that it is, it will certainly not be tame!
Clearly the biggest change to come is the revised chassis. Overall, KTM has kept it pretty simple with the tubular steel trellis frame on their street machines, but the latest review is a bit more radical (for them at least).
It’s still a steel trellis, make no mistake, but the motor becomes a stressed element that eliminates the need for the previous three-prong frame, allowing for little weight savings and increased torsional rigidity. The truth of this update is already proven on the R, again seeing the technology seep into the GT rather than launching simultaneously for the 2020 edition.
This upgrade could have more to do with keeping costs down, rather than an example of a necessary upgrade for the touring machine; however, it would make little sense to continue with the older technology when it would cost less to use the same design as the R. The GT’s rear subframe remains a steel trellis to accommodate additional passenger and luggage weight.
It is not yet confirmed by KTM, and with our current circumstances, it may take some time before all the official details for the 2021 model are released. However, it is fairly easy to see and confirm that you will at least get the TFT dash. updated with mobile connectivity.
It is highly unlikely to get it though, if we look at the 2020 R it got a lot of electronic updates and an improved quickshift (albeit as an option). Standard upgrades include a six-axis IMU, nine-level lean angle sensing traction control, and cruise control. Consider everything related to safety almost certain for the GT.
Overall, the bike is likely to get a lot more modern, making it more accessible to more riders who might otherwise be intimidated by a machine like this without those features.
In times of uncertainty, nothing is really a certainty, and we have yet to see any actual updates from KTM on official specs or release dates. However, it is certain that we will see the release date delayed to some extent.
However, one thing we can see is that the updates that the 2021 GT will receive are more or less the same updates that the R received in 2020, which leaves us with a very important question; they’re worth it. At first glance, none of these updates mean much to the GT, aside from Euro5 compliance, it will get stiffer, more electronic aids, and more expensive. These are all things that most tourists (and tour buyers) can do without, the 2020 version is still powerful enough and has everything you really need from a touring.
So the real result for consumers looking to buy a Super Duke GT …