RIDING THE BEAST: SUPER DUKE R
The KTM Super Duke R is a really difficult motorcycle to describe, and personally every time I thought about riding it I got a little scared for it’s 180 hp ¡dear god! But saying «never» is not a possibility for us in EnMoto. The day finally arrived. KTM again invited us to test this awesome machine, and after a short explanation in the workings of the bike we were ready to try and tame the beast.
An specially designed Akrapovic full system for the bike, orange color scheme and the classic KTM tubular chassis.
The motorcycle looks really aggressive, like a wild bronco that will not be tamed, extreme angles, the tubular chassis and big tank hovering over the nonexistent fairing, leaving nothing between you and the road. I get on the bike and while fiddling with the mirrors I realice how comfortable it is, and how different it is from other bikes in the category.
Although we got to test it in the city, it was the open road where we enjoyed the most; could be an amazing track day bike as well.
The base model is actually quite well equipped, however R2R, the local KTM dealer, filled it with the whole PowerParts catalogue. Yippie! The akrapovic full system exhaust even carries an 1290 Super Duke laser signature on it, however its how it sounds that steals the show. I hit the ignition and it’s almost like a classical musical recital to my ears. A couple twists of the wrist and to check the high notes before I clutch into first and dust off.
180 horsepower weeeeeeeeeeee…
I took it quite slow the first few kilometers, getting used to the bike, to the engine, the sounds, the brakes and commands. Slowly I start letting go and demand more out of the bike. I expected a much more abrupt response from the bike, rough, uncontrollable, however this wasn’t the case, the bike followed my every whim and demand, easily adjusting to my style and not the way around. I leave the city and drop a gear to test the power of the bike, it’s wheelie time! there’s the wild bronco I was promised, fearsome acceleration and speed while going into third and fourth. I may be breaking the law. I take a breather and gain my composure, realizing the kind of bike I’m on I’m surprised at how good the suspension is taking every bump and hole without a hitch. WP at it’s finest.
This is a great first impression.
I go back home as I notice that I’m not wearing the proper attire. I’m wearing casual protective gear from Speed and Strength which is amazing, but not quite what I need for riding the Beast. Leather it is. I get together with friends and back to the action.
We took advantage of a lovely Medellin day to escape the city and grab a bite in Llanogrande.
I was kinda worried at first while riding through city traffic, sport bikes are not the best for riding among cars and lane splitting, the Latin American way, however the Super Duke rose up to the challenge and ended my worries. The Akrapovic proves loud enough to make people get out of the way. Great!
Comfortable, easy to ride, this pony becomes full bronco with a twist of the wrist.
Once I got together with our friends I took a more aggressive approach to the bike, faster cornering and higher rpms take the bike to unnerving speeds, I feel like I were riding the bike for a lot longer. We rode til we were hungry and finally grabbed a bite near Rionegro, 40 minutes away from Medellin, well, this time I only took 30 minutes to get there, go figure. The Beast literally steals everyones attention where ever I arrive. After that we rode back to Medellin, the Adrenaline, the power, wanting to ask more and more of a bike that feels limitless. This is not my type of bike, but I would however love to have one in my garage. I love the Super Duke.
The beast is the most powerful motorcycle of it’s kind, a super naked motorcycle by KTM. 180 hp, WP suspension, Brembo brakes, Bosh ABS, traction control and a declared 0 to 200 kms in 7,2 seconds, total hypercar figures. Pack that in a 189 kilos package (dry weight) and you have a literal beast.
Think about it, would you like to tame the beast?
» 180 hp in a 189 kilogram bike, abs, traction control and all the electronics KTM has made us accustomed to are just technical speak that fall short to describe the profound and exciting emotion you feel as you twist the Super Dukes’s throttle, hitting the powerful brakes into a fast corner just to do it all over again. If you are the kind that wants a perpetual smile mixed with fear, the beast is just for you.»