2023 KTM Super Duke GT

The KTM Super Duke GT sport-tourer is based on the ridiculously entertaining 1290 Super Duke R EVO, but features amenities needed for longer-distance touring.

The KTM Super Duke GT sport-tourer is based on the ridiculously entertaining 1290 Super Duke R EVO, but features amenities needed for longer-distance touring. (KTM/)

Ups

  • One part flashy hyper-naked, one part touring bike
  • Two words: “Supermoto mode.” On a sport-touring bike? It could only be a KTM.
  • The LC8 engine is one of the last great performance V-twins

Downs

  • Only 11 pounds lighter than the 1290 Super Adventure R (sans fuel). Really?
  • Side cases are sold separately
  • Won’t win any awards for its looks

Verdict

The KTM Super Duke GT is a sport-touring motorcycle based on one of modern motorcycling’s most notorious hyper-nakeds, the Super Duke R. For riders looking for superlative wheel-lofting performance with a side of practicality, the SD GT is hard to beat. It’s a well-equipped daily ride, a stripped-down tourer, and a tire-smoking goon in one goofy orange package. For proof of what makes KTM great, look no further.

The Super Duke GT gets KTM’s GT-only graphics and paint, and no shortage of aggressive styling cues. This is a bike that’s not afraid to stand out.

The Super Duke GT gets KTM’s GT-only graphics and paint, and no shortage of aggressive styling cues. This is a bike that’s not afraid to stand out. (KTM/)

Overview

What kind of bike do you want to ride in the country’s best twisties? Is it the same bike you want to ride on a multiday journey to get there? It’s the classic have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too conundrum, and one of motorcycling’s great barroom debates: is there a perfect compromise between performance, comfort, and utility? If the motorcycle you envision is a no-compromise performance machine that produces a gazillion horsepower, sports the latest rider aids, and has enough creature comforts to get you wherever you’re going, the Super Duke GT may be for you.

Based around the hellacious 1290 Super Duke R, the Super Duke GT makes big touring and adventure bikes look excessive and ponderous. It takes the “everything you need and nothing you don’t” philosophy and shines it through an orange lens. Is that 160-odd hp at the rear wheel? Check. Cruise control, heated grips, nine-way-adjustable windscreen? Check. Electronic semi-active WP suspension, rider aids galore, and a proven trellis frame? Check. While the world goes mad for 21-inch wheels and knobby tires, the Super Duke GT’s classic sport-sized 17-inch wheels reaffirm the virtues of a proper sport-tourer.

In all, it certainly seems like the folks at KTM have the same conversation about the performance and comfort spectrum at the local beer hall as the rest of us. In fact, they may have even been in their cups when they made it look like that. Whatever that is. A praying mantis in a chef’s toque? No matter; there’s no need for looks to kill when you’ll only ever want to look at the winding road ahead. And hey, maybe you even like the looks?

Hard cases are sold separately. A matching top case is also available.

Hard cases are sold separately. A matching top case is also available. (KTM/)

Updates for 2023

For 2023, the Super Duke GT returns to the US market with several updates. The 1,301cc engine has been updated to comply with global emissions standards, but KTM claims performance has not been compromised. To decrease unsprung weight, the GT receives the wheels from the Super Duke R EVO, saving 2.2 pounds over the previous model’s wheels. KTM’s updated switch gear is paired with a new 7-inch TFT display, which supports TBT+ (Turn-by-Turn Plus) on-screen navigation, powered by Sygic.

Pricing and Variants

The 2023 KTM Super Duke GT has an MSRP of $19,799. Unlocking all electronic features, including Track mode, Hill Hold Control, and the quickshifter, requires an additional fee at the dealership.

Competition

While no other manufacturer is making a sport-tourer based on a hyper-naked, the sport-touring segment is in a bit of a renaissance lately. The Suzuki GSX-S1000GT ($13,349), Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX ($27,500), the BMW S 1000 XR ($16,945), and Ducati Multistrada V4 S ($27,195) are functionally similar. The Super Duke GT is somewhat more minimalistic, adhering closer to its Super Duke R roots than the competition, and it’s the only model in its category with a V-twin engine.

The SD GT has some nice convenience features, including a fairing-mounted array of cornering lights that illuminate at lean angles.

The SD GT has some nice convenience features, including a fairing-mounted array of cornering lights that illuminate at lean angles. (KTM/)

Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The Super Duke GT uses the latest version of KTM’s 1,301cc LC8 75-degree V-twin, featuring titanium intake valves, forged pistons, and a slipper clutch.

KTM says that “a unique mix of the highest quality components, such as titanium inlet valves, combine to boost overall reliability,” with suggested service intervals set at 15,000 kilometers (or just over 9,000 miles). Peak power is a claimed 172.6 hp.

Chassis/Handling

The Super Duke GT has a trellis frame and a slick single-sided swingarm. WP semi-active suspension adapts in real time, and is adjustable with the touch of a button. There are three modes (Comfort, Street, Sport) and preload is four-way adjustable. A steering damper comes standard.

The semi-active suspension’s logic enables riders to set the suspension up according to four different real-life riding situations: Rider, Rider & Pillion, Rider & Luggage, or Rider, Pillion & Luggage. Additionally, the system comes standard with an anti-dive feature.

The Super Duke GT’s wheels are pulled from the 1290 Super Duke R EVO and save 2.2 pounds of unsprung mass over the old set, for improved handling. KTM points out that the wheel design is much more aggressive.

KTM’s latest switch gear enables easy rider-aid setting adjustment, and includes paddles for easily changing MTC slip settings.

KTM’s latest switch gear enables easy rider-aid setting adjustment, and includes paddles for easily changing MTC slip settings. (KTM/)

Brakes

Brembo four-piston Monoblock calipers grab 320mm floating discs up front. Cornering ABS includes Supermoto mode which allows the rider to turn off ABS in the rear while front ABS remains functional.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

There are currently no fuel mileage numbers available for the Super Duke GT.

Ergonomics: Comfort and Utility

The Super Duke GT’s nod to civility begins at the front with a nine-way-adjustable windscreen. A 6.1-gallon tank is good for prolonging the fun as well as providing a modicum of wind protection for the rider’s lower body. Hand guards further improve wind protection.

To tailor the ergonomics, the handlebar can be set in four positions with 22mm of movement. Heated grips are standard, as is cruise control. Available hard side cases are seamlessly integrated into the bike’s tailsection, facilitating simple installation and removal.

A full color 7-inch TFT display is borrowed from the KTM 1290 Super Adventure S. The handlebar is adjustable, with over 22mm of movement through four possible mounting positions.

A full color 7-inch TFT display is borrowed from the KTM 1290 Super Adventure S. The handlebar is adjustable, with over 22mm of movement through four possible mounting positions. (KTM/)

Electronics

The Duke GT features a Bosch six-axis IMU to facilitate lean-angle-sensitive traction control and cornering ABS, that combine to keep the Super Duke GT one of the most advanced sport-tourers on the market.

Standard Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC) works around the bike’s ride modes—Rain, Street, and Sport—enabling increased slip with each more performance-oriented mode. Upgrading to the optional Performance mode opens the door to even more technology, enabling riders to tailor the level of intervention from the traction control and throttle response, turn off anti-wheelie and adjust launch control settings. Additional optional upgrades include Motor Slip Regulation (MSR) engine-braking, Hill Hold Control (HHC), and Quickshifter+, which allows for clutchless up- and downshifts.

A 7-inch color TFT dash includes on-screen navigation using the KTMconnect system. LED cornering lights on the side of the fairings also house integrated turn signals.

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

KTM includes a 24-month manufacturer’s warranty.

2023 KTM Super Duke GT Claimed Specs

MSRP: $19,799
Engine: 1,301cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled V-twin; 8 valves
Bore x Stroke: 108.0mm x 71.0mm
Transmission/Final Drive: 6-speed/chain
Fuel Delivery: Electronic fuel injection w/ 56mm throttle bodies
Clutch: Wet, multiple disc PASC slipper clutch; hydraulically operated
Engine Management/Ignition: Ride-by-wire/TCI
Frame: Chromoly steel trellis
Front Suspension: 48mm WP semi-active USD fork, fully adjustable; 4.9 in. travel
Rear Suspension: WP semi-active shock, fully adjustable; 6.1 in. travel
Front Brake: 4-piston Brembo Monoblock caliper, dual 320mm discs w/ cornering ABS
Rear Brake: 2-piston Brembo caliper, 240mm disc w/ cornering ABS
Wheels, Front/Rear: Five-spoke cast; 17 x 3.50 in. / 17 x 6.00 in.
Tires, Front/Rear: 120/70-17 / 190/55-17
Rake/Trail: 24.9°/4.2 in.
Wheelbase: 58.3 in.
Ground Clearance: 5.6 in.
Seat Height: 32.8 in.
Fuel Capacity: 6.1 gal.
Weight Without Fuel: 476 lb.
Contact: ktm.com
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