Recently KTM Malaysia launched the much anticipated 1290 Super Duke R at Sepang International Circuit. This bike was first presented to the world as a prototype back in 2012 and now has become a production model for 2014.
At a first glance, the Torque Beast’s looks and styling, along with its trademark KTM colors, will immediately grab the attention of anyone lucky enough to gaze upon it. The Super Duke R has strong angular lines that let people know it’s a badass, and it means business. The sharp tail section gives it that sporty look and the side covers has that street-fighter style.
The new Super Duke R is smaller sized and lighter weight than its predecessor, this means it’s now more accessible to riders that have height issues. It also debunks the idea that a 1290 is expected to be big, bulky, and heavy. With the bike now being smaller and lighter, it’s no wonder that the power to weight ratio has increased.
KTM has done an awesome job with the engine and gear box for the Torque Beast. The power is readily accessible at any rev range, gears are smooth and easy to engage either in the up shifts or down shifts. If you were to look at the spec sheet you would be rather shocked at the amount of HP and torque this Beast has, thanks to the electronics package on the bike, like the traction control and power modes, the raw power of the 1290 is tamed, so less skilled riders will be able to handle it without getting into too much trouble.
The handling, suspension, and brakes on the new Super Duke R, are impressive. Cornering is stable and it tempts you to take even lower lean angles because you feel confident with the bike. The bike’s slim profile and lightness, makes it easy to flick the bike from side to side, that makes it enjoyable on a twisty road. You feel like you are riding a small bike. That feeling that you are riding a small bike quickly disappears once you glance at your speed and see just how fast you are going. No worries though, the Brembo brakes on the bike have superb braking power and can slow the bike down quickly.
The ABS, traction control, and power modes, give riders the chance to dial in the setup that is just right for each rider based on their riding skill or style. Supermoto traction control allows the rider to ride the Torque Beast just like a supermoto, and power sliding is possible. The power modes allow riders to increase or reduce the amount of available power, so that it won’t be too difficult to manage in city traffic or wet conditions, and fully unleashed on open roads or in the track.
There are many other naked class super bikes in the market now, but this Torque Beast will surely hold its own against the competition without too much effort.
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