BEST OPEN-CLASS STREETBIKE: KTM 1290 Super Duke R

Ten Best Bikes of 2014

When the KTM Super Duke R prototype was shown at EICMA two years ago, we laughed at its outrageousness—and fantasized about riding it—but didn't think a traditionally dirt-oriented company would fire up the production line on such an ass-kicking, over-the-top powerhouse streetbike. But here it is and holy s—t is it! A lot of technical elements conspired to make the 1290 R a success—not just its bored-and-stroked 1,301cc LC8 V-twin. Class-leading, lean-sensing ABS and Traction Control tame the savage 152 hp and 93 freakin' pound-feet of peak torque. It's raw and raucous and a scream at the racetrack yet refined enough for commuting. Look who's laughing now!

KTM 1290 Super Duke R on-road action photo
KTM 1290 Super Duke R static side view

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