KTM 990 Super Duke - The Best Bike Ever Made?

KTM 990 Super Duke - The Best Bike Ever Made?
Stefan Ivanovic

Glopinion by

Stefan Ivanovic

Aug 10, 2013

If all of life were like a KTM Super Duke it would be a short, barely glimpsed blur of action-packed vignettes. There is surely nothing more frenetic on two-wheels than the KTM 990 Super Duke short of sticking a nitrous kit, a jet turbine and a flame-thrower into the frame of a fold-up bicycle.


To call the KTM Super Duke's 999cc, DOHC V-twin a mere ‘motor’ is a bit like saying atomic warfare is bad for the flowers. Twisting the throttle unleashes such incredible accelerative forces on the KTM 990 Super Duke it’s possible to give yourself wrinkles over your body. The fuel economy is laughable, often 80 miles to reserve, but frankly you’ll be enjoying yourself too much to care.

Quality and Reliability

KTM built their reputation on well-engineered, high-specification off-road machines and those enduring qualities shine through on the KTM 990 Super Duke. It will run and run.

Ride and Handling

Staggeringly responsive. You just need to glance at a corner on the KTM 990 Super Duke and BANG! you’re there. The WP suspension is spot-on, with plenty of feedback through the wide bars. The four-piston Brembo brakes are superb and never seem to lose their ferocious bite. Even the little nose fairing on the Super Duke works well over distances. Forget pillions, though, and bigger riders might struggle to fit the KTM Super Duke.


Expensive when new, secondhand prices on the KTM 990 Super Duke reflect a large initial hit of depreciation that stabilises after a year or so, making a used Super Duke an excellent buy. Bear in mind that tthe KTM Super Duke is not a machine bought to tickle about on, so check it carefully for crash damage and knackered head bearings from landed wheelies. Find a KTM 990 SuperDuke for sale.


The KTM ‘Hard Parts’ catalogue is packed with extras for the KTM 990 Super Duke like Akrapovic race exhausts, crash bobbins, luggage and carbon-fibre bodywork.



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