KTM CELEBRATES THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE KTM DUKE – UNDER THE MOTTO "30 YEARS OF PURE, NAKED MOTORCYCLING".
The last 30 years of the KTM DUKE model can be summed up in one word: evolution. From its humble beginnings in 1994 to its current status as a symbol of performance and innovation, the KTM DUKE name has stood the test of time.
In 1994, KTM appeared on the road with the first motorcycle under the name DUKE. It featured a large-displacement 609cc 1-cylinder engine, as well as ergonomics and styling that performed the balancing act between supermoto and streetfighter. The naked bike brought raw power to the road – uncompromising, undisguised and reduced to the essential aspects of a motorcycle.
In its day, the KTM DUKE made a radical break with all traditional motorcycle designs in 1994. With an exposed tubular space frame, minimalist bodywork and 1-cylinder engine, it had an absolutely unique selling point on the market. However, it immediately caught the attention of all drivers who craved a pure and unadulterated driving experience.
The success was so great that in 1999 KTM presented a more powerful DUKE II, which replaced the round contours of its predecessor with its distinctive styling. Unconsciously, this laid the foundation for the naked segment within KTM's road motorcycle lineup, with bikes with more displacement and cylinders expanding the DUKE range.
In 2005, the SUPER DUKE was introduced with its powerful 990cc LC8 V2 engine. The KTM 990 SUPER DUKE soon achieved cult status and paved the way for the KTM 990 SUPER DUKE R, which was launched in 2008.
2008 also saw the launch of the KTM 690 DUKE, which once again shook up all the design conventions of its time. The 2008 KTM 690 DUKE was a crouched, powerful 1-cylinder machine with an exhaust system running under the oil pan and a confident riding position. This would later serve as a blueprint for the DUKE attitude.
2011 saw the birth of smaller-displacement DUKE models, with the KTM 125 DUKE being the first to conquer the market. This compact and dynamic machine delivered plenty of power and easy manoeuvrability with the proven DUKE character. This made it the ideal basis for future DUKE racers and other mid-range models.
In 2012, KTM introduced the revolutionary KTM 200 DUKE, and in 2013, the model range was expanded to include THE CORNER ROCKET KTM 390 DUKE. The KTM 390 DUKE became the favourite among urban riders thanks to its playful handling and punchy power.
With the introduction of THE BEAST, the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R, KTM caused an earthquake in the naked motorcycle segment in 2014. With its 1301cc V2 engine at its heart, the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R earned a reputation as the bike with the most powerful LC8 engine ever, paving the way for a new segment and the more travel-oriented KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT, which entered the scene a little later, in 2016.
The following year, 2017, THE BEAST received their first proper update. Dubbed THE BEAST 2.0, the 2017 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R received performance, suspension and styling updates. But the focus was on its new electronics package with sophisticated assistance systems and the new TRACK driving mode.
A turning point in the DUKE evolution came in 2018 when KTM introduced the KTM 790 DUKE, also known as THE SCALPEL. This was the dawn of a new era of performance and style under the name DUKE – motorcycles with powerful two-cylinder in-line engines, state-of-the-art electronics and striking design. And beyond that, it showed a firm determination to dominate the naked bike mid-range segment.
Today, 30 years later, 3 anniversary models enter the stage. In the entry-level class, the KTM 390 DUKE is the most significant step forward with its distinctive styling, best-in-class electronics package and unsurpassed performance.
The KTM 990 DUKE – not to be confused with the venerable KTM 990 SUPER DUKE – is powered by an all-new LC8 twin-cylinder in-line engine – a clear declaration of war in the 1,000cc naked segment. It has larger dimensions, more technology and more presence on the road.
Last but not least, the KTM 1390 SUPER DUKE R and its stablemate, the KTM 1390 SUPER DUKE R EVO, have evolved into the ultimate duo of hyper-naked motorcycles with immense power, unmatched electronics and an all-new design concept. To celebrate this milestone, the three previously mentioned models feature a special 30 YEARS OF DUKE livery, inspired by the DUKE models that set the tone before their time.