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A Starting Line banner is shown over a person riding on an orange 2024 KTM Superduke 1390 evo.

The Beast Evolved: The 2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo

I don’t know who hurt KTM, but you better be proud of yourself, as the Austrian bike maker looked at the 1290 Super Duke…and decided that it needed more power. You know, the 1290 Super Duke, one of the most powerful naked bikes on the market, known for putting the fear of god into unsuspecting literbike enthusiasts who wrongly assumed that their four-cylinder race replica properly prepared them for the atomic haymaker of torque that the 1300cc V-twin can (and will) deliver, often times finding themselves staring at the sky, holding on for dear life when all they wanted to do was pull away from a stoplight. I’m unsure of why KTM decided that the Super Duke needed a larger engine, but what I do know is that I want six of them (I suppose I just want one of them real bad as I cannot ride six motorcycles at once and have no interest in building a Super Duke drawn carriage…until I just said it out loud that is).

Meat and Potatoes

Let’s get down to the headliner of the newly redesigned Super Duke: the engine. The already reality-warping LC8 75-degree V-twin has been given 50 extra cubic centimeters to play with, bringing it to 1350cc. This translates to a whopping 188 hp and 107 lb-ft of torque, leading to what KTM claims is a “near 1:1 power-to-weight ratio”. The last time a twin put out this level of power, it was red, Italian, and, most importantly, had fairings, a far cry from the raw streetfighter experience that the Super Duke offers. The increase in power is not only thanks to the larger engine but also a redesigned air box that allows for more direct airflow.

A person is shown sitting on an orange 2024 KTM Superduke 1390 evo.

If Looks Could Kill

The 2024 Super Duke has fully redesigned bodywork that gives it a much more muscular appearance than its predecessor. The new orange and black livery is designed to pay homage to the 2005 990 Super Duke and looks great. I personally am a big fan of the flat black and orange color scheme as it highlights the bright orange chrome-moly tubular “space frame” underneath. The side profile is angular and stout, really embracing the streetfighter aesthetic. It has even been given new winglets that are supposed to help deal with front wheel lift, which I’m sure does “help,” but I can’t imagine all the downforce in the world being able to keep the front wheel of a Super Duke on the ground.

It’s when you get to the front that things get interesting. One of the biggest complaints about the previous generation was the headlight. Some liked it, and some hated it (I personally liked the look), so KTM has decided to end the divisiveness by giving the new Super Duke a headlight that we can all universally hate. It’s certainly not a dealbreaker by any means, but it’s got some very strange angles for sure (of course, I ride a second-gen MT-10, so I have little room to talk when it comes to criticizing strange headlights). It does look extremely bright, and apparently, the DRLs on the sides adjust their brightness based on ambient lighting and do some neat party tricks when you fire the bike up, so it is probably not all bad.

Beast on an Elegant Leash

When you have a motorcycle with this sheer level of face-melting power, you should have a full suite of rider aids if you wanna ride it every day, and the new Super Duke does not disappoint. It comes standard with three rider modes (Rain, Street, and Sport), with two more modes (Track and Performance) available as options. The Super Duke R EVO comes with WP Semi-Active Technology suspension that can be manually or automatically adjusted. The suspension can be further adjusted if you opt for the Suspension Pro package, which adds several additional modes and settings.

The brakes have dual four-piston Brembo Stylema monobloc calipers up front and a two-piston caliper out back. A Brembo MCS radial master cylinder has been added to improve the brake lever feel. One of the common complaints of the previous Duke was that the TFT was a bit lacking compared to the quality of the rest of the bike. This year, the old TFT has been replaced with a new five-inch bonded glass TFT that is supposed to be faster and help with glare; there is even available USB-C charging.

A person is shown riding on an orange 2024 KTM Superduke 1390 evo.

The Beast Lives On

The 2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R EVO is an evolutionary step up from the 1290 Super Duke R EVO. It cleans up many of the complaints about the old bike while remaining the Super Duke that we all know and love (or fear), and it’s still ready to humble even the most experienced of riders with its otherworldly torque. Weird headlight aside, I think the rest of the bike is an overall improvement upon one of the most brutal and raw motorcycles on the market. The list MSRP of $21,499 is a slight increase over the $20,399 price tag of the previous gen 1290 Super Duke R EVO. That’s a hefty sum but a small price to pay for the closest experience to being shot out of a cannon you can have on two wheels.

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