KTM 1290 Super Duke R: the rivals

KTM claim their new Super Duke has no competition. We beg to differ.

During the launch of KTM's new 1290 Super Duke R, KTM presented a slide on the bike's rivals. It was empty.

KTM are rightly proud of their new Super Duke but it's not without its rivals. Here's a run-down of the bikes vying for your attention and hard-earned cash.

KTM 1290 Super Duke R specs

Engine: 1,301cc 75° V-twin

Weight: 208 kg wet

Power: 180 hp (claimed)

Price: £13,999

Aprilia Tuono V4R APRC

Aprilia Tuono V4R APRC ABS

The name is a bit of a mouthful but it's a clue to what the Tuono is packing. Alongside its V4 engine, which punts out a claimed 170bhp, it also features APRC (Aprilia PErformance Ride Control) as seen on the RSV4 superbike. This electronics package is one of the best in the business and features launch control, wheelie control and traction control. Importantly, unlike on the 1290, the wheelie control can be tailored or switched off, regardless of the traction control.

The Tuono also features a quickshifter and ABS. The V4 motor, while not a rocketship like some of the screaming inline-four superbikes, is packed with character and is plenty fast enough for fast road riding and trackdays.

It features slightly smaller Brembo radial brakes compared to the Super Duke and the Sachs suspension, while good, isn't quite the brand name of the WP used on the KTM.

Engine: 999cc 65° V4

Weight: 188 kg wet

Power: 170 hp (claimed)

Price: £12,432

Click here to read Aprilia Tuono V4R owner reviews.

Triumph Speed Triple R

Triumph Speed Triple R

Seeing as the Super Duke is billed as being a head-banger, you may not think Triumph's smooth Speed Triple R shares anything in common but actually the two are similar in a lot of ways.

While the Speed Triple R 'only' has a 1050cc triple-cylinder engine, it packs plenty of punch and, like the Super Duke, makes for a great road bike.

The Triumph isn't packed with the same level of electronics as the KTM, the Speed Triple R only features ABS.

In terms of components, the two are very evenly matched. The Triumph boasts cast aluminium wheels, high-end Ohlins suspension front and rear and Brembo monobloc radial brakes. The Speed Triple R is fitted with sticky Supercorsa SP tyres as standard.

The Triumph is slightly heavier than the KTM. On both road and track the match would be closer than the outright figures suggest.

Engine: 1050cc three-cylinder

Weight: 218 kg wet

Power: 135 hp

Price: £11,349 standard, £11,949 ABS

Click here to read Triumph Speed Triple R owner reviews.

Ducati Streetfighter S

Ducati Streetfighter S

Luckily for KTM, Ducati have stopped making the Streetfighter S but unfortunately for KTM, this means the remaining bikes are being sold with a discount.

The Streetfighter S was never a big seller as it was seen as being too hardcore and too expensive. The 1099cc L-twin engine offers torque on tap and the 155bhp quoted by Ducati is realistic, compared to the 170bhp quoted by Aprilia which isn't. The Streetfighter's tank capacity is 16.5-litres, the smallest of the bunch and 1.5 litres less than the KTM.

The Streetfighter S runs on lightweight forged Aluminium wheels, with top-spec Ohlins suspension front and rear. The Brembo monobloc radial brakes are the same as used on the 1198SP and offer savage power. There is no ABS.

The Streetfighter S offers DTC, Ducati's Traction Control, which is more of a safety measure than a performance advantage. The best traction control in this group belongs to the Aprilia.

The Ducati weighs in as the lightest of the bunch, at just under 200kg. The KTM will have to work hard to shake off a Streetfighter S.

Engine: 1099cc L-twin

Weight: 197 kg wet

Power: 155 hp

Price: £15,050

Click here to read Ducati Streetfighter S owner reviews.