KTM is known for its dirt bikes, but with the Super Duke, it enters the competitive and emerging factory streetfighter market with a bang. The 2009 KTM Super Duke demonstrates that the Austrian-based motorcycle company does not just understand off-road bikes, but can make a high quality naked bike just as good. Streetfighter bikes have been gaining in popularity in recent years, as they combine the sport bike look with the naked bike look that was common on cafe racer bikes of the 1950s and 1960s.
The Super Duke’s exterior is consistent with KTM’s traditional styling. Angular lines and sharp corners give the bike a futuristic and edgy look that is sure to appeal to riders looking for a naked streetfighter that is unique and stands out from the crowd. All KTM Super Dukes sold outside of Austria come with KTM’s staple black with orange highlight color scheme. The no-passenger design indicates that the KTM Super Duke was designed for one purpose: high performance. In other words, this is not a bike intended for you to take your girlfriend casually cruising. Rather, the Super Duke is a powerful streetfighter, designed for the experienced rider to enjoy its high performance capabilities.
The 2009 KTM Super Duke doesn’t just look a streetfighter, it packs a punch as well. The heart of the Super Duke is a 999cc, four-stroke, liquid cooled, fuel-injected V-twin that generates 118 horsepower and 73.8 lb-ft of torque. While the engine can easily transport you around town on errands, it really shines when you start reaching the higher rpms. Peak torque is achieved at 7000 rpm, with peak horsepower coming later, at 9000 rpm. Zero to 60 mph is achieved in about 3.5 seconds, while the Super Duke can run the quarter mile in about 11.6 seconds. This type of performance is ideally suited to the track, so the Super Duke definitely has appeal to amateur track racers who are looking for a unique bike. Shifting is accomplished via a smooth-shifting six-speed manual gearbox, which uses a chain drive. Even without custom exhaust, the Super Duke’s V-twin has a distinct and intimidating exhaust note.
Handling on the Super Duke is superb, although it may take a new rider a little time to get used to it. The Chromium-Molybdenum trellis frame is very light, yet still stout and durable, while also providing a stable ride. Front suspension is WP upside down forks with a 5.3-inch travel, while the rear is handled by a WP Monoshock, with a 6.3-inch travel. The quality suspension system gives the rider the ability to handle three to four-inch bumps in the road, with little disturbance to his ride. Combined with the seating position, the suspension and frame of the Super Duke allow it to be easily controlled by the rider, while offering excellent response time.
KTM didn’t just focus on acceleration and handling when engineering the Super Duke, either. A high quality Brembo braking system slows and stops the bike with reliability. The front wheel is equipped with dual four-piston discs with a radially bolted caliper, while a single disc with a single-piston floating caliper manages the rear wheel. With the Super Duke being a middleweight streetfighter at 410 pounds, this braking design is more than sufficient to stop the bike under a variety of conditions.
One thing some new buyers might forget about when looking over spec sheets is how comfortable the bike is when a person is actually riding it. KTM’s engineers definitely did not forget this aspect when designing the 2009 Super Duke. The seating position is very natUral and offers plenty of legroom. The handlebars are stationed a comfortable distance from the rider and allow for maximum control over the bike. While this bike is at home at the track, it can definitely be taken on long road trips without straining the arms of the rider.
If you are looking for a unique naked streetfighter bike that stands out from the crowd, the 2009 KTM Super Duke is a great choice.