KTM 1290 Super Duke R at Festival of 'Beast'

Words: Thomas Kuttruf | Photos: www.ktm.com

KTM took its 1290 SUPER DUKE R prototype to the Goodwood Festival of Speed this past weekend and certainly made an impression on the Hill Climb course of this British event.

Making its first ever moving public appearance, former MotoGP pilot and current KTM development rider Jeremy McWilliams had to use his years of racing experience to keep “The Beast” under control around the narrow and hazardous 1.16 mile Hill Climb course.


Boasting “a lot more torque” than the 1190 RC8 R its engine originated from, the prototype has many similarities between itself and the new 1290 SUPER DUKE R production model which is due later this year.


For petrolheads, there aren’t many events that can rival the Festival of Speed, as it brings together exotic and historic two and four-wheeled machines from the past, present and, in this case, future. With its almost open-piped Akrapovic system emitting a raucous 125db, fans around the straw bale-lined circuit couldn’t miss the sight and sound of “The Beast” in action. Complete with Dunlop slick tyres, McWilliams built up pace and confidence and was able to clock an impress (and unofficial) 54 second lap time, hitting speeds of 135 mph – sometimes on one wheel.


Five runs were completed over the three-day event and thus there was plenty of time for McWilliams and the KTM staff to talk to the people attending the Goodwood Festival of Speed. More than 130.000 people attended the magnificent event.


Jeremy McWilliams said: “I’ve ridden some magnificent machines at Goodwood, but nothing as lairy as “The Beast”. It definitely suits the name. As soon as I tested this bike the evening before the event I knew I wanted to try and set a fast lap on it. I think we put on a good show as the response to the bike has been incredible and not just from the public! Kevin Schwantz told me it was his favourite bike at the event and he really wanted to ride it! I can’t really say a lot about the upcoming production bike only that people won’t be disappointed – the engine even has more grunt than that of ‘The Beast’.”