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KTM: 30 YEARS OF DUKE

For the bike's 30th anniversary, KTM will launch three news models in special livery.

The last 30 years of the KTM DUKE model range 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 nameplate has stood the test of time.

In 1994, KTM burst into the street scene with the first motorcycle to carry the DUKE nameplate. It featured a big-bore, 609cc single-cylinder engine, with ergonomics and styling that straddled the line between supermoto and street fighter. It brought true hooligan personality to the street, unapologetically naked and stripped back to the bare essence of what a motorcycle should be. 

At the time, the 1994 KTM DUKE was a radical departure from traditional motorcycle designs. Featuring an exposed trellis frame, minimalist bodywork and a single-cylinder engine, it was an anomaly in the market. However, it instantly captured the attention of riders seeking a raw and unbridled riding experience. 

Such was its success that KTM introduced a more powerful DUKE II version in 1999, with sharper styling replacing the rounded body contours of its predecessor. Unknowingly, this would launch the naked segment within the KTM street motorcycle lineup, with more engine capacities and cylinders being added to the DUKE range. 

In 2005, the SUPER DUKE nameplate was introduced, boasting a powerful 990cc LC8 V-twin powerplant. The KTM 990 SUPER DUKE quickly reached cult status, leading the way for the KTM 990 SUPER DUKE R variant to tear into the market in 2008. 

2008 also brought the KTM 690 DUKE to market, once again shaking up the design norms of the times. The 2008 KTM 690 DUKE was a hunkered down, powerful, single-cylinder machine, with an underslung exhaust and aggressive, elbows-out riding position. This would later become the blueprint for the DUKE attitude. 

2011 saw the rise of smaller capacity DUKE models, with the KTM 125 DUKE entering the market. This compact and energetic machine delivered ample power and easy maneuverability, without sacrificing any of the DUKE personality. This made it the ideal launchpad for future DUKE pilots and future middle-weight models. 

In 2012, KTM introduced the game-changing KTM 200 DUKE, with THE CORNER ROCKET KTM 390 DUKE joining the lineup in 2013. The KTM 390 DUKE became a favorite among urban riders, thanks to its nimble handling and punchy power delivery. 

KTM then shook the naked motorcycle segment in 2014 with the introduction of THE BEAST: the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R. With a 1,301cc V-twin engine at its core, the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R gained the reputation of having the most powerful LC8 engine, which paved the way for a new segment and the more travel-focused KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT arriving in 2016. 

The following year, 2017, THE BEAST received its first real update. Dubbed THE BEAST 2.0, the 2017 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R boasted power, suspension and styling updates. But its new electronics package took center stage, with more refined rider aids and a new TRACK Mode setting the tone. 

A turning point in the DUKE evolution came about in 2018, when KTM unleashed the KTM 790 DUKE, dubbed THE SCALPEL. This was the introduction of a new era of performance and style for the DUKE name, featuring a powerful parallel-twin engine, cutting-edge electronics and a bold design. In addition, it showcased the determination to dominate the middleweight naked bike segment. 

Now, 30 years later, three-anniversary models enter the fray. At the entry-level, the KTM 390 DUKE boasts its boldest evolutionary step, with distinct styling, a class-leading electronics package, and unrivaled performance. 

The KTM 990 DUKE — not to be confused with the KTM 990 SUPER DUKE of old — is powered by an all-new LC8c parallel-twin, bringing the fight directly to the 1,000cc naked segment. It boasts bigger dimensions, more tech and more street presence. 

Lastly, the KTM 1390 SUPER DUKE R and its stablemate, the KTM 1390 SUPER DUKE R EVO, have evolved to be the ultimate pair of hyper-naked motorcycles with immense power, unmatched electronics and an all-new direction in design. 

To celebrate this milestone, the three aforementioned models have dedicated 30 YEARS OF DUKE livery, inspired by the DUKE models that came before them. 

KTM also endeavored to reward DUKE fans by giving away a KTM 390 DUKE, a KTM 990 DUKE and a KTM 1390 SUPER DUKE R via its digital platforms, with over 700,000 entries received. 

KTM will officially kick off its 30 YEARS OF DUKE campaign at the International Media Launch held in Almeria, Spain. This will also be the first time in KTM history that three new models are being launched at the same time.

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