Casually cruising the TT

Earlier this month KTM unveiled the updated 2019 1290 Super Duke GT at Intermot sporting a flight of upgrades. Now, the manufacturer has put a British Super Bike Racer in the saddle and set him loose on the Isle of Man.

I wonder how much convincing Michael “The Blade” Rutter took to agree to ride the new Super Duke GT around the TT. Probably not much. The Brit racer got to enjoy a trip to the Isle of Man stress-free to give KTM’s new GT a proper welcome ride.

The result is a dream-like video that takes us along the famed street circuit that has signed the success—and sometimes the demise—of hundreds of racers on two and on four wheels.  The first half of the video shows Rutter cruising around the island at a peaceful Sunday-ride pace.

Remember that the GT has some proper Super Duke DNA and despite being a mellower, travel-friendly version of the sportier Duke, the GT hasn’t forgotten where it comes from. Once the side cases are off, things get serious and Rutter goes from weekend rider to pro racer in a matter of minutes to show off how versatile the GT remains. We can watch the Isle of Man TT champion reach speeds nearing 125 miles per hour on the mountain course.

For 2019, the Super Duke GT keeps the same 1,031cc, v-twin engine that makes the Dukes so glorious, integrating new titanium valves and intake resonator chambers which has supposedly increased the power—official specs have yet to come.

Other changes brought with the new model-year include a redesigned front-end with new headlights and adjustable windshield, new handguards, an adjustable suspension, as well as navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, and KTM My Ride app compatibility.

The official release date of the new KTM 1290 Super Duke GT hasn’t been confirmed, but in the meantime, we get to appreciate the bike vicariously, through Rutter’s agile riding on the Isle of Man.