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Old 07-16-2014, 08:23 AM   #1
sweetlou OP
small body, big balls
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Melville, NY
Oddometer: 1,064
Proper Way To Buy a KTM 990 SMT

Greetings ADVlings. My name is Lou. I'm 27, married, and own a home. My whole life I have lived a fiscally responsible lifestyle. Sure... I've blown a few bucks here and there (there was that bachelor party in Vegas... no ride report to follow) but for the most part I have tried to save money and remain debt free. Partly due to my upbringing; partly because I'm a cheapskate.

My wife is cut from the same mold as me. It works.

This is my story.

In 2011, I graduated from my Master's program and my Father very generously offered to buy me a brand new motorcycle. In 2009 KTM released their 990 Supermoto Travel (referred to as "SMT" herein). The SMT had everything I lusted after... upright ergos, torque-y powerplant, sport touring capabilities, and the KTM sex factor. It also carried with it a European price tag.

In 2011 I took delivery of a Ninja 1000. It did everything the KTM did but carried the Kawasaki name plate. I use my motorcycle to commute almost daily and reliability, cost of ownership, and general maintenance are all cost concerns for me. It was a great bike. I put 12,000 trouble free miles on her... but my KTM mistress continued to haunt my dreams.

One day I was sitting on the couch with my wife. "Wife...", "Yes?" "I think I want to sell the Ninja and buy that KTM I've been looking at." "The orange one?" "Yeah."

"That bike is ugly. It looks like a dirt bike."

"She's not ugly. She has character."

"Louie, its hideous. If you buy that bike I won't ride on the back anymore."

So you can see the direction this conversation was heading. Finally, I got down to the nitty gritty:

"Wife. The bills are paid. We have a few bucks in the bank. We are working on children... If I don't do it now, I never will."

Pause.

"OK. Buy the damn thing."

"Really?"

"Sure. I'm sure by now you've found one for sale. Where is it..."

"West Virginia..."

"Oh boy."

LET THE ADVENTURE BEGIN!
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[2013 KTM 990 SM-T] - KTM hardparts heated grips, tank bag, top case

[2009 KTM 250 XCW(e)]

[2004 KTM 525EXC] - Sumo build
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:32 AM   #2
sweetlou OP
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Melville, NY
Oddometer: 1,064
You see, every year my Father, my seudo uncle Bruce, and I do a motorcycle trip. My dad has been an offline ADVer since he was my age and motorcycle oil runs in the blood. This year we coincidentally selected West Virginia as our motorcycle destination. Here we are on a Catskills trip last year:



Now understand this: I like to have everything planned out. I like to be in control of my life and my decisions.

Buying an exotic motorcycle 600 miles away when I've only seen the damn bike one time in person, never even touched one, selling my current trusted "stone reliable" Japanese steed, and cutting a personal check in excess of my comfortable spending limit (by a large, large sum), planning a week-and-a-half-long ride on said brand new bike, with my wife traveling down south to meet me and ride HOME made me a bit nervous. My wife says I worry too much. What could go wrong?

How about Allstate letting me know the VIN number doesnt jive with their system, 3 days before I have to leave? Details, details.
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[2013 KTM 990 SM-T] - KTM hardparts heated grips, tank bag, top case

[2009 KTM 250 XCW(e)]

[2004 KTM 525EXC] - Sumo build
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:38 AM   #3
orion650
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It was a good story up until the point you had to get permission from your wife.

OK, joking aside, good luck on your adventure.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:44 AM   #4
klauskiwi
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I had a similar dilemma and situation when buying my KTM 990 SMR.. So similar it's scary.. When my wife finally "authorized" me to go buy a replacement for my outgoing Husaberg FS570, I went looking for a more "practical" bike.. When on testing Ducatis, Triumphs and the new z1000 - all of them excellent bikes I'd be very satisfied with.

But when I saw a guy selling one of those in excellent conditions I think I went a bit crazy that day.. I couldn't think of anything else... My wife complained it was hideous ("look at those orange bars, the motor all exposed! It looks like your (also hideous) previous bike!").

Ended up buying it anyway.. My wife was furious, but to this day I can't thing of a better bike for me, am extremely satisfied, and would buy it again if given the chance.



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Old 07-16-2014, 08:53 AM   #5
sweetlou OP
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Melville, NY
Oddometer: 1,064
DAY 1

So the adventure begins. We decided to drive down. No way I would be caught dead riding bitch on my old man's bike any longer than I had to... (more on that later)

So two bikes, one truck, and 3 dudes embark.


We arrived safely in Lewisburg, WV without a hitch. 9+ hour drive.

DAY 2

And through the magic of photography, here is my Father and Bruce, ready to ride from our Hotel in Lewisburg, WV to the KTM dealer in Charleston, WV.


Where am I? Why, I'm riding on the back of Dad's bike of course. Father and son reunited.

After a 100 mile ride, we arrive at KTM-parts in Charleston, WV and parked out front is the most beautiful bike I've ever seen




In my excitement I forgot to take the standard "00000" mile picture, but luckily our lunch stop was only "down the road"


Maybe it's racist... but I named her "Peggy." It was the most orange name I could think of at the time.

If you are ever in the area of Charleston, WV, stop in and say hi to Jesse and the gang. Cool dudes. Lots of orange and camouflage. That's a West Virginia joke if you didnt pick up on it.



Our ride back to the hotel consisted of 160 miles of pure WV bliss.




Now that's how you break in a bike.
__________________
[2013 KTM 990 SM-T] - KTM hardparts heated grips, tank bag, top case

[2009 KTM 250 XCW(e)]

[2004 KTM 525EXC] - Sumo build

sweetlou screwed with this post 07-16-2014 at 09:06 AM
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:04 AM   #6
sweetlou OP
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Melville, NY
Oddometer: 1,064
Day 3

For the next 6 days, we had the State of West Virginia by the balls. Thanks to the rednecks in the Southeast Regional thread, we were given cool places to see and great roads to ride.

Day 3 brought us on a Northern loop through the Williams River Valley overlook and the Cass Scenic Railroad:







We have been to the Cass Scenic RR before, but never during the Tourist season, so we finally took the train ride to the top!





Dont show Obama or the EPA... this gem might get shut down:


Uncle Bruce showing off at the top


The ride back to the hotel brought us on some back roads
__________________
[2013 KTM 990 SM-T] - KTM hardparts heated grips, tank bag, top case

[2009 KTM 250 XCW(e)]

[2004 KTM 525EXC] - Sumo build
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:19 AM   #7
sweetlou OP
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Melville, NY
Oddometer: 1,064
Day 4

Day 4 brought a sad day for Peggy. You see, overnight it rained. Yes, my beloved Peggy got wet.



That's OK, she's over it now.

Day 4 turned out to be an exciting day. Mostly because my navigational choices were questionable at best. We set our sights on the old coal mining town of Nuddleburg, WV, and quickly the roads turned to Pegg's liking:










Dirt roads on a bike with 305 miles? Sure. Expensive Italian wheels? No problem. Two street bikes in tow? Obviously.

Nuddleburg turned out to be pretty cool. It was abandoned in the 1960's and the property was donated to the National Park Service to be preserved





The ride out was sketchy at best


Finally, we stopped at New River Gorge. Take the access road down to the bottom where US 19 crosses... its worth it







Father and Son






And of course, a quick view from the top (at 60mph)
__________________
[2013 KTM 990 SM-T] - KTM hardparts heated grips, tank bag, top case

[2009 KTM 250 XCW(e)]

[2004 KTM 525EXC] - Sumo build
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:28 AM   #8
sweetlou OP
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Melville, NY
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Day 5

Today is the day Peggy is due at the shop for her 600 mile service. I brought her over to Star City Powersports in Roanoke, VA. Dad and Bruce decided to drive on account of rain in the forecast so I took off bright and early for a romantic mono-y-mono ride to Virginia.



It got a little soggy







But Redheads like it wet so she didnt complain.

After dropping Peggy off at the shop we ventured to the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke, VA. Cool place.


When I picked Peggy up, she was full of fresh fluids and ready. Too bad Star City took it upon themselves to remove the 3M headlight protector I purchased from The Tank Slapper. At least they cleaned all the sticky material off it left behind...

That night we went out and found the best Mariachi band in Lewisburg. Man were they good! So were the Margaritas...
__________________
[2013 KTM 990 SM-T] - KTM hardparts heated grips, tank bag, top case

[2009 KTM 250 XCW(e)]

[2004 KTM 525EXC] - Sumo build

sweetlou screwed with this post 07-16-2014 at 09:35 AM
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:41 AM   #9
sweetlou OP
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Melville, NY
Oddometer: 1,064
Day 6

Today's agenda was to find the old coal mining town of Thurmond, WV, at the bottom of New River Gorge. We found it...





Unfortunately there is not a SINGLE thing left besides the NPS visitor center, so off we went in search of food


We found a place to eat at the top of the gorge. It was your typical middle-of-nowhere honey hole bar/restaurant, which is awesome.

Up until now there has only been one moment in my 40,000 mile riding career where I felt scared. Sure, you get your pucker moments when some A hole cuts you off, etc... but I am talking "feeling of impending doom" type shit. This was moment #2...
__________________
[2013 KTM 990 SM-T] - KTM hardparts heated grips, tank bag, top case

[2009 KTM 250 XCW(e)]

[2004 KTM 525EXC] - Sumo build

sweetlou screwed with this post 07-16-2014 at 09:47 AM
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:52 AM   #10
sweetlou OP
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Joined: Jun 2008
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Oddometer: 1,064
Moment #1 was back in 2006 on my first solo adventure to upstate NY. In the latter half of our ride, torrential rains ambushed us. Rain so hard the interstate is slowed to 5 MPH.

Little did I know I was riding through this:







One of those one in a hundred year type storms. You can read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney_(village),_New_York
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[2013 KTM 990 SM-T] - KTM hardparts heated grips, tank bag, top case

[2009 KTM 250 XCW(e)]

[2004 KTM 525EXC] - Sumo build
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:03 AM   #11
sweetlou OP
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Melville, NY
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Well, as we are enjoying our lunch, the lights in the restaurant flicker.

Then they flicker again.

And again.

I ask the bar tender whats up.

"Oh Honey, bad storm is coming. When the lights start to flicker we know its a bad one."

Lights flicker again.

Que panic.

Back in '06, while the rains of Poseidon tried to wash me away, I felt a small degree of comfort knowing I was on (or next to when washed out) the Interstate. The interstate meant SOME degree of civilization.

Now I am in the mountains, 160 miles from our hotel, in the absolute middle of nowhere. No where to run. No where to hide. Oh, on a brand new bike.

Like students during an air raid, the alarm went off and we bolted out to our bikes (paid the bill first, duh) and looked up. The eerily still mountain air and the black clouds of doom indicated it is time to go.

Off we went, and by a stroke of luck, we took US 19 which goes through a valley and I'll be damned if that valley didnt keep the storm at bay. The 20 mile ride north to pick up US 60 had us within feet of the storm and the rain, but we stayed dry. We didn't stop until about 30 miles outside of Lewisburg and we made damn good time on the way to it.
__________________
[2013 KTM 990 SM-T] - KTM hardparts heated grips, tank bag, top case

[2009 KTM 250 XCW(e)]

[2004 KTM 525EXC] - Sumo build
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:15 AM   #12
sweetlou OP
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Melville, NY
Oddometer: 1,064
Day 7

Day 7 brought us to the cool hipster town of Buchannon, VA (pronounced BUkannon, don't you dare say BUCKhannon). Perfect weather, perfect roads, perfect day.









From Lewisburg, buzz over to 311 south to 611 north to 615 north. You will be glad you did:

27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000">
__________________
[2013 KTM 990 SM-T] - KTM hardparts heated grips, tank bag, top case

[2009 KTM 250 XCW(e)]

[2004 KTM 525EXC] - Sumo build

sweetlou screwed with this post 07-16-2014 at 10:46 AM
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:30 AM   #13
sweetlou OP
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Melville, NY
Oddometer: 1,064
Day 8

Today is the day we part ways. It is Sunday and my Father and Bruce have to drive home to go to work on Monday. Me? I don't go back to work until Thursday. So the obvious decision is to stay down here a few more days and ride my motorcycle home.

Great idea!

As if you aren't in adventure overload yet, today is the day my wife meets me in Virginia for our trip home. Her day started at 4AM on an Amtrak train destined for Staunton, VA (pronounced STANton, get it right you Yankees). My day started at 8AM packing all her stuff out of the truck and onto Peggy and loading my Dad and Bruce's motorcycles onto the truck.

After some panic and last minute goodbyes, I was off!


Riding by yourself has many advantages. For instance, you pass a cool dirt road to the river... just stop and turn around. No questions, no arguments!


My ride took me down to the Blue Ridge Parkway


Down a Blueridge access road outside Staunton


Into the rolling valleys of central Virginia


And Finally into downtown Staunton


Just in time for Wife to arrive!


During our KTM negotiations a few weeks prior, she was all game face. But no one can resist Peggy's charm and sex appeal... even married members of the same sex lust after her good looks


And so begins our 3 day adventure home
__________________
[2013 KTM 990 SM-T] - KTM hardparts heated grips, tank bag, top case

[2009 KTM 250 XCW(e)]

[2004 KTM 525EXC] - Sumo build
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:45 AM   #14
sweetlou OP
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Melville, NY
Oddometer: 1,064
Day 9

I wake up with a wicked headache. I attribute it to over a week on the road, pop an aspirin, and quit my bitchin'.

From Staunton we rode north through 95 degree heat up onto Skyline Drive. Skyline Drive is a 100 mile piece of road at the top of the mountain, similar to Blue Ridge Parkway, except with a lower speed limit, way more police presence, and a stiff $10 toll. Still, the temperate at the top of skyline was 78 degrees and the view isn't bad either.



Quick rest at the visitor's center


And into a suburb of DC at my buddy's place, parked next to good company




Remember that wicked headache I had? Well it didnt go away, and now I had a full body ache which only indicated one thing: I had a fever. I asked wifey to touch my head and she confirmed. Not good.

Lets recap for a minute. We are still 400 miles from home. Its 95 degrees. If I were to nix the ride short on account of sickness, our brutal highway ride home in 95 degree, 80% humidity would put us going through Manhattan at roughly 5PM. The thought of the Cross Bronx Expressway in rush hour on a hot summer day after riding 350 highway miles sucks major donkey dick.

What if I wake up in the morning with this fever and it turns out to be some West Virginia back woods Yankee boy get out of the south disease? I heard they don't take too kindly to my kind down south.

Panic ensues.
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[2013 KTM 990 SM-T] - KTM hardparts heated grips, tank bag, top case

[2009 KTM 250 XCW(e)]

[2004 KTM 525EXC] - Sumo build
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:52 AM   #15
ProZac235
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Love the photos and RR and the bike too!
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