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Old 09-23-2009, 12:51 PM   #1
neduro OP
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Joined: Jul 2003
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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Unexpected Lust: 2008 KTM 990 Superduke

My original motorcycle love was for sportbikes. I learned to ride on a CBR (no idea how I survived that) and I still get all googly-eyed around crotch rockets. The taut feeling of control, the unbelievable rush of acceleration, the thrill of deep lean angles- these are the things that once kept me up at night.

Past rides have included a CBR 6s and 9s, a Ducati Monster and 916, a VTR1000 and an R1, and others I can't remember just now. I've been lucky to get saddle time on many more, both on the road and at the track (I'm the first to admit I'm not a great track rider, though, but I do enjoy it!), and I honestly thought from those rides that I'd seen what was available, and despite my love for them, I decided to swear them off a few years ago for a number of reasons.

First, they don't seem appropriate, especially here in Colorado. If you let the motor climb onto the cam for a couple gears, you're going to jail. If you go around the sweepers that we call twisties at 7-8/10ths, you're gonna get a big ticket eventually. If you ride the bike how it feels like it was meant to be ridden, not on the edge or being stupid, just exploiting a little bit of the astounding mechanical competence, you are always breaking the law. I find that frustrating instead of rewarding.

Second, my garage is generally a war zone of dirtbikes, mountain bikes, fabrication projects, and so on. Having a few acres of paint to be careful around feels like punishment, not reward. I hated having a bike that always felt like it needed special treatment when I wasn't riding it.

Third, I broke my wrist pretty badly, and have had trouble getting comfortable on a set of clip ons ever since. I used to routinely log 6-900 mile days, the last ride I took on my R1 had me crying in pain at 150. 150 miles doesn't even get you to the twisties in CO.

Finally, I'm not what you'd call a model of self control, and I find it almost impossible not to pop the occasional (frequent) wheelie, back into a corner, etc, you get the idea. You do these things on sportbikes and it is always with the knowledge that it's going to hurt if you screw up, and even if you get it right it might result in a performance award. Dirtbikes and Dualsports are much more forgiving this way.

So when I was at the KTM Adventure Rider Rally in Idaho last week, and got the chance to take a spin on a Superduke, I thought I was immune to its charms. I thought I could head up the river to where we'd left a truck on a dirtbike ride, retrieve the van, and move on with my life.

I thought wrong. Very wrong.



Here I am at the end of that ride, apparently discussing wheelies with the KTM Rep...

And here's what's in my garage now.



Next post: why.
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:08 PM   #2
nedodjija
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if you are hungry, you should not go grocery shoping.
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:15 PM   #3
Wolfhound
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I rode a friend's one home for him from the dealership...and the rest is history!! Very soon after, I ended up with a white '08 model.

I find it very comfortable at 6ft 1in, but more than that, it has improved my riding immeasurably and I have alot of confidence on this bike (not stupid confidence, mind you).

The good roads for me are about 60 miles away. I agree fully that riding these bikes to anything approaching their limits can be ludicrously dangerous on the roads, particularly if they are only mildly twisty in nature. That said, there are some very well-surfaced and twisty roads that make me feel so good on this bike - these are the roads I ride as they are enough of a challenge for me but at the same time, they make me feel I am using enough of the bike's handling prowess whilst keeping the speeds reasonable in the event of a mishap.

Enjoy and take care - Wolfhound
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Old 09-23-2009, 02:02 PM   #4
Jarvis
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Why?
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Old 09-23-2009, 05:56 PM   #5
Dranrab Luap
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I'm glad I don't have a KTM dealer anywhere near me.
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Old 09-23-2009, 06:32 PM   #6
skortch
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Sweet, congrats! That is one bike I keep coming back to, along with Street Triples and a few others. It seems like such a perfect ride in so many ways; weight, power, character...

Personally I'll take the corners somewhat fast and slow down on the straights and have (mostly) avoided tickets. There can be plenty of enjoyment riding that pace (The Pace to some) while saving the faster riding for track days.
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:39 PM   #7
omnivore
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Congrats! That's my fav naked sportbike right now.
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:56 PM   #8
neduro OP
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I'm leaned against the propane canister pictured above, sort of gobsmacked with the motorcycle I just rode. It's fast but in an understated way- impressive, but not in your face like an inline 4, which is good because the bike is satisfying to ride without needing revs (and the speed that comes with them).

I start making excuses to myself.

It's naked, so I won't mistakenly find myself at triple digit speeds.

It won't beat up my wrist, look, it's got handlebars just like a real bike!

Hardly any paint. Just park it near the wall and don't swing a 2x4 into it and it'll be fine.

Did you feel that suspension! That is so many light years ahead of any streetbike you've owned, it doesn't bear mentioning. It sucked up the crappy pavement like a dualsport, but was controlled even when you flogged it. Amazing!

Look at that thing, for christ's sake! It's fuggin' evil! You have to have it!

And those brakes, my god, those brakes. Perfect. I have no words to describe them.

A few gentle trackdays, get back in the swing of things and wear out a kneepuck or two. It'll be just the ticket!

Besides, it'll get great gas mileage *...

* When my mental dialogue starts thinking about gas mileage as it relates to motorcycles, I know I'm stretching the limits of reason.

The other part of my mind fights back.

You rode it 120 feet before you lifted the front wheel, and you started shifting wheelies before you got out of city limits. You are clearly not mature enough yet.

You rode 30 miles to the van in less than 20 minutes. Low speed my ass!

You need a streetbike like a hole in the head, you don't even like riding on the street!

But here's what it all comes down to. The thing that motivates me to buy a bike, after all the back and forth internally and externally that comes with every purchase, is simple. I look at the bike, I see myself on it, I see myself enjoying it, I see a trip on which this bike is uniquely perfect, and if that vision is compelling, forget it. It's over. If not, I'll pass. Two visions came into my mind unbidden as I rode this bike...

The first was of some curves I know on the backside of Mt Tam, and the San Francisco lanesplitting craziness I followed Jean-Luc through to get to them. This bike would be perfect. PERFECT. Nothing else that is as good on the fast stuff, could eat the bad roads with so much grace. Nothing else that likes the bad roads (my SE is a fine example) is much fun on the faster stuff.

The second was of a road in the mountains of central Mexico that I was frustrated to ride on worn out knobbies last year, and kept thinking what fun it would be to ride a sportbike in a country where traffic laws are what you'd hope, and people wave you by anywhere they can. I could load this thing and a dirtbike in the van, head South of the border during the winter, and catch a few weeks of good riding, some twisties and some singletrack, and spend next to nothing doing it.

The vision was compelling. A check was produced. The bike was taken. And that brings us current. I got it home and have commuted, ridden 2 up after dinner for an hour, and done little else.

But it's coming, oh yes, it is. A Leo Vince exhaust system showed up today, along with a Kaoko throttle control and a 16T sprocket from Kurt @ Black Dog. I've got a trackday scheduled for Monday, then it will be time to sort out luggage.

So now there's a smoking hole in my wallet where my remodel funds used to be, and a lack of space in the garage. I'm not complaining, who needs a house?
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Old 09-24-2009, 05:53 AM   #9
wpbarlow
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Congrats on the SD. It's been an tugging at me for a couple of years-- the lustometer only deminishing (but never going completely away) whenever I'm riding my 950SM. I've ridden them back to back on a day in the twisties and it's amazing how much fun both are; different, but each an absolute hoot.

SDs are getting to a price point where having 3 LC8s is starting to not look so decadent. And in orange it might confuse my wife just enough

Now, if they can only get the SDR to be competitive with the 600s in Daytona Sportbike...
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:34 AM   #10
a1fa
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I am picking one up in couple of weeks -- for a friend, of course.
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:42 AM   #11
lesman
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If you have problems with your wrists...this ain't your bike.
Test rode a Super duke...very fun, really fun
Best brakes of any bike that I've ever ridden.
One of the most painful or the most painful bike that I've ever ridden.
I'm 5'10". This bike is made for someone very limber.
If it hurts your wrists, elbow and shoulder pain will follow.
Riding a bike is just an irrational experience. Enjoy the Duke.
I rode a Hypermotard. Easier on everything and just as ridiculous



Les
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:54 AM   #12
heavyhitter
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Good looking bike. When the Duke was first announced I pooped myself. I loved it. I am a big fan of nakeds. After seeing one dyno'd here in town, I was really disappointed. I supposed it has enough power for any sane person but I am insane.
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:23 AM   #13
PeteN95
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Congrats, Awesome bike! I wanted one, but the bank account said naked SV1000 instead. I don't think I'll own another bike that doesn't have tapered dirt bike bars on it!
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Old 09-24-2009, 12:25 PM   #14
Stobie
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I've been trying to talk myself into selling my SE to get an SD for over two years; but I know I'll regret letting the SE go, even though I mostly ride it on the street. Where I live, I would be much better off with a dedicated streetbike and a plated woods bike, instead of trying to do it all on a big dual-sport. The fact that my 'tard setup hasn't worked as well as I had hoped doesn't help.

Here's a link to my whining.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lesman
If you have problems with your wrists...this ain't your bike.
Test rode a Super duke...very fun, really fun
Best brakes of any bike that I've ever ridden.
One of the most painful or the most painful bike that I've ever ridden.
I'm 5'10". This bike is made for someone very limber.
If it hurts your wrists, elbow and shoulder pain will follow.
Riding a bike is just an irrational experience. Enjoy the Duke.
I rode a Hypermotard. Easier on everything and just as ridiculous



Les
That surprises me. I'm 6'4", 230#, 46 years old, and out of shape, and I find the SD to be roomy and comfortable. Similar ergos to a 1st-gen FZ1, or maybe a Bandit. Roomier than my old R11RS.
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Old 09-24-2009, 12:46 PM   #15
wpbarlow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lesman
... This bike is made for someone very limber.
...
62, 5'10, and er, not lithe and limber . I found the bike pretty comfortable on the ~2-hour rides I've taken. Not an issue at all for me.
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