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Author Topic: KTM 1290 SuperDuke test ride  (Read 10507 times)
MadDuck
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All the Ducati's made the 1290SDR possible!


« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2016, 11:03:36 PM »

That was my thought. I haven't seen anyone else do this. I like it so far but I still have the old panels.
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No modification goes unpunished. Memento mori.  Good people drink good beer.  Things happen pretty fast at high speeds.

It's all up to your will level, your thrill level and your skill level.  Everything else is just fluff.
MadDuck
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All the Ducati's made the 1290SDR possible!


« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2016, 09:03:30 PM »

So here it is just about exactly one year after I wrote the first comparison of the SuperDuke 1290 to the BMW S1000R.  I've had the SuperDuke now for 3 months and just shy of 2,000 miles. In the year and a half of owning the SK1R I put just over 6,000 miles on it.  Why did I sell the BMW? The only real answer is that I'm just not an inline 4 cylinder motorcycle person. I've had high performance twins blood in me since the early '70's & it seems that I can't shake it no matter how good the I4 is.

I expect this second review to have some contradictions and no doubt you will think I'm talking out of both sides of my mouth at times and if you've spent any time with these two bikes you will understand why and why so many of the video reviewers are almost the same way.  To start with, on a purely stock bike to stock bike comparison I will come out and say that the BMW is the better bike. I said it's the better bike, however, but maybe not the most appealing of the two and this is the start of the bantering between the them. One thing I wll say about the two is that you really can't compare them, or any bike, really for that matter, until you've got them broken in and can use the whole rpm range. Neither of the two I'm talking about are much to shout about when you are riding in that break in period except that the BMW is better there in the wimp range as you get a glimpse of what it can do. The stock KTM hides it's true character in many ways and continues to hide it even after you can rev it to redline.

The BMW engineers and designers did an outstanding job. It is a relatively easy bike to ride although you could also easily get into trouble with it real fast. It has a good low end with a smooth and predictable power delivery all the way through the rev range. With 4 power modes you just set what you like the difference is really only how fast the throttle comes on and let's just say that in the top mode, Dynamic Pro, it comes on so quickly that you need to be on your game or you'll find the pucker factor coming on fast too.  The Beemer is happy in just about any gear and at any rpm. By it's nature it will automatically make you a better rider and if you are already good you'll find that you can do just that much more with it. Don't get me wrong and misinterpret what I'm saying so that you think I'm endorsing the bike as fit for beginners.  I'm not saying that at all & I will continue to say that new, inexperienced riders will do well to stay on smaller machines until they develop a set of skills & second nature reactions when it comes to riding.  The BMW's character can make it very tempting to get and therein lies a hidden danger.  Coming from years of riding the bike is too easy and that is a large part of it's appeal. Not to mention being a rip roaring machine when you want it to be.

A few things about the BMW.  The rider has to be within a certain middle weight range to make the DDC ( if so fitted ) electronic suspension work properly and if you are too light or too heavy you will find yourself fighting the bike. Still, even if you are so blessed as to be within the sweet weight range, it is a bit different acting suspension.  I will call it "digital" as opposed to "analog". Mine seemed to go through a break in period and in it's early days was a bit off, a bit unpredictable, at times and when it was off it was horrible.  OK, maybe not really horrible but enough to give you pause if you were stuffing the bike through some rough patches in corners as it would either be too stiff or too soft at times.  Mine did it just enough to make me always have that little bit of pause in my mind when things were getting wound up.  To be fair though that only happened in the first couple thousand miles and didn't happen afterwards. Still.......  The other thing is that the S1KR seems to be geared low and you will find yourself going for that missing 7th gear on freeway stints. It seems to be singing high at 6,000 rpm at 70 or so mph and you have to remind yourself that you are only halfway through the rev range. Maybe that's why so many BMW owners are putting on smaller rear sprockets.  The KTM, on the other hand, has a very high 5th gear and a 6th gear that is so high many riders won't use it much. The KTM folks seem to go for a smaller front countersprocket and in some cases even more teeth on the back sprocket.

OK, let's talk about the KTM for a bit.  Again, as a purely stock bike, I won't say that it has all that much appeal.  Looks wise from a head on view it's only slightly better than the BMW and only because it has one headlight instead of those ugly non symetrical lights. They are both a bit of the "fat boy" from the front and I guess that can't be helped with those radiators and side panels.  Once you get away from the front the KTM is better looking and that is one of the things that kept drawing me back to it.  People who know bikes still comment about the BMW when they see it but non-bikers will comment on how mean & cool looking the KTM is. It gets as many positive comments as my old Ducati Monster 900 did and that's saying a lot.

The KTM is a big V-twin and has that big twin character. By that I mean it doesn't like low rpm's and is herky jerky and snatchy down low. That is only made worse by the closed loop oxygen sensor tickling on the fueling. It's not as bad as the old Ducati's but it's still there and you have to like it and know how to deal with it. That fueling character seems to be a dividing line for lots of riders with most riders lining up on the side of the I4's. With the stock exhaust it doesn't sound like much either.  You get a hint of what it could be but nothing that really starts to rock you. The stock BMW exhaust is better in that respect in that even though it's an I4 it's a damn mean I4! I had a full Akrapovic system ready to go on the BMW when someone stepped up out of the blue and offered to buy the bike.  I still regret that timing of events a bit as I was looking forward to that sound.  The KTM is also different as that V twin power plays a huge part in how the bike handles and how it gets through corners. You have to learn it. How the power comes on can and does change your line through a corner. Contrary to the BMW the KTM doesn't just accept whatever you want to do to get through a bunch of interconnected twists and turns. You have to work the brakes and the gas just so to make the best out of it.  The BMW makes you a better rider.  The KTM wants you to be the better rider.  Like the BMW the KTM suspension is also set to a certain rider weight range but seems to be more forgiving in that respect.  Mostly I liked the "analog" feel and totally predictable handling. I'm just a tad on the heavy side for it and even though I can set the rear shock pretty good I miss the preload front end adjustment and that is one area where the KTM could use a change up. This, in part, again, is something that has a different appeal to different riders. The BMW electronic suspension is compensating all the time and as a result evens out the natural changes to the bikes suspension & steering geometry when riding. This results in a more forgiving ride when it comes to working a line through corners.

Very much like the Ducati's the KTM starts out with kind of a clean slate and there's lots to be done that totally changes the bike and that's where things start to get good. Also, like the Ducati, it's a pisser that you pay a premium to start with when you buy the bike and then have to spend even more to change it for the better. You would hope, you would even expect that would be the case from the get go but noooo......
But Whooo Boy!!! When you do bite the bullet and go off the deep end what you get in return is lights out!!   Dolph  waytogo
 waytogo

More on that in a bit.........

This is getting to be a bit long, so I will apologize now, and will try to finish as quick as I can.

The KTM started out on the design table and first executions as a raging monster torque & power machine.  Then they dumbed it down, way down, to produce it & sell it.  Emissions and noise laws I expect.  Off the showroom floor it's just not that impressive.  HOWEVER, the folks back in the parts and service departments are waiting for you.  Plop another whole bunch of money down to get the KTM Factory Akrapovic full exhaust and the bike totally changes. Totally. You get a full exhaust that doesn't restrict anything, an opened up intake & a factory supported ECU re-map.  It sounds evil and it is evil. Then it becomes an outright public nuisance. It's loud and accelerates like a demon.  I tell my friends with Ducati Hypermotards that's it like their bike on steroids and meth. It makes you do bad things. Did I say it is loud?  It makes you think of the "Song of the Sausage Creature" and has that total bad boy appeal. If this is not appealing to you as a rider then stay away from this modified machine. Stick to the BMW with it's cruise control and it's semi-closet animal like performance.  The modified SuperDuke is all out in your face and I would ask, how, why even, would you get the SuperDuke and not modify it?

So there.......... If price is a factor and a more user friendly ride is preferred to get some crazy good performance then the BMW would be for you.  But....... If you have that little more ( or a lot more  Evil ) outlaw blood in you and are willing to pay for it then the KTM SuperDuke 1290R is the way to go.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2016, 11:58:19 AM by MadDuck » Logged

No modification goes unpunished. Memento mori.  Good people drink good beer.  Things happen pretty fast at high speeds.

It's all up to your will level, your thrill level and your skill level.  Everything else is just fluff.
Speed 3 Pilot
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« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2016, 10:10:16 PM »

 popcorn
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Life is tough, it's tougher if you're stupid...

Gettin' old ain't for wimps...

You only live once and I feel like I'm running out of time...
MadDuck
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All the Ducati's made the 1290SDR possible!


« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2016, 12:21:35 PM »

popcorn

See the edited and expanded review.   Dolph
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No modification goes unpunished. Memento mori.  Good people drink good beer.  Things happen pretty fast at high speeds.

It's all up to your will level, your thrill level and your skill level.  Everything else is just fluff.
Speed 3 Pilot
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« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2016, 03:02:43 PM »

See the edited and expanded review.   Dolph

Sounds like you've got the ultimate in hooliganism in your Katoom... Grin
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Life is tough, it's tougher if you're stupid...

Gettin' old ain't for wimps...

You only live once and I feel like I'm running out of time...
MadDuck
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All the Ducati's made the 1290SDR possible!


« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2016, 05:30:54 PM »

Sounds like you've got the ultimate in hooliganism in your Katoom... Grin

Even more so with the 16 tooth front sprocket.  Everything got better!   Dolph Dolph
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No modification goes unpunished. Memento mori.  Good people drink good beer.  Things happen pretty fast at high speeds.

It's all up to your will level, your thrill level and your skill level.  Everything else is just fluff.
DRKWNG
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« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2016, 05:40:10 PM »

I tell my friends with Ducati Hypermotards that's it like their bike on steroids and meth.

 laughingdp laughingdp applause laughingdp laughingdp

Love it!!  And especially fitting out here in NM.
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And the sugar fountain fairy swore so hard when she came to super-size that stale hope soybean; liiiike a homeless German woman. Who is this super-sizing spirit-crushing femme? And tell her I'll break a tree root up in her shrimp.

Being faster than you thought possible…it feels good. No, screw that—it feels like shotgunning a gallon of adrenaline and chasing it with an all-night orgy aboard a burning Viking boat.
Blackout
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« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2016, 06:12:58 AM »

I got to ride one of my buddy's Aprilia V4 Tuono yesterday. All I can say is   --------
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2003 Ducati Monster 800
2005 Triumph Speed Triple 1050
2003 Honda CR250
2008 KTM 990 SuperDuke
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