KTM 1290 Tremendous Duke GT… Is that this the bike I want?


Having lately modified my Kawasaki ZRX1200R to a KTM Tremendous Duke GT, I started to surprise – “why did I promote my outdated bike? And why did I select this specific mannequin as its successor? Was the earlier one dangerous for my wants? And can the brand new one do the job higher?”

These are fairly commonplace questions. Possibly we don’t say them out loud…. however they certainly resonate after the feelings settle down a bit, after the adrenaline of discovering a brand new experience goes away.

Is the reply to the questions above rational?

2016 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

Possibly for a few of You it’s. If You select a motorbike to be 100% sensible and a great all-rounder. However You don’t select a KTM or a Ducati primarily based on pure pragmatism.

I do know what I like in motorcycling. I understand how my notion of it… modified via time. How my preferences shifted. The aim for which I exploit the bike. My fashion of driving.

It began with a nimble metropolis bare, went via retro machines proper to the GT bike. Not a full-blown Grand Tourer just like the FJR or the Goldwing. I prefer to hold the bike bare or with some lesser fairing, to be extra true to the origins… and what’s most vital: to maintain my adrenaline decrease, by having the wind to remind me to decelerate. I additionally nonetheless wish to use it for each day commuting.

These are all rational arguments to weigh whenever you select a motorcycle. However…

what’s the steadiness between “want and wish” within the decision-making course of?

2016 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

Objectively – contemplating the specs and preferences I’d be completely advantageous with some sport touring or half faired machine with about 80-100 hp. This is able to be sufficient, as I don’t experience quick. I’m not interested by drag racing, or monitor days (for causes apart from enhancing the highway expertise). And nonetheless, regardless of my finest efforts – I spend 70% of the time commuting to work.

One other facet is security. I want a extra fashionable bike than the Kawasaki ZRX.  To date I managed to experience bikes with none digital security programs with none dangerous incidents. However…  I’ll certainly respect them with the rising variety of kilometres finished yearly. I wished to have the ABS… at the least.

2016 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

So why didn’t I purchase the Moto Guzzi V85TT?

A few instances on this weblog, I already talked about how I just like the bike from Lake Como area. Being a retro tradition fanatic: I like V85 TT. The seems to be, the color sample of the yellow/white/crimson model. The unique model speaks to me. I’m positive that I wouldn’t meet one other one among these any time quickly. And but – that is additionally a totally succesful medium journey machine. I even thought-about shopping for this mannequin, and I “virtually” did! However “the indicators” didn’t let me. I imagine that the universe despatched a couple of hints that I shouldn’t 😉

After I bought the Kawasaki I headed to the Moto Guzzi supplier for a check drive. After confirming (on Thursday) if they’d a demo of a V85TT out there, I went there on Saturday – solely to search out out, that on the day earlier than, some sensor broke down. And their V85TT can be ready for the half… for about 3 weeks.

So 1. new demo bike isn’t working. 2 – it wanted 3 weeks to get fastened. So… the universe…

After scanning the web, choosing a couple of candidates…

I purchased a 2016 KTM Tremendous Duke 1290 GT

2016 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

A GT is a model of “The Beast” launched by KTM in 2013. So… why purchase a 173 hp machine? Didn’t I simply write that 80 hp could be sufficient? Sure, I did. The reply is: “As a result of… why not?” 🙂 I can (and can) experience it 95% of the time prefer it solely had 70 hp.

However for the 5% of circumstances – it’s so price it!

I don’t wish to get into technical particulars and make it a “overview” of a mannequin. The larger brother of “The Beast” is well-known. Many journalists claimed that the engine is great and… it is a wheelie monster. The torque and energy figures are fairly scary. Contemplating the extent of sophistication of the machine:  that has the highest of the road cornering ABS, traction management and semi-active suspension… I additionally love the system KTM designed for the panniers, that doesn’t require any seen rack. However I don’t wish to concentrate on this.

2016 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

Apart from private preferences concerning the bike phase (GT) I wish to think about 2 (extra philosophical) features.

  1. That is the highest of the road mannequin from a premium bike model. That’s fairly well-known for staying true to its origins. I simply wished to have one thing particular and unique. Not one other BMW GS or a Japanese bike (sorry).
  2. The factor that isn’t seen within the technical specs and charts. I wish to write a couple of phrases about…

the character.

2016 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

I’m not evaluating the sophistication of the KTM security options to the ZRX. The onboard pc, tire stress monitor, hill holder, heated seats, heated grips, quick-shifter, Akrapovic exhaust, cornering lights or semi-active suspension… and three experience modes… and three engine maps. Tremendous Duke GT wins right here clearly. And I additionally don’t wish to elaborate on how this Austrian monster does an influence wheelie (when the TC is off) on the third gear. This engine…

The ZRX was calm and balanced

The carbureted energy plant was tremendous easy within the decrease rev vary (nonetheless dynamic as a consequence of displacement) and loopy when You went above 6k rpm. However the smoothness was a difficulty there. Stick with me for some time.

2016 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

“It” tells you each time You go within the higher rev vary – that this isn’t its consolation zone. When you could have the graceful inline-four, and You get into ranges that begin to vibrate a bit – it causes discomfort. You get used to the smoothness within the low vary. It’s additionally that… the automobile engine isn’t the most effective resolution for a motorbike;) The suspension is comfy, the seat is massive… so “why hurry?” I by no means seen it earlier than… However I began to dislike this facet when pushing a bit more durable on mountain passes through the journey to Romania.

Tremendous Duke GT is a rocket ship

On the alternative facet, when You’ve 1301 ccs V-twin, That vibrates continually – You get used to this “tradition” of the machine. It’s not uncomfortable – it’s simply the way it rolls. KTM hates to be beneath 3-4k rpm. It rattles the chain, puffs and roars. You may really feel it doesn’t prefer to be calm. However – it seems comparable at 5k rpm because it does at 9k rpm. It feels prefer it continually tells you to make use of the torque. Doesn’t matter how briskly you go, so long as you don’t get beneath 4k rpm.

I can’t stress sufficient how massive of a distinction it’s. There may be hardly something comparable between these 2 energy bikes in actual life. On the charts and specs – each are spectacular by numbers. Nevertheless it doesn’t matter in any respect. On the Kawasaki, I used to be a really calm rider. I typically discovered myself not desirous to experience to work, because it wasn’t a motorbike experience, however a boring each day commute.

2016 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

On KTM – no experience is boring

Have I discovered the bike that I want? I can by no means ensure, as in all probability I’ll by no means have time to check each mannequin in the marketplace and its each version. However for now – there is no such thing as a different bike I wish to have.

Sure, it burns quite a lot of gasoline (about 1-1,5 litre per 100km greater than the ZRX!!!). However I don’t actually care. I like to consider bikes as of the ability toys. They’re the final bastion of irrational determination making in a world measured and controlled by legal guidelines, pseudo-ecology rationality and accounting. So I don’t care that it might be extra cheap to purchase a Japanese bike, extra sensible to purchase a full-blown Sport Tourer. Or ought to I’ve purchased an R1250 GS? As each motorcyclist finally does?

No! Not but 🙂 Proper now: I personal an unique, high of the road machine, that’s completely suited by to my wants by its definition… and by character. All 3 components talked about earlier than – materialise as this KTM. Will it keep this fashion? I’ve a sense that in a couple of years, after driving via Romania and the Alps couple of instances… I’ll change the GT bike to a Huge Journey. However let’s benefit from the second for some time. To date I’ve finished about 1k km on the KTM since I wrote the textual content above… Can’t get sufficient of it… too dangerous – that “the winter is coming” so quick.

My Kawasaki ZRX1200R 2007
Good Bye outdated buddy

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