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Thread: KTM SuperDuke*

  1. #1
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    Cool KTM SuperDuke*


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    I'm surprised that no one has done a review yet, so here goes.

    I've owned a 2007 SuperDuke for two years now and still love it. I come from a dirtbike/single cylinder background and thought that this would be the next logical evolution. I've never really been into sportsbikes that much. If you're used to singles and are familiar with where KTM come from, the chances are you'll love this bike. It encourages naughtiness like few other bikes.

    From the moment you sit on the bike, it feels good, fairly neutral. It's almost as if you're sitting in the bike rather than on it. It doesn't feel big or unwieldy, though some shorter people may find the seat height high - I felt right at home (I'm about 5'9"). The demo bike I took out was an 08 with an akrapovic exhaust fitted, they sound awesome, but not too loud. They save a whopping weight (circa 10kgs!) over the stock system which in my opinion feels a bit restrictive.

    Hit the button and it clears it's throat on tickover - there's nothing quite like an uncorked v-twin sound. Off onto the test route and the first impression when out onto open road is a grin slowly pasting it's way across my face. Lifts the front wheel with a sniff of throttle in the 1st two gear and with the clutch in 3rd. Lovely. The front brakes are sharp enough, one finger braking - what you'd expect from radial brembo's. Being a twin, the engine braking does a lot of the braking for you and quick downshifts can easily get the back sliding. The bike red-lines at about 9000rpm, but you usually change up before then. It just pulls and pulls, like buckets upon buckets of torque. This is what I love about it, that feeling that you're engaging the warp drive. It tips into corners immaculately, and while it's not a supermoto it's very flickable and user friendly. Occassionally when I've got it wrong it's been fairly forgiving in letting me change lines and unfudge myself without spitting me off. The engine allows you to cane it through the rev range, or to short shift and laze through the seemingly endless torque - you don't have to be naughty all the time. The fuel injection wasn't a problem on the demo bike and as long as you don't try and bimble along a 2k rpm (I which case you need a slap and a free handbag) it fuels fine. If you want smooth FI, buy a Honda, there's nothing for you here. SD's are happy when the throttle is open. Think supermoto on steriods - crack open the throttle, point it where you want to go, stay loose, don't fight the bike - let it do the work. As pointed out by a fellow SD rider, KTM's motto is "ready to race" - the bikes come from a dirtbike company, when you open the throttle it goes forward. There's something on the left of the bike's handlebar called a clutch lever - use it to feather the clutch when necessary (i.e , corners, low revs eh?). If this is too difficult for you to understand, may I suggest you take up knitting.

    Living with it: The build quality is not honda. Although WAY better than early KTM farm equipment. The finish on th engine casings isn't that smooth and some of the bolts have started showing signs of corrosion. From 2007 it got a larger fuel tank, lazier steering/trail and revised fuel injection (FI), but expect to see 80miles out of a tank if you're engaged in urban terrorism around town. I've gotten about 110 out of mine on open roads/motorway. The battery needs an optimate in winter, especially if you have and alarm/immobiliser fitted. And you DO want one fitted. They are high on the to-nick list and have made several star appearances on crime watch as the get away vehicle of choice. In short, I wouldn't own one without having access to a garage and good security. I've not had a breakdown with mine. Touches wood. Keep it clean and dry, keep an eye on the chain tension and lube. Simples.

    The bad bits:
    Right. Fuelling. This seems to be the biggest problem KTM have had with the SuperDuke. It has improved through the years, but as witnessed on the SD forum there have been numerous cures, mods and adjustments. My bike had initial problems with FI, which were quickly sorted out by the dealers - sorted out by balancing the throttle bodies and loading a new map. I haven't looked back since. Top tip: don't put the standard cans back on if you're running akra's as you'll toast the cat. Blocking off O2 sensors, SAS, PCIII, new FI maps and the "motohooligan box" have all been used to sort out problems. Some are better than others, and since I've not had a major problem with mine, I can't really comment on how badly these FI issues effect the bike. There's nothing wrong with mine, so I'm not going to fix it.

    There was some short-lived grumbling about front brakes seizing. What I will point out is that the same brembo's are used on ducati's and assorted Italian excotica and there have no problems with other marques. KTM did give free inspections and there was nothing a miss with mine. Top tip: if you live somewhere where there's a load of salt on the road in winter, clean your calipers before they seize. Not exactly rocket science is it?

    SD's are thirsty and I'd say that's the price you pay for v-twin performance. You can do distance on them, and some loons have. They're more pillion friendly than most crotch rockets, but still not GS/Goldwing standard. Spend a whole day on one, and you'll know you have. There's an array of accessories and bling that you can throw at them courtesy of the KTM catalogue, but really other than immobiliser, crash bungs and akrapovic zorsts (in that order) I can't seen anything else that an SD would benefit from in a major way.

    Value for money: The SD is currently better vfm than it used to be thanks to the japs jacking up their prices, at least of new bikes. Your main contenders are the tuono and speed triple, which each have their own cults - I've not had a go on them so can't comment.
    Last edited by Hawkman; 20-07-10 at 22:10.

  2. #2
    At Work jazzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: KTM SuperDuke

    excellent review.

    Thanks

    Got a test ride booked on Saturday, watch this space

  3. #3
    Should Get Out More Danny_Two's Avatar
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    Default Re: KTM SuperDuke

    Nice write up, although where did you hear that re fitting stock exhausts fried the CAT?

    Oh, and they come with 180 rears not 190's.

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    Default Re: KTM SuperDuke

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny_Two View Post
    Nice write up, although where did you hear that re fitting stock exhausts fried the CAT?

    Oh, and they come with 180 rears not 190's.
    Edited tyre sizes. Thanks. Was told this by the dealers at the KTM Centre. They know their noodles, or apple-strudel in this case I suppose.

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