Cold?…it was bloody freezing…and rainy…the kind of morning i prefer to spend (finger quotes) "updating my websites" or…."managing social traffic"… but i knew if i was gonna get a crack at the 2014 motorcycle of the year i'd better not dally and so i found myself on the N7 running north out of Cape Town on my little city bike to visit a long known acquaintance who was dutifully guarding the new king of the production motorcycles.
180 horses….i hacked the rear mudgaurd/plateholder out of this one..
Arthur runs a small concern on a holding just outside of town (right close by Zone 7 MX track) where he works on new bikes,converting them to the owners required spec with peripheral items,things like aftermarket exhaust fitment,aftermarket carbon-fiber,custom rear sets,recalling etc.He's also custodian to some of the sickest machines you'll find on the road (and some -off) today.Read em & weep…KTM RC8,BMW HP4 lotsa carbon,Ducati Streetfighter 1098 also dripping carbon,a tricked out GSX-R1000RR,a quad with a 2-stroke,450cc Paul Turner motor,the list goes on but my purpose was single minded.I'd seen a pic of the 2014 KTM Superduke R and frankly i was unimpressed by it's looks,till one blew by while i was sipping a ridiculously overpriced coffee….I had to shoot the beast…as KTM's press release coined it.
12000rpm red line!?
Why am i telling the story rather than the bike?Because the reviews are in…It's perfect in almost every way…and the one or two flaws that are present (shakes her head/front a bit vague at track speeds),are completely over-shadowed by the x-factor.It'll turn your frown,upside down.
400km's on the clock.
I won't bore you with the details of the shoot except to say i wanted to make her not seem quite so intimidating,since she's supposed to be a motard an all.Lots of people are gonna say this bike isn't a looker….but that might be missing the point.This is KTM,where the aesthetics flow only from the function.
Couple of interesting things.
-The traction control is calibrated specifically to this one model of Dunlop rubber.
-She'll lift in 4th gear.
-The traction control switches to a safe default when the ignition is turned off…probably a good thing,if a little annoying.
2 super sexy LED strips.
Highlight?…Arthur fired her up so i could hear it with the Racefit Growler T1 pipe he fitted… it starts up as if,somewhere inside,it was already running…then,thunderous gunshots,like a German MG34.Then he hopped on and took off down the half dry cobble driveway in a manner strictly reserved for MX bikes…yup..that hectic.
Is it just me or is the front wheel already in the air?
Wanted actual information on the 2014 KTM Superduke R?…here's the post i considered plagiarising at motorcycledaily.com.