It's been a long time coming but we've finally tested the big katoom thanks to Juan Swanepoel and because i know how we are i'm just going to do the kit list first,verbatim..
Ktm superduke 1290
Racefit growler black edition exhaust
Power Commander 5
H&M quick shifter
16t front sprocket
Custom tune by Jules at Superbike Sulutions
143nm of v twin torque!!
Just need to get some 80mm stacks and she will be around 176hp and 145nm.
Last year round April the order came down to find and shoot some decent photo's of a good example since the big duke was nominated South Africa's production bike of the year.Weren't too many of them around but fortunately an acquaintance informed me he was looking after one for a friend…and the rest is in this post.
Flash to a year later where i meet the owners of both bikes at a smashing party and pounce (in almost predatory fashion) on the opportunity for a test ride.
To be honest i didn't think it would materialize so i was quite surprised and a little nervous when i found myself at KTM Cape Town on a Friday afternoon,running through the basics of the traction control system.I didn't pay much attention,I'm not the sort to go flipping through unfamiliar menus with a 175 hp at my wrist.I'd also noted the token silencer on Juan's bike but the reality only bit when the KTM technician ordered the bike pushed away from the door before starting.I'll make a not completely uneducated guess and say that this thing puts out around 112db….at idle.Yes…it's safe to say that the only person enjoying you on this bike…is you.Exactly how it should be.So after our little introduction i stalled her twice (twin clutches are always grabby) before setting off in the direction of Rhodes Drive,a couple of highways and a city section away.I knew time was tight so as i turned onto the coastal road i did a textbook big power roll on with my wrist and OHHH MY GAAAAAAaaaaaaa!!!…down the road i went.
Thundering,stonking,blistering,bonkers – words flashed through my head as i was trying to take in the sensations in a considered fashion but to no avail.The sheer madness of the power and the industrial chainsaw howl blocks out all rational,ordered thought and leaves the senses bare…are we enjoying ourselves yet?
Rhodes dr. connects Kirstenbosch with Houtbay over a short pass with very tight turns running along dappled,sometimes slippery,forest lined roads but the Superduke would have none of this serenity.Squirting her out of the corners,accelerating hard through the furious ratios and blipping the throttle as you settle up for the next banked turn.The ABS is reassuring during trail braking especially on the occasional damp sections although i wouldn't expect too much from the system in this regard.That being said,i could feel the bike mocking my meager abilities,challenging me to turn lower,every time i reversed the short course.The higher seating position would be something the rear-set crowd would have to get used to (and that short gear lever!) but overall the bike is tractable and confidence inspiring… which is a total recipe for disaster!Off the traction control the throttle's open wider,sooner,but one would have to be very brave and maybe even foolhardy to try that on a first ride… I'm sure many will.To the uninitiated,may i suggest something a little further down the range?