Monday, November 1, 2010


It's been weeks since I had decided I would try a KTM one day. Whether it would be a 690cm3 single or a 990cm3 twin was still to determine, but I was eager to try one of these bikes. With the Duke 3 showing a bit more often now as a second hand choice, I really wanted to know how it feels on the road. What better thing to do then than to pay a visit to the local KTM dealer ? And that's exactly what I did on Saturday, enjoying the one and only day of decent weather of the whole week-end (a 3 days week-end around here).

When I arrived in front of the shop, I immediately noticed that there was only one KTM bike outside and my guess was that it was the demo bike. Visiting the shop was pretty quick, as it's a really small one and it's only filled with KTM's complete motocross range and hardly a road bike (a rebuilt 690 SMC). A quick chat with the dealer later, it seems that KTM is not stocking its production, which means when it's all sold and the season's nearly over, there's no way you can't get one to try it out.

Anyway, there's still that one waiting outside and I had made the road through there, so ...I asked for its keys  and went on for a ride. So here I am riding a 990 SMT for a 35 minutes trip to my parent's house (where I had to pick up some parts) and back. During the first part of the trip, I wasn't at ease ... at all. I could not find a position on the bike, I felt like the wide bars would hit my belly any time soon and I had to lift my foot at every down shifting. Add to this that the the riding position is completely upright and the bars are pretty high making the front feeling rather vague compared to the bike I had just jumped from, and you will understand why I wasn't that happy to throw my leg over the bike again when leaving from my parent's house.

But the second part of the trip was far better, like I kind of knew what to expect from this bike. And guess what ? I really enjoyed the trip back. Now I had a rather good feeling with the front (which for me is a requirement) and could at last fully enjoy the strong engine and the "made for tall guys" ergonomics of the SMT. The KTM feels light and flickable in roundabouts. Exiting one on full throttle is made possible because it just makes you fell it can do it.

The time to give the keys back has come too soon. I really wanted to keep on feeling the front wheel getting higher and higher under the acceleration and with the only help of a small bump on the road. Sweet ! Can I ask for some more ?

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