Buy a 790 without test ride? - 2018 KTM 790 Duke Forum
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Buy a 790 without test ride?

I missed the demo truck last year but still want one pretty bad. I'm sure the engine and handlng are sublime but what does it feel like to sit on it? Do you sit "in" or ""on" it? Does the ground feel close to you like a GSXR or far away like a supermoto?
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Old 10-15-2019, 03:19 PM

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Interesting questions! It all depends on your height and leg clearance I guess. Go to a local shop and sit on one. This at least will let you know what it feels like as I am sure everyone is different.



To answer your thread question....I bought mine solely on reviews and what I read. I didn't have a chance to test ride it before I bought it, but I did sit on it and compared it to an MT09. I guess I made a leap of faith buying it without riding it, and it paid off. I am extremely happy with the purchase.
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Old 10-15-2019, 03:22 PM
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HI @Auron - welcome to the site.

I'd say it's definitely more of a sit on rather than in - though I suppose that depends on how big you are (I'm not tall at about 5' 8") - for me it's more of a "blend in with it" as the ergos are that good for me.

You are definitely not miles up there like on a supermoto - it's a great bike for street riding.
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Old 10-15-2019, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by dma View Post
HI @Auron - welcome to the site.

I'd say it's definitely more of a sit on rather than in - though I suppose that depends on how big you are (I'm not tall at about 5' 8") - for me it's more of a "blend in with it" as the ergos are that good for me.

You are definitely not miles up there like on a supermoto - it's a great bike for street riding.
Just about sums it up.
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Old 10-15-2019, 04:50 PM
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I find its in between a sit on and a sit in, at 6 foot its easy to put feet flat on the road. Its a very roomy ride, easy to more your weight around the bike. Ive just added more pre load to the rear, and its raised the ride height, and sharpened the steering (not that it needed sharpening, it steers fantastic). The 790 is so light and nimble to ride. I had a MV 800, which was short wheel base and very nimble and light, but it was a twitchy nervous bike, my first test ride on the 790 was up a main road around a nice smooth roundabout, and instantly the way the bike tipped in, stable etc i went straight back and traded the MV in. The MV was 20hp more, but the 790 was/is far easier to use all its power, and around Taupo race track, the MV was twitchy nervous and hard to put on the same piece of tarmac lap after lap, the 790 was a breeze, fast agile very stable and even tho it was 20hp down it was much faster around the track, and had a higher top speed down the straight (220kph). The 790 is great value, they tend to have a few niggly oil weeps, but easily fixed under warrantee. Id be confident now knowing what i know about the 790 to recommend buying the bike even without a test ride, thats if the above works for you. Dave
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:56 PM
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I'd actually be reluctant to buy any bike without a test ride. From my perspective, there's 2 aspects to buying a bike. One is the technical specs/performance that you're looking for in a bike. The other is emotional appeal. To give an example, my previous bike was a Suzuki GSX-S 1000. It was bought on a whim and the test ride was very short, basically just to see what the ergonomics were like. I bought it and simply never got on with it. It performed well but seemed almost bland to me - no character at all.

When I bought the 790, I had also tried the Street Triple 765, having loved the 675 I owned a few years ago. I would have been happy with either bike but the telling difference was that the 790 made me laugh on the test ride and it still does every time I ride it. As others have said, it's not without a few niggles but they are more than outweighed by its character and sheer fun of riding it.

Mind you, in NZ, it's easy to get test rides compared with what I understand it's like in some parts of the US and a few other countries so good luck, whatever decision you make!
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:39 PM
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@Geoff - me too, I had a massive grin and more than a few giggles on my test ride.

I knew then I was going to trade my fat GS in as soon as got back to the dealer - the Duke is just such a fun bike to ride and just the same fun factor every time since.
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Old 10-15-2019, 09:11 PM
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I was an immediate believer in the bike after a 20 minute bike-swap with a buddy. I was on a 2017 GSXR1000 and one short ride was all it took. We finished our ride and went directly to a somewhat local KTM dealer before heading home. (Sadly that dealer couldn't swing a deal but my preferred one could so it worked out).

I wasn't a believer in the hype until I rode it, now I'm loving the bike and even more rare for me is ZERO buyers remorse since getting it. Also for reference in the past 3 years I've also owned both the MT-09 Yamaha Triple and Triumph 765 Street Triple RS so I've got a great cross section of comparable bikes.

I'm 6' 185lbs and the ergo's are fine - it's a naked so windblast is a real thing above 120kph especially but the little Ermax screen does a great job. 20mm+ Comfort seat is next on the list.
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
I'd actually be reluctant to buy any bike without a test ride. From my perspective, there's 2 aspects to buying a bike. One is the technical specs/performance that you're looking for in a bike. The other is emotional appeal. To give an example, my previous bike was a Suzuki GSX-S 1000. It was bought on a whim and the test ride was very short, basically just to see what the ergonomics were like. I bought it and simply never got on with it. It performed well but seemed almost bland to me - no character at all.

When I bought the 790, I had also tried the Street Triple 765, having loved the 675 I owned a few years ago. I would have been happy with either bike but the telling difference was that the 790 made me laugh on the test ride and it still does every time I ride it. As others have said, it's not without a few niggles but they are more than outweighed by its character and sheer fun of riding it.

Mind you, in NZ, it's easy to get test rides compared with what I understand it's like in some parts of the US and a few other countries so good luck, whatever decision you make!
That's funny I just went through the same thing with a GSXS1000f. Anything worth comparing? I hated that 4-5-6 gears were basically 150 rpm apart.

The reason I asked my original question is I bought a 1290 Duke a couple of years ago as felt very let down by the suspension and handling. I just couldn't get comfortable at all and suspension was light years from the superb boingers you get on the SMT, which is a wicked bike btw.

Last edited by Auron; 10-15-2019 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Auron View Post
That's funny I just went through the same thing with a GSXS1000f. Anything worth comparing? I hated that 4-5-6 gears were basically 150 rpm apart.
Hi Auron, comparing bikes is a highly personal thing but if you want to see where I was coming from, have a look at these blog posts in order:

https://geoffjames.blogspot.com/2018...rm-review.html

https://geoffjames.blogspot.com/2019...rs-go-bad.html

https://geoffjames.blogspot.com/2019...0-km-down.html

I've now covered 7000 km and my views haven't changed - the ideal bike for my needs and it's serious fun!

Hope that's of some assistance.

Cheers,

Geoff
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