KTM 790 Duke Forum banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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?
 

·
Super-Member
Joined
·
606 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
415 Posts
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
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
284 Posts
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
@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.
 

·
Super-Moderator
'20 890R
Joined
·
447 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
284 Posts
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/2018/11/2015-suzuki-gsx-s-1000-long-term-review.html

https://geoffjames.blogspot.com/2019/03/when-ageing-bikers-go-bad.html

https://geoffjames.blogspot.com/2019/03/the-scalpel-one-month-and-1500-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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
415 Posts
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.
Theres new mapping out for the 1290GT now and its much better suited for general roads. I liked the suspension on my 1209R, the rear just needed more preload, but comparing sports bike suspension with the touring SMT, your not going to get that plushness on sporty suspenders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
I think it depends on what bike you're coming from.
I came from an adventure style bike and i'd say you very much sit on the duke. i'm 5'8 and my knees are a bit squashed but the arms are just right. I feel like i'm almost sitting on the front wheel.
it is incredibly forgiving without being boring. I like the brakes but I've read others find them too soft (compared to a non race bike I find them great, but i can see how someone might say they lack initial bite).
The seat is a bit hard but has lots of room and i can move around quite easily.
Interestingly, i tried an mt09 and didn't like it. I found it uncomfortable and twitchy; I especially didn't like the way my willy wheels slammed into the tank under braking.
Yet when my brother in law took mine out for a ride he commented that his two best friends kept headbutting the tank under braking on the Duke. His daily ride is an MT09.
Though he did find my duke more planted and smoother for power.

so, yeah, if you can ride it before you buy it that would be best.
If you're coming form a sports bike you miiiight be disappointed, anything else i think you'll love it.

it's not for everyone though
https://www.790dukeforum.com/forum/602-ktm-790-duke-owners-check-area/1130-ive-jumped-ship-back-690-a.html

For me, i'll never get a bike without a quickshifter. I am 100% sold on that feature. And i hate flappy-paddle gearboxes in cars. It hasn't been an instant love affair for me, but we're still getting to know each other and it's getting better every day.
I have a lapmaster track day coming up soon and i'm equally terrified and excited about doing it.
 

·
Super-Member
Joined
·
606 Posts
I came from an R1 and was very worried about the power of the 790. Not having test rode it, but having sat on it a few times (and some real good input from my brother who test rode it), I decided to pull the trigger and buy it. I will say typically I wouldn't do that as I agree with Geoff, but this bike kinda has it all, minus a few small things. I really wanted something I could use as a commuter, and when I wanted, tear up the twisties as easily as the R1 did. in fact, I think this bike is more nimble and fun than the R1. The power is there, and I am not disappointed in the least. I actually surprised myself on a ride with a friend when I cranked the throttle. Overall, I am very happy with the purchase. I think now, after 4000 mi, if I were to get another, I would move up to a 1290R, ONLY if it handles as well as the 790, but I think the 790 platform and design will always be ahead of the standard design of the 1290.



Bottom line: Go for a test ride and make a decision after that. I believe most dealers now have a demo bike you can test ride (they didn't when I was looking back in Nov/Dec '18).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Hi,

My story: Before buying my duke, I had only read and watched reviews. I was able to sit on one of these bikes for a while at a motorcycle show. It was love at first sight, I felt very comfortable. The truth is, I didn't take it for a test ride, I didn't even need to ride it because I was sure I would like it. :) :) :)

My advice is to at least see this motorcycle live and sit on a saddle to feel your body position. It's also a good idea to have someone next to you who can take pictures of you so you can see the pictures later and analyze your body posture on the motorcycle. This motorcycle has relatively good and wide possibilities for changing ergonomics (with aftermarket parts). You can change the height of the seat, you can change the position of the footsteps, you can put different handlebars at different angles, etc.

If you are very heavy you will have to change the springs maybe, but in general there is no perfect motorcycle on the market to say that it is yours (one that is made for you and your taste). There will always be a compromise with something, the question is what that compromise will be and whether you are ready for it.

Cheers,
Momo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Looks like local dealer will let me ride one in demo mode maybe tomorrow. I'll report back.
 

·
Super-Moderator
Joined
·
367 Posts
I think the real question here is why would you?

If you’re buying second hand, most sellers oblige to a test ride on conditions and if you’re buying new the dealer will have one for you to try?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
415 Posts
I came from an R1 and was very worried about the power of the 790. Not having test rode it, but having sat on it a few times (and some real good input from my brother who test rode it), I decided to pull the trigger and buy it. I will say typically I wouldn't do that as I agree with Geoff, but this bike kinda has it all, minus a few small things. I really wanted something I could use as a commuter, and when I wanted, tear up the twisties as easily as the R1 did. in fact, I think this bike is more nimble and fun than the R1. The power is there, and I am not disappointed in the least. I actually surprised myself on a ride with a friend when I cranked the throttle. Overall, I am very happy with the purchase. I think now, after 4000 mi, if I were to get another, I would move up to a 1290R, ONLY if it handles as well as the 790, but I think the 790 platform and design will always be ahead of the standard design of the 1290.



Bottom line: Go for a test ride and make a decision after that. I believe most dealers now have a demo bike you can test ride (they didn't when I was looking back in Nov/Dec '18).
Had 2 1290s, brutally fast, 790 stealth, and sneaky fast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
843 Posts
if you’re buying new the dealer will have one for you to try?
Not all dealers here have all models on demo - KTM seem to like to spread them about a bit.

I downsized from a modified Triumph Rocket III. No getting away from it :- I do miss the torque. And I'm still coming to terms with "chains need maintenance" thing after the best part of 40 years with shaft drive.

Most R3 owners I know on KTM's - moved to 1290's. But I could not find one to test. And I'd rather not have to ride any more on the edge of insanity. I'm there most of the time already.
 

·
Super-Moderator
Joined
·
367 Posts
Not all dealers here have all models on demo - KTM seem to like to spread them about a bit.
That’s completely alien to me, I’ve never even considered a dealer wouldn’t have a demo of the bike they’re trying to flog :surprise: guess things are different out your way
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top