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Discussion Starter #1
I hate threads where someone says "help me decide"...but alas, I find myself in a position where I need to solicit advice from my fellow motor heads. Unless you have a best friend who rides, nobody else can appreciate these types of problems :wink:

I've found myself dreaming about another bike. Here’s the thing, I love sportbikes, always have and always will, but it seems like all of the manufacturers have made it their sole mission to try and physically shrink the size of the bikes to a point where someone > 6’ just doesn’t fit…sure it can be done if you don’t care about how it looks or that it doesn’t feel like anyone designed it with you in mind.

Anyway, back in August I traded my 690 enduro (which I owned for 7 months) for a 790 duke. I realized I was a street rider at heart and even with a supermoto style setup on the 690 it just wasn’t planted enough on the street. I’ve really been enjoying the 790 – and at the time I had been contemplating a 1290, but the price gap was ridiculous. The 790 has performed really well on my trip to North Carolina this past September, and I couldn’t have asked for better handling and light weight bike for those twisties. All was good in 790 land :grin:….

Fast forward to this past weekend and I'm doing my typical Saturday morning browsing of Kijiji motorcycle ads, just checking things out and then…wait, what’s this? OMG I totally forgot about this bike…the KTM RC8R! :surprise: Not only is there one for sale nearby, there are two (a 2015 and a 2014) within 1.5hr drive from me. This is the holy grail sportbike for taller riders!:smile_big:

Flash forward a few days and I’ve contacted both dealerships…it was like something was making me do this :devil:. I'm within a couple of hundred bucks of my self-imposed limit on what I would spend on the trade to make this work, so let's just assume an agreement on price could be reached at this point.

So here are my pros and cons for the RC8R:
+ Drop dead gorgeous bike (IMHO) – angular, muscular, svelte yet significant in size at the same time
+ Adjustable ergos for taller riders (pegs, bars, sub-frame – all adjustable from factory)
+ V-twin torque with lot’s of power
+ Light – pretty similar weight to the duke 790 but + 70hp.
+ Stock componentry is great (WP adjustable suspension, Brembo brakes, forged wheels etc.)
+ Somehow it’s $500 cheaper per season on insurance vs. the 790 :shrug:
+ Doesn’t need to be rung out to make power
+ Looks amazing…did I already say that?

- 5 year-old bike
- No ABS, TC, quickshifter etc.
- Not too many were sold, parts aren’t cheap (OEM or aftermarket)
- Dash isn’t nearly as informative or nice to look at compared to the 790
- Having to explain to the wife why I can’t keep the same bike for more than a few months….again 😊

What to do??? I have a bike that I really like, the 790 does everything I need it to…and it looks good. Not as good as a sportbike, in my opinion, but cool in that naked bike way. The power is more than sufficient for the street, it’s comfortable to ride for hours at a time and it’s packed with newer tech. It does everything I need …now I see the RC8 and it’s pressing the everything I want button.

Option B of course is keep the 790 and invest what I would have been willing to spend on the trade to create a really top end 790 (suspension, brakes, carbon bits…). Option C, keep the 790 and buy the RC8, isn't really an option in my mind. I’ve had multiple bikes in the garage at the same time before and you can only ride one at a time. Doesn’t make sense, for me at least, unless they’re each unique enough in their purpose – i.e. dirtbike + streetbike. I’d likely pick one that I’d ride more often than not and then wonder why I’m paying insurance for both.

Maybe after typing all of this I’m not really asking what should I do…maybe I’m just looking for someone to say “it’s ok, you’re not any crazier than the rest of us”, lol. :p
 

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It's ok, you're not any crazier than the rest of us. :wink:

I've always lusted for the RC8R, but the scarcity, and possible lack of parts availability scares me.

You sound a lot like me actually. But, honestly, if I were facing the same decision, and I could give myself unbiased advice, I would say keep the 790, and instead of spending any money on upgrades, put that money away to use later, when you get another new bike itch that must be scratched.
 

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Repeat after me . . . . I am not crazy, I just love how bikes make me feel!

In answer to your question. I have a friend who had an RC8. He is a good rider & has had many bikes. He had the KTM for a couple of years
& we went on many rides & it was impressive. All the good things you mentioned, including grin factor.

So. . . Having ridden with & next to him, my thoughts are, although the 790 is down on power, everything else is spot on, with the exception of suspension, which is okay for the majority of the time, I can see myself upgrading after a year or 2 (I take my time with these things!)
Out of corners in particular, I’m keeping up with or faster than bigger bikes of my friends (most have said. .bloody ****, that thing is fast!)

I lost my quick shifter for a couple of weeks after 6500 miles (clutch switch fixed in warranty) & boy did I miss it!!

So in summary. . . I would miss the latest tech on my 790 if going to a RC8 & also having ridden with another friend on a ADV1290,
Unless it was in a straight line, I had to wait for him to catch up on the twisties!

But, we are all driven by different things, so I hope this helps, but if you decide otherwise I would still wave to you on the road :)
 

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There is no way I'd go back to clip-ons now. If I was not so vertically challenged - I'd be looking at a 1290GT. But I simply do not fit. On a 1290R I do.

That said I've a few mates with 1290's who all say the same. Had the 790 been about when they bought the 1290, they'd have probably bought a 790. This was part of my impulse to buy the 790 I found second hand.

But I cannot fault the idea. At the moment I have 3 bikes in the garage.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Why don't you go test ride one then decide. Nice long test ride.
Oh what I would give to be able to test ride a bike before buying! Unfortunately in my area there aren't any test rides unless you catch one of the manufacturer days where they bring around the fleet...and for a bike that's no longer sold new it can't ever happen.

I've only had the chance to test ride 1 of the 17+ bikes I've owned to date - and it was because I know the owner of the dealership and the bike was used (2008 Hypermotard 1100S). Most of our dealers aren't large enough to get bikes they can set aside as demo's and b/c we only have a 7 month riding season I think bikes are seen a luxury type of hobby where folks want a 0km (or mile) odometer when they pay full price for something.

Thank goodness for online reviews, videos and sites like cycle ergos, it's the only way to eliminate some of the guess work. I'm very jealous of anyone who lives in a place where motorcycle buyers have enough choice to make the dealers "work for it". Every time I hear of someone getting a loaner bike while they wait for service it blows my mind. I've only ever been given the option of wait for the bike or get someone to pick you up and bring you back when it's ready, lol.
 

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Hombre... You've owned Super Bikes, you love them. It's mostly all I've ever owned for a reason.

That RC8 is pure beast. Do it. The fact that you wrote as much as you did, tells me the level of thought you put into it.

You're already sold on it.

The alleged 'technology' on newer motos, well, it makes little difference to people like us, because we learned how to ride proper and fassst, prior to their existence, so now all that new tech, is either a bonus, or a hinderance.

You know you want it, so just buy it...
 

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I’ve an rc8 akrapovic le, owned it for near on 7 years now which is unusual for me.
The thing that makes me keep it is the looks as I’ve never really got on with the riding experience having done a paltry 500 miles since I bought it.
It only has 800 miles on it from new.
Whereas I’ve managed 5000 miles on a 790 in less than a year.
Maybe I’ll get the rc8 back out in the spring and give it another go.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hombre... You've owned Super Bikes, you love them. It's mostly all I've ever owned for a reason.

That RC8 is pure beast. Do it. The fact that you wrote as much as you did, tells me the level of thought you put into it.

You're already sold on it.

The alleged 'technology' on newer motos, well, it makes little difference to people like us, because we learned how to ride proper and fassst, prior to their existence, so now all that new tech, is either a bonus, or a hinderance.

You know you want it, so just buy it...
Hahaha, only took 6 replies to find the enabler, lol :grin:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I’ve an rc8 akrapovic le, owned it for near on 7 years now which is unusual for me.
The thing that makes me keep it is the looks as I’ve never really got on with the riding experience having done a paltry 500 miles since I bought it.
It only has 800 miles on it from new.
Whereas I’ve managed 5000 miles on a 790 in less than a year.
Maybe I’ll get the rc8 back out in the spring and give it another go.
Thanks for the response, I'm interested in understanding why you think your RC8 hasn't seen more miles than it has to date. Is the bike just not as fun as expected? I've had bikes before where I come back from a ride and think "that was good, I had fun...but I'm good with doing something else now" and others where I think "crap...how do I get more time to ride, or I wonder what errand I can pretend to be doing?"
 

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Thanks for the response, I'm interested in understanding why you think your RC8 hasn't seen more miles than it has to date. Is the bike just not as fun as expected? I've had bikes before where I come back from a ride and think "that was good, I had fun...but I'm good with doing something else now" and others where I think "crap...how do I get more time to ride, or I wonder what errand I can pretend to be doing?"
I’m not sure why the rc8 didn’t give me the buzz, I’ve had many sports bikes in different engine configurations including Ducati v twins and a ktm fan through and through maybe I didn’t give it enough time.
I spent a fortune on it and it’s a track only bike at the moment but I may well get it back on the road next year and give it a chance too change my mind.
 

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I owned both (not exactly, but close).

I owned an RC8 for about two years. Done both street and lots of canyon and track with it. Couldn't connect to it and ended up selling. Got back to a Japanese inline 4 and the connection was immediate. In addition, not that I expect a 2-wheeler to be very practical, but the market for these RC8's is somewhat limited. Net an easy sell.

Problem with the supersport/superbike families, these days, is that they are getting more and more track oriented. Amazing bikes, handling and technology. Lower weights and altogether wonderful, but... You really can't use them on the street. No matter what you know or will hear, they are built to best perform at speeds that are way above what you can or would like to ride on the street. If you plan to spend your time on the track, I would say that you should get one. At my age and limited riding skill, I'd probably go for a middleweight and not a 1000 class, but that's a different story.

The 790 is a really nice commuter. I went back to using a motorcycle on a daily basis, when weather allows. WAY easier in traffic than a superbike (and especially an RC8). Really day and night. With leathers on, it can transform to a great canyon/back-road carver. It's light, handles beautifully and has enough power. When the twisties get twistier and with a good pilot, it can put to shame a lot of bikes with 2X the power (and price).

And then there is the cost question. The 790 is very reasonably priced for the package it provides. New sport bikes are not necessarily the same. A used RC8R might be a good price point but then, again, you end up with an older track oriented machine that might be hard to sell (might be a consideration if you are not going to keep it for a long time or if you are $$ conscious).

The 790 is my first non-sportbike for a good 30 years. The decision was not easy but I am happy I made it. It's both practical and HUGE fun. I might end up with a sportbike by it's side (some of the new stuff is just too drool-worthy) but I know that I will spend much more time on the 790 than on the "other" bike.

Motorcycles are never a logical decision. My only advice is for you to go where your heart takes you.
 

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Jeez QCS, what do I say to that?! You pretty much hit it exactly.



MC, I feel you man! I do the same thing. And the more I think about it the more I talk myself into it. All I can add is do what you think is right. I know how you feel, and believe you me, I would be in the same boat, but I look at my priorities first. To me, I wanted a commuter that I could still tear up the back roads when I wanted. The 790 fit that for me. If I wanted more of a ripper for the back roads with the occasional commute, I would have stuck to a sportbike.



The cash flow is a completely different story. If you have it and don't care about it, then go for it. If you don't really have it to spare, I wouldn't waste the money. I like the 890 and even would love a 1290SD, but the amount I already dumped into the 790 doesn't make it worth the swap. Anywhoo, I understand the pull on both sides, but maybe look at it from a practical point of view. What do you want it for? Why do you want it? How often will you use it? Will it fit the need you want? Is it worth the money?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks to everyone who's provided their insight, it was certainly helpful to "talk it out" so to speak. I've decided to stick with the 790 for a couple of reasons:

(1) 790 is pretty cool, has plenty of useable power and I have to admit that my free time for "sportier rides" has diminished vs. the days when I owned my previous superbikes.

(2) Few warning signs came up on the two RC8's ...the dealership with the 2015 decided they didn't want to take a trade as they've got too many used bikes on the ground. Fair enough, but I don't want to deal with buying one and selling the other. The 2014 I was considering is just past the first major service (valve check), but there aren't any service records. I love performing my own maintenance, but for something like valve checks I prefer to have it on record that someone certified did the work. The dealership insists they've checked everything over, but they didn't get paid to do the service so can't imagine they'll check it all. The bike also comes with only 1 key, and no master (orange) key, so from what I've read that can get costly if your 1 key is lost (i.e. new lockset and immobilizer from KTM...time and money). Without the orange master key you can't program any additional keys. There is a place in Oregon that can clone keys, but you have to send the 1 working key you have by mail to have it done. I trust the company...just not the mail service, lol.

Taking a sober second look at the situation, and covering the picture of the RC8, I need something that's fun in the twisties and isn't angry when commuting through the city traffic...and that's the 790. My boys are also turning 12 this July and I think it's time for a few dirt bikes, so that's a better spot to spend the cash!
 

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You mentioned the RC8R being "almost the same weight but with 70hp more"...

Looks like you've made up your mind but in the interest of clarification:

- RC8R is a tick under 40lbs heavier yet feels 80lbs heavier when in the tight stuff.
- its a 55hp difference stock - roughly 95 to 150 ponies.

Clutch operation is wonky, it's slow steering at street speeds, resale value is crap, parts are non-existent, etc...

Good call on sticking with the 790 IMO...
 

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You mentioned the RC8R being "almost the same weight but with 70hp more"...

Looks like you've made up your mind but in the interest of clarification:

- RC8R is a tick under 40lbs heavier yet feels 80lbs heavier when in the tight stuff.
- its a 55hp difference stock - roughly 95 to 150 ponies.

Clutch operation is wonky, it's slow steering at street speeds, resale value is crap, parts are non-existent, etc...

Good call on sticking with the 790 IMO...
The RC8 does feel big and heavy.
 

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Taking a sober second look at the situation, and covering the picture of the RC8, I need something that's fun in the twisties and isn't angry when commuting through the city traffic...and that's the 790.
Nothing wrong with that choice, that’s exactly why I no longer own my Ducati 1098 after a decade of ownership. The fighting with the bike when I wasn’t railing on it got tiresome.
 

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Hi. I own a 790 and an RC8 (2009). The two bikes are about as different as you can get but I love both of them.
The RC8 is a beast! Compared to the "so easy to ride fast" 790, the RC8 is a hand full and you have to stay on top of it to hussel it along in the twisites. It really comes into it's own when you reach 140kph+ and if the roads suit it (fast, flowing) it is awesome. The handling is rock solid and responsive but it does not have the agility or forgiveness of the Duke. The engine too is awesome. Torque for ever and it is very easy to do very illegal speeds on without noticing. It just wants to go fast all the time. The ability to customize the ride position and suspension is great too.
If I had to choose just one to ride it would be the 790. Perhaps because the roads in my area suit it much more than the RC8. If I could choose just one to look at in my garage it would be the RC8. Beautiful bike.
Shame you can't get to test ride bikes where you are. In NZ it is too easy. If you are interested in a second hand bike you give the dealer your licence details and he gives you the keys.
 

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