After owning several Ducatis and a KTM, I'd favor the SMT. Here's why.
No 'necessary accessories' like Termignoni tax to get the bike to run correctly. All Ducatis I've owned were so choked up they needed the Performance ECU as well as slip ons to reduce the stumbling. Last Ducati exhaust etc was close to $2400.
KTMs just seem to have a no-nonsense way of being made which also seems to translate into their character. I'm not sure if the SMTs have a low off-idle stumble that was in some KTM models years ago, but they have been getting great reviews from the most critical publications (as referenced above).
Last and possibly most important is that with Ducati's swollen gas tank debachle (ethanol absorbing water and in turn deforming the nylon tank material). I received no notification from the manufacturer on a fuel system related issue. This (as I understand it) communication is required through NHTSA if there is any potentially hazardous issue with the fuel system. Further, Ducati replacing the affected tanks with ones made from the same material is amateurish, negligent and makes no sense. Oh yes, did I mention they are fighting the lawsuit brought to them regarding this issue?
So, if I were someone looking for a new bike. . . . I know where I'd be plunking down my money. And for some very good reasons.
I found Jesus. He was behind the sofa the whole time.
1996 M900 2012 GS 2008 Megamoto 2008 S2R