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Old 07-03-2011, 01:29 PM   #1
wynHand OP
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KTM 990 SMT vs Ducati Multistrada 1200

I have to decide between these two. Advice from owners or anyone who have tested both will be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 07-03-2011, 01:43 PM   #2
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What type of riding are you going to be doing? Do you have dealers close to you for both brands?
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:53 PM   #3
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:19 PM   #4
wynHand OP
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Originally Posted by bhkami View Post
What type of riding are you going to be doing? Do you have dealers close to you for both brands?
80% commuting of about 40km a day
15% touring (very seldom 2 up)
5% (if at all) dirt roads
There are both Ducati and KTM dealers, but no Multistrada to demo, only SMT.
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:30 PM   #5
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Drive to a dealer and ride a ducati, however far away you have to go. Only you'll know which you prefer. Both bikes are great, with the KTM being a little bit more raw. Also, do some research to see if a certain dealer has a history of negative reviews.
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Old 07-03-2011, 04:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wynHand View Post
80% commuting of about 40km a day
15% touring (very seldom 2 up)
5% (if at all) dirt roads
There are both Ducati and KTM dealers, but no Multistrada to demo, only SMT.
Based on usage described, the MS seems more suited to the asphalt jungle. Just my useless opinion.
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:10 PM   #7
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MCN (usa) reviewed both bikes in the same issue.
http://www.mcnews.com/mcn/model_eval/2010SeptMultiS.pdf
http://www.mcnews.com/mcn/model_eval/2010SeptKTM990.pdf

Enjoy your new KTM.
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Old 07-04-2011, 10:10 AM   #8
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The duc will cost more. Especially if you go for the s version.
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Old 07-04-2011, 02:28 PM   #9
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I test rode both and preferred the SMT. FWIW, I'd say my useage breakdown is very similar to yours as well.
  • The KTM is noticeably lighter, and is easier to ride IMO. I weighed mine at 466 lbs with a full tank of fuel. The lightness, flickability, and super light (I mean really light) clutch make commuting and city riding very easy.
  • The MTS has more power in Touring or Sport mode, but the SMT has plenty (~105hp at the wheel) for all riding conditions, so no loss IMO. Both are excellent in this regard.
  • The KTM's throttle response is a bit more abrupt than the Ducati's, but I don't think it's bad. Some people are bothered by it.
  • The KTM's suspension is superior to the base model MTS, but not quite as nice as the Ohlins on the S/T model Ducatis.
  • The SMT comes with smallish bags, whereas only the T model MTS comes with bags. Both have aftermarket options.
  • The MTS probably gets better mileage. My SMT gets ~30 mpg in town, and ~40 mpg on the highway or twisties. I've heard the MTS's are getting mid-40s.
Both are great bikes in the end, so you really can't go wrong. The SMT is a much simpler machine, without any ABS (2010 model, like mine), traction control, ride modes, electronic adjustable suspension, etc. I preferred the simplicity. The SMT also just fits me better (I'm 5'-9", with 32" inseam). It's a bit tall, but otherwise feels like it was custom made for me. I've ridden both back-to-back, and I was very happy to get back on my SMT...it's just more fun and easier to ride IMO.
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:03 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillbillypolack View Post
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.
You do know that KTMs use the same Acerbis tanks as the affected Ducs, that they are deforming just as much, and that KTM is replacing the affected units exactly the same way Ducati is, right?
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:54 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by apessino View Post
You do know that KTMs use the same Acerbis tanks as the affected Ducs, that they are deforming just as much, and that KTM is replacing the affected units exactly the same way Ducati is, right?

Yes I do.

Ask any KTM owner what they heard and from whom regarding their tank deformation. I can't speak to that, but I would like to know.

When I own a bike and it has a quasi-serious fuel related issue, I'd like to know the Company is behind it and stands up to their responsibility. My experience with Ducati? No so much. I'm not exactly alone either.

How did I hear about it? Ducati forums and internet related websites. Word of mouth etc. No direct notification from the Big D.

However, I do know the same polymer and same supplier (Acerbis) is used by KTM. Since my KTM was made before the recent issue, I'd like to hear from a KTM owner on how they feel they've been made aware and treated of this issue. . .
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:31 PM   #13
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I don't think the gas tank debate applies to the Multistrada, I was faced with the same choice but do more touring than commuting and choose the Ducati.... brilliant bike that deserves a test ride.
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Old 07-04-2011, 11:57 PM   #14
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How is the KTM when it comes to cruising at 90 and vibrations? Could it make a decent touring bike? What are the service intervals on the KTM?
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apessino View Post
You do know that KTMs use the same Acerbis tanks as the affected Ducs, that they are deforming just as much, and that KTM is replacing the affected units exactly the same way Ducati is, right?
I have a 990 adventure and the tanks do deform slightly, but the way they are installed it doesn't matter. Makes reinstalling a PITA unless you know what you are doing. Some ducati's have very tight tank tolerences which cause major problems when they deform. Some other brand bikes are impacted, but not as bad due to how they are mounted.

You can help prevent the problem with some tank sealer from Caswell.
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