950 SM or Duke 620?

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by RedFrogTango, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. RedFrogTango

    RedFrogTango Been here awhile

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    A local BMW dealer has a couple of KTM's for sale that I am considering. I'm looking for a second bike to my K1300S to use mostly around town and weekend riding.

    KTM 1) 2006 950 Supermoto with 16k miles and so-so cosmetics - $5000

    KTM 2) 1997 Duke 620 with 5k miles and in very good condition - $3500

    Both bikes supposedly run well and and are in good mechanical condition. I'm new to KTM and I'm still trying to get up to speed on the differecnces between the models. But as initial matter, I would welcome some input on whether either of these bikes are priced right, or whether there are issues with these models that I should be aware of. In other words, I want to do my homework before I check these bikes out in person.

    Thanks, Mike
    #1
  2. snowhawk jockey

    snowhawk jockey Slack Jaw Gaper

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    PM me and we can discuss the details of your question.
    I have a decade of experience with KTM bikes and can field most questions on them.

    For town or travel?

    Short answer, get the 950sm and $5000 is a real price. The 320# Duke is a hoot and 620 motor is great to squirt around town on, but the 5 speed single lacks smoothness for open roads and extended rides.

    I am biased with a 950sm in the stable!
    Some 950sm discussion:
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=153375

    This thread/post will get moved to oblivion, aka roadwarriors, soon enough.
    #2
  3. Chris618

    Chris618 Been here awhile

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    I owned an 04 625 smc and now have an 07 950sm. Both fun bikes, but the 950 is more powerful and more comfortable. Less vibration and 6th gear is better for longer rides. In tight twisties under 70mph, the Duke will be in its element. Both are a blast to ride.
    #3
  4. wpbarlow

    wpbarlow Long timer

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    I had an Aubergine 620 for several years; it is a fantastic bike and one of my favorite past-owned bikes. It's "limitation" to me was that it's a single, because of the to/from ride distance to the places I like to ride and lacking as even a weekend sport touring mount (doable, but tiring). I sold it and bought a 950SM in 2006. While there are some aspects of the Duke I sort of miss, the 950 is close enough to the single benefits with a lot of twin upside.

    Pricing seem to be in the right ballpark-- 620 Duke pricing has been pretty constant for the past 10 years, and 950SM depreciation has generally been heavy.

    the 950 has had at least 1 important tech bulletin that should be done- the starter limiter (aka the klacker), there are possibly others I've forgotten. There's an ownership thread in Road Warriors (where this thread should be anyway) at http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=153375 that has everything you'd want to know about the 950SM.
    #4
  5. RedFrogTango

    RedFrogTango Been here awhile

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    Thanks guys. The info has been very helpful. I'll be taking a hard look at the 950 SM over the holidays.
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  6. EastSideSM

    EastSideSM Isn't that dangerous?

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    Snowhawk and the others are correct. Disclaimer, I own a 950 SM and it has been my favorite bike to date. I have had inline fours, a triple, and singles. The 950 does it all pretty well for me. From hooliganism to touring to two -up.
    #6
  7. brents347

    brents347 Trusting my Cape...

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    I feel that I have an experienced, yet unbiased, opinion on this. I have owned a 97 620 Duke and an 06 950 SM. I own neither now.

    The 620 was a great play bike, but just didn't have the legs to be any kind of a bike to take a real ride on. And those earlier LC4 motors as used in this Duke, vibrated quite a bit.

    If I were told I could re-own one of these bikes today I would buy the 950SM. I wouldn't even look for/at a Duke. Hands down, no question. Shorter around ton rides or longer trips, the 950 was better in all regards.
    #7
  8. Zuber

    Zuber Zoob

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    No question, the 950SM is the choice. The 640 is sooo last century.
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  9. RedFrogTango

    RedFrogTango Been here awhile

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    WTF - The dealer has been trying to sell the 950 SM for close to a year. So I give the dealer a call on Monday to let them know I would be taking off Wednesday afternoon so that I can stop by an take a hard look at the bike. When I get there, i spend 15 minutes looking through the garage trying to find the bike - until someone walks up and tells me "Oh yea, we sold the 950 about 2 hours ago."

    So now that you have all convinced me that life won't be the same without a 950 SM, I guess I'll be spending the next few years trying to find another one.
    #9
  10. brents347

    brents347 Trusting my Cape...

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    You'll find one used quick. And you'll pay about $6000 total with extras like exhaust already on the bike. And you'll still be stoked.
    #10
  11. nattyMo

    nattyMo Been here awhile

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    They aren't that hard to find just don't be in a hurry.

    And yep I'd agree with the other posters. 950sm all the way. I've owned the more recent KTM 690sm and have a 950smr. Unless you live on the dragon or something like it, the 950 does nearly everything the singles do with much better road performance/tour abilities etc. For the singles to shine the road has to be tight, think go-kart track or dirt.

    NM.

    #11
  12. RedFrogTango

    RedFrogTango Been here awhile

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    Thanks. The same dealer does have an '07 Super Duke with 6500 miles for sale. The bike looks to be pretty stock, but is in pristine condition. They are asking $8700, but I think I can talk them down to about $7000. However, that is still a bit more than I want to spend on a second bike. In any event, I'll keep the Super Duke in mind while looking for a 950 SM.
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  13. Zuber

    Zuber Zoob

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    The SD is an SM with a little less suspension. It's a great bike for smoother roads. If you are a little short in the pants, (inseam, geez) you'd get along with it better. The 990 engine is a much better fit for the pavement.
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  14. RedFrogTango

    RedFrogTango Been here awhile

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    I'm short (30" inseam) and will probably be usiing the KTM primarily (maybe exclusively) on the road, so maybe a Super Duke is a better choice. I've just found another Super Duke for sale in the area. It is also an '07, but with only 3K miles and priced at $7000. I can't tell from the listing what kind of shape it is in and if there are any aftermarket goodies. One thing that concerns me about this bike is it is at a H-D dealer and it is the only non HD bike they have listed. I'm sure they took it in trade from someone that rarely rode the bike. But I am concerend that if there is a problem with the bike, the dealer might not be the position to know that. The other '07 Super Duke that I mentioned above that is for sale in my area is at a BMW dealership that takes in a fair number of KTM's, Ducs, Triumphs, etc. I'm assuming that the the BMW dealer does a much better job of vetting their bikes.

    In any event, I hope to check out both Super Dukes over the next couple of weeks.
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  15. nattyMo

    nattyMo Been here awhile

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    The SD isn't exactly a SM with less suspension. It doesn't offer quite the same ability to mount bags if travel is your thing. The SD also has less passenger room, if you'll be ridding two up. Then there is the whole Fuel injection vs Carbs... Rear-sets vs Moto X style pegs and so forth. The great thing is you've got the choice, can't really go wrong either way.

    Don't think with a 30" inseam you have to rule out the SM. Both the SD and SM use the same fork and shock. The SM can be properly lowered for less then $600 if needed. If you're handy the fork can be done by the home wrench in 4-5hrs while updating fork bushings and seals. The SD uses a spacer to lower the fork for example. A shorter rear spring should take care of the back end. With the age of the bikes you're looking at a Suspension service is overdue anyway.

    I travel and ride two-up, I really wanted a SD but after test ridding both, the SMR was an easy choice at the time. May end up with a SD or SE too at some point.
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  16. RedFrogTango

    RedFrogTango Been here awhile

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    Thanks. I'm still trying to sort out the diffrerences between the various 950/990 models.
    #16