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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by lightcycle, Aug 1, 2012.
Gene, totally inspiring and fully convinced that you are 100 % right...
Gene, thanks for that post, it's great motivation and really helps put it all in perspective.
This continues to be one of my favorite RRs, so thanks to both you and Neda for keeping at it :)
Thanks needed that today
P.s we met in Ajax at an event inside Endras BMW. You are a great couple.
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Gene, I love every post you put in this topic but that last one must be about the best one there is.
And that picture of Neda? Just epic!
The torpedo tail light passenger on my '66 Puch 'Twingle' taken Sept '12
While I hate hearing stories like that, they serve as powerful reminders that life is short and you may not have as much time as you think. It also cements in our minds that we made the right decision!
Thanks for sharing!
It must have looked like he was trying to look up your butt while you were riding.
Your Spidey-sense must have been tingling...
Yup & yup
I was a big fan of the spidey-guy. I may have had #1. For sure I had #1Thor and FF. At some point my Mum gave my entire collection to somebody ... ack.
Saw Mellencamp last night and he talked about his grandmother who told him that life is short even on the longest days and did that ever hit home!! The road beckons some of us and we need to be on it.
You were right. The ruins at Pula are superb.
Noo! You could have been: Quit my Job, Sold my "The Mighty Thor" #1 issue, Went Riding...
From one of my favorite Mellencamp songs:
"Days turn to minutes and minutes to memories,
Life sweeps away the dreams that we have planned.
You are young and you are the future,
So suck it up and tough it out, and be the best you can."
Haha! Neda gives you a big .
Gene, that post may have just given me the kick in the pants I need.
I'll be 59 next year and Mrs. Easy has been telling me to retire. I look at the bank account, fret over the political world and think maybe another year.
I sold it all in my 20's for a couple months in Europe and survived the needed reentry, maybe I can swing this........
I originally wrote this for a R1200GS forum, thought some might find it interesting and it has some relevance to our trip. I've been looking to replace my 2006 R1200GS and the new variable valve-timing R1250GS has caught my eye ever since they've announced it.
However, my friend, Isak, just bought a brand spankin' new 2018 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R and he let me take it out for a spin. I know... what was he thinking, right!?
This bike was not on my radar at all. Why not?
I've also ridden a 2009 R1200GS Adventure for a summer as well as the 2015 R1200GS for the BMW Enduro course.. So what I've decided to do is write up a quick seat-of-the-pants-10-minute-test-drive comparison of the KTM given my experience with R1200GSes.
With less than 10 kms on the odometer, I eagerly climbed on board the orange and white behemoth. Well, more liked scaled a mountain. It took quite some effort to get my 5'7" (in motorcycle boots, standing on a telephone book) stature seated on top of the KTM. There was an obvious mismatch between the 35.1" seat height and my 29" inseam! The seat felt a bit wider than the R1200GS stock seat and about the same height as the ADV. Because the KTM's seat is flatter, I think it would be more comfortable on longer rides than the 1200GS stocker as well.
To get on, I had to do my typical dirtbike mount: stepping on the left footpeg, swinging my right leg over and then gingerly reaching for the ground on the other side with my right foot. It was a long way down. I had to take my left foot off the left peg and slide my butt all the way over to the right to gain any leverage to take the bike off the side stand. It was surprisingly light. It felt lighter than a R1200GS and much lighter than a GS ADV, which is its primary competitor.
Once upright, I was perched too far over to the right to kick the kickstand up, so I had to scootch over to the left on the seat and tiptoe on my right foot to reach the kickstand with my left foot.
All this scootching and reaching was a little embarrassing...
With my right foot firmly planted, Isak is worriedly looking at my left foot dangling a foot off the ground
Isak's eyebrow arched a little as I did my short-guy-tall-bike dance. I could tell he was having second thoughts about letting me on his brand new baby. I realized that I had to ride away as fast as possible before he changed his mind!
So tall! One toe down and the other barely on the peg!
That proved to be more difficult than I thought. There seemed to be a dozen buttons on the handlebar controls. How the heck do you turn this thing on? Isak reluctantly thumbed the grey switch on the bottom. This was the on/off switch, like a computer. I watched the large 6.5" LCD display in front of me light up and go through the boot-up sequence: "KTM" it flashed. And then, "Ready to Race". And then the "Netflix" and "Angry Birds" logo appeared in slow succession. It seemed to take forever to finish booting up. Finally, a familiar sight: the tachometer and speedometer came up on the screen.
Booting up the KTM
There's a whole host of goodies in the menu, like Quick Shifter, Hill Hold Control and Traction Control. They're built in to every motorcycle, you just have to pay to unlock these features. Ransomware!
Time to go! I thumb the starter button and the 1301cc V-twin cylinder engine beneath me rumbles to life with a delicious roar. It shakes a bit at low revs, and is less smoother than the Beemers boxer twin. But Me Likey! "OkayThanksByeIsak!" I let out the clutch and waved to him as I rode past the front gates.
Oh, the low-end torque on this thing! The SAR has four different riding modes, and I was set on the default street mode, which gives you access to the full 160hp. There is a rain and off-road mode as well which limits the power to 100hp, and a sport mode which gives a more aggressive throttle response to the 160hp.
Stock silencer on the SAR
The bike was still in its break-in period, so you're not supposed to rev it past 6000 rpm, so I can't say I experienced all 160 ponies. But there was so much power on tap even below that! Much more than the 12GS. I was laughing like a little kid every time I goosed the throttle, and then granny-shifting up to the next gear.
The engine does not like to be lugged, which is anything below 4000 rpm. Such a small window to have fun between 4K and 6K rpm. I knew it would be torture for Isak to wait another 1,000 kms to unleash the full potential of this engine! The bike is geared to idly cruise the highway at 120km/h in 6th gear. Anything below that, you need to drop to 5th. This is quite a stark contrast to the 12GS where the idle cruising speed in 6th is 100 km/h. Testament to the amazingly potent engine on the KTM.
Isak and his wife riding around the neighbourhood
It does put out a lot of heat from underneath the seat though. When the sales guy was removing the banana-seat to show the battery, I noticed the ample heat shielding on the underside of the seat. It doesn't help. The Super Adventure R does a good job of roasting meat balls at slow speeds.
I rode through the small neighbourhood streets, feeling out the bike's low-speed handling. It was okay. Not bad. Good leverage on the wide handlebars and the steering geometry makes U-turns a non-dramatic affair for such a large motorcycle. *BUT* it wasn't as good as the R12GS. That was surprising. Maybe it was because I've had way more seat time on the BMW, but I think it may have to do with the wheel sizes. The KTM is fitted with 21F/18R wheels whereas the 12GS has 19F/17R. I suspect the larger wheels, specifically that 21" front, which make it more off-road worthy, affects the nimbleness of the bike, especially on the street.
I hit the on-ramp, and gleefully drove that tach all the way to 6000 rpm in each gear. I can't overstate it: What an amazing engine! The acceleration was phenomenal and I reached license-endangering speeds in no time at all. Wow.
The manually adjustable windscreen was more than adequate to divert air off my chest at the lowest setting. I don't like high windscreens because of the swirling and buffeting that happens. I prefer clean air over the helmet and the ability to look over the windscreen when off-road.
The off-ramp was a 270 degree cloverleaf and I tried out the high speed cornering here. Not as planted as the 12GS, but I knew it was because the SAR came shod with TKC-80 Twinduro knobbies. I've been riding 90/10 or 70/30 tires the entire time on the 1200GS, and I had no idea how bad the 50/50 Continentals were for cornering on pavement. I wonder what the cornering is like on more street-oriented tires.
I returned to Isak's place with a huge grin on my face. "I want one!", I exclaimed. All I needed was $19,500 CDN for the MSRP. 2018 models are selling for about $17,500 with rebates these days, not sure if it's because they're trying to clear them out for a new model. But even at full MSRP, it's a $3000 cheaper than the R1200GS Adventure, which is the model it's gunning for!
Isak taking his daughter out for a spin on the KTM
Later on that day, we take the bikes out for some light off-road duty.
Isak was back on his KTM and he's got his wife on the back and we hit a gravel road that quickly turns to heavy corrugation. How did the KTM handle? We stopped half-way through and Isak shook his head. "I don't like it. The bike is bouncing around too much!" His wife looked unhappier than him.
"Isak, you have to change the riding mode from Street to Off-Road!" I yelled at him through the helmet. Then I pointed at the buttons on his left-handlebar control.
After some fiddling around through screens and menus, right mouse-button clicking, dragging and dropping, swiping left on the screen, he finally activated the Off-Road mode. And then off we went. At the end of the gravel stretch, we stopped again and he had a big smile on his face. "Much better!"