SuperDuke Dreaming

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Stobie, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. Stobie

    Stobie Mr. Motivated Supporter

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    I don't travel by motorcycle much because of my work and family circumstances, so I have put my adventure riding dreams behind me for now (1150GS-Adv sold last year, 640Adv sold Saturday-both great bikes). I moved on to a 950SE 10 months ago, with the idea of doing dual-sport and street day-rides, and it may be the most fun of any bike I've ever owned, but it turns out that I'm just street riding it. Rampant development in western NC is eating up all the good dual-sport riding that's within a reasonable day-ride radius of my home. And if I'm honest with myself, I don't find riding a 90+ hp motorcycle on marbles and ball bearings to be fun. The gravel roads that are fun to ride are the ones that need a fresh load of gravel, and NC mountain gravel roads are twisty with tons of blind corners.

    The SE is fun on twisty pavement, no doubt, but the sticky tires and big brakes of the 990SD and 950SM would give me some headroom, even if I don't pick up the pace. I could get a set of street wheels for my SE, and swap back and forth, but it looks like the dirt wheels would gather dust in the garage. And, the cost of the wheels would be close to what it would cost me to trade up.

    The 950SM-R would be the obvious choice for me, because every single aftermarket item I've put on the SE would transfer right over (Neptune cans, Renazco seat, CJRacer tail rack, PowerPegz, blah, blah...). But, I swapped bikes for a while with a guy last weekend, and rode his Monster Chromo for a while, and the "sporting" riding position just clicked. More legroom would be better, but the upper body position was perfect. I couldn't help but think how great that Monster would have been with my 950SE motor in it. Well damn, that would pretty much be a SuperDuke!

    The legroom on the SD is the major concern. I'm 6'4" with a 35" inseam. I know the SM would work, because the ergos are the same as the SE except for the handlebar, and 400-mile days are no problem on the SE. The limiting factor on the SE is butt pain from the sit-up-and-beg riding position. From what I gather, the SD is pretty roomy for a naked sport. I'm not going to get to ride one for long enough (if at all) to tell if it's enough. For reference, my former BMW R1100RS was very comfortable all day.

    Is the SuperDuke comfortable enough for a big guy to ride all day? Or is the discomfort worth the thrill?:ricky Is the legroom difference between the SM and SD really drastic?

    I'm especially interested in feedback from people who have riding experience on both the SM (or SM-R) and the SD. I'm sold on the LC8 platform, and if I switch bikes, it will be to a KTM v-twin streetbike.

    Not asking anybody to choose my next bike for me, just gathering data and opinions.

    :beer

    Edit: Yes, I know how to use the search function...I've read every SD and SD v. SM thread. Need more discussion.
    #1
  2. kirkmoon

    kirkmoon Making up for lost youth

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    Can a 6'4" person be comfortable on a Super Duke? I think so, but I would imagine that the SM and SE would be more comfortable for everyday riding.

    I am 6" 1.5" and have relatively long legs (34" inseam) and I have plenty of legroom on my SD. I have never taken my bike on a long tour, but I have been out for several hours playing around and have never felt that my legs were cramped.

    It is important to note, however, that the peg position on the SD is a bit more rearward and a little bit higher than on the SM and the handlebars are just a bit more forward. All of this results in a seating position that is a bit more aggressive and sporty than on the SM. This is perfect for sporty riding, but is slightly uncomfortable riding around town (due to the slight forward lean.) For everyday riding, I prefer the seating position of the SM. You might prefer the SD based upon your comments.

    I have also had some issues with snatchiness in the FI at low speeds and on/off transitions on the SD and have been looking back at my carburated 950 Adv and the SM that I rode with longing. Both were easier to live with for just puttering around. During aggressive riding, the FI on the SD is perfectly fine except for abrupt on/off and off/on transitions.

    If I had an SE (and I have actually thought about selling my SD to get one), I think I would just put street tires on it and enjoy it. YMMV.

    Want to swap ??? :evil
    #2
  3. Supermoto_nut

    Supermoto_nut Been here awhile

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    I just bought my SD last week and was trying to decide between it and the 950SM-R. (I'm 6'3") I choose the SD for the following reasons.

    1. I really wanted fuel injection. I do not mind the abrupt throttle as I come from owning several FI Ducatis and they are just as bad. You learn to be very smooth with your throttle hand.
    2. SD handles better on smooth roads, which So Ca is full of.
    3. Bigger fuel tank 4.9 gal vs 3.6 on the SM-R.
    4. More comforable (wider) seat.
    5. The riding position while not as good as the SM-R it is still better than any Japanese sportbike.

    I really liked the footpeg positioning of the SM-R, but the SD does not seem to bother me. I am considering the bar risers to sit me up just a bit.

    If the roads are rough and bumpy where you live I'd lean to the SM-R. It has quite a bit more travel and will suck up the bumps better than the SD. The suspension on the SD is racetrack stiff and I'm 240#s Plus as you said all of your extras will cross over and the SM-R looks Bad-Ass with that orange frame!!
    #3
  4. Stobie

    Stobie Mr. Motivated Supporter

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    Oh, c'mon, Kirk. You were supposed to say something like, "The SD is pure adrenaline, makes the SE feel like a sluggish lump. Damn your knees, buy one!":lol3

    Seriously, thanks for the thoughtful response. Since I live out in the country and don't use the bike for commuting, stop-and-go riding in town wouldn't be an issue. The snatchiness would probably bother me in the tighter stuff in the mountains, and when I just want to pootle along and relax (something that took a while to learn to do on the SE because of the frantic nature of the LC8 powerplant).

    What's the halfway point between Charlotte and SF?:D

    A lot of the roads I like in the NC, SC, and VA mountains are pretty bumpy, some even having opportunities for getting some air. The smooth, racetrack-like roads are clogged with Gixxers and LEO's. All of this points in favor of the SM-R.

    And you're right...the SM-R is as badass-looking as it gets.:nod

    As far as the snatchiness goes, doesn't the G2 throttle cam fit the SD? It would have to help.

    Thank you both for the feedback.
    #4
  5. kirkmoon

    kirkmoon Making up for lost youth

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    I know I let you down. :lol3 Sorry.

    If you liked the Monster, you would definitely love the SD.

    The main reason I have been thinking of selling mine is because I have a hard time riding it like a sane person. :evil
    #5
  6. Stobie

    Stobie Mr. Motivated Supporter

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    The SE would not help in that regard.:lol3
    #6
  7. Needragger

    Needragger Adventurer

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    Only have just a touch over 500 miles on the 950 adventure, a bit less on the 950SM and 950SE. All three are fantastic bikes IMHO. But the SD, well.....

    I really loved the way the 950SM felt and handled and it did not feel as big as it is...the wife was a bit uneasy with the height and size of the bike (she's only 5'8"). Really good seat-peg-bar setup that felt very much like my 625SMC. Compared to the SD....

    My wife and I have well over 6000 miles on each of our SDs. I've been riding sportbikes for nearly 25yrs...won't say how long the wife has been riding sportbikes, lets just say she was 16 when she bought her FZR400. We both agree that the SD is the best bike we have ever owned or riden. Only road riding I would prefer the 950SM I would take my 625SMC over the 950SM (for that specific riding condition). We have put 500+ mile days on the SDs a couple of times and many 250+. We find the seating position perfect for the riding we do which is mostly sport (wife also rides to work...and we do bum around town) and the seat broke in after ~500 miles.

    Side note on the throttle snatch: KTM recomends 3mm of throttle "play". We snugged ours up to zero/near zero. No snatch. We found most of the snatch was due to the take-up of the free play (i.e. nothing, nothing and then bang)...the rest was getting used to EFI instant response.

    Sorry, this probably doesn't help. But, for us, the SD is just damn perfect for what it was built for...ripping the twisties.

    Pics follow...just 'cause we can't get enough...(orange->hers, black->mine)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. Stobie

    Stobie Mr. Motivated Supporter

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    Well, I had pretty much convinced myself to stick with the SE at least until Spring, since prime dual-sporting weather is soon upon us. There is bound to be some dirt close by that I haven't ridden yet, and I haven't really explored much east and south of Charlotte, where there are some packed sand country roads (Sandblast Rally is held near Cheraw, SC). Also, I'm not sure I'm ready to give up jumping railroad crossings.

    Then, Needragger, you post with your comments, and those beautiful pics.:tb

    You're not making it easy. Neither is my dealer. He has 3 SD's, one of each color, and is getting me out his door for about $11,900.

    I need to get a ride on one somehow.

    I can see that helping. I also think a progressive throttle cam (G2) could help, as could a throttle lock adjusted to give a little tension, or even an O-ring between the grip and throttle housing.

    I hate decisions like this...:scratch
    #8
  9. soundasleeprecording

    soundasleeprecording genuine pleather seating

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    Yo Needragger - what screen is that mounted on the wife's SD?

    Is it made for the SD, or a custom modification of an existing generic model?

    Thanks in advance.
    #9
  10. kirkmoon

    kirkmoon Making up for lost youth

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    I have ridden zillions of FI bikes and have good wrist control. The FI on the SD is just snatchy, no two ways about it. I don't have any play in the cables. I have the Akro fuel map in my ECU. Still there.

    I was able to tame it by ultra precise hand control, but this gets a bit annoying after a while. I found that I had to brace my throttle hand on the brake lever using my index finger (harder than normal) to get the level of precision I desired, especially when the road was a bit bumpy. To add to the problem, bumps in the road can be transmitted up through the relatively stiff suspension and actually cause throttle inputs all by themselves, making things a bit worse.

    I (personally) wouldn't want to have an o-ring or throttle lock in place to create greater resistance to throttle turning. I think it would be hard to get it adjusted to the "perfect" level of resistance and to keep it there once you found it.

    I recently put the G2Ergonomics throttle cam (400) on my bike and it helps a lot, but it also tames some of the animalistic rawness of the throttle response which makes the bike so viscerally fun. I haven't put enough miles on the bike with this device in place to have come to a firm conclusion about it, but my experience so far suggests that it has 90% solved the problem.

    FI can be done right (the FI on my '05 Gixxer thou and on my '06 R6 is/was more or less perfect). I don't think KTM is quite there yet with the SD.

    BTW - $11,900 OTD is a pretty darn good deal.

    And Needragger - love what you have done to your bike. The orange highlights look really great on the all black background. I think it looks better than the R, which was my fave before seeing yours.
    #10
  11. Stobie

    Stobie Mr. Motivated Supporter

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    Kirk, dude, you keep shooting me down!:lol3

    I can relate to the throttle sensitivity being a problem on bumpy pavement. It's the same on the SE off road. My original plan was to install the G2 throttle cam to try to alleviate that problem, using a really progressive cam like the 400 for off-pavement riding, and one of the less progressive ones for street-only rides. I'll do that if I keep it.

    Western North Carolina is full of twisty back roads that are full of blind, decreasing-radius, off-camber, gravel-strewn corners. Probably not SD country. Maybe I should stick with my original plan of two sets of wheels for the SE.

    Moto-lust is hard to fight. I'm trying to inject as much logic into the decision as I can.

    It's actually kind of hilarious that I'm using logic to justify my ownership of a 950SE.:lol3
    #11
  12. kirkmoon

    kirkmoon Making up for lost youth

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    Sorry. Can't seem to help myself. :D

    I can really relate to what you are saying about moto lust and "logic". Twisted logic is my specialty.

    I try to be sensible every now and then, but sooner or later I fall off the wagon and do something completely harebrained. As a result, I've had a lot of fun these past few years, but my pocketbook is significantly lighter than it used to be.

    No regrets. Cat food doesn't taste too bad. :lol3
    #12
  13. fixinbones

    fixinbones Tarmac Adventurer

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    In my last endeavor to buy a bike I struggled massively due to my limited riding experiences, R11R and R12GS. I wanted a naked bike supermoto type bike that was fun in the twisties but wouldn't punish my cranky back with aggressive ergos. After all the delays in arrival of the Megamoto, my initial first choice, I looked and tested the Hypermotard. I gave up on the HM as being too small for my 6'3' frame and I couldn't get comfortable in the seat on that bike. Then I tested the SD and SM-R Yeah, the FI on the SD was real snatchy and scared me a bit coming from a couple of 500lb boxers. The handling was superb and the ergos were more aggressive than I was used to but not sportbike horrible. After the SD I tested the SM-R. The stock seat of the SM is not as good but still tolerable to me. Nothing a Renazco can't fix. The more relaxed riding position of the SM-R sold me. My only concern was that it was a carbed bike. I really like the idea of having FI and struggled with this. If the SM-R was FI, I would have bought it that day. I went back to the dealer a few weeks later and retested the SM-R. The fueling of the bike was so smooth and it handled just great, especially on choppy pavement. I was sold on it that day. My only regret is that I didn't make the decision until about 3 weeks ago and missed riding this baby all summer.

    I would get the SM-R. You can put all the goodies from your SE on it. Its got all day comfort like your SE and a a very smooth engine. You won't have to screw around with mapping, throttle cams, etc. My new motto is that if you can't picture yourself being happy with the bike the way it is during your test ride then don't get it. You can't count the aftermarket to fix some flaws and the last thing you want is to be stuck with a bike that you are not happy on.

    I don't think you will be as happy on the SD for longer journeys. Even though the SDs ergos are the best in its class, the foot pegs are still a bit higher and set back farther than the SM-R. Plus the SM-R is one bad ass looking bike!!!!!!!!!! This is my baby on day one.

    [​IMG]
    #13
  14. Needragger

    Needragger Adventurer

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    Screen on the wife's SD is the KTM hardpart piece. She likes it quite a bit. I have one also but have not tried it yet.

    Actually spent some time talking with the KTM techs on the EFI mapping, fueling and throttle snatch at this years dealer meeting. I too have the full Akra, Akra map etc....working on getting DNA filters. The wife runs Leo slip ons with the Akra map. {I do the mapping, resets and re-mapping for the shop as I have the Keihin programs on my laptop} Neither one of us have problems with throttle snatch. The EFI is sensitive yes but, we have no complants and no problems over our ~14K miles between the two of us (that includes hundreds of miles on one-lane N. Calif. roads...though you can't be ham fisted like a 13 yr old boy with his first Playboy rag). We noticed that the EFI was sensitive when we road EU versions over a year ago so we knew what to expect with the US version. Everyone's experiences obviously can vary... Suppose I could ask the wife to hand out pointers if anyone needs any :evil .
    [​IMG]

    The SD do something very important for the areas we like to ride (Or and N. CA) that the SM and SM-R cannot do....go ~180 between fuel stops. Love the SM-R and considered it vice the SD, probably still would if I didn't have an SD now. But, then, there is that SD-R.
    #14
  15. kirkmoon

    kirkmoon Making up for lost youth

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    Sign me up. I'm free any day for the next couple of years. :lol3
    #15
  16. kirkmoon

    kirkmoon Making up for lost youth

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    :lol3 Nice image. :lol3

    When the SD is ridden relatively aggressively on medium to higher speed roads with smooth pavement the snatchiness is more or less a non-issue. It is most noticeable on very tight, lower speed, bumpy roads where there is a lot of slowing down and speeding up. Supermoto territory.

    Did you modify the Akra map at all ?
    #16
  17. RocketJohn

    RocketJohn Hook em' Horns!

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    wow you are breakin' all kinds of commandments... let's review:

    1) Thou shalt have no other gods before me
    2) Thou shalt not make wrongful use of the name of thy God [I'm sure the expletives were said..]
    9) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house or bike.
    10) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife


    :lol3:lol3:lol3:lol3:lol3
    #17
  18. Willis

    Willis Don't want a pickle...

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    Hmmm two superdukes and a bombshell of a wife. You sir are the luckiest man on the planet :wings
    #18
  19. kirkmoon

    kirkmoon Making up for lost youth

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    Guess I can forget about them pearly gates. :D
    #19
  20. gozone

    gozone piddler extraordinaire

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    Stobie,

    I fitted Graves Motorsports cans on the SD and put the Akra euro map on a PCIII (Graves Map on the way im told). Low end snatchiness has decreased quite a bit and i suppose I am also getting used to it. I PM'd you. Take it for a spin if you want although be warned as it's highly addictive. I spent some time playing on 221 betwen Blowing Rock and Linville several weeks ago and I rode that stretch better than on anything else Ive owned. The SD has a very natural feel to it. I actually have enjoyed it more in town than I thought i would but it certainly makes you hunt out the smallest of holes in traffic for fun.:D
    #20