Unexpected Lust: 2008 KTM 990 Superduke

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by neduro, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. Rsquared

    Rsquared Un-Supervised Slacker

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    Congrat's on the new bike!

    I've had mine for a year now and it still brings a grin each time I ride. I previouly owned two Japanese litre bikes as well, but the Super Duke is the best overall package to me.

    I really like the Leo's you have, but do you need ear plugs to ride with them? I'm still trying to decide between the Leo's and the Akra's.

    (My addiction)
    [​IMG]
    #41
  2. neduro

    neduro Long timer Supporter

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    what?

    Just kidding... :lol3


    Definitely not.

    I do wear earplugs on long rides (and would have with the stock pipes) but they are not deafeningly loud. Just a bit louder than I wish they were for early morning through the neighborhood, if that makes sense.
    #42
  3. skrub

    skrub Been here awhile

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    Sanford Mich.
    Heres a pic of the screen I put on my SD. Works very well takes all of the wind blast off your chest and leave just a little at the top of [​IMG]the shoulders. The other pic is the tour setup for long trips.[​IMG]
    #43
  4. neduro

    neduro Long timer Supporter

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    I took the bike to High Plains Raceway yesterday and had an absolute blast.

    The short version: The SuperDuke is a blast. She's good in the sack. :lol3

    The long version:

    High Plains is a brand new track developed by a coalition of car clubs, the SCCA, and the local Motorcycle Roadrace organization (the MRA), and it's fantastic. For years, most of our local tracks have been contrived with a dragstrip for a straight and so on... for me, there was always a throwaway corner or two where I lost my rhythm. High Plains has none of this.

    Sorry for the large size- here's a map. Note all the contour lines for elevation changes!

    [​IMG]

    A lap on the SD looks kind of like this: the start finish straight is over the crest of a hill, so you backshift once as you pass the 3rd braking marker and throw it into Turn 1. It's a fun corner. I exit a little bit tight (not running out over about the halfway point of the track) to give myself a nice line into the carousel turn 2, which takes another backshift.

    Upshift after exit, staying kind of tight to the inside, so that you punch out the exit of 3 into a continuous lean onto the front straight, grabbing gears the whole way. The SD seems to like shifting a little shy of redline- it would indicate 135ish at the end of the straight on my best runs, which were not exploring hero-deep into the braking zone, since this is just a trackday.

    Sit up @ # 3 braking marker, backshift twice, brake HARD, lean into Turn 4 not too early so that you can clip the apex and be set up for 5, which is a downhill left I really enjoyed. Accelerated down the short chute to 6, brake HARD again, backshift once, and go in deep to avoid the rough pavement on the exit. Accelerate hard out of 6, grabbing a gear, lean into 7 which is blind and really fun, then backshift into 2nd and carve through 8. Grab a gear, keep your knees in and gently weave through 9a and b, brake HARD and backshift for 10, backshift once more for 11 and knee down for seemingly FOREVER, over 12 accelerating hard, backshift twice for 13/14, then I was shifting once as I leaned into 15 and trying to get a good drive onto the front straight again.

    No idea what my laptimes were. All of you CO (or anywhere close) people, definitely make a trip to one of their open lapping days. Very nice folks, the track is fantastic, nothing to break up your rhythm, you can really have a great time getting your lean on.

    Riding impressions from the SD:

    1) This bike is EASY to ride. The suspension is very confidence inspiring and composed, the brakes are AWESOME, and the motor is so flexible that if you forget a shift it doesn't really matter.

    2) Having handlebars is very reassuring to me, I had a few slides and ran into chatter when I'd screw up my line, and it never was heart stopping, just kind of "oh, that's interesting, what can I do to address this?" where on a roadracer I would have been making diamonds in my sphincter.

    3) It's got enough motor that you don't have to say you're sorry. I pulled past a well ridden RC-51 on the frontstraight (I got a better drive, but still, a soft motor wouldn't have gotten the job done), and had no trouble staying with the various R6/ R1's/ GSXR/ 999/ 675's etc that were out there between corners. The liter bikes obviously leave it on the straights, but not as fast as I would have thought, and it delivers power so nicely that I could often make some up on corner exit because I could roll in earlier than they could.

    4) The chassis is really planted and reassuring. I'm not a great track rider, I still think knee-down is novel, but when I swapped onto a racebike mid-day, I wanted the SD back immediately, street tires and all. The R6 was skitterish and nervous where the SD was stuck and calm.

    5) The Leo's may be a touch loud in the neighborhood but they sound F&*KING AWESOME on a racetrack at full chat. The SD does not get good mileage being wrung out, maybe about 20mpg. I went through a full tank and most of a second in 4 hours.

    6) I ground through a set of toe sliders- it's hard for me to remember to get my feet tucked far enough out of the way, and the pegs aren't as high as they could be for racetrack use. But, the more you get your shoulder in, the less of an issue that is, and the easier it is to keep your knee down instead of making your boot lighter.

    7) I was surprised when I passed a few expert numberplate dedicated roadrace bikes (and got passed much more, of course)... point being, this thing can run the pace, probably more so than a more serious bike with a hack like me aboard.

    8) The brakes, which feel great on the road, are amazing on the track. You get great feel, and I used one finger all day and had more power than I needed. Twice, riders ran off into the dirt past me in turns, I think they'd been waiting for me to brake and then couldn't slow at the same speed that I could so blew the corner. Both of them were nitwits, but anyway, the brakes work really well and are really easy to exploit.

    9) I'm really impressed with the Michelin Pilot Power road tires. I carried very similar corner speed to people on slicks and race tires, they don't look any different at the end of the day than they did at the beginning, and they have great feel. I'm glad not to be burdened with race tires for commuting where they will never get any heat and therefore any traction, and these are all I need for a trackday.

    10) My buddy Mark (MRA Expert 222) rode the bike (and I rode his R6) and had an interesting perspective: first, that it is the easiest bike to navigate around a track he's ever been on, second, that he was probably faster on it than his R6 (I certainly was, I found the R6 really difficult to keep in the power, and on the right line, and not get scared by the jumpy feeling chassis), and third, that it was more FUN to ride than a 'real' trackbike.

    That's the main point to me- if I wanted to go race, I'd buy a GSXR. But for a trackday, there is nothing I'd rather take than the SuperDuke- it's great fun, helps you learn to ride better because it's not intimidating so you have attention to devote to deciding where you can brake, etc, and it performs really well- I couldn't have gone faster on any of the sportbikes I've owned, I'm sure.

    The pictures I took all suck, and none are of me... but here are a few...

    Getting set up...
    [​IMG]

    My friend Mark giving it a go:
    [​IMG]

    I'm givin' 'er all she's got, cap'n!
    [​IMG]
    #44
  5. Yellow Pig

    Yellow Pig Allergic to asphalt! Supporter

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    Sweet!

    Sorry to hear about the SE, in particular after all she's been through so far.

    Later Dan


    PS: You suck! Now I've got an SD bug in my head. :wink:
    #45
  6. Yellow Pig

    Yellow Pig Allergic to asphalt! Supporter

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    These wheels are sick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    [​IMG]
    #46
  7. KTMRyder

    KTMRyder throttle jockey

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    Sounds like you had a good time Neduro.:ricky

    I was amazed when I got to ride mine on the track how confidence inspiring it was, your comments are almost exactly as I experienced.
    can't wait to do a few trackdays next year.
    #47
  8. nattyMo

    nattyMo Been here awhile

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    #48
  9. Playa Shark

    Playa Shark High Desert Prowler

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    546
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    Black Rock in Spirit
    Real nice write up. I concur on all accounts, in my limited experience. After riding 4-5 sessions a day I was not really fatigued. No wrist or lower back agony as with the true sport bikes. So easy to ride and control even when the back end breaks loose.

    Speaking of which, I had some issues with down shifting and rear wheel chatter. The engine breaking on the v-twin is definitely powerful. With this bike I have to work on rev matching or buy a slipper clutch. Although, as I got more familiar with the track and my shifting points the wheel chatter decreased significantly. It is something to be aware of when you are pushing this bike, however.

    I too drag my (size 12) feet and am thinking some adjustable rearsets are in order, both for track days and for additional comfort on the street. Again, Rizoma makes some nice ones.

    With respect to the tires I am running the Dunlop 208s, which no one I have talked to recommends. Mine are toast (at approximately 1500 miles) and am looking at the Michelin Power Pilot 2ct. Those and the Pirelli Corsas get real high marks for road/trackday use.

    I am running 100 octane fuel at the track and the SD burns through that pretty quickly. I am getting about 75 miles per tank before the light comes on. But, it does seem to make a difference.

    I will be back out on Reno-Fernley Raceway this Sunday for the Zoom-Zoom trackday and have a free track day from KTM that I have to use this year. Thinking Thunderhill or Infinion in Nov or Dec. Riding the SD on the track is definitely addicting.
    #49
  10. XR6MOTO

    XR6MOTO Motorcycle addict

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    Interesting. I wonder what kind of gains can be had by that airbox mod & PCIII :ear
    #50
  11. KTMRyder

    KTMRyder throttle jockey

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    Playashark, my 208's were toasted so I need a new set for the trackday I did. went to see a buddy who runs a shop that caters to the roadrace/trackday crowd here in KC.

    He said either Pilot Power 2CT's or his personal favorite at the moment is the Bridgestone BT-016's they were cheaper than the Michelin's so I gave them a try since both his personal racebikes had a set mounted.

    I must say they worked very well with no scary moments all day.
    it was hot, about 96 that day and I figured they would go off and get slick but they didn't.
    they did feather up and wear like you would expect but that's about it.
    nice profile with no weird fall in like some tires give you.

    I think they were about $40 cheaper than a set of Pilots.
    they are working well as a street tire also.
    #51
  12. neduro

    neduro Long timer Supporter

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    I know of one that can be had for WAY less out here, anyone interested should email me.
    #52
  13. KTMRyder

    KTMRyder throttle jockey

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    My local dealer had one 07 and two 08's.
    I bought the 07 but could have had the 08 for about a grand more.
    the price was way less that $11,300 for the 08's.

    I decided I liked the grand in my pocket and the grey 07 in my garage.
    of course that grand quickly got spent on a set of FMF pipes.:evil
    #53
  14. Nowwhat

    Nowwhat I'll Go Second... Super Supporter

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    08's are going for less than $9k new in So Cal.....
    #54
  15. 1 Bored Clerk

    1 Bored Clerk Mama, I'm goin fast!

    Joined:
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    Kinda late in the game but I thought I'd chime in about the mirrors. I have a CRG (many a ducati are running these) mirror and it's great. Small, unobtrusive and very well made. There are a few models (folding, non-folding, flat mirror, and convex mirror...and combo's of those). I have the folding convex mirror on the left side of my 690R and it's works fantastically. Spendy, but cool.
    #55
  16. Playa Shark

    Playa Shark High Desert Prowler

    Joined:
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    Black Rock in Spirit
    The first dyno is my baseline with the only mod being Akra Evos - header and slipons. Note: this is at about 4,400 feet elevation and is a rear wheel dyno.
    [​IMG]

    After the MotoHooligan airbox, SAS and charcoal. Very Similar conditions and I actually lost hp on the first run, but the torque remained constant. Not surprising given the bike is tuned for the stock air box. The last two runs were after the PCIII was added and the bike was tunned. I was impressed with the torque gain. Definitely feel it in real world riding. Cost for 5 hp and foot pounds of torque: Box: ~$300. PCIII: $320. Tune: $250.
    [​IMG]

    Thanks KTMRyder for the info. Will try the Bridgestone next go around.
    #56
  17. fast4d

    fast4d Long timer

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    who says you can't tour on a superduke?:D

    [​IMG]
    #57
  18. XR6MOTO

    XR6MOTO Motorcycle addict

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    184
    Location:
    DC
    My '07 SD dynoed at 106 RWHP on a hot humid day here in the DC area (Leo slip-ons only). $900 for another 4 HP & 5 ft. lb. of usable power isn't that bad I guess. My XR650R SM dynoed at around 50 at the wheel on the same.

    Thanks for the feedback. :1drink
    #58
  19. Gordy

    Gordy SUPPORTER

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    It looks like you are all set. :huh
    Maybe some of those Aerostitch panniers that hang over the tank for really long rides. :dunno
    #59
  20. DRKWNG

    DRKWNG Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
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    Location:
    Cambs/Northants border, near Peterborough
    Now this is what I am interested in! I was looking at getting a NOS '07 950SM, but the dealer on Maui called me to say he could let me have a new '08 SD for $10.5 OTD and shipped to Oahu. Last time I checked the going rate to ship a bike from San Diego to Honolulu was around $600, so I might have to start calling...
    #60