28 Jun 2012

My 15th bike is a KTM Duke 690

Ok, so I've been going on about this for a while, but I have now finally sold my former, fully-repaired and now in very good condition Ducati Multistrada 1000s, and have bought the latest KTM Duke 690, about which I spoke a while ago here .

This latest version of the KTM Duke purports to be the most powerful road-going single-cylinder bike ever produced.They have also civilized the thing a bit, which is fine with me as I am not a stuntman.

Now a single cylinder machine obviously has its limits, one of which has to be high-speed cruising, so I anticipate using it mainly on small roads, which is fine by me as I am not a great fan of riding on motorways: it's just too boring. I am going to Lyon tomorrow to collect it and ride it back to Paris and I am very excited about it! The twisties in the Beaujolais/Burgundy area should be just right for running it in properly. A new bike is always quite an event, and you just don't get tired of such things. It feels like, well, some other very good events. Maybe I would get blasé if I was rich and could buy all kinds of bikes. But I am not, so the event stands out for me.

I suppose this slight tension and excitement has something to do with the fact that I bought the machine over a month ago and have been waiting ever since to find the time from a current heavy load of work to make the 2 hour train journey and probably most of a day's ride back (the machine is running in, remember, and there are suitable stops to be made at the odd winery on the way back).

I like the idea (and the feel, when I tried the bike a few months ago) of lightness on a bike. This is getting harder and harder to find with the growing size and sophistication of modern motorbikes. Now this thing weighs about 150 kilograms dry and maybe 165 wet. And it has 70 bhp down below. Should make for a lot of fun.

Watch this space shortly for a first test report.....