KTM has dominated the 2 wheeled dirt scene for many years now and it is only until recently that they have started to venture out to produce road going bikes. Some critics argue that their road bikes have a distinctive MX feel about them however with super machines such as the RC8, KTM have struck a chord with the most hardcore circuit racers.
The 990 Super Duke is a supermoto influenced street fighter as I like to call it. This monstrous V twin has been to anger management and now delivers a very smooth 88Kw’s of power and 100 Nm’s of torque but this still allows eyeball exploding acceleration. The V-twin is linked up to a creamy 6 speed box and a very silky clutch operation. This combined with the comfortable seat means you have the ability to run with Superbikes on Sunday morning but the everyday comfort and practicality to handle rush hour as well. The rapid acceleration is due to the light flywheel which spurs the rider to constantly open the taps. The surge of torque through your body soon becomes habit and one cannot help but lean forward and gear down to 1st as the bike propels through the neighbourhood. The Twin exhaust pipes grunt and grumble reminding everyone else that this naked bike means business.
This V 75° twin also comes with more power and adjusted suspension as an ‘R’ model for more aggressive riders. This model allows for a combination of comfort but enhanced performance, however the original 88Kw standard Duke is more than enough fun for the average rider. The duke also comes with fantastic Brembo brakes (320mm front discs, 240mm rear) that are able to bring you to a very rapid halt whilst crushing your testicles to dust on the gas tank.
The 18 liter gas tank has a realistic range of 230km’s which includes riding in traffic as well as the open road, this is fairly good economy as you can expect superbikes to be worse.
This charismatic naked KTM leaves its entire superbly engineered interior on view to the public which ads a new spectrum to the exquisitely styled fairings and body. The white rear suspension combined with Italian black wheels and the traditional Orange over coat enhances the Super Duke’s very muscular stance. Wherever you ride, there are always onlookers gazing at every angle of this unique design. KTM certainly has shown other manufacturers a thing or two in the styling department. The color combinations have also grown in variety for the 2010 range.
The factory suspension set up on the KTM allows for a smooth ride over uneven surfaces but also allows for good communication through to the rider as to what the bike is doing. Under hard braking over uneven surfaces the suspension copes well to keep the bike stable and the rider grows in confidence with the cornering ability of the Duke. The wide grip handlebars allow for quick turn in and the turning circle is good which helps when splitting traffic.
The analog rev counter teamed up with the digital display is compact and well set out, however I’d prefer a more refined rev counter as this unit seems to be stubby and hard to read when glancing quickly, my only other criticism of the Super Duke is the low RPM shake inherent on any single or twin cylinder motorcycle.
The compact space frame allows for a short body design but elongated black swingarm whilst focusing on mass centralization giving the rider more freedom on a track. I cannot emphasize how much fun the Super Duke is, perhaps it is the combination of Supermoto attributes with a powerful motor and superbike tires. The 990 Super Duke appeals to a wide variety of people and is the most fun anyone can have with their pants on.
his bike combines a very versatile design with a fantastic motor for all conditions and if I were in the market for a bike I could use everyday as well as on Sunday morning through the mountains I would certainly give this KTM a spot in my garage. If you ever wondered what the fastest way is to get from point A to B in the real world, this is it.
||KTM 990 Super Duke
||Liquid cooling, four stroke, 75°V-twin cylinder, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
|Bore x Stroke
||101 x 62.4mm
||Electronic fuel injection
|Ignition / Starting
||– / electric
||88 KW 120 hp @ 9000 rpm
||100 Nm @ 7000 rpm
|Transmission / Drive
||6 Speed / chain
||Wet multi-disc clutch, operated hydraulically
||Tubular Chromoly space frame powered coated.
||48mm WP Upside down adjustable, 135mm travel
||WP shock, fully adjustable, 160mm travel
||2x 320mm discs 4 piston calipers
||Single 240mm disc 1 piston caliper
Low RPM shake