tnargsbikes


   continuous motorcyclist since 1972                                                                             last updated 03 March 2008

 Current motive force: 

This is a hell of a bike. 

  • I added a Laminar Lip and it reduced buffeting at highway speeds.
  • The latest EFI map (as at Feb 2008) made a big improvement to the sensitive throttle at 50-80 km/h, I recommend it.
  • If your starter motor's torque limiter occasionally engages with a very loud CLANK like mine did, get KTM to install the free upgrade kit.
  • Akrapovic cans have been fitted, this bike is now sooo good. I keep the inserts in, and I cannot believe how quiet it is on low throttle, considering there is not a single baffle in the exhaust system. And opening up the throttle produces a rewarding throaty but not antisocial noise level.

Trusty steed from 1994 to 2007:

Test Report

In early 2007 I took the only american adventure sport motorbike for a test ride. Here are my impressions:

 Pros

  • Great torque. 
  • Handling and front brake better than anything I’ve ridden. 
  • Nice lumpy feel and sound. Plenty of character. 
  • Reasonably quiet motor/exhaust on the road. Just right.
  • Very comfortable seat.  

Cons

  • Much too much vibration at street speeds. A real shaker. Made my upper lip itch! My right hand went numb about 5 times. I thought I would “enjoy the character” around town, but this was more vibration than I like. 
  • Less vibration at highway speeds, but still a buzz in the seat and pegs that would annoy me.
  • A lot of heat on my right leg. 
  • The frame gets hot from the motor and is very hot where it contacts my legs. I had to ride with my legs widened to keep them off the frame. 
  • Hot air from the motor is ducted onto the pillion’s legs. 
  • The noisy high-speed fan comes on even at speed and makes a howling noise that can be heard above the bike and the wind at speed. Stopped at the lights it is almost embarrassing.
  • Very jerky coming off a closed throttle at low speed. Not good for tootling along a winding trail. 
  • Seat too high. Actually caused me some anxiety stopping and manoeuvring. (New model’s seat is slightly lower.) 
  • Speedo too small and needle too thick to know speed within 5km/h. 
  • Standing on the pegs is possible but feels ungainly and bike feels heavy and unresponsive under me. 
  • Rear brake is as bad as the Darmah’s; pedal feels like a rock and no retardation at normal pressures. 
  • Gear lever rather stiff and clunky. Uncomfortable / painful in sneakers (I know, but it’s a valid test for tootling around town in summer).
     

This bike is now off my list!