All Tests – 690 Duke and 990 SMT: two oranges pressed in the sun … – Day 4 and +: towards other horizons

690 Duke and 990 SMT: two oranges pressed in the sun…

All Tests - 690 Duke and 990 SMT: two oranges pressed in the sun ... - Day 4 and +: towards other horizons

We have tested two very wanton KTMs for you. This is not a head to head because there is no need to compare these two hybrids, but rather a joint test on roads as varied as they are extraordinary. Road book test !

Day 4 and more: towards other horizons

The program of the day is also very appetizing: from Beaucaire, we will go straight up towards Vallon-Pont-d’Arc to descend the Gorges de l’Ardèche before crossing the Rhône again to make a beautiful loop in the Vercors.

To navigate to Vallon-Pont-d’Arc, I enter the route in my TomTom Rider by selecting the option "shortest" and not "fastest"…

From the rally link

It was fine with me because the GPS took us along roads, even paths, on which we would never have dared to go, even with a very detailed map, for fear of getting lost.

Some dirt tracks are close to the vehicle‘s limit, but our two Austrians are comfortable there if we are careful not to go too fast. Indeed, their Michelin Pilot Power 2CTs show a grip that is difficult to fault on asphalt but quickly admit their limits in gravel.

Our average speed is ridiculous but we go through beautiful places, among pines, olive trees and lavender in bloom. The scents are wonderful but the heat and the insects are also present.

From Ardèche to Vercors

After descending the sumptuous but very touristy Gorges de l’Ardèche, we head straight for Die, the southern gateway to the Vercors. The variety of roads there is incredible, as is the tranquility. On certain axes, it is possible to drive for half an hour without crossing a single car … as for seeing a radar…

It’s pure happiness, but it’s better to go full and not ride too much alone. Indeed, it is not good to go out in a completely deserted place on pain of staying there for a while !

In Nice by the Route Napoleon

While my sidekick Sylvain goes back to Lyon to return the Duke, I take advantage of the weekend to go down to Nice via the Napoleon road. The 990 SMT is a constant treat. It can be enjoyed both on the attack and by rolling gently, enjoying the scenery.

Some corners of the Route Napoleon lend themselves well to arson, but others, faster, require restraint to save their pink paper. Indeed, the famous Nationale 85, which all fans of fine mechanics are crazy about, is particularly "flicked" during the weekends. Distrust, therefore !

Benjamin LALO

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