Driving report KTM 990 Super Duke


Driving report KTM 990 Super Duke

Driving report KTM 990 Super Duke


With its head held high, the Super Duke clicks into its second term of office. A newly contoured nose, the taut chassis and sharper brakes are intended to consolidate the rough character without diluting the angular charisma.

We should have gotten used to it by now, but it always happens exactly the same way: you swing one leg over the short stubby tail of the great Duke, enjoy the perfect seating arrangement, start the discreet, yet robust, bubbling one
V-two, put it in first gear. And then you sprint away, driving two, a maximum of three kilometers. To brake sharply at the next parking space. You dismount, shaking your head. Wow. Now take a deep breath. With a big grin you feverishly circle the angular streetfighter. The hammer. It is hard to believe that there is such a sharp iron.

And then you don’t get off for two hours. Guaranteed. No motorcycle conveys this contradicting mixture, manages this inspiring balancing act of gentle, buttery-smooth throttle response on the one hand and tremendous physical vehemence on the other. A gently purring cat, which with a tiny twist of the throttle extends its claws and starts to jump. Breathtaking.

None of that has changed with the current model, which now had to overcome the mandatory Euro 3 hurdle. On the contrary, the new, clean coordination is even showing positive effects in several respects. First of all sank loudly KTM the often criticized fuel consumption – which still needs to be checked. The range increases in any case, because the tank capacity grew by four to a now passable 18.5 liters.

Finally, thanks to updated mappings, the throttle valves could be regulated so elegantly that the new Duke also complies with the noise limits with a shortened secondary transmission – pinion with 16 instead of 17 teeth. Incidentally, without any exhaust or intake flap stall tricks. The two-cylinder now runs even smoother, without having lost any of its spontaneity or explosiveness. And accelerates even better because of the shorter gear ratio, and it flips out of tight corners with even more power. The top performance remained unchanged at 120 hp.
Apart from brief rattling noises after the start – until the oil pressure has tensioned the timing chains – the previously rough KTM two-cylinder now runs mechanically extremely smoothly after countless detail improvements in the course of its short life. Concerns that the mechanics are flying around the ears have long since vanished, even with skeptics. The transmission can easily compete with those of the best Japanese super sports cars. Every corridor sits there, no matter how casually it is tapped with the tip of the foot.

While the V-Twin has basically always delighted the testers, there was occasional criticism of the driving behavior between the lines. Not that there was a serious problem. But in certain situations the Super Duke could be a bit stubborn. Above all, she didn’t particularly like the combination of tight turns with bumpy surfaces. In order to eliminate this shortcoming, the steering geometry was made a little smaller with a smaller steering head angle
remodeled, and the suspension got harder springs at the front and rear and a new set-up. This package is to be rounded off by Dunlop D 208 RR tires.

And do so with success. The Super Duke now remains neutrally on course in an inclined position, unaffected by unevenness. In addition, he behaves much more cooperatively, seems less nervous about the steering axis. Turning in requires a little more steering force, but that is easy to get over in view of the significantly better cornering stability. The flatter steering head also stabilizes straight-line stability at top speed. Despite the harder suspension, the 2007 model is by no means uncomfortable. In addition, there are the finest brakes, as they – strangely enough – already had the cheaper 950 Supermoto. The radially screwed pliers with individual coatings can do everything a touch better than the brembos that have been used since then, provide more transparency, and grip a bit more sharply.

The design remained practically unchanged. Which also makes sense. Such a radical outfit can hardly be modified. The excessive gathering of edges and corners has always been the subject of discussion. You don’t necessarily have to like the great Duke. That bodybuilder pose with the bloated upper body, the undisguised, crouched aggressiveness. Certainly, however, you like the new lamp cladding better, it looks more serious and dignified. The same applies to the new, nicely styled instruments.

Regardless of whether it is the engine, chassis or bodywork, the new Super Duke is a step forward in every respect. You should try them out. As already mentioned, four or five kilometers is enough. If you don’t feel anything then, you should remain a pedestrian.

Late developer

The conclusion of the driving report of a pre-production model of the KTM 690 Supermoto Prestige (MOTORRAD 6/2007) was somewhat surprising. We liked the stiff chassis with high stability and great handling, and the new LC4 engine also delivered a lot of power, but in the lower speed range it ran in an uncultivated manner, accompanied by indefinable mechanical noises from inside.

At the last minute, KTM made a number of small changes to the set-up as well as to the hardware of the new single cylinder. During the presentation of the series version, it was already apparent from the first few meters that the engine was mechanically quieter and smoother. The strange rattle of the pre-series machine in the partial load range has now completely disappeared, the coordination in the lower speed range is much better. The single cylinder barely beats at low speeds below 3000 revolutions, so that one
can lurch through the city at low speed without a whipping chain. If you then open the gas, the series copy goes
even from the low revs gently, but very consistently to the point.
The handiness and the phenomenal steering behavior of the curve burner, which weighs around 160 kilograms, are still striking. Properties that are by no means bought at the price of nervousness at high speeds. Even with Tacho 180, the 690 remains stable on course.

The chassis of the basic version differs in several points from the luxury model Prestige. At the rear there is an emulsion strut that can only be adjusted in the rebound stage. The compression damping cannot be varied in the fork either. Instead of pretty radial pumps, the clutch and brake are operated by simple hydraulic fittings. There are only two pads in the front brake calliper instead of four. And finally, Bridgestone BT 090s are mounted on the spoked wheels of the basic version, while the Prestige rolls on Metzeler Sportec M3.
What sounds like dramatic differences is far less serious in practice. The chassis set-up of the basic 690s is a little softer, but even works well when sharpening corners. The brakes work just as powerfully, at most there is a slight lack of feedback. And the Bridgestones present themselves properly, although the Metzeler tires ensure more confidence and more precise steering properties. The basic version costs 8,400 euros, 300 less than the limited Prestige. Definitely not a bad deal either.

Technical specifications

Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 75-degree V-engine, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves, bucket tappets, dry sump lubrication, injection, Ø 48 mm, regulated catalytic converter, 450 W alternator, 12 V / 11 Ah battery, hydraulically operated Multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain.

Bore x stroke 101.0 x 62.4 mm

Cubic capacity 1000 cm3

Compression ratio 11.5: 1

Rated output 88.0 kW (120 PS) at 9000 rpm

Max. Torque 100 Nm at 7000 rpm

landing gear
Steel tubular frame, load-bearing motor, upside-down fork, Ø 48 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut, directly hinged, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm, four-piston -Fixed calipers, rear disc brake, Ø 240 mm, single-piston floating caliper.

Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17

Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17

mass and weight
Wheelbase 1450 mm, steering head angle 66.1 degrees, caster 100.7 mm, spring travel f / r 135/160 mm, seat height 850 mm, dry weight 186 kg, tank capacity 18.5 liters.

Two year guarantee

Colors orange, black, titanium

Price 12748 euros

Additional costs 250 euros

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