KTM Super Duke 990 roadster test


Hairy orange utang

KTM SuperDuke 990The
SuperDuke 990 is the KTM novelty of the year 2005: a
big twin-cylinder roadster or rather a "streetfighter"
of 100 horses which will only be delivered in small quantities in
France in March 2005.

Exclusive web trial…


KTM SuperDuke 990
KTM SuperDuke 990
KTM SuperDuke 990
KTM SuperDuke 990

The SuperDuke is immediately recognizable by its line
billhook cut as well as its double frontal optics

We then notice the two exhausts under the saddle, framing
the rear light. The huge rear travel
highlights the White-Power shock absorber.

The counter shows a traditional tachometer with a zone
black at 9500 rpm and a digital counter for speed, temperature
oil, the totalizer, the two partial trips and the clock. The passage
in reserve – automatic – is indicated by an orange diode
and an incremental counter indicating the number of km traveled.

The saddle leaves room for a passenger despite appearances.
We notice the lock on the top to open the trunk, reduced.

In the saddle

It’s high and the pilot’s feet barely touch the ground
of 1.70m … nothing surprising with a saddle at 855 mm against
810 mm for roadsters. The handlebars are wide and lead to
lean forward very slightly.

The tank looks very thin between the legs. The
feet easily find their place and the final position is revealed
immediately natural and comfortable, close to a standard roadster.

The almost oval mirrors are very aesthetic
but on the other hand limit the field of vision: lateral control
more than ever obligatory.

Replicated kickstand, the SD 900 is light
and terribly manoeuvrable with a particularly steering angle
short. It confirms its light weight of 179 kilos (dry)
on the scale.


KTM SuperDuke 990the
twin-cylinder roars from the first laps. Is it really approved
? In any case, the rumble announces the color: sporty !

Clutch, start … a little violent. It is necessary
to play with the clutch, especially since it knocks under
the 3,000 rpm. And we are in no hurry to spend the second. The
first accepts without complaining to go up to
80-90 km / h and the second up to 130 km / h, with still some margin
until the red zone and without screaming. In fact, in town, you have to
forcing oneself to pass the third one because one stays willingly between
1st and 2nd in a natural way … at a pace of 5000-6000
tours where the motorcycle is particularly demonstrative.


KTM SuperDuke 990The
SuperDuke is already easy to stop so in
city, it literally plays with traffic jams, sneaking
between the cars, almost ready to get on them when
the width does not allow it. The wide handlebars and the height position
also makes you want to play at slow speeds, only
on balance and tilting from left to right. This is
really very manoeuvrable, in accordance with a reduced caster angle
by only 23.5 °.

Only the first, long, requires you to play with the clutch
below 3000 rpm.


KTM SuperDuke 990The
SD 990 sets off on the motorway in third at 130
km / h and it is already pushing hard on the cervicals.
The tapered profile of the front headlight does not allow for efficient
above and at 150 km / h, the pilot gives thanks without
to have spent the fourth … from there, to pass
the fifth and sixth … unless you leave
the bike purring on its super long 6th at 4,500 rpm.

We are then very far from the theoretical and unnecessary 220 km / h.


KTM SuperDuke 990The
SuperDuke finds its favorite ground here, offering the possibility
to attack seriously and without needing to play the selector.
And in this game, the motorcycle throws itself from turn to turn with
a real delight. We would even want to continue
the game in the roads with the same aggressiveness !

You can drive in hard, rely on the brakes, and swing it all … the SuperDuke
is always lively and reacts well with no surprises or limitations than those
of the pilot. This makes it further proof that it is not necessary
not put it in everyone’s hands. Yet as soon as the pilot
wants to give up control, he can go up one or two gears and drive on
the couple, more quietly.


KTM SuperDuke 990The
saddle is firm without being hard. The suspensions additionally help and
the whole erases the irregularities of the road, unlike
to some roadsters.

The duo pose no problem. The more typical roadster position
that sporty spares the backs of both the pilot and the


KTM SuperDuke 990Yes
the rear brake turns out to be an honest retarder,
the front provides a rare bite, while offering great progressiveness.
it brakes without forcing, and it even favors
stop it if we squeeze a little hard.

If efficiency is present with only two fingers
in current use, it is even more true in reinforced use.


The saddle opens – with difficulty – from the lock placed
above precisely. We then discover a reduced space, just
good for sheltering rain pants and a disk pad. No anti-theft
does not pass and only some small chains.

Lack of luggage rack and hooks, the SuperDuke 990 is not really
made for the trip. On the other hand, the tank turns out to be
more practical for hanging a satchel, possibly helping yourself
of the trellis frame for the fasteners.


KTM SuperDuke 990The
SuperDuke is certainly capable of being sober. But she passes easily
in reserve at 110 km, with consumption of around
10 liters per hundred !

It is true that it does not encourage you to shift gears, but rather
to play, hence a significant consumption, in particular
in the city. This consumption will drop to 7 liters provided
to stay in 6th with national journeys.

With a very small 15-liter tank, we can therefore expect
on a range limited to 150 km, 200 km in lopette mode.


KTM SuperDuke 990You
like the tough character of twin cylinders? Forget all
the ones you have tried: they will seem almost tasteless to you
after trying the SuperDuke! The SuperDuke 990 is a
small bomb, an exceptional machine for experienced solo sailors and bikers
experienced. The cycle part and the brakes are
the height of the driving character: never faulted.
It will be aimed at lovers of twin cylinders who like character.
well soaked and having a typical arsouille behavior.

Finally, in terms of line and color, it frankly attracts all eyes.
And given the limited number of models that will be imported
in France, its happy owner will even find it difficult to
find another copy in his town. In the end, only its price,
1000 € higher than comparable models,
can play against him.

Strong points

  • motor character
  • braking

Weak points

  • consumption
  • protection

Competitors: Aprilia Tuono 1000, Benelli TNT 1130, Ducati 996 S4R,
Honda CB 1000 R, Suzuki SV 1000 N, Triumph Speed ​​Triple


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