KTM Ride Report �������������� Saturday 15th January, 2011


After being at Metro in Ringwood I decided to pay a courtesy visit to Jeffery Honda in Ferntree Gully because they rang and left a message when my bike was 12 months old and asked how things were going, and was I happy with it.

I arrived to find a large KTM Transporter there along with a lot of bikes, but I didn�t take much notice, and went for a wander through the show rooms and looked at the different bikes they had there. The second showroom had Honda and Suzuki motorcycles in it, and the main shop was dedicated to just KTM motorcycles only.

As I browsed through the shop I spotted some chain lube on the shelf I forgot to pick up at the other shop. The one I had in the shed vanished into thin air, never to found. When I�ve walked out the shop, a young man said to me, have you booked in� looking puzzled, what for�the ride day, he said�no�do you want to go for a ride on one, he asked. Normally I wouldn�t bother, as I cast my eyes over the bikes. How about that one, as I pointed to the Pearl White RC8. That�s fine, just go and see the gentleman over there and sign the form, to which I did, and get ready. YE HA

There was a group of 10 at a time, they had a leader and a rear rider. Time to go, Burwood Hwy, Forest Rd, Mountain Hwy. I was behind a big guy on a Super Duke and he was giving it a few raspberries. He would give it a handful, I would see the back wheel spin and lift the front a bit and he would pull away. In order to keep up with him I decided to drop a gear or two and bring the revs up to keep it in the power band, don�t be scared, just do it.

After a short distance I decided I was going to take him, I just had to wait for the right opportunity, hard on his tail I seized the moment, gave it a handful and shot past, feeling good about it, the corner came up pretty quick�SHIT�deep breath, pucker up your arse cheeks, apply brakes and steer around the corner�phew that was close�back on the gas and round up a few others on the way and catch up with the leader at Sassafras.

Down Mt Dandenong Tourist rd everything is going well. Some of us had to stop at the lights, Burwood and Mt Dandenong Tourist rd. It was a very warm day. I was watching the lights and was ready to launch, bring up the revs, feather the clutch�GO�go the length of the bike, stalls, back wheel lock u clutch it, quickly look at bars, stab the starter button, it fires and I carry on. I am glad nobody ran into the back of me, alls well and back to the shop.

Back at the shop it was park the bikes and get ready for round two. The young man again asked if I wanted to ride another bike, WHY NOT�I ended up riding bikes that nobody else wanted to ride, just a fill in. My next bike was a Motard, 690 single, Std version, was a good all rounder, be alright for general use, commuting to and from work sort of thing. Did the same route as no 2.

Motard no 2, 690 single SMC, 63 hp. Lysterfield rd, Wellington rd, Belgrave / Hallam roundaboutand back to the shop. I was impressed with this bike, good power delivery from 4 grand through to redline, handled well, good mid range, surprised me.

Motard no 3, 690 single R, 70 hp. Burwood rd, Mt Dandy Tourist rd, Churchill rd, One Tree Hill rd, Mt Dandy Tourist rd, Mountain Hwy, Forest Rd and back to the shop. Geoff Bull was leading the ride on a CBR1000R. I rounded up a few on this bike. It�s got a lot of top end power, pulls from mid range to red line really well. When I caught up with Geoff on the 1000, I could stick with him through the twisty bits, definitely a surprise package. Good for chasing the big boys through the tight stuff.

Back at the shop I was discussing the bikes with one of the other riders. He had was on the SMC, and he had been ridingthe R before, we both come to the conclusion that the SMC was the better bike, better mid range power delivery and was more useable than the R.

Impressions on the RC8, 1190 V Twin, Std Model: Don�t know what horsepower it was, seating position was like the VFR, motor was very docile, and responsive. Like anything, it went alright when you cranked it up and had good engine braking, I haven�t ridden many V Twins, but this was so smooth. Wouldn�t have minded taking it for half day and be able to put it through it paces, excellent brakes, handled alright through the Dandenongs. A bit high geared in first, and the motor put out a LOT of HEAT. I was glad I was wearing jeans and not leathers, just about cook bacon and eggs with it.

Last ride of the day, I was hoping to get a ride on a Super Duke, but it wasn�t to be. They took Geoff of the 1000 and put him on the Super Duke, so that left me with 3 Motards which I had just ridden, or the 990 Adventure, WHY NOT�I didn�t have much choice left. This was a Std Model with ABS, and it had Akrapovic exhaust on it, along with the one of the Super Dukes.

I had ridden about half a klm along Burwood Hwy and thought, if I was going touring, this was it, what a pleasure to ride, big lazy V twin, smooth like the RC8, docile as well. We head back into the hills, Geoff on the Super Duke, me on the 990 Adventure, and someone else on the other Super Duke, (one was std and the other was a R ) It would have been grouse listening to the three V Twins thundering through the hills. I wasn�t wearing ear plugs and it sounded alright to me.

Finally it�s back to shop and the end of another day. So for me, my courtesy visit, I spent 4 hours riding 5 bikes, what a way to spend a Saturday. It certainly opened my eyes to what�s available out there. Go out and try them.�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������

Ron Johnston