THIS MONTH I HAVE MOSTLY BEEN… “Pulling large ones (wheel­ies, not birds)!”

Fast Bikes - - LONGTERMERS -

This month us ter­mer lads had an email land from Boss Man (‘Dan­ger­ous’ Bruce) him­self, giv­ing us the heads-up that the man­u­fac­tur­ers who gen­er­ously lent us heavy-handed bunch of hooli­gans a ter­mer for the du­ra­tion will soon be re­quest­ing the re­turn of their wheels. I’m not gunna lie, I felt a sud­den pang of trep­i­da­tion wash over me, and a sense of panic, leav­ing me qui­etly mur­mur­ing to my­self: “No, no, no, you’re not hav­ing her back!” Thank­fully though, I’ve not yet had Mr KTM ask­ing for me to hand back the keys to my 1290 SDR, how­ever it did make me re­alise that I need to make the most of rid­ing this beaut at any given op­por­tu­nity!

My Su­per Duke and I are still in the ‘hon­ey­moon phase’. You know, when she’s ea­ger to put out and you can’t keep your filthy mitts to your­self, when ev­ery mo­ment you spend to­gether leaves you want­ing just a lit­tle bit more, only I can’t see this wear­ing thin any­time soon.

I man­aged to get across to Sil­ver­stone on race day for the Bri­tish Moto GP. It was the first time I’d been in four years and was a mega day out – the only dis­ap­point­ment was the close-fought Moto 3 race be­ing cut short due to a red flagged in­ci­dent. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a pair of KTM fan stand tick­ets (sit­u­ated in the Abbey stand) – com­plete with a ‘goodie bag’, so me and the ol’ man em­braced it, donned the KTM branded mer­chan­dise and ended up re­sem­bling some­thing that can only be de­scribed as Oompa-Loom­pas!

I for­got to men­tion last month fol­low­ing my blast around Brands that the re­cent ad­di­tion of the Power Parts fully ad­justable rearsets have proven to be yet an­other valu­able ad­di­tion to my some­what sexy steed. As with all of the Power Parts that have been fit­ted so far, the qual­ity of the com­po­nents does not dis­ap­point and un­like some af­ter­mar­ket parts that I’ve bought and fit­ted to bikes in the past, you get no frus­trat­ing nig­gles when fit­ting, no holes that don’t line up or brack­ets that don’t fit. It’s all ab­so­lutely bob-on, just as it should be.

Since rid­ing at Brands, it be­came ap­par­ent that the slight ground clear­ance is­sue I had ex­pe­ri­enced at Cadwell ear­lier in the year on the stan­dard pegs, whereby the gear lever was be­ing ground out, was now no longer a cause for con­cern. They of­fer am­ple ad­just­ment and I pre­fer the sharper, grip­pier, knurled fin­ish to the pegs over the stan­dard fit­ment, mean­ing your toot­sies stay right where you want them.

I’ve just this mo­ment got back from drop­ping my steed off at KTM for the next or­der of ex­ot­ica to be thrown its way. While it’s in the work­shop I’ve been given a 1090 Ad­ven­ture R for the day and boy what a shock to the sys­tem that was. Who’d have thought hav­ing to use the clutch for any­thing other than to pull away could be such a chore? Then to find my­self fum­bling for keys and hav­ing to man­u­ally ac­ti­vate the steer­ing lock – such an in­con­ve­nience! Okay, I know, I’m sound­ing pa­thetic now but it’s ac­tu­ally ridicu­lous how pam­pered I’ve be­come since the Su­per Duke R has graced my pres­ence. There’s so many lit­tle fea­tures about it that at first you’re in­clined to think, ‘Do I re­ally need that?’ but once you’ve ex­pe­ri­enced it, there’s sim­ply no go­ing back!

I’m sure I must’ve looked like Verne Troyer mount­ing a Shet­land pony when it came to sling­ing a leg over the lanky ad­ven­ture bike.

It was also the first time I’d rid­den on knob­blies for a while and it wasn’t long be­fore they quickly re­minded me to go easy on ‘em as it started to twitch it’s tail dur­ing down­shifts on cor­ner en­try, giv­ing you a wee slap round the chops, just to re­mind you not to be a to­tal nob. Un­doubt­edly the Ad­ven­ture R is a mega bit of kit but my SDR is a proper keeper! Or, at least, that’s the plan.

Loud and proud! No more peg grind­ing. The KTM pow­ered a day trip to the Bri­tish GP.

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