THE PERSONAL TOUCH
Any bike is just a bike until you change something – then it becomes your bike
KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT £15,999 FUEL 23 litres @ 44.55mpg = 225 miles range WEIGHT 205kg (dry) SEAT 835mm POWER 173bhp
The GT is hardly lacking in spec as standard, but I’ve never managed to have any bike for more than a few weeks without failing to resist the urge to change something.
I knew I wanted panniers with the GT from the very start, so spec’d them from day one, adding £648.35 to the bill. They’re worth it though. The versatility of having them justifies the outlay, and they’re nicely made, have one of the most integrated and unobtrusive fitting systems I’ve ever used on any bike, and they look the biz, too. The only downside is that the leading edge sometimes looks gappy – but they’ve never let a single drop of moisture through.
With several trips pending I’ve also added KTM’S expandable 10-30-litre tailpack – which is a lovely piece of kit, and a set of lever protectors. Far from being some sort of Motogp wannabee, I like them because the bars are wide, I inevitably do a lot of filtering and in-town riding, but don’t want bulky brush guards. With mounting my Garmin looking difficult without official help, I’ve also fitted the KTM Garmin-compatible satnav mount, which positions the unit just above the dash, and within the protection of the screen. At £72.26 it’s a pricey, but neat, solution.
Finally, I’ve also added the official Akrapovic end can. Again, at £729.63 it’s not cheap, but it sounds glorious (if extremely loud when the baffle is out; 105db on a static blip of the throttle), and it’s fully road legal (with the baffle in), thus preventing awkward conversations with Plod.
The upshot of all this is that the Super Duke GT feels more like my bike now, and with a three-day 2000mile blast to Austria and back on the cards, the mods will all help make KTM’S ballistic sports tourer even more fit for purpose.
A few mods make KTM’S grand touring Duke that little bit more regal
Akra sounds sweet but price is a little sour
Lever guards will protect while filtering