THE PER­SONAL TOUCH

Any bike is just a bike un­til you change some­thing – then it be­comes your bike

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage - THE RIDER Richard New­land. Sports­bike ad­dict, loves road rid­ing in all weath­ers. HEIGHT 5ft 11in WEIGHT 117kg richard.new­land@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

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

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