IS IT JUST ME, OR ARE manufacturers missing a trick with middleweights? We’re tired of beating the drum about a Daytona 765; but the Ducati 959/MV 800 ably demonstrate the merits of slightly less powerful, more agile bikes, in an exclusive, pricey Italian sort of way. But witness KTM’s Pikes Peak-winning 790 Duke. It’s essentially a pipe and suspension kit, yet it elevates a bike from feeling a bit ‘new rider’ to ‘weapons-grade hoon tool’. It would make a brilliant production bike. Same goes for Yamaha’s 700 platform. Dirt cheap, with a great engine and intrinsically good geometry, but held back by poor suspension. PB’s German friend Dominik Klein turned an XSR700 in to handy little grin tool without too much effort: it scores heavily on style, too. In a time when the firms are pushed to make bikes safer and greener as well as combatting a cost-conscious market, it seems there’s an opportunity being missed. Not by us, though: dive in for more on our midweight antics this month.
‘Mid weights ably demonstrate the merits of slightly less power yet more agility’