Oh yes, after a seemingly long wait the all-new KTM 790 Duke is here, named ‘The Scalpel’ by the KTM board of finding new names. So is it as sharp as they say or is it just another blunt attempt to make a new motorbike to set new standards in this highly competitive class.
I say highly competitive class with a bit of trepidation here because the naked bike market has never really taken off in South Africa compared to Europe. But I sincerely believe this is changing now and in the foreseeable future. Why you ask? Well in my mind these are ‘real’ motorcycles with no fairings and the like, and they all look much better than something lathered in plastic and carbon, right?
If you read my previous report on eight bikes of similar capacity you’ll have noticed, or should have, that my least impressive bike was the BMW G 310 R. Unfortunately, it felt a little ‘lost’ in the company of others and, well, I found it a bit boring, sorry BMW.
Here in South Africa we seem to be obsessed with large capacity and very expensive motorcycles. Nothing else seems desirable in our two-wheeled world, regarding smaller capacity machines that is. The general opinion is that they’re all just for the daily and tedious commute to work and back, or to deliver tasty convenient foods (read lazy bast’), to your doorstep. Well to all you ‘disbelievers’ you’re looking up the wrong showroom if you think a quarter-mill’-Rand motorcycle is the only answer to two-wheeled entertainment, and then some.
If you think of the name Husqvarna the chances are you’re going to think of off-road and moto-cross bikes, right? They’ve been around, or so it seems, forever with these types of motorbikes aimed at dirt riding fun and competition events. I think Steve McQueen owned one in the late 60s/70s, or his brother did, or perhaps even his mother, either way Husqvarna is certainly a household name in the world of motorcycling.