Now this one new motorbike I’ve been looking forward to, because I used to own an original Z1 and z900. But let me clear something up first; It seems many ‘journos’ keep saying this is roughly based around the 1972 Z1, which was never a z900, sorry for you. They actually went, Z1, Z1A, Z1B then z900, which then had exactly the same badge on the side panels as this 2018 version does. Just thought I’d relieve that from my chest cavity before I commence. Then in 1976 the z1000 replaced that, but anyway…
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.