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2019 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT: MD Ride Review

It doesn’t seem that long ago that KTM was known almost exclusively for building dirt bikes – motocross, enduro and cross-country. Its “Ready to Race” philosophy fit perfectly with its product mix.

Of course, KTM is now known for having a diverse line-up of street-legal machines, and it still carries the Ready to Race characterization for everything from its dirt bikes to its sport tourer, the 1290 Super Duke GT, which is the subject of this ride review.

The 1290 Super Duke GT was redesigned for the 2019 model year, which we have previously reported. It is motivated by an updated version of the amazing 1,301cc LC8 v-twin engine that we first sampled more than five years ago in the original 1290 Super Duke R. Now with titanium valves and intake resonator chambers, KTM rates this refined motor at 173 horsepower in the new Super Duke GT. Together with all that horsepower, of course, is a massive v-twin displacement that supports a broad, high plateau of torque that kicks in very low in the rev range.

In short, this is one of the most amazing engines ever developed for use in a street legal motorcycle, and this year it is even better (as we found out). But the Super Duke GT is more than just engine performance. KTM’s design brief included the goal of mastering, in one bike, “the seemingly impossible split between mountanous twisties, comfortable long-distance highway travelling and breath-taking track day use.” As we found out during our testing, it is hard for us to argue that KTM has fallen short of this lofty goal.

The list of changes for 2019 is long. In addition to the engine updates, the Super Duke GT gets a new 6.5″ TFT display similar to that found on the Super Adventure S we recently tested (see photo below), new adjustable windscreen, new handguards, new LED headlight, redesigned cruise control, and updated WP semi-active suspension.

This photo of the TFT display on the Super Adventure S illustrates color and contract of the similar display on the Super Duke GT.

Handlebar controls allow you to dial in the supension settings you want – Comfort, Street or Sport, on top of the ability to change load settings, i.e., rider only, rider with luggage, and rider with passenger and luggage. According to KTM, the Suspension Control Unit adapts damping, load and anti-dive rates in real time, and also monitors rider position. Stroke sensors and accelerometers are designed to “ensure optimal suspension performance in all conditions.”

Standard electronic wizardry includes Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC) with Cornering ABS by Bosch, and lean angle sensitive Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC). MTC is adjustable, and there are three ride modes (the most aggressive being Sport). ABS can be switched to SuperMoto mode, which allows the rider to lock up the rear wheel.

The Super Duke GT comes standard with a quickshifter, allowing clutchless up and downshifts. Also included is the ability to connect a Smart Phone via bluetooth, allowing audio and phone call control from the handlebar. Ignition is keyless with a proximity-sensitive key fob, with a flip-out key to remove the standard saddlebags.

Comfortable and relatively upright erogonomics and a firm seat go well with the standard touring features which, in addition to the saddlebags, adjustable windscreen and cruise control, includes heated grips.

The excellent Brembo brake system includes a Brembo master cylinder (right).

So the 1290 Super Duke GT is a full-featured touring mount … can it boogie as a sport bike? It absolutely can, with stellar engine performance (no surprise, perhaps) combined with agile, yet stable, handling and awesome brakes.

Those ABS brakes include huge 320mm front discs squeezed by Brembo four-piston, radial-mount calipers fed by a Brembo radial master cylinder. A two-piston caliper operates on the smaller disc in the rear. The brakes offer big initial bite without being hard to modulate. These brakes are clearly up to the tasks of fully loaded touring (with a passenger) and track days.

We have sampled several electronically-adjustable suspension systems at this point, and the system found on the 1290 Super Duke GT is the best yet, in our opinion. With Comfort, Street and Sport settings available, we found ourselves settling on the Street setting for everyday riding, as well as aggressive trips through the canyons. Damping settings in Sport mode are aggressive enough to be appropriate for track days. Comfort setting is soft, without being too squishy.

With a steel trellis frame and stock Perelli Angel GT tires sending excellent feedback to the rider, the 1290 Super Duke GT easily tranistions from high-speed, straight-line touring duties to aggressive attack mode in the twisties. On one of our favorite canyon roads, the big GT offered a combination of corner grip and acceleration we have, frankly, not seen before in a sport tourer.

The quickshifter on the six-speed box works well unless revs are quite low, or you are going from 1st to 2nd gear or vice-a-versa. It can be clunky in those circumstances. The rest of the time it is a welcome accessory that leaves you spoiled the next time you board a bike that requires use of the clutch full time.

That new TFT display is fantastic, with outstanding brightness, contrast and color that heralds a new era in motorcycle instrumentation legibility (the bikes we test without a TFT display, these days, are noticeably lacking). All of those electronic options we talked about above (such as suspension settings, power modes, etc.) are easily and intuitively controlled from the left handlebar grip area. Cruise control is found in the same vicinity and manipulated with the thumb. Frankly, cruise control was the only feature we couldn’t figure out without reading instructions … to set your speed you maneuver the lever into a notch on the left before releasing it. Once we solved this mystery, it worked well.

So while the 1290 Super Duke GT doubles as a kick-ass superbike, it also excels at long-haul comfort. The standard, integrated saddlebags are easy to remove from the bike, and (while certainly smaller than some bags) swallowed a large, full-face Arai helmet. The LED headlights provide great highway vision at night, and the tire pressure monitoring system offers some added peace of mind.

To show you how serious KTM is about the sporting capabilities of the Super Duke GT, there is an optional Track Pack that can be loaded on the ECU. This adds a Track ride mode with three drive modes and the ability to turn wheelie control off. It also offers adjustable traction control and launch control.

The 2019 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT is one of the best motorcycles MD has ever tested. Instead of “jack of all trades” we might call it “master of all trades.” The engine performance, brake performance and handling all scream “Sport Bike”, while the finely tuned ergonomics, seat comfort, touring features and saddlebags make the “Sport Tourer” label fit perfectly. With 6.1 gallons of fuel capacity, you can also get a long way down the highway between fill-ups (and judicious use of the throttle on the highway, together with a less aggressive ignition map, will provide decent mileage).

In the end, the biggest impression left by this bike comes from the incredible engine performance and acceleration. Fuel injection mapping is superb (open the throttle at only 2,800 rpm in top gear without any hiccups), and accceleration is both viscious and controlled. Hours after leaving the saddle, the unique engine beat and effortless forward motion still haunt you (in a good way).

The 2019 KTM 1290 SuperDuke GT is available in two color schemes, including white with orange accents (our test unit) and black with orange accents (pictured below). Base price is $20,499 in the United States. Take a look at the KTM web site for additional details and specifications.

See more of MD’s great photography: Instagram


  1. chevvy says:

    I think ya all just blowin smoke, I own one (2018 SDR) dont care too much about what it looks like, cause I aint looking at it,cause Im too busy ridin it, an Ill tell ya all,… is what it is!! KING OF THE STREET.

  2. Skybullet says:

    KTM, how about offering a alternate styling package? I love my SDGT but I (and maybe many more potential buyers) would prefer a traditional round headlight, retro look tank and conventional styling. The radical look is the only downside to this amazing bike.

  3. Colin says:

    Love my 2017 but should have waited for this. The TFT dash is spectacular, cruise controls on the proper side, looks more like the SD, improved suspension algorithms, but most importantly has the quickshift down. This is a must-have feature for me after riding with it on other bikes. So much more stable, confidence-inspiring, flexible and comfortable than manual clutching on twisty roads.

    That said, I don’t understand how others haven’t noticed the engine heat on the first gen. It’s fine at modest ambient temps but in CA when it gets over 80 the heat on my right leg is uncomfortable and distracting. I suspect it will be the same on the new model.

  4. don says:

    How does the “firm” seat equate to “long haul comfort”? Does KTM use magic foam, or what?

    • Dirck Edge says:

      I like firm, supportive seats. Not hard. If the seat is too soft and squishy, I find they get uncomfortable on longer rides.

  5. Jim says:

    Lose the Alien headlight, add shaft drive and give it a real paint job and I’d consider one.

  6. Thumper1500 says:

    I was concerned about the pegs being to high & tight as well. I bought a 2019 after deciding it felt ‘good enough’. Once I started riding, I found it to be rather comfortable actually. I did buy a set of 1″ drop aftermarket pegs and now I couldn’t be happier. With a larger windscreen, up/back risers and the lowered pegs this is my dream bike. I can’t get the sh!t eating grin off my face and am so glad I went this route.

  7. Chris says:

    Great read, much appreciated. How fast did your test unit do? The website says 245kph tops, but we know ktm always quote a much lower top speed.

  8. Mark says:

    I have a 2017 GT. Simply outstanding in performance, handling, ergonomics and yes even looks — the closest thing to the perfect motorcycle I’ve seen.

    • Superlight says:

      Disagree with you on the looks – way too much “bird beak” and garish decals for me.

      • Grover says:

        People want to believe it’s good looking because it’s such an outstanding bike in every other way. KTM is the King of Ugly Bike’s and that’s not going to change unless they hire an Italian to pen their next bike.

        • mickey says:

          From all I can gather it is an outstanding motorcycle.

          maybe KTM sticks with that design because it’s so identifiable as their brand, and it they tried anything more mainstream, it would look watered-down?

    • mg3 says:

      Yeah, sorry man but that bike is not ‘bad’ looking, it’s ‘horrible’ looking. What a shame that one of the best motorcycles ever built is also one of the hardest to look at.

      Why do they do this? Are people asking for this kind of look? Are they trying to appear ‘state-of-the-art’? ‘Edge-y’? I don’t get it.

      Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I think those who find this ‘beautiful’ are probably talking themselves into it.

  9. Wayne says:

    I just bought my second KTM Super Duke GT upgrading from a 2016 to a 2019. I put about 25K miles on the first SDGT. The only problem that I encountered was a failed butterfly value that my local KTM dealer replaced without complaint or cost. I have done several trips across the USA and up to Yellow Knife in the Canadian Arctic on my first Austrian Brute.

    Other than the utterly awesome display, my 2019 Super Duke GT is just like the 2016 only better. I probably have less than 100K miles on bikes. I’m hardly an expert but I’m VERY pleased at the handling and acceleration of the SDGT. I have ridden the SDGT through snowstorms in Montana (not recommended) and through 110+ F heat in California (also, not recommended). The Duke has always been super sure footed.

    I worked hard for most of my 63 years; I can buy any damn bike I want. After riding BWMs and Ducattis, I chose the Duke. I have never had an opportunity to ride an Aprilia.

    My only real complaint is that the SDGT is so light that in heavy winds at high speed, you get blown around a bit. Also, oil costs $20 per quart. Ouch!

    As for looks, the Duke may be ugly to y’all but for me, it’s a keeper. To each, their own. The 2019 looks like a wasp or maybe, a Klingon Bird of Prey due to the new headlight assembly.

    Whatever your choice of bike, get out and ride. You’re not getting any younger…


    • frank davis says:

      “Whatever your choice of bike, get out and ride. You’re not getting any younger…”


    • Obo says:

      Would love to hear if there’s a difference in the ride and handling between the 2016 and 2019.

  10. Shoeman says:

    KTM’s USA website details their Demo Ride program. A truck full of KTM street bikes, including the Super Duke GT, are available for test rides at a dozen plus cities at various dates. Added bonus, participants receive a $500 certificate towards the purchase of a KTM. Test rides are the best way to decide if a bike is right for you. I hated KTM styling, but quickly fell in love with the Super Duke GT upon riding it. I’ve got only 30 inch inseams, yet the SDGT is easy to control because of its light weight. No heat issues either, even in 90 degree heat and high humidity. For everyone sitting on the fence about KTM, leverage the test ride program.

  11. MotoVelo says:

    OK, I’m sold save for two questions important to me, Dirck: any opinion on passenger comfort, and, even though addressed in a couple of the comments, how was your experience regarding engine heat (quite a few reviews of the large KTM engines mention it)? Otherwise, there seems to be a LOT to like.

    • Dirck Edge says:

      Never noticed any engine heat, but air temp was mild and didn’t test much in stop-n-go traffic. Didn’t test with a passenger, but the passenger seat doesn’t look uncomfortable for such a sporty machine. If that is important, best try it out in the showroom.

  12. Shoeman says:

    Most people aren’t model-level gorgeous. Yet we somehow manage to attract a mate, spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend etc. How? Personality. My 2016 KTM SDGT competes with my 2018 Yamaha MT-10 for ugliest bike in the garage honors, yet they are always my go-to bikes, ahead of the ZX14R and H2SX. I often laugh out loud in my helmet when riding these bikes, wondering how so much fun is legal. You can wish for model looks, but I’ll take the girl next door with average looks and a great personality anyday. As Dirck said, the KTM haunts you. It’s stock exhaust sounds aftermarket sweet, it’s comfy, practical (panniers), and Superbike quick. It makes me question my sanity for owning other bikes when the KTM is a true do it all bike.

    • Anonymous says:

      People look the way they do because of the genetic lottery.

      KTM’s are designed this way. On purpose.

    • Mr.Mike says:

      “yet we somehow manage to attract a mate, spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend etc. How?”


    • gpokluda says:

      The proverbial “do-it-all” motorcycle is a unicorn. A myth. Many riders have spent loads of money hunting for that one bike that can do it all, myself included. The interesting thing is, my riding buddies who are on that quest seem to rotate bikes in and out of the garage more frequently (and with lower mileage than would be expected for a do-it-all bike) than those who who do not embark on such a journey and just ride the wheels off the bike they have.

  13. rick says:

    How does the KTM semi-active suspension compare to the semi-active suspension on the 2019 Aprilia Tuono Factory?

  14. Freddie Brenneman says:

    I have a 2017 with 15000 mls no problems. 600 ml. days no problem and it loves north Arkansas, but I may have to trade up for the 3-4 hp.

  15. gpokluda says:

    Ya, about that styling. KTM has never been able to build a good looking motorcycle. Guess there is no reason to expect them to do so in the future. Never thought I would see a bike that made the Svartpilen 701 look good.

    • NickW says:

      Agreed on their road bikes, but their MotoGP machine is beautiful. Obviously, Kriska and his K-styling mob weren’t involved with that bike which really needs to cut cleanly through the air.

  16. Bubba Blue says:

    It would take some honest reflection as to what is needed, what works and what is superfluous.

    I would need better wind protection and more leg room and a top case for distance.

    I don’t need to pay for or care for many electronic gewgaws like riding modes, radios – earbuds and cellphones work better than motorcycle radios. Frankly, I don’t need adjustable suspension. Just set it and forget it. But that’s just me.

    I don’t need the heat from too large a mill. This one looks close to right. Maybe a tad large.

    It is ugly but hey, KTM sure ain’t no copy cat.

  17. Fujkami says:

    Amer-asian IT professionals need only apply. A dealer near me said they are keeping him afloat as American kids just sit in front of their gaming screens eating junk food. If I’m paying that money then I’m getting the best electric I can find. Far less maintenance and I can get the miles for the $ in better batteries.

  18. allworld says:

    I eagerly await the 790 Duke GT.

  19. TimC says:

    Meanwhile, I guess everyone just got tired of griping about styling? Or this just isn’t as bad as the Japanese have been managing so we’re all numb? I’m still not a fan regardless of how good it is….

  20. DP says:

    KTM – testimony to survival of the ugliest. Seriously though, it is a phenomenal creation beyond practical usability for most of us.

    I just wish we had those proverbial “canyons” in out area. I suspect they are present only in miniscule of N/A landmass. Most of it is flat boring stretches – perfect for cruisers. Thus, the KTM may fit primarily for those of us who are wealthy and technically savvy.

  21. Shoeman says:

    Congrats to Motorcycle Daily and Dirck for being the first in the U.S. to publish a test of the 2019 revised edition of this incredible machine. I’ve been anxiously waiting reviews, yet KTM has suprisingly kept this bike out of the limelight. This review does good work providing both the technical details, and also the “feel” of riding it. Next, can we please have an MD exclusive first US review of the revised 2019 Kawasaki H2??

  22. John says:

    How often to I use 160 hp? Every time I ride. I hit the rev limiter a few times in the course of a 1,000 trip

    Who cares how much someone needs. I buy what I want. I have a 75hp desert sled that’s super fun. I also have a 10 ho grom. And a 170 hp concours. Plus a few more

    If someone is complaining it’s too much. Don’t get it

    On a lighter note. I test rode a new z400. What a great inexpensive bike

  23. joe b says:

    … did Mr. Ivins have any input into this test, I know he has an older model, and would comment if givin the chance.

  24. PBrasseur says:

    I picked the Multi 1260s over this, it was a close call but I think the Ducati looks better and to be frank is at another level in general. Both cases deserve the extended warranty treatment though 😉

    • Dirck Edge says:

      Have you ridden both? I have.

    • TF says:

      I own a 1200 Multistrada and a 1090R KTM. I see it exactly the opposite in that the KTM V-twin is one of the most amazing motorcycle engines available today, many levels of refinement above the Duc. In fact, I have a hard time believing they are both V-twins. The KTM is so smooth and the fueling is worlds better…..and my Duc has the Termi/up-map treatment. Oh, and no issues with either bike during several years of ownership, save for fuel level sensor issues on both bikes.

      I have ridden a couple 1290 KTMs as well……very smooth and forgiving bikes but you better have some open space in front of you if you decide to really twist the throttle.

      All that said, the Multistrada is still a lovable brute (and far prettier) and I have no plans to part with it.

  25. todd says:

    Wait, so you need to buy an optional “track” module just to do wheelies?

    • Curtis says:

      I don’t think so. If it’s like the Super Duke R, you can do wheelies if you turn the traction control off. But if you want to turn the wheelie control off, and still have traction control, yes, the Track Pack is required. On the SDR, the Track Pack also enables quickly changing between nine different levels of traction control, rather than just having Rain, Street, and Sport modes (which each have their own combination of settings). But I am not certain about the nine-level traction control on the GT.

  26. randy says:

    amazing machine. My wallet and riding ability are just as well served by my V Strom 1000……unless I win the lottery-LOL

  27. gpokluda says:

    That is one crazy amount of tech crammed into that bike. The only useful tool to wrench on that thing is a credit card. I’m sure KTM did their homework and believe there is a market for it. Hope they sell a few.

  28. John says:

    If someone wants a 100 hp bike then get it. I can’t stand hearing someone complain about too much hp. It’s still a free country. Buy what you want. I don’t care

    I have the 160 hp vs of this with the super adventure. Wish it had 15 more hp like this. Owner wheelies and controlled rear tire steering are still fun and I’m 54 years old. For me more hp is also appreciated when I have a passenger, 3 hard bags stuff for a week trip crossing 10,000 ft elevation runs.

    • Anonymous says:

      How often do you use 160hp? You are only using it all if you are using full throttle at about 9000rpm. How often do you do that?

      • TimC says:

        As often as possible

        • Jabe says:


          I am by no means a street hooligan but do appreciate the big hp’s. I think some of those who try to shame us for wanting or having more power are suffering from liter bike envy.

          I also recognize there are those who use big bikes as a status symbol which is stupid and immature. Everyone should just ride what they like and quit worrying about what others think about it.

      • Stuki Moi says:

        Full throttle, 9000rpm, in a gear tall enough for the nannies not to intervene…… I had the regular SD for a year, and suspect that means 4th gear on this one. “Barely.” Maybe 5th…. Your going quite fast at that point. On the Super Adventure fitted with bags, you’re probably taking up a lane or two from instability (I had a regular Adventure 1190 the year before the SD…..).

        After having those two KTMs, I honestly find them more “impressive” than all that enticing. The only thing I remember being “better” than any other bike, is how controlled the 1190’s suspension was even in “comfort” mode…… My SD didn’t have electronic suspension, so I’m sure this new one is improved in that regard.

        I have long for my height femurs, so the somewhat rearset pegs probably bother me more than most (ZX14R has the bestest sporty ergos available anywhere…). I also can’t stand heavily electronically smoothed out RBW throttles (engines should have sufficiently well developed breathing and fuelling to not need it). And steering dampers have no place on street bikes, period (again, a well designed chassis doesn’t need them). Also, Harley, and Suzuki with the VStrom 1000, figured out where in the rev band big V-Twins are charming, and where they are just annoyingly droning…. If your opinion differ from mine in all those areas, and especially if you want your street/touring bike to be _very_ responsive to trail braking, almost to the point of demanding it for any kind of turning above walking pace, you’ll probably love the KTMs.

      • Jeremy says:

        Yeah, well you’d have to do the same thing on an SV650 just to use 70hp. Or the same thing on a CBR250R just to use 25 hp.

        The thing about this bike is that it makes more power everywhere, not just at 9000 rpms. But the 160 is there if you want it. Who cares if he only uses 160hp a few times each ride. He might use 120 or 100 or 75hp very often, and he doesn’t have to go full throttle or spin up the engine to do it.

        • Anonymous says:

          Jeremy, just drop it down a gear and give it some more revs. Make that engine sing! There are so many people who like to brag about how much power their bike has but they almost never use all of it. Maybe you are one of them. Track riding is an exception, of course. That’s where big hp really is useful.

          • Jeremy says:

            Well, the most powerful bike I own right now makes about 95 HP, so there wouldn’t be much to brag about. And it makes that power at about 12000 rpms, so I usually have to drop down two gears if I want all of it. And frankly, my go-to bike only makes about 50 hp from it’s single cylinder mill.

            The truth is, most people are rarely using the peak hp of their motorcycle regardless of what that number is. But the guy on the KTM gets to use more than me anytime he wants… “Wants” being the mot du jour and reason bikes like this exist anyway. Don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

          • mickey says:

            I fell in love with liter class bikes when I bought my KZ1000 new in 1977 and have been riding that class bike (with a few exceptions) ever since. The two I currently have are 1100 cc 88 hp and 1300 cc 146 HP and I never use all the power on either one of them…ever. But I love the feel and sound of those big I-4 motors. I have also had singles, twins P and V, triples, V 4’s, 2 strokes, 4 strokes and ridden about everything made since 1965 and nothing satisfies me more than when I am riding a liter class I-4 no matter how little of it I use.

  29. carl says:

    I actually wanted this to be my next bike, with a 30 inch inseam, tried it at the dealership and didn’t feel comfortable on it. Maybe if I had done ballet as a kid. ASHAME!!

    • Jeremy says:

      That is a shame. You should really do something about that inseam. And it is never too late to take up ballet.

  30. Skybullet says:

    I bought a 2017 SDGT out of the first shipment to the USA and it is almost as good as the 2019, but then anything can be improved. It is the only bike I have ever owned that has more power than I need. Handling is superb under all road conditions with a light flickable but stable feel. I had Sargent tweak the seat for all day comfort and the only other problem was a 10 minute warranty fuel line replacement. Yes, it is a premium price, but you get WP top of the line suspension, state of the art electronics and high quality components. Nice to have a bike that has no “yeah buts”. Engine heat is a non-issue and I live in Texas.

  31. Don says:

    What about the engine heat baking your inner thighs and legs. I rode a 1290S and really like it except the heat was unbearable and that was on a 70 degree day.

  32. Bad chad says:

    The knee bend looks fairly prominent. More than I would be willing to live with.

    • Snake says:

      Take another careful look at that most obvious profile shot of the bike and you’ll note the *usual* review faux pas: the rider has the balls of his foot on the pegs, not the instep.

      One. Of. These. Days, they’ll learn to take & post photos of the rider with his instep fully on the pegs so we can tell what the real seating position is, rather than have us completely guess.


      • VLJ says:

        Sixth pic down, your wish is granted.

        Anyway, how difficult is it to use your imagination in the other pics and move his footpeg position from the ball of his foot to the instep? Seriously, is it really all that hard? It’s a “complete guess”?

        The things people whinge about here…


      • TimC says:

        Uh, balls of the feet = better control.

        • guu says:

          Agreed. Why on earth would you want to immobilize one of your joints on purpose when controlling a motorcycle? If you want that then there are bikes where you don’t (and can’t) move any of your leg joints and have the comfort and lack of control of having your legs straight.

        • Snake says:

          No. Not on the street. On the racetrack, yes, absolutely. But balls of the feet = SLOWER rear brake reaction times, *not* good for street riding.

      • TimC says:

        Let’s also pause to observe that despite claiming it’s Optional, here Dirck is leaning correctly in all cornering shots. It even looks like his posterior is off the seat a little bit, also on the correct side.


      • jon says:

        Since when has instep on the pegs been the standard position? Maybe if you want less control, less ground clearance and to look like a duck when you ride.


        • fred says:

          Or if you want to shift or use the rear brake. LOL

          FWIW, I ride with the balls of my feet on the pegs most of the time, but I don’t see any reason to criticize those who do otherwise.

          • Snake says:

            “Or if you want to shift or use the rear brake. LOL”


            The road is NOT A RACETRACK. Balls of the feet on the pegs is a RACING position and should not be used on the street, where rapid brake application may be needed in reaction to the objects that aren’t on racetracks.

            The criticism is valid because the riding position is reflected in the photos taken for public consumption, in order to help judge the bike. Therefore, the pictures should show insteps on the pegs, the most ‘neutral’ position, so that *readers* can make a judgement call. After that, if the reader wants to calculate a different riding position from that base, they can do that, too.

          • guu says:

            Huh? You are not resting your feet on the brake or shift levers are you? You would still have to move your feet. And unless otherwise shown, I don’t believe its slower to move them forward than sideways.

            When you have the option to use all of your leg joints you have more control (of the bike), and better control of your body when encountering sudden jolts, bumps etc. This is the same on the street, on the race track, mx track , enduro trail, bicycling, unicycling, running, boxing, and playing ball games. This is the dynamic position where you can react in any situation, not just brake and shift.

          • Snake says:

            I’m terribly sorry Guu, but you are wrong. Look it up, on everything from highway safety studies, to how Kevin Schwantz street rides, to rider course recommendations.

            You faster than Kevin Schwantz?

          • guu says:

            No… But I can do an image search and find out where Schwantz’s feet were when he was pushing the limits (ie need fast reactions) and wasn’t breaking or wheeling…

            I have no idea how or what he street rides. I hope his legs work good with all the injuries and he’s not going Kevin-Schwantz fast.

            I fail to see the difference between race track and street (and please give real references if you can): in both cases you must be ready to react and having full mobility and range of your legs enhances this. I’m truly open to be educated, but just saying “Look it up, on everything from..” doesn’t do that.

          • Grover says:

            Balls of the feet might be the optimum position for riding, but I would wager that 95% of all riders have the instep on the pegs, not the balls of their feet.

    • Dave says:

      Looks pretty mild to me (take note of how far the foot controls are from his toes in a couple of the shots). This is a very high performance bike. If the pegs were any lower & farther forward the bike probably would lose some of it’s sporting competence, which I think would be off-putting for the riders this bike is meant to appeal to. On the upside, the rearset assemblies appear to be self-contained, so hopefully the thing sells in big enough numbers that the aftermarket supplies options.

      It sounds like a truly incredible bike.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      The distance from the seat to pegs, are less noticeable than how rearset the pegs are. Great for those brief spurts of whacking the giant engine wide open, and for moving around on the bike and hanging off; but otherwise, a pain in the knees.

  33. Rapier says:

    If I came upon a bunch of money it might be on my list but besides age which has blunted my need for power the pegs look too damn high for no compromise touring comfort,for those longer of leg anyway. I could be wrong. Then too if your not long of leg these tall heavy things are less than ideal in so many ordinary situations. More and more the 100HP area like of the 790 looks like the far more reasonable choice for most. I mean really, would you want to cruise at 120, or 160, on this gigantic thing when a 100hp bike will do 85 happily all day long?

    • todd says:

      I’ve had <40hp bikes that would do 85 happily all day long.

      • Rapier says:

        Let me see. My experience with almost 50 to perhaps 60 RWHP, much less 40.

        My 650 Triumph’s. 85 all day no way, and forget about happy.

        Guzzi V7 Sport. Well, maybe. 70 sure.

        1980 KZ 750E. It would do it but happily a stretch. Not in happily as in easy and relaxed.

        Of course one mans happy is another mans ‘why am I subjecting myself to this’.

      • mickey says:

        “will happily do 80 all day long”

        I’ve always loved that statement.

        Usually quoted by the same people who say “I avoid freeways like the plague”

        So where are the back roads that you can run 80 on, all day long? Certainly not where I live. Try doing that in the curvy hills where I live and you’ll find yourself in a farmers field, or into the trunk of a big oak on the side of the road, or into the back of a pick up truck or farm implement. Just can’t do it. Roads are too narrow and curves are too sharp. You can probably get to 80 on some of the straight stretches but you’d better be hauling it down at the first curve you come to. 80 all day long is not a phrase you would use here unless you are an idiot.

        Maybe out west someplace? Maybe Utah or Montana or Wyoming?

        In the eastern half of this country if you are going to run 80 all day long, you’d better be on the freeway and you’d better hope you don’t get radared by the POPO because in most places the speed limit is only 65. In Ohio the Highway Patrol have a saying,” Over 9, You’re mine…and that’s a long way from 80

    • fred says:

      Back in my misspent youth, where enforcement was sparse to non-existent, I spent a lot of time on the far side of 100mph (mostly in the 110-120 range). Unfortunately, that is no longer possible in most of the places where I go now.

      My short answer to your question is “Yes!”.

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