A friend of mine has one of those. He absolutely loves it. He's offered to let me ride it, but it was new, and he had a big trip planned, and I wouldn't risk doing anything stupid. I have the 990 Super Duke, and I wish they had called the 1290 something else.
KTMs are not pretty; at least not in the traditional sence.
I wish all the manufacturers would just stop with all the electronic crap, except maybe Traction Control. I seem to be in the minority on that issue. Such is the world we live in.
That's too much bike for me, but there's no substitute for torque.
If the offer is still open, you should ride it.
I think you’d be very surprised at how manageable/rideable it is with all that torque.
I have limited riding experience.
Had a 79 Suzuki GS1000 in college for 3 years.
I am 40 now (a bit wiser with better judgement).
Bought the 919 this past summer and put around 4000 miles on it.
Then got the GT, have about 2300 miles on it now.
If it is rideable by me, I imagine most with a solid head on their shoulders and some experience on something larger than a beginner bike would really enjoy it.
I don’t ride it soft, although I’m not a pretend racer either.
Pretty much always ride it in sport mode. Ride hard through the twisties, but under control.
Always try to get in a daily 100. Get it up to 110-120 mph quickly on a clear back road.
With traction control on doesn’t do real wheelies, I don’t have a lot of experience/practice doing them either.
But if I am accelerating hard, the front wheel always comes up a foot or two before TC sets it back down. I’ve had the front wheel up about 4 feet (on accident) a couple of times with TC on.
If you like wheelies, you can easily turn the TC off.
Of course the traction control helps you keep the power under control and I’ve read the throttle by wire will smooth out/adjust any inputs that would be detrimental, although you cannot tell.
Whatever the bike does electronically is hidden/unbeknownst to the rider very well.
So it stills feels organic and not like your inputs are being interrupted.
Being away from motorcycles almost 20 years, I really didn’t have an opinion on electronics.
But going from the 919 to the GT, here are my current my thoughts:
-ABS, although I haven’t needed them yet for an emergency, probably one of the best safety features as it is so easy to instinctively grab a handful of front brake. Also applies rear brakes if you only grab the front and rear are needed.
-Drive modes, I always keep it in sport so not something I use much at this stage.
-Ride modes (suspension), I could live with just sport, although comfort is nice for the highway and when riding with a passenger. It is nice adjusting electronically, and on the fly, instead of with tools.
-Electronic pre-load, if you ride with a passenger often, you’ll never want to not have it again.
-Quickshifter, it will spoil you quickly, it is so easy and convenient. Also will probably make you lose your touch with shifting with the clutch over time.
-Never use cruise control.
-Heated grips are great.
-Overall though the engineers did a great job of not ruining the riding experience by not allowing you to feel/know when the electronic rider aids are “helping you out.”