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Discussion Starter #1
Hi KTM gods :D

After some advice please guys.

Background: 41yo male, about to (hopefully) pass test. 6"1' but fairly slim. Not had a motorbike before, but fairly extensive experience with cars and karts on track and hold a pilots license, so good general motor vehicle skills. Learning on a Honda CB650F and quite comfortable with that, although find it a bit of a lump.

Been doing extensive research and decided a naked middleweight will suit my needs, which will be mainly weekend fun with the odd bit of commuting and the odd longer journey. Duke 790 looks amazing on paper pretty much in every aspect, ticks all my boxes, and felt very nice from onboard.

Naturally was waiting until I've passed and hoping to have some test rides on this and other options, however my local KTM dealer are knocking out the 2019 790 cheaper than second hand bikes to shift stock - they're going quick and aren't many left, so I'm finding it very hard to resist putting a deposit down before they're gone... So, two questions:

1) Is the 790 suitable for a beginner? I know this is subjective, depends how much I turn the throttle etc, but just after general opinions from those wiser than me! The dealer says absolutely, but of course he probably just wants the sale! All the reviews I've seen say it's easy to ride and calm when you want it to be, but of course I am aware it's a lot of bike for a new rider. I'm pretty sensible and will happily keep it in rain mode until I'm more comfortable.

2) Would it be stupid to buy a bike without having ridden it first? The 790 ticks all the boxes, it's lightweight, suits my frame perfectly, looks great, plenty quick enough, loads of tech, extremely well reviewed etc. Normally I'd be happy to wait but if it's the right bike for me I don't want to miss out on this deal.

Thanks :D
 

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I think it would be great as a slightly advance first big bike, and you shouldn't grow out of it too quickly either.
IMO a first big bike should be around the 100 hp mark if you are later 30's or older.

If it's a really good deal then grab it, but bare in mind that used bikes will start to appear soon as we near Spring, and the 790 might take a beating from the 890 that has just been launched.
I just did a quick search and low mileage used 790s are £5.5k to £6k.
How much have you been offered one for?

As for if it's the right bike.. as long as it fits you then you really aren't going to know much more even after a 1 hour test ride. After a few months you should know if you like it, but as you haven't had other bikes to compare it against you won't know any different anyway, you'll just love or hate it.:)
Eventually you'll ride someone else's bike, or go for cheeky dealer test ride on.. say a 1290 SD and then you'll have to have one of those to make your life complete, and that is cycle of ownership.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. The deal is £6.6k which is a healthy saving over the normal £8.5k. They have a used one for £5.7K but that’s got 9k miles on it, anything else within 100 miles of me on autotrader is £6k or over so it’s hard not to justify the extra £600 for brand new...

Certainly from sitting on one it suited my frame very nicely, and it has waaay more kit that anything else in the price range: Also tried and MT07 but my legs felt a bit cramped on that.
 

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Yes, why not, for a 17 year newbie maybe not as they would just ride flat out down the 1st straight and straight on at the 1st corner.

The fact you even asked this question suggests you won't do that ;-)

Should also take a lot longer for it to become boring, anything much less powerful and you might find you want to trade up after a season, whereas this will last you a lot longer.

Only problem I would have is leg room, by my late 30's I was finding my ZZR1400 a bit cramped behind the knees on long runs and have spent the last decade on Adventure bikes which solve the problem for me, but I used a CB500X for commuting last summer and was doing about 80 minutes each way OK - but could not of gone much futher on it, and it probably is generous in leg room compared to 790.
 

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I'd obtain some insurance quotes first. They're an easy bike to ride. You'll say "fucking hell" on whatever or whenever you open the throttle on anything other than a learner bike. Just be sensible and learn you craft.

Cracking bikes. Did meet someone that bought an SDR1290 as his first bike. Wonder if he's still alive.
 

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That's a good price for a good bike.

I reckon it should be fine for a first bike if you take it steady and get used to it which it sounds like you will from what you are saying. If you were in your teens I'd be urging you in to something smaller.

I'm resisting asking which dealer it is as I'd be tempted myself but my Mrs would kill me 😂

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Cheers chaps. Would love to ride it first but I'll miss out on the deal if I do... It's a great price and I'd be happy to share which dealer it is, once I've got mine reserved of course ;)

Fully intend to take it steady and ride in rain mode to start - that will still be plenty of bike for me. Insurance isn't too bad, £450 fully comp with all the bells and whistles which I can live with for the first year no problem. SDR1290 as a first bike is mental though I wouldn't dare go near the throttle on one of those until I'm way more experienced!!

On balance, I'm leaning towards following my heart and going for it. I'd hate to miss out on the deal and it just looks perfect for my desires on paper. Appreciate all the input from everyone.
 

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It will make a great first bike as long as you don't get one of the leaky ones. ;)
I should say this is what I ride and I'm not in a hurry to change it. (y)
 

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Cheers chaps. Would love to ride it first but I'll miss out on the deal if I do... It's a great price and I'd be happy to share which dealer it is, once I've got mine reserved of course ;)
Hi, can you let me know where i can get this bike at for that really good price? Thanks
 

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You could also do some follow up training, BikeSafe is free, and I can highly recommend Rapid Training, not cheap, but 1:1 tuition with Police Class 1 rider is best your likely to find for roadcraft and safety. I did a day with them after 20+ years riding and got something out of it, and the Mrs did a day after passing her test and really liked it.

I would still say ride the bike a bit first just to get used to it a little and then book a training day in Spring.

The IAM will likely be a bit beyond you so early on wth regard to passing the test, but their book is really good, best £7 you could spend right now, and you can read it whilst the storms are lashing down ;-)


I think the IAM book is actally a lot better than the Police Roadcraft one, 90% same stuff, but the IAM one to me is clearer with better pictures and diagrams.

So;

1. IAM Book (£7.00)

3. Book a Bikesafe course for the spring, they can fill up quickly (FOC - £25.00)

3. Saddle time - lots of it on quiet roads will serve you well to start with, help you get used to the feel of the bike, but seeing as you have passed the test it should not be hard to ride, even in sport mode - so unless you have a problem use it, otherwise you just get used to a dumbed down throtle response and find it feels awkward when you switch it back, I never use rain mode even on my 1290 in pouring rain - my ZZR1400 never had it, and at 19 I had a GPZ900R - traction control was not even dreamt of back then - nor was particularly grippy tyres.

4. More advanced training, I mentioned Rapid Training, that would be great, and you could also go for the IAM thing, you might need to grow a beard, smoke a pipe and buy a BMW to really fit in, but I just did the test and moved on, it was a worthwhile excersize.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Some excellent advise there It's not ginger, and much appreciated. On the back of that I've ordered the IAM book and will definitely look at additional training in the spring - it can only be beneficial at the end of the day. Thanks.
 

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My first bike was a CBR600... still not dead. If the bike feels right for you, why not?


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