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2016 1190 Adv, 2020 890 DukeR, 2008 Buell 1125R
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Is KTM reliable? I’m looking at buying 2021: Triumph Speed Triple, Aprilia Tuono 1100, or KTM Super Duke 1290. I’ve been reading some things about SD’s popping codes, warnings, bringing to shop with low miles for repairs. Starting to be concerned about my #1 preference being the SD, maybe an expensive decision I may regret.

I’m coming from being a long time Honda RC51 owner. I’ve never had any issue with my RC. Should I be concerned with KTM reliability? Anybody have any issues with their new KTM? Should I consider Triumph or Aprilia instead?
I have a 2016 1190 adv that had engine replaced due to a leak at 3k. Since that only a fuel level sensor.
My 890 Duke r hasnt had any issues and is at 3000mi.

Guess it depends what you're looking for. If you have a good dealer nearby, warranty, AAA and you don't travel hundreds of mIles away from civilization then reliability doesn't really matter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Currently, no 1290 SD’s available in my area, all sold out. Been told by some dealers “don’t know if we are getting more, might know something end of June or July”. Waiting game.
But check this...One dealer has a 2020 Super Adventure S. It’s heavily reduced in price, to about $15k or so. I know this is taller adventure bike. But heard it is similar as it has 1290. Anybody know about this one? I could buy it soon if I wanted.
 

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Rode 2800 miles the last two weeks, rain and shine and only one spook. I left with a half tank and got a low rear tire pressure warning even though the readout said it had 40 psi. When I pulled in for fuel, I put a little air in the rear. Upon first start, the screen flashed 'Suspension Error' then the screen went blank. I shut it off and re-started and it showed "MTC Error" which is strange since the flapper and servo are long gone. I didn't relish the thought of going 2K miles with no cruise and the engine in Wimp mode, which is what it did when the servo fried 600 miles from home. I went another couple of hundred and stopped for lunch. Then I got the brain idea of disconnecting the ground cable from the battery. After I hooked it back up, it started and the MTC code was gone, cruise function back and no more Wimp mode. A little red motor-shaped warning stayed on for 2 or 3 more starts and then that disappeared, too. I think it's haunted.
 

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Currently, no 1290 SD’s available in my area, all sold out. Been told by some dealers “don’t know if we are getting more, might know something end of June or July”. Waiting game.
But check this...One dealer has a 2020 Super Adventure S. It’s heavily reduced in price, to about $15k or so. I know this is taller adventure bike. But heard it is similar as it has 1290. Anybody know about this one? I could buy it soon if I wanted.
Kinda depends upon what sort of use you have in mind. The Super Adventure 1290's are tuned a little more for low end grunt than the Super Dukes. but they are mainly street-oriented, and with the S moreso than the R. I think the S has cast wheels with a 19" front and he R has spokes. Not sure about sizes. Super Dukes have cast 17" wheels at both ends
 

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I’ve had my 2018 SDR since new (bought 2019) only 20,000km but I can say it’s been the best bike I’ve owned so far. That said I’m getting the itch to try something different but I keep coming back to that vtwin motor and I don’t think there is anything else out there that meets my needs with relatively comfortable ergos, compact/light bike (not Heavy and bloated) .....Perhaps the next gen GT? I will test ride them all BMW, Ducati and even some Japanese makes ....let’s see - I think it would be hard to beat that torque V twin .... for me ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I’ve had my 2018 SDR since new (bought 2019) only 20,000km but I can say it’s been the best bike I’ve owned so far. That said I’m getting the itch to try something different but I keep coming back to that vtwin motor and I don’t think there is anything else out there that meets my needs with relatively comfortable ergos, compact/light bike (not Heavy and bloated) .....Perhaps the next gen GT? I will test ride them all BMW, Ducati and even some Japanese makes ....let’s see - I think it would be hard to beat that torque V twin .... for me ...
I'm with you. I've had all sorts of bikes over the years. I very much appreciated the unrelenting smooth power of my Hayabusa I had at the time, but after getting my first V-twin (Suzuki TL1000s), I was hooked. Then had DL1000 Vstrom, and RC51. There is more to riding a bike for performance. It's an overall experience. Part of that, is the senses: the sound of a V-twin is like no other. Especially with good pipes. I hear Harley's all the time riding around being loud near my neighborhood. Sound cool, but they are so many it is unimpressive to me anymore. But... whenever I hear that distinct sound of a V-twin sportbike, it always makes me pause to listen.
 

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My 2016 has 27,000 miles I bought new in 2017 and I had the top radiator seam split around 10k that I fixed myself. Right after that my clutch lever quit working 100 miles from home so I just started pulling the lever and letting it slap back to the stops, by the time I got home my clutch was working again, somehow got some asir in the line. I change the oil and occasionally clean the fork seals. runs great.
 

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Watching with interest as also considering a KTM, coming from Ducati's I am use to the odd quirk but in around 100k over 12 years the various Ducati Multistrada's Ive owned have never left me on the roadside, just annoying quirks like Fuel sender failures, warped discs, seat covers etc, all sorted under warranty, annoying but you live with them for the love of that V2, does sound like KTM are where Ducati were around 10-15 years ago in terms of reliability
 

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3 posts and you are here on a ktm forum posting that they're over a decade behind ducati in reliability. you're on the wrong forum.
 

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3 posts and you are here on a ktm forum posting that they're over a decade behind ducati in reliability. you're on the wrong forum.
3 posts and you are here on a ktm forum posting that they're over a decade behind ducati in reliability. you're on the wrong forum.
Hi Steve

just an observation based on what I’ve read here, ive had issues with my Ducati’s, just learned to live with them, previously to the Ducati’s I rode Honda’s and Kawasaki’s, Uber reliable but find them all a bit souless hence why I’m after something with a bit of character to replace the Ducati, no offence intended as I’m really drawn by the SD GT, just want to go into it with my eyes open and read all the negatives as well as the positives :) specially as I live near and don’t want to use my local dealers so will have to travel further afield to get it serviced or warranty work done
 

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I owned my old '05 R1 for seven years and as I was riding it to the dealer to trade it in, I wondered if I'm even ready to trade it in. It's such a good bike. A long wheelbase, a bit slow but supremely stable handling, it looks proper badass from the front with the wide elongated headlights and it screams your ears off. Like I said, it's a really good bike. That opinion on supersport bikes was reinforced when in 2013 I got the chance to take the Beemer S1000RR out on track for a few laps and realised it was better in just about every conceivable way.

But then I jumped on the Superduke, and one thing became immediately apparent.

A good bike is different from a fun bike.

The Superduke is fun. Fun like a mule drunk on mead. Fun like a mechanical hog. The suspension can just about manage the violence that motor inflicts on it and it sounds like it pissed Zeus himself off something fierce. This bike is a personality and a half. It's Motley Crue wearing Beasty Boys jackets. It's a big, sloppy cheeseburger after a night of binge drinking and exactly what you need to reinvigorate your senses and taste buds.

Get it and feel young again.
 

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Love the passion, that’s how I felt when I went from a ZZR1400 to a Ducati, found they had character and sole and can’t see me ever going back to a 4 cyl bike, As I am no longer touring round Europe with the wife its time to find something with equal character and a change from an adventure bike, your description of the KTM is brilliant, something which shows Your passion for the bike and KTM :)
 

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I'm on a similar boat as several folks here. I've never owned an 'exotic' bike before, other than several new BMWs. The problem with KTMs/Aprilias/Ducatis/Triumphs/etc in my research is stupid electronic issues, rather than mechanical ones. One of the most common ones is getting stranded because the (chip) key is not recognized. If that happened in a middle of nowhere ride (which I often do), I'd be mad as hell. And the new reality is with all the new tech, it's only obvious that there is more crap to go wrong (including with the Japanese bikes), and we should be cognizant of that.

At any rate, I'm after a light naked (sport) bike with all electronics aids, cruise control, and fully adjustable suspension. The only 2 options in the near liter class are the 890R (with tech and cruise extra), and the MT-09 SP, which can't be found in the US (at least not anytime soon). The only 2 other options I'd consider are in the liter+ class, AND of 'exotic' brands: The new (2022) S1000R, and 2020+ Super Duke R, with the new upgrades. The Aprilia Tuono is not a naked, so it's out. The Speed Triple is ugly as hell, so out too. And I just don't trust Ducatis, so they're out as well. But I don't want another soulless AND vibey regular 4-cyl engine, so the S1000R would be my last resort. At least the CP4 I-4 on my last MT-10 had a lot of character, and sounded awesome (like a V4) with a Graves slip-on. That leaves me with the 2 Dukes. I can wait until the end of July to decide, when the Kendon single trailer will finally be available again. If I buy a bike before that date, it'd just sit in my garage, so it makes no sense to pay full boat for anything now. If I have to do that, I'd obviously buy the cheaper 890R, since I'd lose less money if I have to sell it. But if I find a great deal on a pristine 2020 SDR with less than 1K miles, like this one: https://www.cycletrader.com/listing/2020-KTM-1290-Super-Duke-R-5016717842, I'd probably jump on it. Need to inquire if it has the tech pack, and their best price. Either KTM choice would be great, and both should handle better than my ex-MT-10 easily. So we'll see what happens:).

EDIT: Found this interesting comparison video between the 890 and 1290, for those on my same boat:
My question is how different are they when ridden at the same pace in the twisties, when even the 890's power is more than enough. I'd buy the SDR for its extra features (TPMS, fully adjustable front suspension, keyless ignition, lean angle meter, single-sided swingarm, etc.), not for its extra power... although nice to have it when needed. Oh, and a V-twin is always nicer than a parellel twin too :).
 

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I owned my old '05 R1 for seven years and as I was riding it to the dealer to trade it in, I wondered if I'm even ready to trade it in. It's such a good bike. A long wheelbase, a bit slow but supremely stable handling, it looks proper badass from the front with the wide elongated headlights and it screams your ears off. Like I said, it's a really good bike. That opinion on supersport bikes was reinforced when in 2013 I got the chance to take the Beemer S1000RR out on track for a few laps and realised it was better in just about every conceivable way.

But then I jumped on the Superduke, and one thing became immediately apparent.

A good bike is different from a fun bike.

The Superduke is fun. Fun like a mule drunk on mead. Fun like a mechanical hog. The suspension can just about manage the violence that motor inflicts on it and it sounds like it pissed Zeus himself off something fierce. This bike is a personality and a half. It's Motley Crue wearing Beasty Boys jackets. It's a big, sloppy cheeseburger after a night of binge drinking and exactly what you need to reinvigorate your senses and taste buds.

Get it and feel young again.
This is superb and exactly why I've owned back to back KTMs. Some say the SDR is powered by the six Infinity Stones.
 

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I owned my old '05 R1 for seven years and as I was riding it to the dealer to trade it in, I wondered if I'm even ready to trade it in. It's such a good bike. A long wheelbase, a bit slow but supremely stable handling, it looks proper badass from the front with the wide elongated headlights and it screams your ears off. Like I said, it's a really good bike. That opinion on supersport bikes was reinforced when in 2013 I got the chance to take the Beemer S1000RR out on track for a few laps and realised it was better in just about every conceivable way.

But then I jumped on the Superduke, and one thing became immediately apparent.

A good bike is different from a fun bike.

The Superduke is fun. Fun like a mule drunk on mead. Fun like a mechanical hog. The suspension can just about manage the violence that motor inflicts on it and it sounds like it pissed Zeus himself off something fierce. This bike is a personality and a half. It's Motley Crue wearing Beasty Boys jackets. It's a big, sloppy cheeseburger after a night of binge drinking and exactly what you need to reinvigorate your senses and taste buds.

Get it and feel young again.
Menso, love you man! You say it better than most and I know that this is your second tongue and not sure on that (how many languages do you speak?). Will you come to our shores and teach 12th grade english please and don't hold the right leaning rhetoric at all. If you ever choose to come here I'll show you some fine roads, not where I live but in the GA hills, a day's ride away.
 

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Thanks everyone!

I can't help it, the SDR just makes me happy as a dog and his ball.

102552
 

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I owned my old '05 R1 for seven years and as I was riding it to the dealer to trade it in, I wondered if I'm even ready to trade it in.
100% Agree. I owned my '04 for over 11 years and it didn't do anything wrong. It was a great bike however with my age came a different attitude. Enter the SDR. I've owned that for nearly 7 years and it's exceeded all of my expectations. I equate today's motorcycles with the era of those muscle cars "back in the day". Meaning, it's a fantastic time to be a rider as manufacturer's are producing some exceptional vehicles for all of us to enjoy.

Reminiscing

 

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102556


Yep. Loved it. But after a while, some niggles do appear. With my 6'2 I'm just too tall for it. While my fold-up game could use some work, my legs were touching the edge of the fairings and the superbike ergos were simply not suited to a tall guy. It became uncomfortable if you're not on the gas an hour into your ride. I was begging for traffic to disperse so I could cruise at 90 just to take the weight off my crotch and wrists.

The Superduke only really has too thin padding on the seat and that isn't too hard a thing to fix. The ergos are so much more relaxed yet still engaging. Also, and there's just no question about this, the electronics are superior. I love that the SDR just pampers you with throttle modes, engine info, ABS, TC, Quickshifter and particularly downshifts. After seven years it was time to try out something different from a four-inline while also being an improvement, and the SDR delivered.

Back on topic tho.
The SDR is a ludicrously fun and well built motorcycle with all sorts of sexy modern wizardry. Depending on how much value you place on cornering, the suspension was its only real weakness (for me personally, the almost useless steering damper) But lets not forget the 2020 SDR addressed one of the main shortcomings - the suspension is much improved, and has more adjustability.
 

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Thank you all for the great insight, advice,
experiences. I sincerely appreciate it very much. I had always wanted an Aprilia. But, this KTM captured my attention a few years ago, and this new one is just ridiculous. I test ride one last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway for demo event. It wasn’t Tech-unlocked, but that didn’t matter. It was a beautiful ride. Did a 15 mile demo circuit, and I don’t even think I used the brakes at all. Just engine braking and ABS. I’m not used to this technology. My RC51 just snorts, grunts, and farts when I do all this braking and turning. 🤪
I understand that not all new bikes are going to be 100% perfect. Just wanted a consensus on if it’s all the time and unsettling. I had a new 2002 Hayabusa at the time, and it had constant rectifier problems, getting stranded with it not starting. Anyways, the warranty is a beautiful thing when you have a dealer that is more of a friend to you, than just a dealer.
I’m still going to pursue this KTM, my heart is set on it. In process of selling my Honda to be able to afford this KTM. This is what I’m sacrificing for this beast:
View attachment 102357

View attachment 102358
Keep the rc51 if you can. That bike is a gem.
 

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Menso~ Again, agree on all counts. Seems we have a similar mindset. (y)

Kando



AND to keep this on topic, I concur that the SDR shouldn't be labeled as unreliable. Warranties are great and a side from a few niggles (as everyone has already stated), basic maintenance rules apply here - oil changes, brake pads and of course stock in your favorite tire company.
 
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