another perfectly good motorcycle ruined.......

Friday, 26 June 2020

Espresso, Triple Shot

 Out on the Guzzi and the 790 this week on consecutive days gives me the chance to compare and contrast both machines and realise that I’ve got the best of both world’s with these two bikes, the Guzzi is like a pair of worn out, tatty slippers, comfortable and just so easy to get on with, I find myself drifting when I ride it, the massive tank gives you no excuse but to click up the klicks, mile after mile of riding, the occasional down change or lightest of brushes on the brakes but the majority of the time I just roll on and off the throttle and revel in the lazy power delivery and great handling and all-day comfort offered by the ergonomics.
   Don’t get me wrong even  for the modest 50ish bhp available you can have some serious fun with this bike, I love the ‘ssscccrrrish’ as the pegs touch down and you can have a good time at sensible speeds, I love it, great bike.
    And then there’s the KTM 790 Duke, the absolute opposite of the Guzzi, like a lairy, pissed uncle at a wedding you know this fucker is going to upset someone straight away, seriously I have tried to be responsible but as soon as you assume the position you know that shit is going down. The view from the saddle is the tapered aluminium bars, very similar to my old supermoto, there’s the TFT screen and that’s it, no headlight or front wheel visible, your elbows spread naturally, the pegs are high and rearward orientated which throws your body over the front wheel in a proper ‘take no prisoners’ stance.
    I seriously doubt that there are many bikes that could live with one of these on a twisty, potholed, cow-shit strewn excuse of a ‘b’ road in the UK, granted a thousand cc sport bike will gobble it up on a trackday but oh my this thing just turns me into an instant arsehole, espresso, triple shot.
    So where am I going with this? Well, I’m still lusting after the Indian FTR 1200, I could sell all four bikes and buy one with the proceeds but I’m questioning if it’s going to be enough? Sometimes I want to chill, ride the little Italian bike and the destination fades into insignificance but on the other hand if I want that fix of adrenaline I can ride a hundred miles on the 790 and come home giggling, sweating and offer praise to whoever that I’ve not been arrested or smashed my old, flaccid body into a stone wall or a tractor turning into a field, I’ve got the little 390 for trackday fun and the Srad for my analogue connection, am I being too greedy? Do I need a new bike or should I just appreciate what I’ve got instead of keep searching for that elusive perfect ride..........


  1. nice choice of rides, still have to try the 790, looks like a fine lean machine.
    but how is it holding up? Heard so many stories about KTMs reliability...
    Not sure about the FTR, a friend works at the importers and even he admitted that it's a bit over the top, bucking bronco like, have you tried it?

    1. Hello TG, the KTM’s are not the most reliable things compared to the Japanese machines, the 790’s horror stories include electrical gremlins, abs failure, oil/fluid leaks and fork seals leaking on a regular basis, I’m keeping my fingers crossed but having owned two 690 supermotos, [ one had two lcd displays give up the ghost] the 390 track bike [new air box due to cracking near the f.i. Connection] and a water pump impeller giving up the ghost on my 690 Duke I suppose it will be a matter of time!
      In their defence I have always had the items replaced/repaired by KTM even though in some instances the bikes were out of their warranty period.
      I can forgive them for the smile that they put on my face, they are still a bit ‘rough and ready’ around the edge but that adds to getting a really involving ride.
      Not tried an Indian yet, booked a test ride but they had sold the bike when I turned up! I think that’s what appeals to me is the fact that they are again something which you should ride with respect or risk getting bit on the behind! Watched a YouTube review and it was spinning up the rear wheel on wet roads in fourth gear!
      My heart says to go for it but Mrs B and my bank balance says stick with what I’ve got for the time being.......

  2. deffo try it before... said friend noted that it's a kind of bike that just doesnt like a steady throttle, he found it a bit tiring at end of the day.
    when up close i personally dont like the fact that you cant see the engine, it's hidden under a ton of stuff, but taste is personal right?

  3. on a totally different subject. Your music posts really caught my eye way back. My GF is having her 60's b'day party today, any good northern soul playlists to recommend? the stuff i swim in is a bit different...

  4. Hi TF, pass on my regards to your GF and wish her happy birthday from me too! I would recommend the playlists that you can stream from, I am an avid collector of their ‘Eccentric Soul’ series of vinyl releases, very rare stuff indeed, there are some really interesting playlists on there, northern soul, Detroit funk, girl groups, in fact lots of non-soul genres that are also worth checking out. They put playlists on Apple Music too, you can get every Eccentric Soul release as a massive playlist, just search Numero Group / Every Eccentric Soul Record. Period.
    Be warned though, it does get addictive and gets expensive if you decide to start buying the vinyl! Thanks TG, you have given me an idea for a future post.

  5. N+1, I like that analogy a lot Jan!