End of an era

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End of an era

Post  weasley on Sat Jun 02 2018, 17:20

I was going to keep quiet about this, but it leaked out via Facebook.  The Cat is gone.  Part-exchanged for something newer.  17 years I had that bike, it has essentially defined my biking experience.  In all that time only one proper problem - a failed spark plug cap.  But now someone else can enjoy it and I get to play with a new toy.  One with half the cylinders but 67% more capacity.  Roughly the same power but double the torque.  A nice upright seating position to ease me into middle-age, but with a hooligan streak to satisfy that mid-life crisis.  I have been looking at these for years and recently the opportunity came up and this one popped into my searchlight.

If you haven’t either worked it out or seen it on Facebook yet, I now have a KTM 990 SMT.  2011 model with just under 6,000 miles on it.  Owned previously by the KTM dealer manager and pretty much spotless.  I rode the Cat over there this morning and rode home on the KTM.

In the first few hundred yards I thought “what have I done?!”.  I knew the Cat inside out, how to ride it in every situation, how it reacted to my slightest input.  Now I’m on something very, very different.  It is narrow, like a motocross bike.  It leaps up the road with the slightest throttle input.  It engine brakes like throwing an anchor out.  The engine sounds all wrong... deep and low, I don’t know when to change gear, I don’t know which gear is best for towns, for 50 limits, for overtaking.

But very, very quickly I get used to it.  It puts on speed so easily, without all the revs and gear changes, just a whole load of shove and... OMG, how fast?!  And it is nimble.  Soooo nimble.  At first I am unsure whether to hang off it or stick a leg out, supermoto style.  Both work and there is a wide range of places to sit, depending on what you want it to do.  I quickly realise that sitting forward and leaning into it is well-advised when opening the throttle.  No wheelies yet, but I can see how easily they might happen.

On more practical matters, it has a topbox and heated grips with handguards, plus a KTM ergo seat and touring screen - I’ve only done 35 miles on it so far but it feels like it can do 350 easily.  It’ll supposedly do 180-ish miles to a tank, so familiar territory.  And it wouldn’t be a KTM without some orange anodised bling... done tastefully though.

I’m not one for attaching emotions to machines, but given how long I had the Cat it is certainly a big change for me and I guess I’ll miss it.  Onwards and upwards though!
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Re: End of an era

Post  0ldcat on Sat Jun 02 2018, 18:40

Congratulations on the new bike. Never ever did I think you'd part with the Cat. Thought you just might acquire a second bike and keep the cat for . . . well . . . posterity I suppose. Happens to us all in the end though, . .
So, Welcome to the ranks of the Ex (former) Thundercat Owners club  Thumb

Got any pictures of yer new baby then ? You know how we thrive on pictures green smile

Cheers
Tel Toff
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Re: End of an era

Post  weasley on Sat Jun 02 2018, 18:47

No space for two bikes and I know that if I kept it I wouldn’t ride it in favour of the new toy.

Pics to follow!
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Re: End of an era

Post  Radar on Sun Jun 03 2018, 01:39

Cracking new machine although genuinely surprised you didn't keep the cat too. Look forward to seeing you on it at BC
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Re: End of an era

Post  weasley on Sun Jun 03 2018, 09:18

To be honest I surprised myself.  I also thought the Cat would be forever, but I simply don’t have the time or space for two bikes, and I have been hankering after the KTM for years.  The stars aligned and this one popped up, so I seized the day and went for it.

I had previously thought about keeping the Cat and getting something else but then thought, when would I ride each one?  I’d want to ride the new one all the time but I’d be obliged to ride the Cat to BC, ToL etc which would mean a new bike sitting going nowhere.

Maybe when the kids grow up I’ll have time for a fleet, but right now any time on the bike is time away from the family so has to be taken advantage of.

There was a nice MV Agusta at the dealer though... sadly was already sold.

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Re: End of an era

Post  Rosco on Sun Jun 03 2018, 09:24

Wowsers. Didn't see that coming.

Congratulations on the new bike Paul.
Trust you'll be less of a hooligan than that Eddie990 fellow Wink

Looking forward to seeing it in Wales.

Cheers
Rosco



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Re: End of an era

Post  Wooster on Sun Jun 03 2018, 12:09

I suppose most will need to move on eventually. sad

Mine is giving me a sore head these days (forward leaning riding position is giving me neck strain on bumpy roads).
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Re: End of an era

Post  weasley on Sun Jun 03 2018, 21:21

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Re: End of an era

Post  Wooster on Mon Jun 04 2018, 00:11

That's braw. Cool

Comfy?
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Re: End of an era

Post  Radar on Mon Jun 04 2018, 00:38

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:To be honest I surprised myself.  I also thought the Cat would be forever, but I simply don’t have the time or space for two bikes, and I have been hankering after the KTM for years.  The stars aligned and this one popped up, so I seized the day and went for it.

I had previously thought about keeping the Cat and getting something else but then thought, when would I ride each one?  I’d want to ride the new one all the time but I’d be obliged to ride the Cat to BC, ToL etc which would mean a new bike sitting going nowhere.

Maybe when the kids grow up I’ll have time for a fleet, but right now any time on the bike is time away from the family so has to be taken advantage of.

There was a nice MV Agusta at the dealer though... sadly was already sold.

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I do see your point. Luckily my kids have grown up, hence the fleet I suppose. I did over 200 miles on my MV Agusta today funnily enough (a 1090 RR Brutale). I have ridden an F4. So fast, very demanding....http://bikemeet.net/index.php?topic=7998.0
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Re: End of an era

Post  weasley on Mon Jun 04 2018, 09:38

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:That's braw. Cool

Errr.... thanks..? don\'t know green smile

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:Comfy?

Yes, very. Once you get used to the rather sturdy engine noises and feels! Under load the engine does feel quite lumpy and the whole bike buzzes at higher revs, but at touring speed/revs it's pretty smooth. It's quite a relaxed ride when just cruising along - you feel less constrained by the bike and more aware of your surroundings. Shoulder checks are like moving from PAL to 4K UHD. The mirrors are good, the instruments are easy to read and now I can see what the time and ambient temperature are! Still no fuel gauge though, just a fuel light (like the Cat) but also a fuel reserve trip counter (when the light comes on the trip counter starts counting up from 0, so you know how far you have gone since the light came on).

I also forgot to say it has a centre stand - this is an extra which is nice to have.
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Re: End of an era

Post  SteveCat on Mon Jun 04 2018, 10:29

Very nice Paul, will take a little getting used to but I'm sure you'll get the hang of it no time and be able to enjoy to the fullest.
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Re: End of an era

Post  yamahamad on Sat Jun 09 2018, 09:09

Wow as others have said im suprised the cat has gone but understand the reasons. Hope you enjoy the new bike.

Paul
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Re: End of an era

Post  Snowcat on Tue Jun 26 2018, 07:29

Great looking bike and I'd say you're pretty much acquainted with it now after that weekend in Wales
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Re: End of an era

Post  weasley on Tue Jun 26 2018, 12:03

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:Great looking bike and I'd say you're pretty much acquainted with it now after that weekend in Wales

Back at ya!
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