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KTM 950sm (carbs)


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Well from my post earlier this week, some of you may have read about the circumstances surrounding this review. For those who didn't the bike in question belongs to my dad, he got it MOT'd this week and agreed to let me have a go as my insurance covers me third party on any other bike.

This is the biggest bike I have ridden, I currently ride a GPZ500s after passing my test towards the arse end of last summer.

I'll get some pictures of the bike at somepoint, with all the excitement it slipped my mind.

Saturday morning I swung a leg over the KTM and even though I'm 6ft the bike feels tall, probably just because my bike has a really low seat, with it's height the bike still doesn't feel 'heavy' (I think I was expecting it to be top heavy) the suspension travels quite a bit when you take your weight off the seat, it almost follows my arse right to the point of me being stood up and still sat down..

The bars are a lot wider than what I'm used to but not uncomfortably so. Choke is on the handlebar, flicked it on and prodded the start button, my first thought was 'holy f@£k' the baffleless akropovic's make the bike sound like Satan himself gargling with razor blades. Commence grinning like an idiot to myself under the helmet.

So anyway nervously clicked into first and pulled away, I rode the 2 miles or so to the road that leads to Rivington barn which from my house is all built up and a 30 limit. I was just changing up and riding in 4th with the revs really low untill I hit the national speed limit sign.

On my dads advice I shifted my weight to the over the bars and opened the throttle as much as I dared. WOW! The thing should be kept in a cage and fed raw meat, I think I was in fourth and dropped to third at 30 when I opened it up, (no rev counter) the feeling from the bars was astonishing, even with my weight right over them they were still trying to lift underneath me.

Anyone who knows this road (travelling with the school on your right towards the barn which would be on your right further down) will probably understand this better.

I think I saw like 85 down that straight before nerves got the better of me, I backed off for the series of corners that come up after the straight. The wide bars made sense as soon as I hit them, seemed like before could even think about counter steering the bike had already dropped. It went exactly where I wanted it to. After the first set of corners pretty much parallel with the barn I knocked it up a gear and opened it up, it wasnt as brutal as on the straight but bloody hell it still pulled, I would have guessed about 3k but the power was instantly there. I consider my bike quick, but all the power is after 7k, the KTM has it on tap, wherever in the rev range you are, open that throttle and it will shift, and the noise!!! Don't know what the standard pipes are like but the akropovic's were incredible, people were looking at me like I was riding one of the four horses..

Rode the nice little loop past the blue lagoon grinning like an idiot and rode home getting gradually more and more confident.

First thing my dad said when I got back was did you keep the front wheel down.. 'just about' I could barely speak..

I advise anyone with any hint of a chance of riding this bike to do it, it's an animal, you'll love it!!

Would I have one as a day to day ride? I dunno, I would have to ride it for a week and see what it's like in traffic, I feel like the high bars could be an advantage in the flickability sense or a disadvantage in how wide they are. I hope to be able to answer this at some point.

I would have one in a heartbeat if I could afford it as a second bike, as a day to day commuter I'm not 100%

Never enjoyed anything as much as that half an hour or so..

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