Yes it’s that time of year again and like most of us I’m trooping off to the bike show at the NEC. It’s a great day spent seeing old friends and new bikes, and though I’m always drawn towards the racers and sports bikes, there’s so much new and interesting stuff out there it’s sure to be a very full day. Whilst Ducati will always have my heart, Yamaha’s “Rossi Rep” of an R1 and Marquez’s production GP bike for the road will take some beating..! The phrase “kid in a sweet shop” springs to mind, and I don’t think I’ll be the only one..?
In recent years I have been lucky enough to own my dream bikes and so trips up to the NEC have been more about seeing everything on the market, watching trends as they change and evolve and treating myself to a few bits of kit. However this year I have a specific agenda as I’m planning on a change of bike for 2015. None of my ‘static’ collection are in question, however my lovely 848Evo hasn’t been ridden anywhere near enough in the last couple of years as I have been having so much fun monstering the twisties on my little KTM 690. Each time I go to the garage I want to ride the Ducati, but the KTM gets picked as I know each breakfast run will have us heading out to the ludicrous zig-zag road and then on for more single track gravel strewn tarmac. I love the little orange bike for its lightness and flick-ability, but mine is a 2013 styled bike and although it’s vastly improved with the addition of the after market race tuning kit, I think the design department lost something rather special when they ‘normalised’ the look of the whole KTM Duke range. I’m probably in the minority, but I find it a rather ordinary looking bike as it’s lost the visual attitude of the earlier Dukes.
With the Ducati being under used and the KTM not having enough power when the roads straighten out, I’ve started to wonder if there might be one bike that offers me the best of both worlds. The obvious answer would be the Ducati Hypermotard SP and if I could own it, I would, but even the masters at Pro-Twins were unable to find a way to lower the seat height from its massive 890mm down to my vertically challenged requirements of 820mm. The MV Brutale RR is a very strong contender as it has a tiny seat height of just 810mm. It’s unquestionably beautiful, but I will need to test ride one to see if a triple can ever really deliver the soul and riding experience of a twin. Apparently it has an option on the custom mapping that will increase the engine braking and deliver a twin-like feel…I wonder!
What a shame that MV have decided to give the NEC a miss this year.