Considering an SMT

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Re: Considering an SMT

Post by Gimlet » Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:45 am

jhalfhide wrote: Multistrada is good... very good. Reliability is shocking though. I'm coming from a multi, back to a KTM.

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Reading JH's travails and the long long list of serious problems with Multis on the Ducati forum its a wonder they can still sell any. People worry about minor annoying niggles with KTMs but Multis are something else. They seem to be engineered to self-destruct after 20,000 miles. If its not terminal mechanical failure its electronic meltdown. One certain highly respected independent Ducati specialist whose name is well known to Ducati enthusiasts everywhere told me recently that he is considering refusing to work on Multistradas in the future, they are just too much trouble.

KTM's closet rival to the Multi is really the 1190 Adv. I know JH considers the engine an unknown quantity, understandable considering the nightmare he's had with the Ducati, but I have no qualms. Its a mill with proven high mileage reliability in the RC8. I just wish the road-going 1190 came with 17" wheels and a full Akra lightweight decat exhaust system, like the SDR. It would be a modern day SMT then. Its not as light and chuckable as the SMT but it would feel more like it with 17" wheels.

As for the SMT, mine uses a litre of oil every 1500 miles. That is well within the permitted limits set by KTM. As Thirdway says they do improve with use. I've been keeping a log of my consumption and it has got steadily better. I bought it at 7600 miles and I'm at 14,500. It doesn't smoke or smell and runs beautifully. In 2012 they changed the piston design, so I'm told.
The independent workshop I use for servicing have been working on LC8 engines since they came out and they say over-cautious running-in increases consumption. After the first couple of hundred miles they say the engines need to be revved hard briefly but regularly or the bores glaze and they use oil. They too said it will improve as the miles go on if the engine is allowed to rev and serviced properly with the right oil. (They recommend Castrol 1 Racing 10-50).

I had all sorts of trouble getting the suspension right on mine. The steering was always light and responsive but it seemed to lack mechanical grip and I had terrible bar-wagging at high speed. I was running Metzeler Z8 sports touring tyres and the bike hated them. Changing to Dunlop Roadsmarts was revelation. Then I had a pro suspension set-up which made things better still and gave me the confidence to fit proper sports tyres. Mine runs Metzeler M7RRs now. At first the suspension felt a little soft with those tyres. I thought maybe the carcase was softer than the sports touring Dunlops but the guy who did the suspension set-up told me they are much grippier and they are making the suspension react faster which makes it feel softer. He said add another click of both compression and rebound damping at both ends. Did that and it was perfect again. The grip, feedback and lightness and accuracy of the steering is just phenomenal now.
Last edited by Gimlet on Sat Nov 05, 2016 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Considering an SMT

Post by Thirdway » Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:02 am

I run 10-50 now. It does make the gearbox slightly more imprecise.

Also run the M7RR which is a wickedly good tyre. I have nothing but praise for it. It does show up every bit of Tarmac like a feeler gauge-which might unnerve a less confident rider, but it's a grip indicator for those that know how to exploit it. If the front goes quiet on Tarmac then go easy, otherwise it's telegraphing the roughness and height of every bit of road stone embedded in the tar.

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Re: Considering an SMT

Post by Gimlet » Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:13 am

What pressures do you run? I've got mine at 35 psi front and 38 rear. Seems high but I've found these tyres grip well at lower temperatures and you have to be riding very hard indeed to generate the heat required to justify lower pressures, especially on a bike that rides as light on its feet as the SMT. Running in the low 30s I found made then feel a little squirmy. Upping it a couple of PSI made a big difference to outright grip, especially on the edge of the tyre and to feedback.
I've got the forks lifted 12 mm in the yokes on mine as well to put more feel and precision into the steering. I can brake deep into corners and i can feel absolutely everything and its perfectly stable. I do get only 1.5 front tyres to one rear though. My 1290 SDR uses three rears to one front..

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Re: Considering an SMT

Post by Thirdway » Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:48 am

I stick to the standard in the manual. I don't think that's squirming, but feedback. The PR3 front squirmed under hard braking, but these don't ever misbehave. A few extra pounds is possibly causing them to run a bit cool and not grip quite as hard ? I don't live near the limits anyway. I do run the tyres to the edge on occasion, but not consistently, so have a tiny, shiny patch about 1mm on both sides. As it is they feel fine at the lean angles I'm at. I think Metzler mention something about the carcass being stiffened in the centre to stop heat build up causing wear, then again right at the edge to add stability ? Can't remember if that's exactly right, but I'm not a racer and I'm happy I can ride as hard as I'm able and they do their job.

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Re: Considering an SMT

Post by Irn-Bru » Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:04 pm

Well the Gsxs felt very well made, but I'm not a big fan of I4's, I tend to ride very twisty roads where I think the torque from a twin would be nice, plus on that bike I found I could sit in 3rd all day, lazy smooth engine. Dash was lovely and simple. Would have to be the F model which is quite ugly though. My DRZ 400 is great apart from the paint, it's just Chinese bike quality on the frame for some reason. Showa suspension, nissin brakes, can't complain for the 4k they used to cost brand new back in the day. Well apart from the 30bhp power :lol: that bike has never used a drop of oil in the 7000 miles I've done on it, and I ride it very hard.

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Re: Considering an SMT

Post by SFC1000 » Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:13 pm

I think you are spot on with the Marmite comment.
I have had my 2012 for 4 years now and there is not another bike on the market that I would replace it with.
I have not had a single problem and it burns no oil.
I have just bought a V Strom 650 to do the jobs the SMT is not very good at and I cannot believe what a great bike it is. It is so easy going and the two bikes make a great pair (opposite ends of the spectrum, but both brilliant).

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Re: Considering an SMT

Post by Thirdway » Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:36 pm

Irn-Bru wrote:Well the Gsxs felt very well made, but I'm not a big fan of I4's, I tend to ride very twisty roads where I think the torque from a twin would be nice, plus on that bike I found I could sit in 3rd all day, lazy smooth engine. Dash was lovely and simple. Would have to be the F model which is quite ugly though. My DRZ 400 is great apart from the paint, it's just Chinese bike quality on the frame for some reason. Showa suspension, nissin brakes, can't complain for the 4k they used to cost brand new back in the day. Well apart from the 30bhp power :lol: that bike has never used a drop of oil in the 7000 miles I've done on it, and I ride it very hard.
A multi is easier to ride, I never understand all this guff about torquey twins, stick a multi at half its rev range and it's like a big twist and go, very smooth and accessible power and doesn't run out of steam towards the top end.

Big twins are more fun because they are harder to ride and more involving. The SMT even more so because it has a flick knife throttle and hardly any flywheel. Shutting the throttle gives massive engine braking, followed by a catapult once the throttle is cracked on. Get the revs too low and it's going nowhere, too high and it's running out of steam. It's just a fat MX race bike really. Keep the throttle open through every turn and don't ever shut off except prior to the turn. It does ridiculous things through a series of close turns if it's muscled through, it wags and bounces, but as long as the throttle is not closed it will go through as fast as most sports-bikes would dare. It's not so good at high speed stuff above 90mph IMO-or at least I don't feel comfortable blatting into a sharp bend at those speeds, where as a decent road bike seems more settled and easy I can feel a temptation to scrub of speed where I would just lay the ST4s on its ear with me all tucked in.

I was talking to a guy with one of those new Yam naked R1 thingies and he was telling me how quick it was at 15K revs -that's kicking out 160 bhp and no doubt it scythes fast A road bends-but it's the license losing ability that worries me. These bikes are fun, but you don't need them on an average B road and they tempt you to go too fast on our traffic/police infested A roads.

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Re: Considering an SMT

Post by jhalfhide » Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:15 pm

Ladies and gentlemen... meet the Ducati Multistrada Image

The KTM is a very good engine and chassis. Whatever you do with a bike, they're the foundations of a great bike. The KTM was (and still is) very highly regarded amongst those who have ridden them. It's a permanent classic and beat the others to nailing the big, bonkers supermoto. It reigned supreme for years and seems to be on par with the K5 GSXR in biker legend (in terms of how highly rated a bike it is).


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Re: Considering an SMT

Post by Thirdway » Fri Sep 30, 2016 6:54 pm

Never heard it was 'legendary'. Interesting. Funnily enough whilst on holiday I got talking to a Scottish guy who has had lots of bikes but has an NC750X at present. The usual 'wot you got' brought forth a look from his wife followed by 'he has always wanted one of those'. So, perhaps it's true.

What happened to Mr multistrudle ? No doubt the dealer explained it was only a Ducati characteristic and you have to replace crankshafts every 2 years :lol:

I was at my local mechanic who was repairing a race Ducati - the 748 with the fancy titanium internals. Part of the rebuild was to remove/replace the Con rod bolts- he got a price for them - around £400 a piece. Cheaper to buy a new engine

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Re: Considering an SMT

Post by Gimlet » Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:09 pm

Thirdway wrote: A multi is easier to ride, I never understand all this guff about torquey twins, stick a multi at half its rev range and it's like a big twist and go, very smooth and accessible power and doesn't run out of steam towards the top end.

Big twins are more fun because they are harder to ride and more involving. The SMT even more so because it has a flick knife throttle and hardly any flywheel. Shutting the throttle gives massive engine braking, followed by a catapult once the throttle is cracked on. Get the revs too low and it's going nowhere, too high and it's running out of steam.
I don't entirely agree with that, unless by multis your talking about V fours or triples. Inline fours are tractable but I've never ridden one that has the spread of torque of a V twin of comparable power. In fact one of the most tractable engine I've ever ridden is BM's water-cooled 1200 boxer. High performance fours are smooth and easy to ride down low and they "pull" in so much as if you open the throttle in 6th at 40 mph you get forward motion without chugging and snatching but it will be very modest in terms of torque or power and the real power is concentrated into a relatively small rev band, usually at the top end.
I have several mates with I/L four litre sports bikes who love to tell me how they've got 200 bhp. They have but its at 14000 rpm with the throttle against the stop. I compared a dyno chart of my Ducati Streetfighter (162 bhp and 90 lb/ft at the rear wheel, so about 175/100 at the crank. A good 25 bhp down on the latest 1L supersport fours but still no slouch) with that of an S1000rr a mate of mine rides. At the throttle openings and revs which we're actually using in real life, I have 20 bhp more than he does and 25 lb more torque. He's well down on torque at every point in the rev range but he does have a considerable bhp advantage, however to access it he will need to knock his bike down two or three gears and keep it nailed within a relatively narrow rev band and that takes considerable skill to do. When he does he will leave me behind, but more often than not, through the twisties he cannot get past me and only manages to by rinsing it on the straight. (First time he tried that against the 1290 he was bouncing valves and puffing smoke just to get his nose ahead, and then not till we'd gone past 140 mph. He was a bit miffed about it..). In that sense the grunty twin is easier to ride fast. Yes it requires more throttle finesse (especially the Duc because it has no TC, and mine has been tweaked so it has a very brutal bottom end) but with that mastered its easier to ride instinctively and when it comes to maintaining pace it is more forgiving of technical errors in braking, gear changing and corner timing. The twins actually give you more time to think.

Certainly neither my Ducati nor the 1290 SDR run out of steam at the top end. They don't rev as high as an I/L four but the SDR still manages 9800 and the SF goes to 10,500 rpm (blue-printed engine, gained another 1000rpm) and at 7K it takes off as ballistically as any four and doesn't tail off at all until the limiter cuts in. The 1290 SDR is the same. It doesn't have the neck-snapping bottom end of the Duc but that's because of the ride-by-wire throttle which has been tamed at low revs, (The Duc has a 1:1 throttle and every whiff of gas is felt at the back tyre instantly. Sounds dangerous, but its not. because you get a huge amount of feedback and you get it in real time) but the Super Duke has monumental midrange urge. It doesn't matter which gear you're in. As long as its above 3500 rpm, crack it open and the thrust is mind-bending and relentless right to the little red light. I/L fours can't offer that kind of flexible performance in a single gear.

The 990 engine is a little different. I agree with you about the absent flywheel effect. But mine revs like a two stroke. Its a chain saw of a bike and if you bin all the emissions rubbish and get it properly mapped its incredibly easy to modulate the throttle, even at low speeds. I do love it. I wish I could keep them all. I need a lotto win so I can have the 1190 as well. And a bigger garage...
Last edited by Gimlet on Sat Oct 01, 2016 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Considering an SMT

Post by Thirdway » Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:16 pm

:D made me smile anyway.

Yes, the il4s need to be kept boiling and not many do. The twin is more relaxed from that perspective as there is a big chunk of torque as long as it's somewhere in the right gear. Pulling out of bends in a slightly high gear doesn't bog it like an il4 which pulls more cleanly but with less grunt-meaning an il4 rider can be lazy with the gears but the bike won't pull them with any pace. However get a litre 4 into 3rd gear pulling 75% of revs and it's like an electric motor and the twin won't get away. As you say, it is putting down a lot of power at that point and a rider really has to know what they are doing, but they definitely don't need to be a super talented rider to do that-the thing is most riders are lazy so the twin gets the jump because it can't be chugged around outside the power curve like a 4.

I don't know about the 1290 as that's a far more powerful thing anyway as is a blue printed SF. My experience is 950/990 KTM; 1100s monster and ST4s -none of which crack 120bhp on a good day. I've watched well ridden R1s/blades hurtle into the distance-even the more modest BMW 1300s does a fine job in that respect. The 990 is more a match for 600/750s overall. Just my opinion having ridden each. The 4s are much more buzzy which can be tiring to ride like that for long.

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Re: Considering an SMT

Post by Irn-Bru » Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:36 pm

After searching and being a bit put off by the prices, I finally picked one up today. I was very happy with the price I got it for. 2011 model, 13,000 miles, 1 owner, Wings exhausts all for £4350 :D

Image

Image

Does need a few things doing, mainly the valves checking and such, and the front pads are quite low but still no biggie with the local garage charging winter rates soon.

I had an excellent ride back home, the bike is lovely to ride. Very smooth, also Japanese twin like. The PO had the akra map edited by a guy who races in the TT and it seems nearly perfect to me. Slight hunting at 30mph but compared to my 690 it's silky smooth. Felt completely confident in the twisties, it was like being on a much lighter bike, but in the straights you have all that torque to get to the next corner much faster and throw it in all over again.

Comfort wise the screen isn't that great, with ear plugs it's acceptable but the wind does hit hard. The seat I think is fine, I'm not sure it could do continuously riding for hundreds of miles, but I've never had a bike that could do that sort of riding anyway.

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Re: Considering an SMT

Post by jhalfhide » Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:44 pm

Irn-Bru wrote:After searching and being a bit put off by the prices, I finally picked one up today. I was very happy with the price I got it for. 2011 model, 13,000 miles, 1 owner, Wings exhausts all for £4350 :D

[img]http://i.imgur.com/am50qOl.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i.imgur.com/i7W25QN.jpg[/img]

Does need a few things doing, mainly the valves checking and such, and the front pads are quite low but still no biggie with the local garage charging winter rates soon.

I had an excellent ride back home, the bike is lovely to ride. Very smooth, also Japanese twin like. The PO had the akra map edited by a guy who races in the TT and it seems nearly perfect to me. Slight hunting at 30mph but compared to my 690 it's silky smooth. Felt completely confident in the twisties, it was like being on a much lighter bike, but in the straights you have all that torque to get to the next corner much faster and throw it in all over again.

Comfort wise the screen isn't that great, with ear plugs it's acceptable but the wind does hit hard. The seat I think is fine, I'm not sure it could do continuously riding for hundreds of miles, but I've never had a bike that could do that sort of riding anyway.
Very nice. Well done that man. Now get some dental floss on those fork reflectors and order up some WP stickers ASAP.


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Re: Considering an SMT

Post by Cicsy » Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:41 pm

Wow that's some deal. Where did you find that? I've been keeping an eye out as well and thats as cheap as I've seen given the age and mileage.

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Re: Considering an SMT

Post by Gimlet » Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:42 pm

That's a dealer trade-in price against a used or discounted-new bike. Its very very cheap. Someone must have been desperate to sell. It does happen, you just have to be lucky enough to find them.

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Re: Considering an SMT

Post by Irn-Bru » Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:24 am

I think it was because he lived in the middle of nowhere, not too far for me (2 hour drive) but probably is too far for most. I got it off ebay, 99p starting auction. He wasn't too happy with the price, it was up for £5,800 originally and the dealer offered £4,500 as trade in so yeah :lol: Top bloke anyway, winter bargains do pop up you just have to be patient.

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Re: Considering an SMT

Post by Gimlet » Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:19 am

The perils of ebay... It works both ways.

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Re: Considering an SMT

Post by NiteKreeper » Sat Nov 05, 2016 8:35 am

jhalfhide wrote:Very nice. Well done that man. Now get some dental floss on those fork reflectors and order up some WP stickers ASAP.k
Dental floss, you say?
I was wondering how they were gonna come off...

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Re: Considering an SMT

Post by jhalfhide » Sat Nov 05, 2016 8:36 am

NiteKreeper wrote:
jhalfhide wrote:Very nice. Well done that man. Now get some dental floss on those fork reflectors and order up some WP stickers ASAP.k
Dental floss, you say?
I was wondering how they were gonna come off...
Dental floss works a treat and causes no marks to the forks (unlike a flat bladed screwdriver). Fishing line will also do the job.


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Re: Considering an SMT

Post by Gimlet » Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:14 am

Just pulled mine off and removed the glue with a bit of brake cleaner.
KTM use wallpaper paste to stick on reflectors and decals. They usually come off on their own..

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