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Yesterday was a BIG day for factory test rides here in the Okanagan, Yamaha and KTM participating.

My first was w/ Yamaha at 1030 hrs, riding a red FJ9. As I'm sure you're aware - these rides are pretty tightly "scripted"- so outside of a half-hour ride in 'convoy', there's no room to really try the bike's handling, etc.

Feels quite a bit like my '09V in terms of 'ergos' tho' I found the handlebars a bit low (mine are raised 2"). It has pretty extensive instrumentation (which I didn't get an opportunity to 'scroll' thru), including a trip-computor and gear indicator. The engine sounds a bit like a sewing machine (a REALLY fast sewing machine!), and pulls very well. Brakes felt PDG, but the suspension is NOT up to par w/ my V (which has an R1 shock, plus ATF in the forks), being 'choppy'. Also I found the engine to be rather 'twitchy' in throttle response, tho' that could be a result of the requirement to follow the guy ahead, in 'formation'.

All-in-all - NOT planning to get one. This pic looks like what I rode.
 

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MORE test rides...

Yesterday was a BIG day for factory test rides here in the Okanagan, Yamaha and KTM participating.

The next TWO were Katooms at a shop in West Kelowna. Got there about noon, planned for a 1400 ride on a 690 Duke (I guess someone wrecked the 690 Adventure in another session earlier in the month), figuring to spend time making some measurements for "jdrocks" on a 2015 V650 LT, then BS'ing w/ other guys.

Turned out that I could have taken out an 1190 Adventure at noon, and was offered a ride at 1300 on it, which I signed-up for ASAP!

The 1190 is SLIGHTLY higher than is my V, but otherwise felt pretty similar, and, altho' the KTM ride was 'scripted' too, it was longer, giving a better idea of the bike's strengths. It TOO has a pretty complete set of instrumentation, as well as computor-controlled damping at both ends (set to COMFORT by the factory guys).

The engine felt a touch "vibey" tho' the mirrors were clear throughout my ride. By "vibey" I mean it didn't feel as smooth as our PTwins, w/ a bit of the sensation a KLR gives.... (MORE on that, NEXT Katoom....) LOTS of power, good brakes, nice handling, good throttle-control - there SHOULD be a sign on the rear-view mirrors - THINGS IN THE MIRROR GET SMALLER, REALLY QUICKLY - when you twist the throttle! I also noticed (I ride w/ the balls of my feet on the 'pegs) that my heels were touching something, which turns out to be the passenger foot-peg mounts.

All-in-all - nice bike, but a bit 'spendy'. Here's a pic.
 

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and ANOTHER test ride...

The 1190 ride ended at 1345, so I got a soft-drink, then lined up for the 690 Duke. After riding the other TWO bikes, the absence of a windshield was immediately apparent, as was the fact that instrumentation is 'sparse' - NO gear-indicator or trip computor on this 'bad-boy', but quite a bit lower to the saddle.

1400 arrived, and we were off onto the same route I'd ridden an hour earlier. The engine is QUITE strong, but it felt peakier than the KLR did (in memory...:rolleyes:...), but as I sold mine in April '11....:huh:... I could be wrong about that. LOTS of compression-braking, but it does NOT want any throttle at lower revs. It starts 'bucking' when you try, but handling is good, possibly due the lighter weight. While waiting at a STOP sign I noticed that the hydraulic clutch master says MINERAL OIL ONLY, while the brakes call for DOT4 fluid, and I can't say whether the 1190 is the same...?:huh: Handled and braked fine, nice 'ergos', good FUN, but....

There is definitely NOT a 690 KTM in MY future! Here's a pic.
 

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I test-ride FZ-09, same bike but without fairing (naked) last week.
same stuff, going behind a guy that was on a cruiser type bike, going straight street !?

I did play a little bit with it, feels fast and "flickable" but without wind protection I was feeling the wind in my chest at 70km/h. I would have like to try it on a highway to see how it it....
probably around town it's amazing... but not on long rides...
 

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....and I so wanted an FJ-09.....

Maybe it's time for a Super Tenere....
I test rode the ST and hated it. It's just way too big, too heavy and too clumsy. I'd probably get one as a tourer, but to replace my Versys? No way in hell. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice bike on it's own right, but it is a completely different experience to the Versys.
 
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