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Life With The Beast Episode 2 - KTM 1290 SuperDuke R

Life With The Beast Episode 2 - KTM 1290 SuperDuke R
oh so this is the

1290

super duke r and this is the bike that i use to commute on on a daily basis i use it to go to my workshop i use it to go shopping and just generally run errands for me the more upright seating position compared to a conventional sports bike makes it more appealing to use on a day-to-day basis and the big v-twin engine with all that torque makes it really easy to use and versatile as a daily run around but don't be fooled this bike really is a capable bike and you take it on the track and it transforms into an absolute weapon all right so with the post office run done it's now time to get the bike ready for the track because this weekend we're going to circuit andalusia so as with any motorcycle service and maintenance is really important for your own safety you want the bike to perform the best it possibly can you don't want it to let you down especially the brakes and suspension and things like that so it can be dangerous so it's really important to make sure everything's tipped up now i might have left this a little bit long but it's time for service and one of the things i'm going to look at more than anything is the brakes because before i go on the track where i'm going to be doing in excess of 250 kilometers an hour and needing to stop quickly i want to make sure the brakes are tipped top and i'll also be doing a few other changes in preparation for the track i think that's about you for replacement so...
life with the beast episode 2   ktm 1290 superduke r
is the brake pads that came quite a bit of work a bit of track work see on the very very edge shouldn't let them go this far but it's definitely time to replace them left it too long this one so if you need to fit new brake pads don't rush the job take your time and get it right and if you're unsure get a professional to help you but one of the things that you must not do is don't push the pistons back with dirt on them it's really important because all you do is you push that dirt back into the caliper it gets in the seals and it's going to cause you a problem at a later date it's really important to clean the caliper and the pistons properly before you push the pistons back now for that i use motor x degrees and then i use a brake cleaner as well from motor x and it's important to use a product that doesn't deteriorate the seals and rubber inside your caliper because you're going to have a problem so it's not advisable to use petrol for example so now we've cleaned the caliper thoroughly and we're happy that it's really spotless we can finally push the pistons back in preparation for the new pads all right all right i had to go call my friend salvador the local mechanic and get the big dogs in for this one so as you can see i'm getting the slick tyres down off the shelf this time i've decided to use slicks on the track since last time i used the road tires that came with the bike i'm using slicks...
life with the beast episode 2   ktm 1290 superduke r
because they operate at a much higher performance level in a controlled environment and that environment is dry tarmac dry conditions and when you can maintain heat in the tire so when you're pushing hard road tires are typically designed to be used in more uncontrolled environments where it could be cold and the tires warm up quicker on their own and it could be wet but here we don't have those conditions so we'll be using tyre warmers to get the tires up to speed because they're harder to heat up and they also don't operate very well in cold temperatures at all so we'll use tire warmers to get them up to speed and then we'll be able to push hard straight out of the box i'm really looking forward to see how the slick tyres work on this bike so now i'm starting to put the brakes back together now i must say here that look if you're uncertain about your mechanical skills working on your bike especially at bikes that do speed like this it's really important to make sure that everything is done properly lock-tited talked up properly if you don't have the right tools and you don't have the right knowledge please make sure that you seek professional advice either go to your ktm dealer or find a professional mechanic to help you with it or guide you to understand how to do it properly i can't express enough how important it is for your own safety that you do it properly and you get it done right so now i'm going to change...
life with the beast episode 2   ktm 1290 superduke r
the final drive ratio on the bike when i used the bike at her wrath i found that it was really tall geared now the reason for this is most production bikes are geared for comfort on the road and also efficiency and so cruising efficiency and comfort and cruising efficiency are two things that we're really not interested on about on the track so what we want is we want maximum usability out of the transmission that we've got on the engine in the bike so we want to make sure that we gear the bike to be absolutely flat out at the peak performance in top gear on the fastest part of the track and then what we can do is we find the other gears then are more usable when i was at her f i only used the first five gears and but what i want to do is when i go to this track i've shortened the gear ratio by putting a smaller front sprocket on so that i've got more gear choice in the in the turns and i'll also use the full gearbox foreign so here i'm just putting the huge rear slick tire in the bike and i'm really looking forward to seeing how this performs it should give me loads more corner speed corner confidence and also mega drive out of the corners more so than we've been getting on the road tyres and that means i'll be able to back the traction control back as well and that'll again give us more drive i'm just fitting the safety pin here on the rear wheel nut this bike has a single side swing arm and just one huge wheel nut it's...
really important that that's talked up to the factory specifications that it's prepared properly and this safety clip is put in place to stop it coming undone last thing you want is a wheel nut problem on this bike at high speed so now i'm going to remove some of the non-essential parts on the bike for the track so things that are needed on the road like lights turn signals uh rear foot pegs and mirrors are all gonna come off the bike now ktm make it really easy to do that and even the whole rear license plate section with the turn signals is like a few bolts and one plug and it comes off and it just makes the bike really nice and clean for track use hey guys i'm just sat here in my van i just pulled over to say a few words i'm on my way to the circuit now in the last

episode

uh i took the super duke to herreth it was the first time on track for a long time and uh i really had a fun day really getting to know the bike totally standard bike standard tires standard everything um and i really enjoyed it and but what it left me it left me wanting more and it also left me realizing that you know some 10 years away from like competitive stroke high speed track riding really made me rusty and i felt like i was a bit like a wooden board riding the bike so i decided to accelerate my learning a little bit uh and in 2019 i met simon craft our ex-gp rider some of you may know him for what he does more recently he's the commentator on motogp uh where he does the...
tech talk series and the pit lane stuff really really cool what he does for motogp and i really enjoy watching it and i'm sure many of you do and uh he talked to me at silverstone gp in 2019 and mentioned about his motto voodoo training school and i obviously talked as well about my rally school and what i do with the valley bikes and it just twigged really that maybe i should contact simon and see if i can get some time on the track with simon and really hone my skills and accelerate my learning on the track and more importantly not only be fast but also to be safe and because you know i don't want to get injured when i stay well so uh so today we were um a circuit of al maria in the south of spain and i actually got two days this weekend with simon craft so it's gonna be super cool and i'm gonna bring it to you and share the experience and the time that we've got this weekend so let's go so here i am meeting simon with a covered handshake and you can see we're both wearing masks it's really important in these difficult times to follow the covered guidelines and protocol both of the circuit that we're at and the country that we're in to allow us to continue to do these things we love to do so with the sound of bikes out on the track it's time to get all my safety gear on from head to toe and get out on the track myself so i'm spending some time here talking about the circuit with simon and this one of the hardest things when...
you get to a new circuit is learning the circuit learning the fast lines track position breaking points and it takes time and to build up to that is a long process so it's much quicker to get some advice from somebody that knows the track that knows the fast lines that can point you in the right direction from the beginning because it'll accelerate the speed it takes to get up to speed on the track so i'm just getting some tips on track position breaking markers and things that will help me out on the track so with the tyres up to temperature it's now time to remove the tyre warmers and get out on the track myself with a slick tyre with tire warmers up to temperature you can literally go out on the track and hit the first corner maximum attack and if you keep a certain maintain a certain level of speed on the track you maintain the heat in the tires which allows you to keep pushing at all times it's really important to set the tire pressure and get the temperature in the tire before you go out on the track and if you're unsure about the correct tire pressures for your bike speak to a professional at the circuit that can advise you what pressures to run so the first few sessions on a new circuit for me are always a little bit sketchy you know you've got to learn so much track position breaking markers um apexes wide lines double corners where you can join two together and the grip levels on the circuit and it takes time to to build up to that and...
it's really important to take that time the last thing you want to do is go straight out on the new circuit not knowing the circuit go too fast and have an accident and so really take your time build up to it slowly i take three or four sessions before i get up to speed concentrate on track position learn the traction on the track and the breaking points all the apexes so you can hit a nice smooth line and then you can start pushing more so diamond's in front of me and when simon's in front of me i try and get the hammer down and stay with him one good thing about him being in front of me is it encourages me to go faster and you find grip levels that you never knew were imaginable so i really liked it when he was in front when he's behind he's behind you for a reason he's looking at where i can make improvements so you've got to blank him out get the hammer down ride how you know to ride do the best you can and then afterwards accept all the feedback and go out on the next session and try and improve your riding based on the pointers that he's given you so uh yes hmm is just using a little more throttle so you need a little bit more lean and use the grip that's there okay because right now look at this simon even cooked lunch like rice and some nice seafood with vegetables perfect so i finished riding for day one i had a really great day today uh amazing how much uh improvement you can make when you get the right guidance so i'm...
really happy with that the bike's just sleeping here um in the garage actually going to sleep in the garage tonight and uh simon mr grafer's cooking us some steak over here so looking forward to that garage like it's like being it's like being a kid again is that going to make me faster tomorrow or something it's going to make you happy and happy if the moto voodoo kitchen perfect so for you guys that think i'm all professional now and uh sleeping in nice hotels and everything after races to places well uh this is where i spent the like night last night next to my bike in the garage at circuit andalusia sleeping on the floor awesome you do what you've got to do so here we are at circuit down here i'm stood with simon crayfire and yesterday what an amazing day i added the circuit here i learned so much from simon we got another bite awesome day yesterday riding learned so much in just one day it's really quite amazing it's great to be out here in spain in the sun uh thanks for taking the time simon i had a really fun day been my pleasure um i didn't have to work on us breaking he breaks like a demon but we've got some other things to figure out today right now now that you learn now that you know the track and also the enjoyable bit for me last night was putting the world to rights yeah we camped and we spoke about where he started trials i started with motocross yeah and we've worked that way both did enduro he's gone...
to raleigh i had a little taste it did one rally uh now and then on to to road bikes on closed circuits and then finished on cars didn't we we're getting married but not really looking forward to another day at the track here today and spinning some more laps so so so now we're on to day two and i'm really starting to get the feel for the bike now on the slick tyres it's taken a full day to get here but i'm really starting to understand how much i can push this bike with slick tires and it really is blowing me away it's mind blowing how much corner grip you've got and how much acceleration you can get out of the corners as you start to wind the traction control back and feel the traction with your throttle hand it really is quite special the bike's starting to move around a bit now and i'm getting more and more confident with it as time goes on so so so libby lovely another one bites the dust you see what i have to go through replacing all these gopros just to grab that one shot smashed lp seven r.i.p well that was a good session there just really starting to get the feel of the bike now and uh simon's giving me the confidence now to start winding back the traction control and that was like a big step forward because the bike's not hesitating anymore so really good session sliding around a little bit in that one uh real load of fun like this bike is just phenomenal like it's so so good with slicks and the right training...
and experience you can have so much fun comfortably and safely really excellent excellent great session at the end of day two i was really getting the hang of it and i have to say i was on it for me anyway i was really pushing hard the bike moving around hitting all the braking markers starting to hit the correct apexes and when you start to pull all of that together track position braking points hard acceleration and your lap times start to come down it really is so enjoyable so glad i put slicks on the bike and so glad that i got some time with simon to try and help me get speed on the track there's simon pulling a few wheelies for the camera behind me simon if i knew you was doing that i'd be joining in so next time we're on track i'm definitely going to get my wheelie game on okay where to start first of all uh just a wrap of the weekend really um here we are just finished to almeria two days on circuit and uh i'm doing what simon normally does at moto gp with the mic like this you need something because yeah i own it i only have one mic so we just have to make do with this but um first thing just fantastic weekend i really enjoyed myself and for me the accelerated learning learning from you has been priceless because i would have spent probably 10 track weekends getting to where i am today so feel really really awesome so thanks very much for everything my pleasure absolutely my pleasure i mean it's been really enjoyable for me as well because...
you soaked it up and you were brave enough to give it a go whatever i said um yeah thoroughly enjoyed working with it really the thing is i've been doing this for so long it'd be like the guys that come to do your dirt riding thing yeah um the whole thing about moto voodoo is i uh race bikes for 20 years 20 years and it's like um you know going up through national stuff and then you know to the other northern hemisphere and then to world championship um the thing is like anyone who does a trade and works their way to the top you know in a trade if they went and sat down and wrote a book and made a film and made a script that it'd be worth listening to that's all it is you know that's all motiva and i try to put it across as simple as boss that that's basically it well for me it was really worth it and thoroughly enjoyed it but coming from you know dirt bikes onto the tarmac like a lot of people on social media have been asking like what has it been like the transition from dirt to tarmac and i've never been quick on tarmac you know i can ride a bike and i can ride a bike offered well um but having the confidence in the turns on the on the asphalt was completely alien to me and that's why i came and what i've seen from this weekend is people asking how was the transition well you know having the confidence in the turns because on a dirt bike you slide all the time you know yeah and you know you slide it's the opposite on the track it...
don't slide there's so much traction especially on six my first time on slicks um so much traction and you you need telling so following you and you saying come come come it made me push harder than i would ever pushed on my own and and that really helped a lot and all the guidance on the points and the where to be in track position body position was massive you know dirt riding yeah you move around a lot on the bike on a road bike i'm i'm rigid you know i'm like a plank of wood sat in the middle of the bike and you changed that so thanks a lot it was really good yeah um i think uh as you know i've ridden dirt bikes as well um and i think the thing about coming from dirt bikes or even road bikes to here is um the grip level is literally unbelievable isn't it it's unbelievable so like you said you need to you wouldn't believe they could still hang on so you're a bit worried when you're a mile away i say to some of my clients um look you're leaning over and you're going oh thinking it's gonna let go it's like you're standing on the edge of a cliff but three meters back going there's loads to go you know and um i decided to throw in there the thing about um the even coming from road tires road tires are made to work from cold to reasonably hot you know warm and they have to because you jump on when they're still rod right into the shops but rubber can't work in too big a range so with these things we put...
warmers on they don't even work in there they're they're dangerous they're like plastic you're full of but we heat them up and you next minute you're you're working from quite hot like they're all the way that's to another level and that's what you've felt today it's it's truly amazing and you know on the super duke the thing that stands out for me is the breaking performance on these bikes is just mind-blowing like 150 kilometers an hour and within a few seconds you can get it down to a second gear corner like that was that blew my mind like how good the brakes are on these things yeah you picked out there pretty well like you it seemed like you had the confidence in a straight line that the thing's not going to let go you know and you picked up that quick so impressive as it isn't so fast you need harder suspension and stuff don't you but um you know just you said about the dirt bike thing and i genuinely believe once you know both it is the same thing you know riding a dirt bike fast on a on a dirt road you know without jumps and things is the same as riding a road bike fast but at a really high level you know they let go in the same places they do they act the same it's just at a much higher grip level you know it's more scary to get there but it's the same thing yeah and so today i got to the point where my tire was pretty worn the slick and i started to feel the back moving like moving like just...
like jelly in the day and i mentioned it and simon looked at my tire he's like done new tire put a new tire on next session amazing completely different so huge huge the tires are just amazing what they do so i guess last thing is yeah breaking was good i came on so much took so much time off my lap times over the weekend and now i just want more so what do i need to work on next because i know i know i think i need to stiffen the suspension up for sure because the bike moves pitches a lot and also it upsets a lot if you do one little thing it moves a lot that will help but in terms of riding what would you say the things i need to focus on next i think you uh know it that that um suspension once you the thing is you made really quick progress and once you get to where you are the road suspension is just too soft you know a track suspension's horrible on the road it's rock hard but it's so you can feel what's going on with the tyre so well but also you so you don't get that pitching the transition like for example when you grab the brakes right now it just pitches forward it's on the bottom the back lifts up then you get on the throttle you know you take all that out and you're i know you'll make big progress once you do that and you've got the line sorted here um you understand where to be on the track you and the thing is once we get the suspension in it's we've already got you uh going around all the way around the track...
doing everything pretty much the same level not just braking anymore what we'll do is lift the whole lot up you know because if you just do one you know it's all we just try and raise the whole lot up bit by bit by that i like the sound of that lifting it up another level so um yeah really great glad i did this two days with you um it's priceless for me and big question is before we finish did i earn my moto voodoo t-shirt more than more than you can imagine it was really good thank you very much mate for everything my pleasure so thanks for watching everyone if you like this

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