1290 SUPERDUKE AND RC8/R

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HYPERMOTO
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1290 SUPERDUKE AND RC8/R

Postby HYPERMOTO » Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:35 pm

Hi guys,

My current ride is a 1290 Superduke but I am looking at buying another bike for track days and I was wondering if anyone on here has used an RC8/R on track.
Or better still if anyone has the privilege of owning both the 1290 SDR and an RC8/R, how they compare in ride and performance.
One of my riding buddies had an RC8 (non R) but he sold it before I got my SDR.

Thanks in advance.
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Leonidas
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Re: 1290 SUPERDUKE AND RC8/R

Postby Leonidas » Tue Jun 30, 2015 1:31 pm

I used to own a 990 SDR and an RC8 for the track.
Not really fair to compare. The SDR is a fun bike and is great on exactly that, FUN. No other bike can claim the same. So, it's really on its own category. Maybe the Tuono could compare, but still it's not the same. The Ape is an RSV without fairings. The SDR is built as a fun bike

The RC8 is in a totally different league. Very competitive league. I love KTMs and owned some during the last years and still own a 950 ADV and a 1290 SDR. However, for track riding only the RC would be very low on my list. Mainly because of the fact that you need a lot of mods to get it to work. And still, in terms of stability in the corner it's not the best. It's a very nice bike for road riding but not for the track imo.
For track riding, a 1098 Duc is a one way choice for me. It's the best track tool you can get and nowadays you can get them pretty cheapish

A 1098 is a much better bike than the RC. Chassis, engine, suspension, pretty much everything. You just need to get used to the Duc style of riding. Apart from that, everything is perfect.

Ah, there are some reliability issues on the Duc... Sometimes pretty significant. But that's another story
Last edited by Leonidas on Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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A Duc and a Duke --> Blessed :mrgreen:
Still miss my 990 SDR...

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Re: 1290 SUPERDUKE AND RC8/R

Postby Baron015 » Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:51 pm

Very interesting. What did you mean by FAN bike with the 990SDR? I have one of them so I guess I ought to know !?

What qualities do you think the RC8 has that makes it a good fast road bike but not a fast track bike ? I also considered an RC8 to replace existing but then thought why? since I love the 990SDR so much.

And also what is the Ducati style of riding ?

Three points of intrigue in one post, I love it !

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Leonidas
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Re: 1290 SUPERDUKE AND RC8/R

Postby Leonidas » Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:17 pm

Fun = Comfortable, agile, easy to ride, nice power delivery, top brakes + nobody expects top laptimes from such a bike. If you can keep up with a litre superbike, you are doing good. And that's quite easy when you take hold of the bike

The RC8 is in a category that is by definition competitive and measured on lap times and straight line power. It doesn't have any of these to compete on top level with the bikes of its generation. It is down on power, has poor suspension and although it is agile, its fast geometry makes it easy to lowside when you dont get on the gas immediately.
With the SDR, you do not care about these, as you are not really after the lap time. When you ride an SS bike, you expect to push more and stability on the corner or power are a must. Riding the RC on the road though and once you sort out the fuelling (mine had an akra, so no probs there) it is very nice. On the road, the riding position is very comfortable, the bike is very agile and the clip ons give you nice leverage.

The Duc is a totallly different beast to the RC. I ve had some V2s in my riding life, but felt like a first timer when i first rode the 1098 (my first Duc ever). I ve owned Aprilias and KTMs, but the first time i really felt the V2 grunt was on the 1098. The power feels massive the first time you open the throttle. It ends up pretty fast, so you need to use it on a different way than on a IL4 or even the RC. To me the RC with its linear delivery, is closer to an IL4 than a Duc V2. So, it's definitely not the most powerful bike, but if u use it properly, you are not left behind (at least not much) on a straight line.
Then, its the brakes. Superb! Just superb. Same setup with the RC8, but still different. Of course on stock the two bikes run different pads. The KTMs are 100 eur per set and the Duc's 250 eur. You really feel the difference both on your pocket and when you brake. Moreover, the whole setup on the Duc provides such a feeling that gives you more confidence for hard braking up to the apex.
The Duc chassis is stiff, very stiff and the geometry is not very quick. It doesn't want to turn. You need to force it in the corner. Once you do that though, the bike drops very sharply and shows great stability inside the corner. That is something the Duc has on its genes. Nothing compares there. Extraordinary feeling. It feels as if its on rails when on full lean.
And then, you re on the gas again. You open the throttle and are amazed by the amount of power you sent to the back wheel. The more you open the throttle, the more the bike feels more stable and closes its route. The power drops early, but you cant have everything i guess...

All in all, the Duc is a bike i could never go fast on the road, even in a place i am comfortable with. It needs the rider to take control, brake hard, push the bike into the corner and then open the gas generously. The less you do, the more the bike feels out of its waters.
On the track though, when you spend some time with it, it simply amazes you.

Sorry for the long write up, but it's difficult to get hold of myself when talking about nice bikes :D
Last edited by Leonidas on Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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A Duc and a Duke --> Blessed :mrgreen:
Still miss my 990 SDR...

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Re: 1290 SUPERDUKE AND RC8/R

Postby SDNerd » Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:32 pm

Ridden the 1290, RC8R and RC8R Race Spec (AKA "RS") on track.

A few questions:

- What level of rider are you? Be honest, as what you're asking is prospectively a big chunk of change for a bike you might use only a dozen times/year. Then again, maybe you don't care - and if that is the case - I'd get something else (e.g. Superleggera, YZF-R1M, RSV4 RPSC Factory, whatever super-duper 2015 S100RR, etc.). FWIW: a regular/original RC8 (non-R) is really best as a street bike, and IMO, you'll do better by tracking the 1290. To put this another way, if your lap times aren't already putting you in the "expert" groups at track days, an RC8R or RS won't get you there any sooner than your 1290 will, and they certainly won't be as forgiving.

- You have plans to race the bike at some point, or are you just a huge fan of the orange (er, KTM)? Conversely, do you have plans to ever ride this bike on the street?

If I were to buy a track-dedicated RC8R, I would find myself a nice clean Race Spec. It's got the goods, and it makes it's power so effortlessly. The bike is almost taunting to ride on-track, like it's asking the rider "... is that all you got ..."? A little suspension tuning/setup, and the thing really works. Few things you can do in a home garage can really surpass a factory "hot-rod". Just to start, the RS is ~50 Lbs lighter than the RC8R - and on-track, it shows. It makes more power everywhere (full Akra race system, and tuned accordingly), and is better suspended out of the box.

If this was to be even occasionally used on-road - other than the spectacular design, there's no reason to own an RC8R track-only. I mean, if that's what you have your heart set on, then it's all good. As for it as a track-only bike, sure you can raid the power-parts catalog and "Race Spec" parts list, but it will cost a small fortune to be as good as an RS (>> more than an RS). In the same capable hands (and with identical tyres), a good used , 10 y.o., litre I4, big-4 Japanese race bike will leave a near-stock RC8R for dead everywhere, and the price to keep the Japanese thing lit will be a lot less over the years. While the performance aftermarket for RC8Rs is better than the 1290's will ever be, it's miniscule compared to that for CBGSXYZFZXRRRRs.

Maybe you can find an RC8R that someone else setup as a race bike, to use as track-only. Will be a better value than setting up your own. Not many around, but they exist: Many of the club race orgs have classifieds ...

The RC8R is not a disguised "Race Bike", and IMO out of the box, maybe not as capable on-track as a 1290. Some of this has to do with what tracks you run on. Long, fast, wide tracks might leave the 1290 rider at a disadvantage. Where more "technical" circuits, the 1290 can shine, in no small part due to its electronics and well of torque one can dip in to. This presumes a well setup suspension, and appropriate tyres on either. The RS was intended as a club-race/trackday tool, and is more capable than most registrants on sd.net.

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Re: 1290 SUPERDUKE AND RC8/R

Postby HYPERMOTO » Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:39 pm

Really interesting comments Leonidas, thank you :D I love KTM's too and I have owned a lot of them since I first raced an MX250 back in 1983 :shock:
And the long write ups are great, its good to see someone passionate about the bikes they ride.
In answer to SDNerd;
I would realistically describe myself (and I am sure my mates agree) as a confindent and competent relatively fast rider.
I am never going to be a racer and I have been predominantly road riding all these years.
I have been riding big stuff for 32 years and owned a variety of relatively quick bikes like Honda SP1 (RC51) and SP2, GSXR1000 K3 and K5, Aprilia RSV R and Colin Edwards, Ducati Monster S4R, and now the 1290 Superduke. I have had a number of modern 600 sports bikes too and plenty of supermotos. I have been on probably only 15 track days in that time but always on sports bikes until recently when I used the 1290 but I don't feel as comfortable on track with my 1290 as I hoped I would.
I feel confident enough in the corners, although I know I could be quicker if I hang off more but after 150mph the sports bikes are passing me on the straights.
I think I expected to be able to run with them easily but the 1290 doesn't seem to be the track tool I thought it would be which is pretty much how Leonidas describes it.
I had a test ride on a Ducati 1098 a few years back and loved it but it was the wrong time for me due to work commitments.
My mates have really got the track day bug this year and between them they have: 2012 GSXR750, 2005 GSXR1000, 2012 GSXR1000, 2015 GSXR1000, 2012 S1000RR, 2015 S1000RR and 2010 1198 (Now replaced by 2015 Panigale).
On fast road rides I am consistently third behind the 2012 S1000RR and 2010 1198 but on track I am nearer the bottom.
I don't really want a track only RC8/R as we all ride on the road as well and I am sure there would be plenty of opportunities when a sports bike is more appropriate. The reason for looking at the RC8/R is my love of V Twins but the info in this thread so far is swaying me towards anything other than the RC8/R.
I was talking to a friend who is a racer and an instructor with Ron Haslam Race School at Donington Park and he said I should just buy a Track Prepared R6 or CBR600RR.
He reckons that once I got to grips with that I wouldn't feel the need for anything bigger as there would be marginal difference on a track day.
He has offered to coach me once I get the right bike.
All of your advice is very much appreciated. Cheers.
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Re: 1290 SUPERDUKE AND RC8/R

Postby SDNerd » Wed Jul 01, 2015 1:08 am

HYPERMOTO wrote:I would realistically describe myself (and I am sure my mates agree) as a confindent and competent relatively fast rider.
I am never going to be a racer and I have been predominantly road riding all these years.
I have been riding big stuff for 32 years and owned a variety of relatively quick bikes like Honda SP1 (RC51) and SP2, GSXR1000 K3 and K5, Aprilia RSV R and Colin Edwards, Ducati Monster S4R, and now the 1290 Superduke. I have had a number of modern 600 sports bikes too and plenty of supermotos. I have been on probably only 15 track days in that time but always on sports bikes until recently when I used the 1290 but I don't feel as comfortable on track with my 1290 as I hoped I would.
I feel confident enough in the corners, although I know I could be quicker if I hang off more but after 150mph the sports bikes are passing me on the straights.
I think I expected to be able to run with them easily but the 1290 doesn't seem to be the track tool I thought it would be which is pretty much how Leonidas describes it.
I had a test ride on a Ducati 1098 a few years back and loved it but it was the wrong time for me due to work commitments.
My mates have really got the track day bug this year and between them they have: 2012 GSXR750, 2005 GSXR1000, 2012 GSXR1000, 2015 GSXR1000, 2012 S1000RR, 2015 S1000RR and 2010 1198 (Now replaced by 2015 Panigale).
On fast road rides I am consistently third behind the 2012 S1000RR and 2010 1198 but on track I am nearer the bottom.
I don't really want a track only RC8/R as we all ride on the road as well and I am sure there would be plenty of opportunities when a sports bike is more appropriate. The reason for looking at the RC8/R is my love of V Twins but the info in this thread so far is swaying me towards anything other than the RC8/R.
I was talking to a friend who is a racer and an instructor with Ron Haslam Race School at Donington Park and he said I should just buy a Track Prepared R6 or CBR600RR.
He reckons that once I got to grips with that I wouldn't feel the need for anything bigger as there would be marginal difference on a track day.
He has offered to coach me once I get the right bike.


Some additional thoughts:

- Have you done that Haslam school - or any other on-track performance riding school? If not, you owe it to yourself to do so - ideally a 2-day program.

- A person can have a lot of years of riding, and be a very competent on-road rider. How fast they roll on the roadway isn't (and probably shouldn't be ...) a metric WRT to track riding, in that the conditions and objectives are different; the latter presumably to ride as fast as one is able. IMO, one shouldn't compare one's on-road riding speed to that of others ... "Faster" in the on-road context isn't necessarily a hallmark of competence (and too often an indicator of stupidity - not suggesting that you or your friends are). Being able to ride briskly - at one's own pace - yet comfortably (as in, with little effort), and safely in all conditions: That's on-road competence. On-road, the guy who is always trying to be "first one there", is too-often also the guy who doesn't get "there" at all.

- I'm guessing you're aware of this, but what your racer/instructor friend is telling you - is that your on-track performance doesn't depend as much on the bike as much as one might think. He would be correct, and his suggestion of a 600 (or maybe a 750, if you're a somewhat bigger guy, as you might be frustrated at times on a 600 ...) isn't a bad one, assuming you mostly run at more technical circuits.

- Realizing you're sharing some background, what you've ridden in past on-road isn't that relevant to how well you'll go on track. I find myself often repeating the same mantra regarding it being so much more about the rider than it is the bike. It's why I try to explain to folks that instead of the $3500 exhaust made of unobtainium, graced with another grand of dyno wizardry performed by some self-proclaimed deity, they'd be better off spending their money on gas + tyres (=riding time), and education (school, books, etc.). Motorcycle powerplants are simply that good these days - way beyond the capability of most of their owners. Let's not overlook suspension either - which doesn't have to mean spending a minimum of $4K on gold-anodized Scandinavian fairy dust.

- The 1290 will "run with" just about anything: Again, it isn't the bike. Sure, it is in need of suspension setup for its rider and intended use, and a few other MINOR things ... In the right hands, no club-racer 600 is going to crush it except perhaps on the shortest/twistiest of circuits - UNLESS that rider is simply better. Agreed - the 1290 is hardly "ready to race", but the damn thing goes and turns reasonably well too. The brakes work as well as those on the best production bikes available in any category. Said brakes - on track - won't really improve lap times, but are a very effective tool for passing other riders with - something you don't really do on-road.

- The RC8R is IMO is the most visually stunning liter-class "superbike" since the 916 (OK, maybe the F4 ... ). That alone for some, is a reason to own one. I can see one in my living room - my bride however, can not. IMO, there isn't anything since that is better appearing visually. I would contend the liter-class superbikes are just getting uglier with time, out of functionality. The price of speed perhaps: Look at how hideous and cluttered F1 and LM prototype cars appear. Unfortunately, the RC8R is an expensive piece for track-only flogging, and road-riding one is not a lot more than a vanity exercise. Why suffer when you have a 1290? As a track tool - not my first choice. Not even in the top 5 choices.

- A track dedicated 600 (or maybe 636/675) will certainly teach one to do more with less, how to really turn a bike, and learn the importance/value of carrying more speed everywhere. All fine in principle, but kicking that off with some formal on-track education will get you along sooner.

As we can here, I'm guessing you can rent a race-ready 600 - which may be worth your while before buying anything. Maybe do that, engage your friend who offered some coaching, and see how you progress in a couple of trackdays. Maybe after a few days coached-riding on a 600, give the 1290 a go again, and see how you've improved.

I wish I could say "... go out and get yourself an RC8R, and you'll destroy everyone at the track ...", but I can't - nor about any bike.

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HYPERMOTO
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Re: 1290 SUPERDUKE AND RC8/R

Postby HYPERMOTO » Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:20 am

Some very concise and relavent points there and I have to say I agree with you entirely.
I am and always have been a road rider and to that point my riding style is so very different to that of some club racers I associate with and have had the benefit of riding with. My road riding isn't reckless or life threatening but there are plenty of technical sections to our "regular" routes which are clear and safe places to explore our abilities shall we say. We pick our riding times to avoid the traffic and I have a loving family that I intend to be at home with at the end of each ride. I haven't attended any Race Schools as yet but I agree that would give me so much insight to riding on track faster and smoother.
The 1290 suspension does need work but I see on here that there is a fork cartridge available so maybe that would be a good starting point.
I am not looking for a "miracle" bike to make me a better rider as I fully understand that the rider makes the bike and not the bike makes the rider.
I have seen supermotos absolutely anhialate litre sports bikes on technical circuits like Cadwell Park.
I usually choose my bikes for their character and individuality hence why I am a massive KTM advocate.
Thanks again.
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Leonidas
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Re: 1290 SUPERDUKE AND RC8/R

Postby Leonidas » Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:47 am

Just a note from my experience.
Riding a naked bike on track, is easy and fun for an experienced rider. However, for an amateur track rider, an SS bike is easier to get holds of.
I know that based on my experience.

So, if you want to take track riding as a regular hobby, then an SS bike is the way to go. The seating is more appropriate and the clip ons give you more stability when inside the corner.
On the other hand, the SS bike needs some more power when counter steering compared to a naked, as they don't provide the wide bar leverage. But you get used to that after a while.

All in all, you don't need to go pro to get an ss. It's the way to go if you are looking to improve on track.
If you are already there, then the naked bike will provide more fun.

Each to their own. Have fun
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A Duc and a Duke --> Blessed :mrgreen:
Still miss my 990 SDR...

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HYPERMOTO
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Re: 1290 SUPERDUKE AND RC8/R

Postby HYPERMOTO » Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:06 am

Thanks guys, I appreciate your comments.
I need to give this a lot more consideration and I should probably book myself on a race school day to get a taste of what I really want from it.
In the meantime I will continue to enjoy my 1290 (and other bikes) while the sun is shining. :mrgreen:
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