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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys.

Added a '13 Speedy to the stable.

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I've had a '99 since 2014. Put over 20k miles on it. Did a bunch of work to it, custom wiring harness, teflon d675 caliper pistons, 1050 clear lenses, dyno tuned it with tuneecu, valve stem seals and valve adjustment. Great bike, had a lot of fun working on it and riding it.

In 2017 I got an FJ09. Put 7k miles on it but never fell in love with it. Didn't feel special, and kinda felt cheap. Throttle was insanely jerky even after a tune. Consistently missed the 1-2 shift under hard acceleration. Lacked stability, engine wasn't torquey at all. Ended up moving from KY to AZ. Sold the FJ, kept the '99 at my parents house.

After getting settled out here I was bike shopping again. Rode a Ninja 1000, 1290 Duke GT (epic disappointment), and '18 speedy. Really liked the speedy and n1k. Then this 13 became available. I miss the cruise control of the '18 but otherwise, this '13 does everything I want. I'm amazed at the highway manners. Wind seems way better than my '99 and my FJ09.

So anyway, glad to stay in the Triumph family. Loving the bike so far. Ordered SW Motech Blaze saddlebags and a kaoko throttle lock. This bike has everything else done except a spare key, need to figure out how to do that next.
 

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Nice looking S3, that gold colour works really well.
Surprised you found the 1290 Super Duke GT an 'epic disappointment'. I have one sitting in the garage alongside my 1050 S3 and consider it to be a magnificent motorcycle. Reminds of when I got my first 955 triple many Triumphs ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nice looking S3, that gold colour works really well.
Surprised you found the 1290 Super Duke GT an 'epic disappointment'. I have one sitting in the garage alongside my 1050 S3 and consider it to be a magnificent motorcycle. Reminds of when I got my first 955 triple many Triumphs ago.
What I like about the speed triple is that there is smooth power everywhere. I've wanted a super duke gt ever since they came out. Seemed like the perfect bike... Tons of torque, tons of power, and has bags. I really wanted to like this bike. Well first, I didn't like the seating position. Felt like an adventure bike. Then it vibrated horrifically below 5k rpms and felt like it lugged. I feel like a bike with that much power and torque should pull 4th gear at low rpms. And it really didn't. When I got it on the highway, I put it in race mode and did a pull. It felt like it had very long gearing and really didn't feel any quicker than the speedy. I know it's way faster, numbers don't lie, but it didn't feel like it. I was not impressed with the engine manners. It also threw heat off something serious.

It was a meeting my hero moment, and I guess I expected more.
 

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Congrats on your new speedy. I traded my 2013 se s3 towards a sdr and coming from the WIDE powerband of the s3 I was a bit confused with the 1290 also, but by the time I got the rings seated 600 miles I understood how the engine and gearing were designed to work. There's a SB group I get to ride with occasionally and last time out the leader was on an f3 there was about 10 of us with an s3, and assortment of newer nakeds. My riding buddy on a MG griso and me tight with the leader then the speed triple 1/2 a turn back and then a ways back the rest of the group. I think the rider on the s3 could have stayed with us if the speedy could have pulled out of the corners just a little harder as most of the day was hi speed turns. I never got along with the s3, but that day showed me in the right hands and properly set up the s3 is still for real. I thought the 2018 had about 20 more hp than the previous gen and am surprised you didn't mention it?
 

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I didn't want to sing the praises of the KTM 1290 SD-R/GT too much after all this is a Triumph forum and I remain an ardent fan. Still I have to admit the 1290 makes my Triumphs (a 2005 Daytona 955i and a 2008 1050 S3) seem very tame. As I said earlier the KTM reminds me how blown away I was by the riding experience when I first got a big Triumph triple. Whilst it's probably largely down to familiarity I feel well within my capabilities on either Triumph whereas the KTM offers a riding experience well beyond my skillset. A big part of this is the draconian level of speed enforcement in Australia. I can burble along quite smoothly on either Triumph at posted limits whereas the KTM is constantly 'pulling at the reins' as it were, goading you into riding spiritedly at all times. If I ride to protect my licence I go out on one of the Triumphs, if I go out and ride with any level of enthusiam I take the KTM. Oh and yes I've ridden a 2019 S3 with a supposed additional 20hp but, kinda like my '05 955i Daytona, it's really all at the top end, courtesy of the additional 1000rpm rev limit, so didn't feel markedly different to my '08 S3. If the KTM has one fault (other than the flaky and overtly complex electronic systems) it's the agricultural shuddering, crashing, thumping and juddering you experience if you lug the engine, hardly surprising I suppose for a 1301cc v-twin. By all accounts this has been largely addressed in the 2020 SD-R and I look forward to test riding one but am concerned it may prove to be an expensive endeavour.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I thought the 2018 had about 20 more hp than the previous gen and am surprised you didn't mention it?
The 2018 is listed at 148 hp, the 2013 listed at 135. But the '13 has that arrow low boy which picks up a few hp. I rode them on different days so no back to back. But I didn't really notice a huge difference.

I know the speed triple is not, and will not be, the most powerful or fastest naked out there. I just really enjoy it's street manners. I do want to try a 1290 again. Might be meeting a friend in Colorado in a few months that has a '17 1290r. I'll see if we can bike swap :) His is broken in with 40k miles, exhaust, tune, etc so it'll be the real deal.

Does KTM neuter the power until its broken in? I know BMW does on some, if KTM does that could also explain why I wasn't blown away.
 

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The bright gear change light on KTM 1290 SD-R/GTs is set artificially low at 6500rpm from new and some owners mistakenly take this as being a hard wired 'running in' limit. It is not. You can spin it to 10500rpm out of the showroom if you so choose. If it won't rev beyond 6500rpm it's in limp mode, a not uncommon occurence with 1290s.
 

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unless it was in rain mode the bike should have shown you its true nature. the engine lugging is real in 5-6 gear and 4th below 40 mph. 1-3 should pull fine from any rpm with 1 and being dangerous without mtc and a heavy throttle. That said the sdr will never have the triple's off the throttle smooth power, but thats part of the trade off.
 
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