The Brute and The Beast

My grandson Aston and my granddaughter Lyla are both mellow tempered children. When describing my other grandson, Grant, no one has ever used the word “mellow.” My nickname for Grant is “the Brute.” He is busy bulldozing his way through life…and he isn’t even 2 yet!


Kind of reminds me of my KTM 690 Duke. Every time I ride it, I think of Grant; the bike is a Brute! Especially so after Chad Wells, the mechanic at Commonwealth Motorcycles, got done unleashing the monster within. It weighs less than 350 lbs and now puts out somewhere near 81hp. It handles as sharp as a scalpel and feels as light as a bicycle. The redline is around 8000 rpm and once you reach 6k, the heavens open and the angels begin to sing. Actually, based on the note that the exhaust puts out, I’m thinking it’s more likely a few fallen angels doing the singing. In my mind, this bike is the perfect canyon carver and mountain railer.

Since selling my Street Triple I’ve been window shopping at other bikes. I actually put a deposit down on the upcoming African Twin but don’t know at this point if I will follow through with a purchase. There is another bike that was never really on my radar until recently: the Super Duke 1290 R. Basically, my Duke’s big brother. Forget 81 hp though; this bike kicks out 181 hp, or somewhere in that range…I mean after a point, does it even matter? On top of that, it lays down 92 ft pounds of torque. Absolutely incredible motor. It is as smooth as melted butter and as subtle as a sledgehammer. The thing has wheelie control (traction control) for God’s sake! I’ve been riding for 48 years and I’m almost afraid to crack the throttle open…almost. Now I know how the Road Runner felt when Wile E Coyote was chasing him and he kicked it into overdrive! Seriously, twisting your wrist on this bike is like being transported through time; it is instant. Park this monster next to any other bike and they instantly wet themselves in embarrassment. It is an intimidating, yet easily controlled thrill ride.

I have taken one out for a test ride twice now. I can definitely see making room for one in my garage. Sure, I already have the 690 Duke, but other than looks, they are not much alike. One is a scalpel; the other a cleaver. One is light and nimble; the other a powerhouse. The only thing they have in common is that they both ooze “bad assery” (who cares if it isn’t a word.)! The 1290 is not a Brute…it’s a Beast…and I want one.
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