CCM RM30, KTM 520EXC, KTM Duke II, VOR 503SM – Supermoto test p2 – Page…

14 Jun 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on CCM RM30, KTM 520EXC, KTM Duke II, VOR 503SM – Supermoto test p2 – Page…
VOR 503 Supermoto SM

CCM RM30, KTM 520EXC, KTM Duke II, VOR 503SM – Supermoto test p2

Supermoto’s a throwback to biking as it was intended to be – raw, uncontaminated fun. A chance to grab an hour and forget about all the shit that’s going on in your life. Ride and be free, dude.

We chose four very different Supermotos to discover what’s what in their world. First up, there’s Brit firm CCM’s new R30. It’s an incredibly slim, stylish 598cc single cylinder four-stroke which has been stripped to the bare essentials leaving it lean and mean.

In contrast, KTM’s Duke II looks lardy but promises more comfort than its rivals and more on-road potential.

You may not have heard of Italian firm VOR and that’s not surprising as they didn’t exist before 1999, but they now produce some shit-hot Supermotos of which the 503 is one. Ees verry nice, no?

But the trickest here is the KTM 520 EXC, complete with very hot mods. And before you start shouting ‘unfair comparison’ just relax. This isn’t a comparison test, we’re just getting an idea of what’s on offer and what you can actually do with a Supermoto once you get your grubby oil-stained mitts on one.

And who better to give you an insight than the right honourable Chris Walker and Niall Mackenzie?

It would be difficult to find two racers with more contrasting styles than this pair. Whether on an NSR500 or a Suzuki GSX-R750, Walker never seems happy unless he’s hanging the back end out, spinning it up, and sending the front wheel airborne. In contrast, Mackenzie’s one of the smoothest riders on the planet.

Don’t be decieved though, he’s shockingly fast. Put both on Supermotos and it’s hard to tell them apart. Walker looks even wilder than normal, if that’s possible, while Mackenzie falls on his arse more times than he did in 20 years’ racing.

Supermotos are mental.

Mackenzie loves ’em so much, he chose a Duke II as his long-term test bike this year. I wanted something that wouldn’t get me into trouble but now I’m not so sure it won’t.

Walker chips in. You might only be doing about 80mph but it’s mostly on the back wheel. As soon as you get on one of these things you act like a kid so you might not get nicked for speeding but you probably will for wheelies, stoppies and burnouts.

But they look harmless enough so your missus won’t worry about you going out on them either.

The Duke II is the most road-orientated of the four bikes making it the most practical. At 145kilos, it’s relatively heavy for off-road use but not impossible (with knobbly tyres), and with a top speed of around 110mph it’s the fastest too. Walker says, I like the fact you can buy a Duke and don’t really have to do anything to it. My mate’s just sold his ZX-6R for one and loves it.

He was sick of the hassle and cost of superbikes and now he’s a convert. I reckon you could have more fun with 10 mates on Dukes than ten mates on R1s – you need a track to get the best from an R1.

VOR 503 Supermoto SM
VOR 503 Supermoto SM

And the Duke’s the best all-rounder here. That 160-section rear tyre means you can get yer knee down at the local roundabout (if you must), and there’s plenty of torque (43 ft-lbs to be precise) for hoiking wheelies. It’s the most comfortable too with a fairly plush, wide seat and well positioned bars and pegs.

So the Duke’s more of a road bike with Supermoto styling than a pukka Supermoto, so if you want the real thing you’re better looking elsewhere. If, on the other hand, you like the styling of a Supermoto but want some practicality (like a decent size fuel tank and pillion pegs), the Duke’s spot on.

CCM’s new R30 is a step closer to a competition bike and arguably the firm’s best-looking to date. Mackenzie says: CCM needed a bike like this – they’ve been too bulky in the past. I love the slim, minimal build and look of the bike and the rasp from that exhaust (£130 CCM option) is awesome.



But that slim build comes at a price – the fuel tank’s only good for about 50 road miles before hitting reserve. The good news is that reserve holds two litres (a third of the overall capacity) and if you want more, there is a 13.6 litre option. But then this bike’s meant for racing or daft blasts at the weekend, not long journeys.

You ain’t touring on a Supermoto, buddy.

And it has enough plus points to make up for its lack of practicality. As Mackenzie points out: It’s a lot more planted than the Duke, but the KTM’s more peaky. The CCM makes a punch of torque and then it’s all over, really.

And it can make that torque when you least expect it, as Mac found to his peril. Starting the bike in gear with the clutch in while standing next to it, the clutch dragged, bounced the bike forward and clunk, Mac was on the floor in a giggling heap.

But it’s testimony to the design of Supermotos that, like full-on dirt bikes, they’re can survive a fall or two. The £5,450 CCM was undamaged apart from a wobbly mirror. A simple topple like that with a Ducati 996 could have cost thousands.

You’ll never crash with impunity but on a Supermoto at least it has been decriminalised.

VOR 503 Supermoto SM
VOR 503 Supermoto SM
VOR 503 Supermoto SM
VOR 503 Supermoto SM
VOR 503 Supermoto SM
VOR 503 Supermoto SM
VOR 503 Supermoto SM

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