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KTM 790 Duke near Tarbena, Costa Blanca, SpainSometimes it's nice to just get out with a couple of friends for a shortish ride and a bit of a chat to catch up with what is going on.  This was the scenario for the KTM's first proper ride out on the 21st July.

Meeting up with Roger and John, a couple of local biking friends, at the bar in Tormos for a quick coffee before the off, I was filled with a bit of trepidation, it would be my first proper ride out on the new bike and the first time anybody had seen it, most people didn't even know I had bought it.

Both of them had a good look around it asked a few questions and then nodded their approval before we sat for a coffee and chat and then eventually set off into the mountains.

It was decided that I would lead the way to allow me to gauge the progress with the recommended run-in procedure, at this point I had only covered 151km in total, however, the rules are not too strict with a top speed possible of 140kmph during the run-in.

From Tormos we headed towards Pego before taking the right along the Vall d'Ebo road, this road is tight and twisty as it climbs its way up and over the mountains before dropping into the valley.  There are some stunning views of the sea and mountains as you climb higher and higher.  I was having too much fun on my new toy to pay much attention to them though.  The KTM takes the corners in its stride as if it were on rails and then fires out of them before braking for the next, I was chuckling like an idiot in my helmet as cars and vans were passed and groups of cyclist dispatched with a flick of the wrist.  I was starting to wonder why I hadn't bought a KTM years ago when I realised my friends were nowhere to be seen and I slowed to let them catch up. It wasn't that I was going particularly fast or much faster than them but the way the KTM fires out of corners allowed me to pull a bit of an advantage.

Through Vall d'Ebo we went and further inland until we came to the T-junction at the end of the road, we turned left towards Planes and stopped at Bar Luis for a bacon and tomato bocadillo and coffee.  We sat for around an hour shooting the breeze before setting off for the return journey.

Rather than take the Vall d'Ebo road for the return we stayed on the road to Pego which twists and turns its way down the side of a valley for around 30km.  This road has been repaired a few times over the past few years and I am always a little wary of it as the GSXR has had one or two slides coming out of the corners, not so this time the new bike handled it all with ease.  through Pego, we went heading back towards Tormos.  We passed straight through this time though and stopped instead at Bar Citrus in Orba for a well-earned round of cold drinks.

We parted company after 30 minutes or so and all headed in different directions home, at which point I realised that I hadn't taken any pictures or video for the article, at least that's my excuse, so I went past our base in Parcent and up the Coll de Rates to take some pictures, finally stopping on the road from Tarbena to Castell de Castells to admire the view.

Click on the map to view the route on Google Maps.