As I’ve progressed my way through this 790 Duke project, I’ve mostly concentrated on parts that improve the KTM’s function or provide some sort of protection. Since I’m typically a function over form kinda guy, this is to be expected. However, there are some features of the Duke that, despite their utility, I thought needed replacing. For example, the stock mirrors, while performing their intended job quite well, broke up the angular lines of the bike and looked like rubber flippers mounted on the handlebar. And don’t get me started on the stock turn signals!
Anyone who has looked at custom motorcycles – particularly sporty ones – has probably seen Rizoma accessories, whether they knew it or not. The Italian company has a reputation for well-designed, premium accessories. Consequently, that’s where I started my search.
Leggera Turn Signals
The parts that had me looking through the Rizoma website in the first place were the turn signals. To my eye, the KTM PowerParts Turn Signal Kit is an exceptionally nice looking replacement for the huge DOT-mandated turn signals the 790 came with. Unfortunately, that factory accessory kit is only available overseas where LED turn signals are standard. Bummer. Still, I thought I’d seen those turn signals before, and after a little poking around on the Rizoma website, I discovered I was right.
So, I ordered four Leggera turn signals ($77 each). When coupled with two Indicator Light Adapter kits ($11 each) and two Indicator Light and “Veloce L” cable Kits ($32 each), installing the signals was almost as plug-and-play as it gets – that is until I turned on the signals and got rapidly flashing indicators and an error message on the TFT dash.
Thus began a troubleshooting odyssey. The resistors that were included with the Leggera signals didn’t help. Getting my local KTM dealer to switch the instrument cluster ECU to LED Mode (the 790 comes with LED turn signals everywhere except the North American market) for the signals got me halfway there – the signals flashed the correct speed but still threw the error message. After contacting my Rizoma rep, a new set of resistors were shipped from Italy to no avail. I appealed to the internet and was given a tip on the KTM 790 Duke Facebook group I decided to follow. Unfortunately, wiring the recommended 20-Ohm 10-watt resistor in parallel to each signal resulted in…well…absolutely nothing, no flash at all. But I did get a nice error message on the dash. Next, I tried having the instrument ECU switched from LED Mode back to Bulb Mode but still no joy.
I’ve decided that, until I learn of another trick to try, I’ll live with the indicators installed without resistors in LED Mode. Don’t get me wrong – it’s annoying as hell – but to the rest of the world, they operate just fine. The error message goes away when I shut off the signals. I can even dismiss the error by pushing the back button on the left grip, if I want to. Despite the troubleshooting runaround, I love the minimalist look of the Leggera signals, and though they are tiny, they are attention-gettingly bright. I think they will be quite conspicuous, day or night.
(I want to give a shout out to Fernando and the techs at Beverly Hills Ducati/KTM for their assistance and tolerance when I was troubleshooting the signals. Thanks!)
Veloce Naked Mirrors
After extensive research of multiple aftermarket brands, I settled on the Rizoma Veloce Naked mirrors in black ($165 each). Stylistically, the mirrors’ shape reminds me of the 790’s headlight. The practical side of me also likes that the mirrors are slightly convex (like the OEM mirrors), offering a fairly wide rear view – though not as wide as the stockers. Mounting the mirrors required two $11 mirror adapter brackets, but installation was easy. However, adjusting the mirror angle is a bit of a chore, requiring three different sized Torx bolts be utilized. However, once in place, the mirrors offer a good rear view.
Of all the parts I ordered for the Duke, I spent more time fretting about the mirrors while waiting for them to arrive from Italy. In my past life working at a cruiser magazine, I disliked the aftermarket mirrors on every custom bike I ever rode. They just didn’t offer real world utility. The only concern I have about these mirrors, now that they’re mounted and adjusted, is wondering what will happen if I accidentally clip a car’s mirror while splitting lanes. The OEM mirrors would deflect from the impact, folding out of the way. The Rizoma mirrors, however, are locked in place. Hopefully, I’ll never undertake that little experiment.
Perhaps my favorite Italian addition to my Austrian motorcycle is the billet aluminum Gas Cap ($201). On two separate bikes that I’ve owned, I’ve accidentally bent the key almost to the point of being unusable as I tried to open a recalcitrant gas cap. The Rizoma Gas Cap, while looking totally cool, eliminates that fear since it uses its own little tool on the cap. For those who say that it’s foolish to have a non-locking gas cap, I can only say that, on our ride to Laguna Seca, I had lots of fun watching my coworkers try to open the cap – even with me describing how to do it. I don’t think a thief or vandal will be able to remove it on their own. Another plus is that by having the cap completely removable, filling the tank is much easier here in California with our clunky pollution controls on the spout. And then there are the Pause and Play icons on the cap. They make me smile every time I fill the tank.
On every sporty bike I’ve owned, I’ve replaced the stock rider pegs with billet ones that had a grippy texture machined into their surface. Naturally, I added a set of pegs to the Rizoma order. Available in multiple colors (I chose black to match the brackets), the Pegs Pro ($54 per pair) utilize adapters ($43 per pair) to allow their orientation to fit the peg angle on a bike’s stock mounting brackets. Ironically, what I expected to be my easiest install became the most challenging of this project. In order to remove the OEM pegs, I had to remove the peg mounting brackets, and in order to remove those, the swingarm pivot had to be removed – all while the bike balanced on a scissor jack and a 2×4. Really, KTM? What took 15 minutes on my previous motorcycles became an afternoon project. Still, the footpegs are nice in terms of both looks and function, and even though I gave up the rubber padding of the stockers, I didn’t notice any objectionable increase in vibration. The grip they provide while sport riding feels much more positive than the old rubber pegs. Upgrading the passenger pegs ($54 plus $65 for adapters for the pair) to match the rider pegs took a whopping 10 minutes. Now, they’ll match should I need to remount the passenger footrest brackets to carry someone on the pillion.
Overall, I’m quite happy with how this smattering of Rizoma accessories has changed the 790’s look in a subtle way without compromising function in its daily use. I call that a win-win. Learn more about Rizoma’s accessories for tons of different bikes at the company’s website.
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