Our new machine for touring adventures.What you guys think??

Posted: June 17, 2013 by kirisyko in Motor
Tags: , , , , , , ,
KTM 1190 Adventure (2013 – )   
KTM 1190 Adventure (2013 -     ) expert review - Bike Trader UKBy Roland Brown (photos by Francesc Montero and Sebas Romero)




VERDICT 5 out of 5
“KTM’s versatile V-twin has long been the top adventure bike for off-road riding. This latest, more road biased 1190 Adventure is not just a better streetbike than its predecessors, it’s arguably the most complete and exciting dual-purpose machine of the lot.”


Powerful and torquey V-twin engine
Superbly agile roadgoing handling
Tough enough for off-road fun


Styling is not particularly distinctive
Short riders will find the seat high
Some rival adventure bikes are cheaper


The Adventure’s liquid-cooled V-twin engine comes from the RC8 R sports bike, and keeps its 1195cc capacity and twin-plug head design. But the 75-degree, dohc eight-valve unit is revamped with new valvegear, airbox, exhaust and other mods, mostly aimed at improving midrange and low-rev performance. A new ride-by-wire injection system features four riding modes – Rain, Street, Sport and Off-Road – plus it has a four-way adjustable traction control system. Street and Sport give the full output of 150bhp at 9500rpm; the other two modes give softer delivery to a max of 100bhp. That 150bhp output means the Adventure is a seriously rapid bike. Its engine is wonderfully flexible and free-revving, as happy up near the redline as it is charging out of turns at 6000rpm. Revving it harder through the slick six-speed box has the KTM storming smoothly forward, exhaust note hardening as it heads towards a top speed of over 150mph. Equally importantly, KTM have made the Adventure considerably more refined and rider-friendly than their previous V-twins. Clutch action is light; fuelling very precise. Throttle response is excellent in either Street or the more aggressive Sport mode, which gives a slightly sharper feel without being remotely snatchy. There’s also a sophisticated traction control system that automatically adjusts to riding mode. Overall it’s a stunningly good package: fast, flexible and very refined.
Our rating: 5 out of 5

Here’s the controls for selecting the riding mode….

…and here’s the display showing which mode you’re in – this one shows STREET On.


If the Adventure’s straight-line performance is excellent, the way its chassis copes with a dual-purpose bike’s varying demands is arguably more impressive still. In KTM tradition the frame is made from chrome-molybdenum steel tubes, and holds an aluminium swing-arm. Suspension is by WP, with the 48mm forks and rear shock both multi-adjustable; electronically in the case of the more expensive of the two standard Adventure models. The wire-spoked wheels come in 19-inch front, 17-inch rear diameters, instead of 21-inch front, 18- rear like the previous model and the more dirt-focused R model. At 230kg with fuel the Adventure is also lighter than most rivals, and has slightly less suspension travel than its predecessor and the dirt focused R model. Put all those factors together, add road oriented Conti TrailAttack 2 tyres, and the result is a bike with stunningly agile and precise handling by dual-purpose standards. The KTM is very quick and fantastic fun on a twisty road, yet remains effortlessly stable in faster main road curves. Braking ability is top drawer, too, thanks to a radial Brembo system that features radial four-pot front calipers, incorporates an efficient ABS set-up, and adds some rear brake when the handlebar lever is squeezed. And although this standard Adventure model is more road biased than its predecessor, it’s more than useful off-road too, helped by the Off-road engine mode, which deactivates rear-wheel ABS, and adjusts traction control to allow controlled slides.
Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

It’s fantastic fun and effortlessly stable in fast main road curves.


There are plenty of less expensive adventure bikes than the KTM, which costs £12,595 in its basic form, or £13,095 when equipped with the ESA electronic suspension. But the Adventure is so spectacularly versatile that it’s almost like having several bikes in one, which makes it top value in our book. Even Ducati’s excellent Multistrada, its closest rival, can’t match the KTM’s off-road performance or strength, and costs considerably more in its upmarket 1200S form.
Our rating: 4.5 out of 5


This is a powerful superbike so won’t be cheap to run, but should be on a par with its main rivals although BMW’s R1200GS, one obvious competitor, benefits from the reduced maintenance of shaft final drive, rather than the Adventure’s chain.Service intervals are extended to 15,000km, and KTM say they’ve also improved fuel efficiency by up to 20 per cent. Most owners could expect 45mpg or better – more than reasonable given the performance.
Our rating: 4 out of 5


Bikes don’t come much more practical than the Adventure, whose only real weakness, shared with other machines of its type, is that riders with short legs will find its seat high. Along with its wide-ranging performance it has a larger, 23-litre tank (good for roughly 200 miles) plus improved wind protection, from a screen that can quickly be manually adjusted both horizontally and vertically. To those attributes can be added the KTM’s basic strength and abundance of extras.
Our rating: 5 out of 5

Sturdy panniers boost the practicality.

Plenty of scope to customise the way you load the bike up with kit.

If there’s one disappointing aspect to the Adventure, it’s perhaps that its slightly cautious styling doesn’t match its spectacular performance. The bike is pleasant enough to look at, but lacks the distinctive sharp edges of previous designs from Gerald Kiska and his team. Perhaps that’s a conscious decision, to help put this KTM further into the mainstream. A fresh alternative to the Austrian marque’s traditional orange and grey colour schemes wouldn’t go amiss, too.
Our rating: 3.5 out of 5


It’d be nice if KTM made one without any hint of orange colour in it – please.


KTM has a pretty good reliability record, and as the Adventure relies mostly on adaptations of existing models’ technology there’s no reason to expect problems. The Austrian marque certainly knows how to make a tough bike, having recently won the punishing Dakar Rally for an incredible 12th successive time, albeit no longer using a large-capacity V-twin. Off-road durability is enhanced by hand-guards and patented wire-spoked wheels, which carry tubeless tyres and are claimed to be tougher than familiar cross-spoke designs.
Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

We love these tough-looking wire-spoked wheels.

Adventure bikes are just made for accessories, and KTM’s comprehensive Power Parts catalogue gives plenty of scope for upgrading. Off-roaders can add crash-bars, handlebar raisers (useful when standing up) and serrated footrests; tourers have a choice of hard luggage including sturdy aluminium top-box and panniers. Other parts include a taller screen, anodised levers and engine covers, Akrapovic silencer, and even a Bad Fuel Dongle (which proper Adventurers plug in to remap the injection system for dodgy petrol).
Our rating: 4.5 out of 5


It’s great off-road – and there’s an R version of the bike which is even more off-road focused.


Picture yourself here? We can.


“If you’re looking for a bike that will do everything from scratching down a twisty road to heading off round the world, it’s hard to think of anything better than the 1190 Adventure. It has that magical combination: it’s brilliant fun and superbly practical.”



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