KTM 1190 Adventure – Big, Orange and Friendly

KTM 1190 Adventure – Rather Excellent

We can’t help but have noticed that the political developments in other parts of the world are doing a certain amount of brand damage to the colour orange. I have a bet on with one of my colleagues that I can get through the rest of his term without mentioning him. So I’m not going to name him, but you all know who I mean. In the meantime we have KTM who are keeping the colour orange safe for the rest of us to enjoy and appreciate.

Continuing to make stuff like the rather excellent KTM 1190 Adventure is just one of the ways that they do this. While KTM have had the 990 for years it was a very old machine when they retired it. The machines that replaced it are as future proof as they come.

KTM 990 Adventure – Power Is Plentiful

While it is an adventure bike and it looks the tall tourer part thanks to its luggage and big bike stance with the screen and the high bars, somebody forgot to tell the engine. The 1190 goes like a track bike. Thanks to the WP suspension and the aluminium swingarm it handles like one too. Detail such as using a chain instead of a shaft drive, as so much of the class does, makes it even easier to deliver the power to the back wheel.

The power came from the RC8 and in its new home it still produces 150bhp. That’s some amount of power for two up through Kerry. The engine has a new gearbox with different ratios and new internal components compared to the RC8 sportsbike as well as the all new ride-by-wire throttle bodies, which transforms its character. While power is plentiful, it’s also smooth, clean, precise and easy to manage.

KTM 990 Adventure – Seriously Capable

ABS, fuel modes and traction control are standard. Electronic suspension costs more. The whole package of chassis, electronic suspension and rider aids makes this 150bhp, 230kg bike seriously capable with more rider-friendly characteristics than any previous KTM Adventure. It can also be ridden faster than I ever thought possible – in this respect it’s more like a Ducati Multistrada, but with much better off-road suitability.

It’s not as hardcore as some KTM fans would wish, but that’s what the R version is there for.