Liquid-cooled, twin cylinder, four-stroke, V 75 degrees
11.5 : 1
WP USD 48mm
Monoshock with hydraulic spring preload
Front Tyre Size
90/90 - 21
Rear Tyre Size
150/70 - 18
Two x twin piston, floating caliper, 2 floating disc brakes 300mm
Single piston, floating caliper, two floating disc brakes 240mm
More to come on this Adventure Motorcycle
* BEGIN EDITOR REVIEWS
* BEGIN USER REVIEWS
I sold my previous BMW F800GS because, at the time, I needed the money. In February 2012 I bought a 2007 KTM because I fancied a change and couldn't afford a new bike. It’s now July 20012 and here are my thoughts on the KTM after a few months and 3,000 miles of ownership.
As sold to me, the KTM had 14,000 or so miles on the clock, was fitted with ABS, a touring screen, KTM plastic hard luggage, KTM tank bag, SW Mototech engine/petrol tank guards, Akrapovic exhausts and KTM heated grips. I had an extra power point and a Scottoiler added before collection. Since then I have added a standard screen, a GiT/AS bash plate, a Touratec headlamp protector, an RC8 throttle, a Air-Ram and TKCs front and rear. The end product is:
Having just returned from the ABR Welsh rally and some reasonably exacting trails, I can say that I am happy with this bike. It does all that is asked on A roads, B roads, motorways (considering its dual purpose design) and off-road. So far as travelling on motorways with luggage is concerned, its pretty similar to the BMW F800GS. Its strengths are the excellent balance and suspension on the twisties and off-road. The poorer points are a snatchiness at low speeds (which is supposed to be better on later models), buffeting at speed (greatly reduced by the Air-Ram or a tank bag) and fuel consumption (about 43 mpg). The small tank is the result of its saddle-bag-like design which contributes to the excellent handling and so the range (about 120 miles before the warning light and around 30 miles to get fuel after that) is an issue I am prepared to live with and solve using a small spare fuel can should it ever be a problem.
The KTM has an unusual plus point in that its design is simple and, along with the comprehensive parts lists supplied with every bike and the good basic tool set, encourages home-maintenance. This is a good thing, considering the service interval for my 2007 bike is 4,700 miles with a valve clearance check every second service! It is relatively easy to keep well maintained and there are no service warning lights to reset or complex electrics to curse. This simplicity is one aspect of the bike that I have grown to appreciate; it seems that I didn't actually need the on-board computer that I paid to have on both my previous F800GS bikes!
The KTM 990 Adventure is about simplicity, power and fitness-for-purpose. The engineering is focussed on the role the bike was designed to fulfil, to get you to the road-less-taken and then take you over it. The package works from its powerful v-twin engine and the precise handling on roads, to the balance and excellent suspension off-road. Its simplicity encourages self-maintenance which leads to a certain self-reliance on that big trip ... just don't forget the spare fuel can :-)
Review Information Motorcycles
handling and off-road capabilities
low speed snatchiness and fuel consumption
Would you buy again
In one line
Designed to get you to the road-less-taken and then take you over it.
I purchased the 2008 990 adventure ABS version from new and I now have 21,000 km on it. I've added a lot of options like bags, different windshields to it to get it set up for long distance adventure touring. I'm 5'-9" and I'm glad that I'm not any shorter. I wouldn't recommend this bike for anyone shorter than 5'-6".
The clutch slave cylinder started to fail so I replaced it with an Oberon. Other than that it has just been valve clearance checks and the usual maintenance.
I weigh 200 lbs. The stock fork springs are 0.48 and I'm getting 0.64 springs added as well as a revalve at Super Plush Suspension. I sent them off yesterday. The stock springs are definitely too soft for me, but most forums will say the same.
I've done a fair bit of two up riding. The wife finds that the ride is very comfortable. The stiffer springs should help minimize the nose dive on breaking.
I love this bike and plan on keeping it for the long haul.
Bought this bike because I fell in love with its looks and styling. I was told by many I was making a mistake and my heart told me not to listen. My head quickly told me I should have ignored my heart!
It was a disaster!
Firstly the engine warning light came on. Mechanic couldn't find the problem after 2-weeks in the garage. Then by accident he found a very small hairline crack in the oil pressure switch and it was cured.
Then the clutch went!
Clutch replaced and went again!
Replaced with an heavy duty clutch and hey guess what it went again!
I was also sick of adjusting the chain, that long swinging arm eats chains if riden hard! I was left feeling with that insecure feeling everytime I rode it. My other gripe was the tank range! What muppet designs an adventure bike that has a tank range of 140 miles from full to reserve?!
Never again I, have to say the Austrians can learn a lot from the Japanese (and the Germans)!
This is just my opinion based on my experience, I m sure other people will have had a pleasurable experience but my bike was only 3-years old with 12000 miles and one owner whom I know of.
Review Information Motorcycles
reliabilty or lack of it! Tank range, chain wear
Would you buy again
In one line
Expensive, high maintance and very unreliable. Never again!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
When I told my boss what to do with his job and disappeared off to ride across Africa in 2007 I was presented with really only two choices of bike at the time on which to do it: the BMW F1200GS; and the KTM 990 Adventure. I had already ridden across Europe on a 1999 British spec Suzuki Hayabusa, which really only has one thing I 'really, really' liked ... it would do 300kph+ .. and at that time nothing faster. Autobahn here I come ..and I did. I had also ridden across South East Asia on an Aprilia Pegaso 650 which was just right for the roads and jungle treks of Malaysia and Thailand, engine a bit gutless, not a true off roader, but as 11 year old who used to bring the cows up from the meadows on the farm in Staffordshire on a Matchless 500..it was perfectly OK by me... and the rest of the time was a commuter in Singapore.
In 2007 I find myself in Cape Town and my first test drive was on the BMW 1200GS Adventure and after leaving my beloved R1 in Hong Kong where I previously lived it felt, how do I say, a bit like bringing the cows up on a Matchless 500! But it was the bike the Long Way Down guys were using at that time in Africa and designed for the job of crossing continents and being reliable. I wasn't really sure what to expect and what was needed.. I had yet to meet the surface of the road less traveled... sand and gravel! Anyway, I then headed off to KTM Western Cape and got my hands on the KTM 990 Adventure in black and grey with Dakar badges on and "adventure" written in bold orange etc.. and exhausts with the words Akropovik on. I'd never heard of them, but its a word a bit like "Kalashnikov" and so must be the exhaust world equivalent. As soon as I got on the bike the grin started and didn't leave my face until I was told the price. Everything in South Africa is expensive nowadays as the rich are very rich and the majority of the poor are very poor and getting poorer.
After traveling across Africa twice on this bike, on gravel, tar, sand and occasionally down rivers and streams fully laden with "all" my kit it is the real deal... It went round corners like a sports bike, and handled the off road like an enduro. Nothing really went wrong with it that wasn't my own fault (chain eating the swing arm because of poor adjustment and maintenance, some wires rubbed and shorted the fuse). The fuel capacity is not great, but I took a 10 litre plastic jerrycan with me that I filled when I thought I might need it and that added another 100+kms. Occasionally I put some crap fuel in it and the EFi seemed to handle it OK. I could make ground at 160kph all day if I felt like it and push it to 200kph for a blast. Seat was comfortable as any that you sit on for 8 + hours a day. As ex military I have sat on worse!! I could stand on pegs all day if I wanted to. I later added a touring windshield and wish I had done so earlier.. Sand.. it was a pig, but as my skill improved I seemed to handle whatever was presented in front of me and when said and done the handling of any bike is largely down to confidence and experience rather than anything technical., and for that you have to get on the bike "do it".
Now I plan a ride around the world and new contenders on the block that meet the sweet spot of weight, power and robustness are Yamaha XT660Z Tenere , which seems to have come back into the fold after the XT500 glory days, the BMW F800GS and Triumph's 800XC... are now designed for the job. Unfortunately I can't wait for KTM's new 800 Adventure (and a 1200 Adventure and a 650 for Africa) which may be the dream bike. I have an enormous fondness for the KTM and out of 30 odd bikes I have owned since a kid its my favourite. However, as I am traveling with a Chinese team this time the decision isn't entirely mine. Cost, reliability, seat height, and ability to repair and maintain on the road are going to be key factors.
But for me... KTM is the true big grin adventure bike.