PACK­ING A PUNCH

As friendly as the out­go­ing 1050 – but with an ex­tra 30bhp

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - ADAM CHILD SE­NIOR ROAD TESTER adam.child@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

The now de­ceased 1050 was KTM’S en­try point for new rid­ers into their Ad­ven­ture range. The Aus­trian fac­tory de­lib­er­ately re­stricted its LC8 en­gine to 95bhp while the whole pack­age was de­signed to be fun with­out over-chal­leng­ing the in­ex­pe­ri­enced.

Now KTM have un­leashed all the power and launched the new 1090 with 125bhp and 80.4ftlb of torque. Even though it’s now called the 1090, ca­pac­ity re­mains the same at 1050cc. And, don’t worry, KTM also offer a 95bhp ver­sion that can also be re­stricted to the 38kw (47bhp) for A2 rid­ers – so the in­ex­pe­ri­enced haven’t been for­got­ten.

Apart from a new man­u­ally-ad­justable screen and a cleaner more pow­er­ful en­gine, the 1090 is, on pa­per at least, the old 1050 with an ex­tra 30bhp and a frac­tion more torque – plus new graph­ics and other mi­nor changes.

On the road, how­ever, it feels like KTM have thrown a bot­tle of vodka into the punch­bowl along with a dozen cans of Red­bull. The 1090 is much live­lier and more fun to ride yet still has the ease of use of the orig­i­nal 1050.

The sig­nif­i­cant jump in power means the 1090 is more re­ward­ing, es­pe­cially for ex­pe­ri­enced rid­ers who felt a lit­tle short changed by the 1050. You don’t have to abuse the throt­tle to have fun as there’s real kick from the 1050cc LC8 mo­tor, enough to get the elec­tron­ics work­ing over­time con­trol­ling wheel­ies in the first two gears.

The chas­sis copes with the ex­tra power with ease; in fact it feels like it could han­dle a fur­ther 25bhp. The con­ven­tional 48mm WP forks and WP rear shock work straight out of the box. The forks are non-ad­justable but on our test route that didn’t pose any prob­lems. A 170-sec­tion rear tyre and the 1090’s rel­a­tively low weight en­able it to be hus­tled with ease. Bor­ing it cer­tainly isn’t.

Un­for­tu­nately, we had less than ideal con­di­tions to test the new 1090 but wet rid­ing did high­light the bike’s rider-friend­li­ness and near-per­fect fu­elling at low speeds. There are three rid­ing modes: Sport, Street, and Rain with an op­tional Off-road set­ting. Each mode changes the en­gine char­ac­ter­is­tics and level of trac­tion con­trol in­ter­ven­tion.

Un­like the new Su­per Ad­ven­ture S (see pre­vi­ous page) the unin­spir­ing old style clocks re­main while the trac­tion con­trol and ABS are not lean-an­gle sen­si­tive, and nor can the TC be de­ac­ti­vated on the move.

Be­ing a KTM there is no rea­son why you can’t take in some light of­froad rid­ing. The 1090 is equipped with 19in front wheel and a 17in rear while KTM also offer an op­tional off-road pack (£243.78) that in­cludes off-road ABS which al­lows the rear wheel to lock along with trac­tion con­trol that al­lows ex­tra wheel­spin and an off-road rid­ing mode that makes the power more man­age­able. Our bike was fit­ted with this along with an LED lamp kit (£392.16) and an Akrapovic end can (£835.32), which raised its price to £12,800.

‘You don’t have to abuse the throt­tle to have fun as there’s real kick’

KTM have given the 1090 a ma­jor in­jec­tion of fun Dash is the same but the screen is new Preload/re­bound ad­justable WP shock Our test bike had ex­tra light­ing fit­ted

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