Bonjour, mille quatre vingt-dix
Entering the ring, from the orange corner is the beginner’s big boy Adventure bike. Roger steps up to see what’s what.
Roger gets his leg across a 1090 Adventure from KTM for some ice warning-peppered first few miles.
Aquick late-in-theday first 30-mile blast before dark brought the joys of the KTM twin flooding back to me. I cannot believe it was over three years ago when the 1290 KTM Super Adventure was in my hands for seven months of long term testing. I've missed it.
My first impression of this, what KTM calls something of an ‘entry level’ KTM Adventure, is of a well accomplished and rather quick motorcycle that can tour (once kitted out) or be ridden briskly when you want.
With no miles shown on the odometer, Brad at KTM advised me to: “Just be sensible with the rpm.”
That’s not an issue, especially as there’s loads of shove at low revs. Even at 2000rpm in lower gears the motor will pull away without the usual twin engine judder. In fourth gear at 30mph just 2600 revs are on the clock so town and village riding is a doddle. I found 60mph equates to 4000 revs and 70mph is just a leisurely 4500. Whack the throttle at anything above 5000 revs and she leaps forward like a steam train on steroids.
All controls are easy to use, especially the selector device on the left hand side. The now usual two trip meter with fuel details, selectable rain, street and sport modes, traction control and ABS on/off switch are the order of the day here. Twice the ‘ice warning’ has come up when the ignition is switched on; a good idea but it does create a back end twitch and not necessarily on the bike.
Already I have found the traction control comes on easily when the rear brake is used – maybe I am becoming a bit heavy-footed.
At the moment the WP Suspension feels quite harsh but a few tweaks will soon sort this out to suit my riding style. The riding position feels slightly canted forward compared to other adventure bikes but the handlebar clamping position along with the foot pegs have two fitting options to suit the rider – maybe a play with these settings will help.
The mirrors are worth a mention: no looking at shoulder or torso here and staying vibration free at all times.
In typical KTM style the exhaust sounds very fruity indeed, especially further up the rev range, but I bet the optional Akrapovic silencer will sound even better.
The two-lever adjustable screen was soon raised to maximum height to help the wind flow over the top of my helmet. No doubt the lower position on a sunny summer’s day will be spot on. Using a peaked adventure style helmet, I had to dip my head slightly to just peer over the screen top to ensure no head shake from the wind. Take the peak off – no problems. There is an optional taller screen available that may be worth a try.
Over the next few thousand miles it will be interesting to see how my first tank of fuel check, returning 44.6mpg, settles down. I can see me using sport mode most of the time for those quick overtakes but I will try street mode on a granny throttle for a tankful to see what can be obtained mpg wise.
The first service is due at 600 miles and some touring goodies are being fitted so it should be good for some serious miles, especially without the ‘ice warning’ light showing.