Bon­jour, mille qua­tre vingt-dix

Motorcycle Sport & Leisure - - Contents -

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.

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