Skip to content

KTM 990 ADVENTURE Adventure Motorbike Review

Find By Make/Model

1 of 18
KTM 950/990 Adventure motorcycle review - Riding
Click to enlarge
Previous image Next image

MCN overall verdict rating is 5

Once upon a time the BMW R1200GS held sway as the only credible round-the-world capable giant trailie. Now, though, the KTM 990/950 Adventure is luring buyers away from the BMW R1200GS with its sharper styling, better handling and greater off-road ability.

 

Watch the KTM 990 Adventure take on the Moto Guzzi Stelvio, the BMW R1200GS and the Triumph Tiger

Watch the KTM 990 Adventure take on BMW's R1200GS Adventure

 

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The carb-fed KTM 950 Adventure is absolutely spot-on, with a smooth, effortless and nigh-on endless supply of easy power. The KTM 990 Adventure, on the other hand, takes the injected engine from the barking KTM 990 Super Duke. In this guise, though, the 990 Adventure somewhat sensitive and snatchy at around-town speeds or when trying to tickle along at a constant speed.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

If you thought giant trailies were all about sloshy handling, monster fork dive and woeful brakes then the KTM 950/990 Adventure will turn your world upside-down. Despite the colossal 21-inch front wheel the road-holding is excellent and utterly confidence-inspiring, with perfect balance. The KTM 950 and 990 Adventure comes with ABS which is reassuring on the road and, thankfully, with a button, dispensable off it.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

Panniers, Akrapovic exhausts, alarms, hard luggage – you name it, you can have it on your KTM 950/990 Adventure from the company's extensive ‘Hard Parts’ catalogue. As stock you get ABS and plastic hand guards only.

KTM 950/990 Adventure (2003-2012)

Detail Value
New price £8,695
Dealer used prices
£5,560 (2006) - £8,900 (2013)
Private used prices
£5,000 (2006) - £8,010 (2013)
  View full used price info
Engine size 942 cc
Power 97 bhp
Top speed 123 mph
Insurance group 13 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 4
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Value rating is 4 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

The WP suspension, Renthal bars and Brembo brakes are of top quality and reflect the overall standard of the build of the KTM 950/990 Adventure. KTMs enjoy a high degree of reliability, born of a successful background in off-road racing and endurance events. Chain drive on the 950/990 Adventure maybe a drawback, though, compared to the hassle-free shaft option on the BMW R1200GS.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The KTM 950/990 Adventure is expensive to buy, but compared to the pricier BMW R1200GS and R1200GS Adventure it’s something of a bargain, especially if you plan to spend more time off-road than on it. Prices are slow to sink on the KTM 950/990 Adventure, and the quality plastics, though slow to age and damage, are cheap to replace. Find a KTM 950 Adventure for sale or a KTM 990 Adventure for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 13 of 17

Compare motorcycle insurance quotes now

Model History

2003: KTM 950 Adventure introduced.
2006: KTM 990 Adventure introduced with injected 990cc from KTM’s SuperDuke road bike.

Other Versions

KTM 990 Adventure S: Taller, stiffer suspension, no ABS, blue/orange paintscheme and a 35mm taller seat height.

Specifications

Top speed 123 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.1 secs
Max power 97 bhp
Max torque 70 ft-lb
Weight 198 kg
Seat height 860 mm
Fuel capacity 22 litres
Average fuel consumption 43 mpg
Tank range 203 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 13 of 17
Engine size 942 cc
Engine specification 8v V-twin, 6 gears
Frame Chromoly trellis
Front suspension adjustment Preload, rebound, compression
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound, compression
Front brakes Twin 300mm discs
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 90/90 x 21
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 18

See all KTM 990 ADVENTURE motorcycles for sale

KTM
990 ADVENTURE

19673 miles

£6,894

KTM
990 ADVENTURE

15205 miles

£7,995

KTM
990 ADVENTURE

6500 miles

£5,650

KTM
990 ADVENTURE

14325 miles

£5,999

KTM
990 ADVENTURE

10500 miles

£8,500

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(16 reviews)

  • Excellent bike. When it works, which is rarely

    sarmonkey

    Average rating rating is 3

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I bought this bike 6 months ago and loved it from the off - great riding position (1000 miles in a week no problems), huge fun in the twisties (went past a R6 with my topbox on), lovely big v-twin noise. Then things started going wrong. Oil light came on the morning after I got it back from the dealers (in mid-Essex). They kept it for a couple of days, then returned it saying there was no problem. Next day, same thing. 2 weeks to sort out. Headlight and spokes needed doing under warranty (only because I found that out - the dealership wouldn't have offered). 3 weeks. The back brake stopped working, and as I couldn't be bothered to send the bike off again, I asked for the bits to be sent to me so I could do it. That took a week. Then it started overheating - after having it for 3 weeks they told me that it was the water pump which took 3 weeks to fix. To top it all they offered me an sh1t trade-in against a 950 supermoto 'as it's had a few problems'. Can't wait to sell it.
    Strengths: Riding position, comfort, handling, attitude. Weaknesses: All of that's useless when it's sat in the workshop. A brilliant bike let down by arse reliability and a worse dealer network. I might as well have a Ducati.

    17 September 2006

  • Poor Reliability

    roytynan

    Average rating rating is 2

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    For a bike that's meant to be 'Enduro' it's anything but. Now done 4000 miles (January 2006) since new, got the bike mid October 2005. Given it's pedigree, it's a complete let down. Constant problem with back break, slow speed breaking the break howls and vibrates back thro the foot break lever, change of break pad cured this. 2000 miles later problem has started again. The front break is now starting to squeak and vibrate up thro the forks when breaking. BIG PROBLEM: Engine cut out when changing down at any speed/gear. It nearly threw me off on a motorway roundabout! Running like a sick dog at the moment, carbs, plugs, valves???? seems to needs constant setup, unlike a Jap machine. It's back at the dealers again, lost count how many times it's been in now When it runs ok, it's great, wow in fact, but unfortunately 80% of the time it's so un-reliable. I would be interested to hear from other KTM riders who have experienced similar problems, please email me. Strengths: When it runs OK, it really is WOW "Grin Factor". Weaknesses: See my comments.

    10 January 2006

  • I am happy with the performance of the bike, its just that I do wonder what will go wrong next!

    how14m34

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    First off the bike started to use coolant from the off, there was no sign of coolant in the engine, but the coolant was going somwhere. Both cylinder head gaskets were replaced under warranty and while this did not fix the problem immediatley, after 3 0r 4 more coolant top ups and a new clip on a radiator hose the coolant useage has now stopped. However last week while the bike was parked up after ride out (Approx 5mins after I had got of the bike) The fuel tank ruptured on the right hand side, dumping petrol everywhere, Scary! The bike has never been dropped so I can only conclude that a weak spot in the plastic tank burst under pressure, Again KTM replaced the fueltank under warranty getting a replacement tank there the next day and the dealer (Colwyn Bay motorcycles) were excellent in fitting the new tank and opening up just so as I could pick up the bike. Apart from all this the bikes great when it works (4000miles so far) Oh and I appear to have a small fuel leak at the moment back we go! Strengths: Engine performace, handling, KTM warranty backup
    Weaknesses: Realiablity, the rock hard seat.

    29 March 2005

  • Bought in 2003 as a bike for everyday use and long haul touring

    adventure950

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    This bike makes me smile everytime I ride it. It has covered 17,500 mile is used in all weather all year and I am still smiling. build quality is superb, reliability 100%, On road handling and agility superb, brakes take a little getting used too and could be a touch stronger but very good anyway, off road it is big but still agile and managable, comfort is excellent with gel seat fitted, engine is torquey, powerful and superb, economy good. Can I praise it anymore - not really it is an excellent all rounder I have no doubts about any aspect of the bike and would happily ride it anywhere anytime, The best all round bike I have owned in the last 28yrs of riding it beats them all as an everything bike.Upgraded pipes and re-jetting improve things in the engine department but its hard to improve anything else on the bike.KTM Heppco adventure luggage is excellent if a little limited on room. Strengths: Road presence, forgiving handling, superb engine, build quality, usability and reliability.
    Weaknesses: Original seat, complicated oil changes, access to engine for servicing or repairs (if it ever needs repaired that is).

    07 January 2005

  • A fantastic machine

    hrbell

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I bought mine with 17 inch road wheels and BT010's. I had the Duke LC4 before this and thought the 950 would have everything that the smaller bike lacked. I was not wrong. The power and handling are first class and as everyone says, you can blitz a lot of sports bikes ridden by the guys pretending to be road racers. Seat was very sore on the arse so I had it rebuilt for 100 quid. Now the bike is perfect. I really can't fault it. I have owned and ridden lots of bikes since I started biking many years ago, but this one is the most satisfying so far. Fast, safe fun. Strengths: Puts a smile on my face everytime I open the garage door. It has a unique look that I love. Quality engineering and high class fittings. Easy to push aroud. Huge fuel range. Nice and narrow - no "sticky-out" ugly BMW type cylinders so it is great in heavy traffic. Weaknesses: OK the exhaust does get hot - I will fit akropovics when I get some cash. Seat is hard but new ones seemingly have a gel filled seat. I got mine redone and its fine.

    13 August 2004

  • The first bike to deliver on the supermoto promise

    surmsy

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    A B road blaster that will anihalate most things, fully adjustable white power suspension front and rear, Brembo brakes front and rear, stainless lines as standard,a free reving dry sumped V Twin, saddle bag tanks for low centre of gravity making it very flickable, seat hard but fitted gel pack in the seat, problem cured.
    Strengths: Torque, Torque and more Torque very little will keep with it out of the twisty bends. Weaknesses: The heat from the underseat exhausts on a sunny day is tremendous, how anyone can ride something like this in a desert is beyond me, you can heat up a ginsters pasty under the seat.

    23 July 2004

Page

Discuss this

Add your comment

There are currently no comments

Most popular

Rate my bike

Related News