KTM 1190 ADVENTURE (2013-on) Review

Published: 26 February 2014

Radically different from the 990 it replaces; sophisticated and seriously capable

KTM 1190 ADVENTURE  (2013-on)

Radically different from the 990 it replaces; sophisticated and seriously capable

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The new 1190 is radically different from the 990 it replaces. The whole package of chassis, electronic suspension and rider aids makes this 150bhp, 230kg bike seriously capable with more rider-friendly characteristics than any previous KTM Adventure. It can also be ridden faster than I ever thought possible – in this respect it’s more like a Ducati Multistrada, but with much better off-road suitability. It’s not as hardcore as some KTM fans would wish, but that’s what the R version is there for.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

Through the combination of lightweight tubular steel frame, die-cast aluminium swingarm and top-spec WP suspension, the handling is precise and the chassis feels incredibly balanced while offering clear feedback about exactly what’s happening. The retention of a conventional chain instead of a power-sapping shaft drive means the bike reacts far more accurately to the rider’s throttle inputs and the first thing to touch down were my toe-sliders, not the bike. The 19-inch front wheel gives a far greater feeling of security than the 21-inch item on the R.

Engine 4 out of 5

The days of underpowered/overweight adventure bikes are long gone – the Multistrada 1200 saw to that and the 1190 has moved the performance bar to a whole new level. With 150bhp and 92ftlb of torque and a fully-fuelled weight of 230kg, the KTM has a better power-to-weight ratio than the Ducati! The RC8 engine has a new gearbox with different ratios and new internal components compared to the RC8 sportsbike as well as the all new ride-by-wire throttle bodies, which transforms its character. While power is plentiful, it’s also smooth, clean, precise and easy to manage.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

KTM build bikes to take on Dakar, they are rough, tough and reliable.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

The KTM is more expensive than the BMW GS, but is a bit more unique.

Equipment 4 out of 5

ABS, fuel modes and traction control are standard. Electronic suspension costs £800 more.

Owners' Reviews

12 owners have reviewed their KTM 1190 ADVENTURE (2013-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your KTM 1190 ADVENTURE (2013-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3.9 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.3 out of 5
Engine 4.5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.8 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.2 out of 5
Equipment 4.5 out of 5
2 out of 5

Adventure my a***

09 August 2016 by Gunner

So uncomfortable, fuel gauge works when it wants to, and luggage locks won't work in the heat. If you want power its got loads, but if you want 2 up long distance touring, forget it, or take nappy rash cream with you. Fed up with being told to buy... Read more a Gel seat. This is a very pricey bike that has got Adventure written on the side. So where is the Adventure seat then??. Sorry KTM but you should test these bikes with real people who spend their hard earned cash on them. 400 miles a day in hot weather 2up with luggage is More of a test than a power ranger flying around a mountain.

Ride Quality & Brakes
1 out of 5
30 miles with a sore backside
Engine
2 out of 5
The bike is for power rangers only. If you could Demo this bike for a whole day with pillion and luggage Then I would have brought a sym symba
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
They forgot to put a decent seat on it
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
Plus a new seat
Equipment
3 out of 5
Favourite feature ????? Sorry I'm stuck for an answer on that one. Best thing about the bike is getting off of it.
Buying experience

Dealer 12999

3 out of 5

05 May 2016 by cacoo0166

I had my bike for almost 2 years, went to work with it and could never start it after work. It was in the beginning of December, first they said it was the battery, it was changed. Then they said it was the starter, they had it replaced. Then they... Read more said it was the top end (Pistons, valves, head...) that was not keeping high compression enough. As of now, in the beginning of may, the bike is still at the KTM garage and I should have it within 2 weeks. Almost 5 months at the dealer and the KTM garage and they still seem to be searching for the problem(s). I will never buy another KTM product, customer service is non-existent and any faith I had in this bike is gone.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Great fun to ride but reliability is very questionable at the least. If it rains, every time I use the flashers, the horn will bleep. Some general failure warnings also appeared.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
The panniers are made of plastic so don't expect too much resilience, should have bought the aluminium ones.
3 out of 5

The joys and tribulations of owning a KTM 1190 adventure

29 April 2016 by Orlando

Best bits, well the bike is fast and I really like the control layout. Bike also feels light to move around. Worst feature are the spoked wheels. There are many cases of the KTM wheels coming from the factory warped, and this is what causes the high... Read more speed wobble many people mention. Of course KTM say that 8mm out of true is ok, but its funny that GS wheels hardly move. Second why don't they put an alloy wheel option. Well KTM say it wouldn't sell, which is odd as they put them on the 1090, and I don't think they have heard of a bike called the GS with alloy wheel option. Would not recommend to a friend to buy one as customer service is appalling. This could be such a great bike and is why the BMW GS is. It just comes down to customer service. People with £15k to spend are not fools and don't like being mugged off. It's very simple fix a problem rather than pretend its not there. People who have worked their way up to these type of bikes and prices have been riding for years and know their way round bikes and manufactures. They know what Honda give, they know what BMW give, and they all read reviews. KTM needs to get a grip if they are going to rise from the mud, to be kings of the road.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Well I rode it for 7 hours to France and it was very comfy. You do get a very hot bum as it traps the heat from the rear exhaust. I note on the 1290 they heat wrap the exhaust so maybe you could do this to help. The bike does go like stink and handles really well until you put luggage on then it start to weave about and woe betide anyone who's not on their guard. Sure a straight wheel might help this problem I suspect. Brakes are awesome, as is the engine, and electronic suspension.
Engine
5 out of 5
As I said the engine is the party piece. With the three power modes you can choose power for any condition. The torque is just spot on and it can thrash a R1 in many different speeds in roll on tests, I know Ive tried it. Its just when it gets over 100mph the stability problems can be very scary, like riding on ice.In sport mode the engine is just a beast,lifting the wheel just a little till ESP cuts in.
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
Well apart from bent wheel from new, oil leek from crank case, starter motor that hardly turns, or aftermarket spots that wobble when you ride as the mounting bracket is rubbish, the rest of the bike is ok.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Service is so much better when KTM isnt involved .
Equipment
4 out of 5
The best standard feature is the control pad thing. It makes it so easy to get through the many bits of info and controls on the bike. Swap the mirrors they don't stick out far enough to see past your arms. If you like a great but not to loud sound put on the Ackro exhaust but remove the baffle, this gives just the best sound. However this is a bit tricky, as it must be the only Ackro with a spot welded Baffle. Look on youtube to see how its done. My tip is drill rivets out of carbon bit then you get a much better go at the weld, then a Dremmel does it fine.
Buying experience

Bought new from a dealership. Got mine for £12,500 with many bits.

4 out of 5

KatieM1190Adventure

08 April 2016 by katiemmctragic

Beautiful road handling manners, electronic suspension, strong brakes and motor. Good electronics with traction control, abs, and lean angle sensor (sometimes a little intrusive). Vibrations at 6 to 7k rpm, and wind buffeting around the helmet are... Read more its worst features.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Top grade WP suspension - 400 kms plus on one tank of fuel depending on ride style. Awesome on the bitumen twisty bits and good on metal/hard packed roads. Need to be good to take it on sand.
Engine
4 out of 5
Grunty get up and go out of the corners - good engine braking and sublime gearbox and slipper clutch. Very easy to ride fast and safe!
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Battery changed at 2 year mark, centre stand changed as it was worn out from touching down on the bitumen, side stand spring failed, oil level sensor failed.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Tyres last around 7000 kms. Trail Attacks are excellent on road. Servicing every 15000 kms for around $400 per service! Clocking up an average of 12000 kms per year.
Equipment
5 out of 5
Electronic suspension - love the option of changing the preload at the switch of a button - same for damping. Don't really like its handling with the panniers. Also it gets very light on the front end at speed!
Buying experience

Bought from a dealer and it was a good experience! Paid it off over six months with periodic payments. About $26k with heated seat, panniers, bar risers, crash bars, and an optional R screen.

5 out of 5

A Canadian Take On KTM 1190 ADV

08 January 2016 by Skilo

Simply the best all round motorcycle I have ever ridden. Comfortable, fast with leading edge technology. Its no surprise Cycleworld called it the best all round motorcycle ever made (until the 1290 ADV was released :) I should also point out... Read more that I am a big guy so I test rode the 1290 ADV as well as the new GSA but they felt porky and not nearly as much fun although both are better for touring. The standard GS was comparable but would have cost me 40% more out the door.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Awesome on road, in the twisties and off road. Competent as a touring bike, but there are better options out there if that is your primary goal.
Engine
5 out of 5
I love V-twins and this is probably one of the best ever made. If anyone has any complaints about the engine character they need to have their heads examined. That said only time will tell if the engine holds up with time and high mileage.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
The bike has some well documented niggles but they can all be addressed with a bit of patience (dealing with your dealership and KTM) and a bit more dough (ie I got a new air box cover from KTM but still fitted a Unifilter air filter so now I am sure my airbox is now bomb proof when I go off-road). If the starter is underpowered I will harass my dealership until they swap it out with one from the 1290. In Canada at least the internet is a powerful tool and threat. That said Everything ever written in other reviews about the pains of dealing with KTM is true ... They are a joke. The service guys at the dealership laugh about it. As a comparison I am still getting notices about free replacements etc. from my 09 GSA. Fool me once shame on me but if they don't clean up their act they may not get a chance to fool me again regardless of how great their streetbikes are.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Relative to the GSA it replaced its dirt cheap. I did an oil change at 1k and have 10000 klm on it but the first service isn't until 15000 Kim's and the oem tires will likely last to 18000kms. Also I live in Canada where KTM inroads so I was able to purchase a 2014 in the Spring of 2015 for 25% less (8500 uk pounds out the door) than they were selling in the US even after I got a ridiculously good trade in on my 09 GSA. Such a ridiculously good value cannot be ignored.
Equipment
5 out of 5
The Bosh lean sensitive Abs is great. The control panel is the most intuitive I have ever tried. The KTM parts are a really good value ... I added engine guards, bash plate and heated grips for a fraction of the cost of my BMW equivalents. Most importantly unleash the beast with a Wings aftermarket titanium exhaust. It transforms the bikes sound, drops 15 pounds of weight and improves performance as well.
Buying experience

The local KTM dealership (who also sells Ducatis and Triumphs) was great to deal with.

5 out of 5

10 December 2015 by Desco

KTM 1190 Adventure R Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Adventure motorcycling at its best

26 November 2015 by Hawkslayers

Handing very impressive can put it over to the edge on standard tyre better than my BMW S1000R engine ,brakes top notch and comfort is really good only bad point is I'm 6 feet tall and I struggle to get on and off the bike, but all said its a... Read more cracking bike I put in a BMW GS1200 2014 water cooled model for it which was a great bike but the Ktm imho is better and way more fun

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Brakes and balance of the bike surprised me when I had a car pull out in front me the other day
Engine
5 out of 5
150bhp ample traction control switched of front wheel comes up 2/3rd gear with no effort in sport mode v twin is different from a inline four does take a bit of getting used to but I like it lots of grunt and really nice high end rush
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Had a problem when the bike wouldn't start thought it was a fuel pump but turned out to be a connection wasn't fully in LOL
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
40ish to the gallon so not to bad
Equipment
5 out of 5
Tools best I have had on a bike weld one ktm
Buying experience

Dealer Wayne mounter have been very helpful when buying never any pressure.

4 out of 5

Great performance and handling, poor customer support from KTM

22 September 2015 by Alien

Great power and handling! Always a blast to ride. KTM have not figured out how vitally important good customer service is for products no one actually needs. Let's face it, these are entertainment items, even if you commute daily (I do) on your... Read more bike. Nobody NEEDS (want, YES) a 150 BHP Adventure bike. KTM fight the dealers on warranty items and customer support. This is the main reason I may not buy another KTM (I have owned 3). Love the product, repeatedly disappointed by KTM's failure to acknowledge and rectify known issues. KTM are selling a premium performance product, yet their customer and product support are not reflective of the price points or this market segment.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Excellent!
Engine
5 out of 5
Fantastic!
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
I would gladly deal with the minor issues that accompany KTM ownership if the KTM customer support were halfway decent. KTM are dismissive and do not adequately address issues related to design and manufacturing shortcomings. Switchgear failures (3X) just out of warranty. KTM did not cover the cost for a poorly designed or manufactured part. Unacceptable! Air box issues. Poor design or manufacturing. KTM has not adequately addressed this. Aftermarket parts resolved the issue. Under seat heat issues. Aftermarket parts resolved the issue.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
KTM offer a solid overall value. Excellent equipment for the price and performance.
Buying experience

KTM dealers and service centers need to better reflect the premium product they are selling.

4 out of 5

Glad I went for the KTM

03 September 2015 by Toby1kenobi

Everything has been great (I live in Canada). Rides like a road bike and handles off-roading, although nothing too serious so far. Comfortable on long journeys but does get hot in traffic. Need KTM to get a software fix for the 'illegal' error after... Read more fitting the fuel dongle.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Done a couple of 6 hours rides with no complaints. Brakes are excellent, wasn't sure about ABS etc but happy to have it all now.
Engine
4 out of 5
Could always do with a bit of tweaking but even stock it's easy to handle but gives you the oomph when you need it.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Never failed me yet and mostly stock so far. Heated grips and extra lights work well with the onboard computer and switch placement.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Only had 2 services so far but my dealer is great, no complaints. Maple Ridge Motorsport in BC.
Equipment
5 out of 5
Had the KTM luggage fitted and am very happy with how easy it all is. Best are the additional lights. In Vancouver drivers are even more oblivious than the UK so any little thing is a boon.
Buying experience

Great dealer experience in BC Canada. Family run business and really helpful. http://www.mapleridgemotorsports.com/

3 out of 5

Living with a KTM1190 3yrs on.

25 June 2015 by TREV

KTM service levels poor....they still stuck in the dirt bike mentality forgetting they want to play in the topend of the market. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Really flexible ride with the Electronic suspension.....the 1190 and 1290 do suffer from the 'death wobble' a global issue, well documented problem requiring an aftermarket adjustable damper, stock unit is not up to the job.
Engine
5 out of 5
Sweet motor and slick shifting....
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
So many problems due to poor design, dirty airboxes, a global problem and now a joke..buy a new 1190...1290 then 1st mod is the airbox. Weak starters on the 2013 and 2014 bikes killing batteries and making winter starts impossible.2015 KTM quietly changed the 1190 starter to the 1290SD starter.Steering header bearings coming lose causing knocking...list goes on and on...
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Under warranty bike is cheap to run, out of waranty....I'd have sold my 1190 by then and gone to another brand.
Equipment
4 out of 5
KTM Powerparts do suffer from quality problems so not the 1st choice I have now learned.
Buying experience

Bought new from KTM....good sales experience.

Read all 12 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2013
Year discontinued -
New price £12,999
Used price £7,000 to £14,000
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £82
Annual service cost £300
Performance
Max power 150 bhp
Max torque 92 ft-lb
Top speed 140 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 180 miles
Specification
Engine size 1195cc
Engine type Four-stroke, liquid-cooled DOHC, 8v V-twin
Frame type Steel tubular
Fuel capacity 23 litres
Seat height 860mm
Bike weight 212kg
Front suspension WP inverted forks, fully adjustable
Rear suspension WP fully adjustable rear shock
Front brake 2x320mm discs. Brembo four-piston radial calipers. ABS
Rear brake 1x267mm disc, Brembo two-piston caliper. ABS
Front tyre size 120/70ZR19
Rear tyre size 170/60ZR17

History & Versions

Model history

2013: new model, replacing the 990 Adventure

Other versions

The 1190 Adventure R costs £13,799 and is more off-road biased.

Photo Gallery

  • KTM 1190 ADVENTURE  (2013-on)
  • KTM 1190 ADVENTURE  (2013-on)
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