Long-term test: KTM 1050 Adventure

Published: 13 May 2015

Those who buy the printed version of MCN that's published today will see me extolling the virtues of the KTM 1050 Adventure, a bike that doesn’t need to be cleaned every time it gets dirty.

Running the KTM, with its dirt-bike origins, frees me from the tyranny of running pretty bikes that demand to be kept clean at all times.

It’s a tyranny that’s entirely self-inflicted as other people are happy to keep filth-coated Ducati Monster 1200s or Triumph Street Triples, which are the bikes I’ve run over the past two years.

But I felt like I’d neglected those bikes if they looked grubby, which put me off riding them on wet and dirty days as they soon looked unkempt.

It’s a different story with the KTM, which actually looks better for a coating of dirt. And that means I’m riding more than I have in either of the past couple of years, as wet weather isn’t putting me off. The greater distance potential of a comfortable bike with decent wind protection and a tank range of more than 200 miles is also encouraging me to put in the miles.

I’ve been on two additional long journeys since writing the report that’s in today’s paper and the KTM made light work of two hours in the saddle, including one ride through horrendous wet and windy conditions.

MCN’s editor also stuck in a couple of big stints when he borrowed the KTM for a quickfire trip from Peterborough to Newcastle – and when he got back he was highly impressed with the comfort.

It’s time for me to start planning some trips further afield and it looks as though a journey to Germany is on the cards later in the summer, and I fancy a trip up to enjoy the glorious roads and scenery of Scotland while we English are still welcome (I’m joking, hopefully!).

I’m impressed with the 1050 so far as the 95bhp V-twin is plenty powerful enough, and is responsive enough in its softer Street mode for me to not need the snappier Sport mode much. Handling-wise, it does everything it should and I’m hoping an impending change of tyres from the standard and chunky Continental TKC70s (around £215 a pair in the KTM’s sizes) to Dunlop TrailSmarts (around £210) will flatter it a little more on road rides.

The other thing I’ve done to the bike since the print report was written is to clean it. Just because I don’t need to clean it every five minutes, that doesn’t mean it won’t get a few sponge-downs as the year goes on. I’ve even posted a picture to prove it!

The bike KTM 1050 Adventure £10,999
Weight 229kg (with fuel) Seat height 850mm
Miles covered 1547 MPG 44
The rider:
Tony Hoare, Consumer Editor
Height 5ft 10in Weight 89kg
Type of rider Touring and commuting pleasure rider who’s run a host of adventure-style bikes over the last 10 years
tony.hoare@motorcyclenews.com

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