KTM 1090 ADVENTURE (2017 - on) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £300
Power: 125 bhp
Seat height: Tall (33.5 in / 850 mm)
Weight: Medium (452 lbs / 205 kg)


New £11,299
Used £7,000 - £9,000

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The new 1090 has all the appealing qualities of the 1050 and is still easy to ride. But extra power makes it a more exciting ride, especially on twisty roads where its excellent handling and light steering come to the fore.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The chassis copes with the extra power with ease; in fact it feels like it could handle a further 25bhp. The conventional 48mm WP forks and WP rear shock work straight out of the box. The forks are non-adjustable but on our test route that didn’t pose any problems. A 170-section rear tyre and the 1090’s relatively low weight enable it to be hustled with ease. Boring it certainly isn’t. 

Unfortunately, we had less than ideal conditions to test the new 1090 but wet riding did highlight the bike’s rider-friendliness and near-perfect fuelling at low speeds. There are three riding modes: Sport, Street, and Rain with an optional Off-road setting. Each mode changes the engine characteristics and level of traction control intervention. 


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Although it's called the 1090, the engine is the same 1050cc motor as used in the outgoing 1050 Adventure. In the old model KTM restricted it to 95bhp, but they've unleashed an extra 30bhp for the 1090, pushing peak power to 125bhp and torque to 80.4ftlb. On the road it deels like KTM have thrown a bottle of Vodka into the punchbowl along with a dozen cans of Red Bull. The 1090 is much livelier and more fun to ride yet still has the ease of use of the original 1050.

Confusingly KTM also offer a 95bhp version of the 1090, which can then be restricted further to 47bhp for those on an A2 licence.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

KTM's LC8 engine is a proven motor by now, with few problems to report and KTM's Adventure family are well built.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The 1090 Adventure comes in much cheaper than the more premium competition, without skimping on quality. The standard price of £11,299 is good value, although the bike we tested would have cost £12,800.


3 out of 5 (3/5)

As the 1090 is the baby of the Adventure range the spec doesn't quite match that of its bigger brothers, but you do get three riding modes as standard: Sport, Street and Rain. An off-road setting can be unlocked with the optional off-road pack (£243.78). Traction control and ABS are standard but not lean-sensitive and the TC can't be deactivated on the move. Old-style clocks remain.


Engine size 1050cc
Engine type liquid-cooled, V-twin
Frame type Steel trellis
Fuel capacity 23 litres
Seat height 850mm
Bike weight 205kg
Front suspension 48mm WP fork
Rear suspension WP rear monoshock adjustable for pre-load and compression damping.
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs with four-piston Brembo caliper.
Rear brake 320mm rear disc with two piston Brembo caliper
Front tyre size 110/80-R19
Rear tyre size 150/70-R17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax £101
Annual service cost £300
New price £11,299
Used price £7,000 - £9,000
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 125 bhp
Max torque 80.4 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range -

Model history & versions

Model history

2017: Model introduced

Other versions

1090 Adventure R

Owners' reviews for the KTM 1090 ADVENTURE (2017 - on)

8 owners have reviewed their KTM 1090 ADVENTURE (2017 - 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 1090 ADVENTURE (2017 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Engine: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.4 out of 5 (4.4/5)
Equipment: 3.8 out of 5 (3.8/5)
Annual servicing cost: £300
4 out of 5 I never thought I would buy..
22 November 2022 by Olle

Year: 2017

Exciting ride, almost a premium motorcycle. Good for a 1-3 days ridingtour. Comfortable except the seat of course.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

Suspension could be more comfortable but its a KTM after all.. Wooden brakes from Brembo, not at all like the Brembo on my BMW R 1200RS.

Engine 4 out of 5

A different animal coming from my BMW R 1200RS or Moto Guzzi Norge. Like a Jack Russell terrier compared to a Retriever.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

After 10.000 miles. It takes some time to receive a 5. Forkseals leak so far.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Cheaper than the GS and the Africa Twin closed the deal for me.

Equipment 3 out of 5

Its not a 1290.. I have added bellypan (KTM), Centerstand, KTM), touringscreen (KTM), comfort seat (Touratech), tankbag (KTM), clutcgrip (Rottweiler) slipon (GPR). Funny l have never not even close to added so many equipments to a motorcycle..

4 out of 5 The best of BMW and Ducati all in one bike
12 June 2021 by Mike Glennon

Version: KTM1090S

Year: 2019

Never thought I'd aspire to a big KTM, but scooped up mine at bargain price, £2,400 off, as the model was being discontinued. To me, it's where BMW and Ducati meet. Premium, unbustable build quality with exotic image. A lithe, sporty mile-eater.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Excellent in all regards, though I'm hardly a demanding user.

Engine 5 out of 5

Endless power. Never need more than 5,000 rpm and 4,000 is more than enough for daily riding (that equates to 64mph in top). Heaven knows what it must feel like at 6,000+! Smooth and tractable at lower revs for a big V-twin. Gearbox is about the best I've ever experienced in 47 years of riding (and 41 bikes owned).

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Only used in the dry - and very gently, so unsurprisingly no issues. There were, however, five minor quality control issues on my bike (bodywork things), which the dealer P&H in Crawley attended to meticulously.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Have only done one oil change myself. Was surprised it needs the more expensive 10W-50 oil. Service intervals very wide, though, so that would help high mileage users enormously.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Compared with the more modest bikes I have been riding in recent years, the equipment levels seem impressive, but I'm sure direct rivals must be just as good(?). Managed to mount my Givi Monokey topbox on it (from my previous DL650), using a Kappa conversion plate (£35).

Buying experience: P&H in Crawley excellent. Gave me competitive p/x on my DL650, despite the enormous discount on this one. Superb commitment from them in sorting the bodywork glitches (despite their profit margin being so slim).

4 out of 5
20 March 2021 by Robert Humpage

Year: 2017

Gearbox not the smoothest

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

very good at everything, only let down by spongey brakes

Engine 4 out of 5

good but not as much torque from low down as I was expecting

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

poor plastics, have to be careful with the transfers

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

no better or worse than other marques

Equipment 4 out of 5

needs a comfier seat

4 out of 5 Love My KTM
25 October 2020 by Bubbleboy

Year: 2017

Lovely engine with plenty of power and character. Handling is excellent even with "basic" suspension. For me a much better real world choice than the 1290, it's lighter and not overloaded with electronics. ABS and traction control is all I really want or need. I wish KTM still had them in production.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Great bike for a Sunday blast or Long distance trip. Comfort is typical adventure bike. MRA split screen helps with buffeting and the standard seat is a plank after less than an hours riding. Easily sorted after I got a local seat company to fit a gel insert. Brakes are very good. No complaints there.

Engine 4 out of 5

Great engine, lots of character without being lumpy or vibey. Gearing is just right. Spins up really quickly, particularly in sport mode which is where mine usually stays.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

My first KTM. No issues so far.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Sensible servicing costs and 9k mile intervals. Fuel economy 45 to 50 + mpg and a proper 23 litre tank gives an easy 200 miles + between fill ups.

Equipment 3 out of 5

KTM heated grips are not as hot as expected and operation is clunky using the on screen menu. Oxford or Daytona grips are much better. Blanking off the 12v accessory socket is a cost saving too far, however the loom connections are there so no problem to fit if required. Definitely needs the seat sorting for longer trips.

5 out of 5 Worthy of the Adventure name
14 October 2019 by rodstead

Year: 2018

An update from the earlier review. Have just ridden the bike for 6,000 miles in Southern Africa on a mix of tarmac, unpaved, gravel, dirt & sand with a pillion. It performed really well with confidence-inspiring handling & amazing economy (13.3m/l). No complaints from the pillion - very comfortable on the seat. Occasionally the heat from the engine was noticeable but otherwise faultless.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

It did everything it was asked to.

Engine 5 out of 5

Still the best feature - very flexible but with real poke when you open the throttle.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

No issues - nothing fell off because of the the corrugated roads.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Staggeringly economical for such a big bike with pillion & 30kg of luggage.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Offroad mode is worth the cost.

5 out of 5 A Great all round bike
09 September 2019 by Steve S

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £300

The 1090 is a fantastic bike it performs every task outstandingly the way it rides is fantastic, and on a damp track the rain mode inspires confidence (the traction control is seamless) on the twisty section select sport and you heart will be pumping it is smooth as silk pure joy, I can’t fault the 1090 and will never understand why KTM have stopped production.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

The 1090 is a Fantastic Bike it does the lot Brembo Brakes WP Suspension what more could you want.It has a 200 mile plus range you can ride that distance in comfort I take a pillion more often than not and the comfort is spot on.(although the standard single seat was not the best for my Pillion so I fitted the twin seats that are on the 1290)

Engine 5 out of 5

The engine is lovely, sounds great when you get above 3000 rpm I think they have got this spot on. I hired an 1190 for a trip in Aus and tested the 1290 before I purchased my 1090, perhaps I am a lucky chap and the God of engineering has had a hand in bringing my engine to life but as good as the 1190 was in Aus and as breath taking as the 1290 is the 1090 lump in my opinion is the most useable.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Only covered 3500 miles so far not missed a beat an old engineering saying 99 times out of a 100 if it looks right it is right, every weld, every component looks right, built for a hard life she will be good.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

The first service was just under £200 and I had Demo to try whilst they serviced mine, can’t fault the aftercare. Going forward the cost per service looks ok the 9000-mile interval for me will only be one service a year.

Equipment 4 out of 5

I like the clocks so no TFT is not an issue the three riding modes are more than enough for me so the only items missing to make it 5 out 5 are Heated Grips and a centre stand Standard.

Buying experience: I bought the bike from the KTM in Oxford (great to deal with) on an end of production deal the dealer gave a little bit of discount on the heated grips, centre stand ( I think both of which should have been standard) and a set of panniers. They gave me a good price for my R1200GS part exchange so valve was very good.

5 out of 5 An outstanding bike
13 April 2019 by rodstead

Year: 2018

It's a hooligan's machine that just makes me smile every time I use it. Just love it! Fuel economy is fantastic - averaging 12.2m/ltr when hammered.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

To quote The Greatest, floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee. Supply ride that sharpens up when pushed hard. Brakes are amazingly effective.

Engine 5 out of 5

Pulls like a train in all gears!

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Looks great, finish is excellent & no warranty issues. Only issue is with the unlocking of the top box - this is really poor.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Costs for first service & dealer fitted extras seem very reasonable.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Equipment level is good for the price. Seat isn't particularly comfortable in standard form. Top box isn't worth the money - opening mechanism is very poor - so save £'s & buy a Givi.

Buying experience: Main dealer was very helpful - got a massive discount which I've re-invested in accessories.

5 out of 5 Best of the bunch for me
20 June 2018 by 365 rider

Year: 2017

Best bike ever for me, and I've had a few. Comfortable on long trips, sportive, good for 2-up...

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Services are only every 15k, but expensive at official dealers.

Engine 5 out of 5

Super strong and vivid engine.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5

1090 comes very standard.

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