KTM 1190 ADVENTURE (2013 - 2018) Review
- KTM's best Adventure model yet
- Big leap forward over 990
- Highly capable on and off road
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£270|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The new KTM 1190 Adventure 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.
- Related: Best adventure motorbikes
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.
KTM 1190 Adventure R explained
The same basic mechanical package, but with taller seat, longer-travel suspension, slightly longer wheelbase and more ground clearance. There’s also a shorter screen, a one-piece seat and a set of bolt-on crash bars to protect the engine, plus more dirt-orientated 21in front and 18in rear wheels to allow extra knobbly tyre options.
During 2013 MCN ran a KTM 1190 Adventure R as a long-term test bike. Its custodian, Michael Guy, found it capable both on and off the road.
Once you've read this review and our owners' reviews, you may want to join the community to meet likeminded people. We'd suggest the KTM Forum is a great place to start.
KTM 1190 Adventure R video review
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
KTM build bikes to take on Dakar, they are rough, tough and reliable.
We've got 14 KTM 1190 Adventure owners' reviews on the MCN site, with an overall score of 4 stars out of 5. Negative comments concern reliability in the main, with people suffering from corrosion and electrical gremlins in particular.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
ABS, fuel modes and traction control are standard. Electronic suspension costs £800 more.
|Engine type||Four-stroke, liquid-cooled DOHC, 8v V-twin|
|Frame type||Steel tubular|
|Fuel capacity||23 litres|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||45 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£270|
|Used price||£6,400 - £8,200|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||150 bhp|
|Max torque||92 ft-lb|
|Top speed||140 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||180 miles|
Model history & versions
2013: new model, replacing the 990 Adventure
The 1190 Adventure R costs £13,799 and is more off-road biased.
Owners' reviews for the KTM 1190 ADVENTURE (2013 - 2018)
16 owners have reviewed their KTM 1190 ADVENTURE (2013 - 2018) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£270|
Annual servicing cost: £100
Great v twin engine with loads of midrange but a bit chuggy low down. Handles very well for such a big bike. Keeping with sports bikes no problem apart from on fast A roads(no fun to be had there) Standard headlight quite poor but led options available. Brakes could be better. Overall a good bike and I love it. Not as relaxing to ride as its rivals as that engine just encourages you to ride quickly . Would definitely recommend tho.
Bike is best on windy B roads (live in Wales so perfect) Great all rounder that can do everything 7.5 out of 10. Standard seat hard most people upgrade to the ktm powerparts
Fantastic engine. Don't think you can get a better engine than a big v twin for road riding. Instant grunt for quick overtakes😀
Fuel gauge niggle which was easily fixable. So far so good.
All servicing done by myself so far to keep costs down. Plus finding bike ownership more satisfying when servicing/fixing and upgrading bike yourself.
Electronic suspension and imu keeping you sort of safe.
Buying experience: Private purchase. Do your research, learn what to check for and funny get carried away
This is both a brilliant bike and a pain in the bum (literally and metaphorically). I describe it to people as a cross between a super bike and a tractor. So basically, imagine a cross between a super sport bike and a two wheeled tractor and that, for me sums up the bikes nature and character as succinctly as possible.
A lot of people criticised the softer feel of the front Brembo brakes, however, if you take this bike off road, then the brakes make perfect sense - you don’t want instant sharp bit on front brakes off road. Rear brake is also good but has slightly softer bite which again makes perfect sense off road. On the road they are perfectly good also but they are not super bike style brakes. Ride quality - you definitely know you are riding a big, powerful v-twin. I like it because the bike tells you in no uncertain terms what it is, it doesn’t try to pretend. It’s not silly smooth, plush four cylinder sports tourer. But it’s fun on and off road and my god is it good off road! And surprisingly good on the road.
The engine is superb, the feel, the noise, the torque, the surging power. However, the throttle can be a bit anarchy but I grew up on a Yamaha XTZ750 Super Tenere whose throttle is basically an on/off switch so it doesn’t bother me. I also leave it in sport mode at all times. So that’s my fault really.
You will need to put an aftermarket fuel system in it. The fuel delivery system from fuel pump (located in the bottom of the petrol tank) to the injectors (fuel hose) needs to be replaced. This part of the bike is transplanted from the 990. The problem is the 1190 is much more powerful, and runs at a much higher fuel pressure and the 990 fuel system is simply not up to the job - its a relatively well known problem however, and there are superb aftermarket options available to sort this out that will also mean you can confidently put poor fuel (when abroad) in your bike. The seat - it appears to be made from a composite of hard wearing textile, foam, and concrete. If you intend to do more that 100 mikes per day on this bike, you will need to seek alternative or additional seating upgrade if you have a standard seat. I’ve gone for additional air cushion.
Servicing costs aren’t a big concern whether it be a standard service, or, for example a fork/suspension service with new fork oil, oil seals, and dust seals. Approximately £200 for either.
Mine has everything you could ever need on it as the original owner seems to have ticked all the options without being the r! The suspension is superb.
Buying experience: Bought from Gear4 Motorcycles Market Deeping, Peterborough.
Version: 1190 Adventure
Annual servicing cost: £180
Love the bike, gets you there without fuss. More rider input required than with a GS, but the ride is more urgent and attention-grabbing. Switch gear is the Achilles heel when damp. I also do not like the central seal over the wheel spokes, which makes tyre changes a gamble if you're using a garage unaware of the design. Other issue is bulb changes, which are ridiculous. The last thing you want when on a road trip. No one wants to strip half the front end at the side of the road.
Just back from seven days of continuous riding. Can still walk and talk and am ready to get back on.
A smooth V-twin once revving above 3000rpm under load. It doesn't have low rev delivery like a GS, which makes you use the gears more and this generates lots of fun.
Exhaust manifold metallurgy is poor. Lots of ACF50 and TLC required to keep it rust-free.
Replace the exhaust with a lighter end can. Lots of choices, you do not need to spend too much money for a name.
Buying experience: Dealer sale effort was pretty rubbish really, the servicing support has been a lot better.
Annual servicing cost: £450
As a sportsbike rider, I love this bike. Sports bike for long distance and twisties with options with the electronic suspension to change character for off-road back roads and hooning.
I use the bike for long distance holiday riding. 250 miles a day on back roads. it is not great at motorways and needs the ergo seat or an aftermarket pad. Wide bars are great but the seat is not as good in any way to a GS. At three figures with panniers, it can go into a low-frequency weave but that is being picky.
It is a cracker. Not as top endy as the RC8 or a Ducati but linear delivery. Lack of initial torque and throttle kindness at the urban filtering speeds (GS is soooo much better) make it a fag to ride slowly, but as soon as you wind on the throttle - wow. She is a good one. But more for the hard rider than the grey beard.
So far for me, famous last words, nothing has gone wrong in 7500 miles apart from the fuel float issue.
It is not cheap for this bike. Rear tyre 5k front 7k chain is on way out at 8k annual servicing is OTT as it is a KTM. Not a good point of ownership.
I have full three boxes. The exhaust side is limited but overall volumes are OK plus with a tank bag you aren't left behind. I have tried a few tyres over the year but like the Conti attacks best. I also had a linear lip added to the standard screen which helps on the motorway but is too tall for off-road. A compromise.
Buying experience: Got a deal through the trade. Sometimes life favours you.
Annual servicing cost: £500
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 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.
30 miles with a sore backside
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
They forgot to put a decent seat on it
Plus a new seat
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
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 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.
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.
The panniers are made of plastic so don't expect too much resilience, should have bought the aluminium ones.
Annual servicing cost: £300
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Service is so much better when KTM isnt involved .
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.
Version: Adventure Bike
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 its worst features.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Annual servicing cost: £100
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Version: KTM 1190 ADVENTURE R
KTM 1190 Adventure R
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 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
Brakes and balance of the bike surprised me when I had a car pull out in front me the other day
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
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
40ish to the gallon so not to bad
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 fitting the fuel dongle.
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.
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.
Never failed me yet and mostly stock so far. Heated grips and extra lights work well with the onboard computer and switch placement.
Only had 2 services so far but my dealer is great, no complaints. Maple Ridge Motorsport in BC.
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/
KTM service levels poor....they still stuck in the dirt bike mentality forgetting they want to play in the topend of the market.
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.
Sweet motor and slick shifting....
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...
Under warranty bike is cheap to run, out of waranty....I'd have sold my 1190 by then and gone to another brand.
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.
I love this bike, it puts a smile on my face every time I ride it. But, it's let me down twice over the winter. The first time a flat battery did it, no alarm fitted and ridden the previous day, it has been fine since. The second time it was a old pressure problem, turns out the oil filter had collapsed. Yes it was cold but I give it time to warm up and don't rev it hard. I am looking forward to a reliable summer, I don't expect this type of problems from a £14k bike. That said it's absolutely amazing when it's in motion, and it was the first winter for this model. If the reliability issues are resolved this would be one hell of a bike.
Having moved on from an R1200GS last summer the KTM still thrills. The engine is awesome, the extra few thousand rpm and bhp make it feel blisteringly fast. Handling is quick and precise. Tyres and brakes are rock solid, even in rain and single digit temperatures. I bought it because I wanted something a bit different but still comfortable and capable of two up touring. I got that and lots more, I got a daily thrill ride along with its touring credentials. It is expensive, I never thought I'd ever pay £15,000 for a bike, but it's similar to the other bikes in this class. Quality of parts has mostly held up over the winter or are in the process of being sorted by the dealer under warranty. Customization options are pretty good from KTM and aftermarket makers. Go for the racked KTM/Touratech luggage rather than the bespoke type, it's much more robust, usable and looks better.