The off-road sized rims and heavily-treaded tyres should spell vague handling, but largely they don’t. The quality WP suspension is plush and only gets a bit wobbly if you start throwing it around at high-speed. Feedback is enough to inspire confidence, and it rarely gets flustered. The KTM 990 Adventure has sports-bike kicking pace on less than perfect roads, or will lollop along enjoying the scenery too.
KTM’S LC8 engine was a impressive first effort for a road engine, but earlier 950 and the previous KTM 990 Adventure had a touch of vibey crudeness that betrayed KTM’s off-road past. A new crank has taken the edge off, leaving the punchy motor with a typical v-twin lumpy but involving delivery. The strong torque is perfect for back-road playing and luggage/pillion carrying alike.
The build is largely the same as the old model, so it shouldn’t provide too many issues. New black-coated chassis parts look resilient. A handful of owners report engine issues, but by and large they last well. Like most European bikes, more regular checks should keep it happy. Learn how to check oil level in the dry sump correctly.
At £9695 the KTM 990 Adventure isn’t a cheap bike, but for your hefty outlay you get a versatile bike that will tour, long-distance commute and hammer along back roads at an indecent pace. It’ll even deal with gentle off-roading in novice hands, and a set of full knobbly tyres add enough traction to keep more experienced mud-pluggers happy. Consider the rest of the adventure trailie opposition too – BMW’s R1200GS, Triumph’s Tiger and Ducati’s Multistrada offer serious options. Find a KTM 990 Adventure for sale.
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A digital dash, decent rider/pillion seat comfort and a protective fairing make for a happy riding experience. The twin fuel tanks require filling individually, which is a minor inconvenience but helps keep the bike slim-line by tucking fuel storage into nooks and crannies.