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Updated KTM 1090 gets new lease of life

Published: 29 August 2018

The KTM 1090 Adventure is an accomplished machine, especially the off-road focused R, but sales have struggled in the face of competition from the Austrian brand's own KTM 1290 Adventure.

With the parallel twin KTM 790 Adventure incoming, many thought the 1090 would be scrapped but spy shots suggest the mid-capacity twin is getting big changes.

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The current 1090 is actually a 1050, as it still has the old engine; it just had a power increase to 123bhp. Our sources suggest the new model will get a capacity increase up to 1150cc, with a power boost to match.

It’s possible KTM will bump up the electronics to cope with the new power figures, especially with the technologically advanced 790 snapping at its heels.

The current 1090 is available in a low-powered (47bhp) configuration for A2 licence-holders, but we expect KTM to drop this model as the 790 now performs this role.

Bigger is better

As well as the new engine, the 1150cc machine will also get a cosmetic update, with new rally style fairings. It’s possible these fairings will incorporate fuel pods, as seen on the 790, either to increase the fuel range or to lower the centre of gravity. The screen is also larger and adjustable, as on the standard model.

The headlight has a central cut-out, too, suggesting it will have KTM’s adaptive cruise control radar; a missing option on the current 1090 Adventure.

Given the current state of the test mule and KTM’s busy release schedule, we don’t expect this model to be unveiled until 2019, with it going on sale in 2020 in time for the Euro5 legislation.

What we think we'll get from the 1090 Adventure

  • More cubes and more power - The new large-capacity engine should mean a bhp boost to the mid-130s
  • Revamped electronics - KTM will likely improve the electronics to include lean-sensitive traction control and cornering ABS
  • New body - The fairing is bigger than the 1090's but smaller than the new 1290's, suggesting it will remain a smaller option
  • Flash dash - We're expecting KTM to add the full-colour TFT dash from the 1290, making the 1150 a more complete package

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