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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 28 Feb 2011
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Honda AT vs KTM 990 adventure

Anyone wants to share his or hers experience on the weak and strong points of the KTM 990 (or 950)?

Deciding whether to take my trusted but rather dated '93 Africa Twin or buying the KTM. Will be doing at least 3 months in either SA or cross Asia (Russia/Mongolia). Will be substantial parts off road.
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  #2  
Old 28 Feb 2011
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My $0.02: If you're doing a lot of off road, keep it light, sell the AT and buy something no bigger than a 650 single, preferably even smaller cc's than that.

Big bikes are fine for 2 up long distance but quickly become a huge pain in the ass in loose sand/mud etc.
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  #3  
Old 28 Feb 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Groott View Post
Anyone wants to share his or hers experience on the weak and strong points of the KTM 990 (or 950)?

Deciding whether to take my trusted but rather dated '93 Africa Twin or buying the KTM. Will be doing at least 3 months in either SA or cross Asia (Russia/Mongolia). Will be substantial parts off road.
IMO, the KTM is better in every aspect (engine, suspension, brakes etc...) but the reliability. If you plan to go to isolated places, reliability may come on the top of the list. So I would keep the AT and maybe upgrade the suspension and make a big tune-up on it.

My 0.02$

Now, I know KTM aficionados may argue that their Adventure is extremely reliable and so on, but whatever is the brand, a modern bike is much more difficult to fix on roadside than old one.
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  #4  
Old 2 Mar 2011
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Mike and Fred, thanks for your replies.

The AT is indeed heavy but I think I will give it a solid upgrade and use that. The main elements of the bike are still really good, although I must admit that the frequency of minor issues is increasing.

I still aim to get the KTM 990 for driving around at home though. Bit of a paradox that the thing looks so rough but is not really suited for remote off road. IMO it is still better suited than the BMW GS, and don't really understand why anyone would take that off the road.
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  #5  
Old 2 Mar 2011
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Originally Posted by Groott View Post
I still aim to get the KTM 990 for driving around at home though. Bit of a paradox that the thing looks so rough but is not really suited for remote off road.
Someone should tell these guys quick before the hurt themselves!

www.The-Great-Adventure.fr in Salta, Argentina on Vimeo
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Old 2 Mar 2011
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I also found my AT would run on almost anything, not sure of the KTM would be so happy...
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Old 2 Mar 2011
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Not really off road, that's just crap roads. Any old bike will do though and the AT will be fine, I've done big trips on big bikes and smaller bikes and given the choice, I'd do it all again on a light bike. We just had Austin Vince in town giving a couple of presentations at the weekend, he'll be on a Serrow 250 for his next trip!

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Originally Posted by frinch11 View Post
Someone should tell these guys quick before the hurt themselves!

www.The-Great-Adventure.fr in Salta, Argentina on Vimeo
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Old 2 Mar 2011
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I think video 5 highlights the problem with bigger bikes. never impossible, but tiring if you're riding solo on remote trails.
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Old 2 Mar 2011
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Doesn't even need to be remote, just watched a cop drop his Pan European this afternoon on Queen St / Hanover St and couldn't pick it up so had to get help from passers by.

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Originally Posted by DougieB View Post
I think video 5 highlights the problem with bigger bikes. never impossible, but tiring if you're riding solo on remote trails.
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  #10  
Old 2 Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Groott View Post
Anyone wants to share his or hers experience on the weak and strong points of the KTM 990 (or 950)?
Sorry guys I thought this was a thread about sharing experiences of the KTM 950/990. As I've owned one for 5 years and travelled a to a few places I thought I had a good idea about the merits of the bike, didn't realise I was surrounded by so many experts.

Same old same old.

Anyway, it's good that you saw the video, at least you know what one looks like now.....
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  #11  
Old 2 Mar 2011
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Originally Posted by petesonhisway View Post
Same old same old.
exactly, there's nothing unique about them... all big bikes have their off-road limitations, all small bikes have their on-road limitations. take your pick. colour is irrelevant.
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  #12  
Old 3 Mar 2011
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KTM 950 excellent bike, owned one for 5 years done about 40 odd thousand much of it two up on all kinds of terrain. Never let me down when I was away. Build quality excellent, reliability excellent,ride quality excellent and for two up riding its excellent. The downside are its a bit labour intensive for servicing and to maintain (roadside problem solving and repairs are a bugger due to poor access to the engine and main running parts), parts are expensive and can be a problem to obtain and its quite a handful when the going gets challenging more so when loaded up heavy.(like most big bikes) - my r80gs is easier to ride in all the above conditions - far simpler to work on or maintain, but is slower and not as much fun as a riders bike. Like Dougie said take your pick it what your happy with at the end of the day and live with the downsides - they all have up and downsides.
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Old 3 Mar 2011
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Thanks Jake, that is really useful to hear. Exactly what I was looking for.


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Originally Posted by adventure950 View Post
KTM 950 excellent bike, owned one for 5 years done about 40 odd thousand much of it two up on all kinds of terrain. Never let me down when I was away. Build quality excellent, reliability excellent,ride quality excellent and for two up riding its excellent. The downside are its a bit labour intensive for servicing and to maintain (roadside problem solving and repairs are a bugger due to poor access to the engine and main running parts), parts are expensive and can be a problem to obtain and its quite a handful when the going gets challenging more so when loaded up heavy.(like most big bikes) - my r80gs is easier to ride in all the above conditions - far simpler to work on or maintain, but is slower and not as much fun as a riders bike. Like Dougie said take your pick it what your happy with at the end of the day and live with the downsides - they all have up and downsides.
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  #14  
Old 3 Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petesonhisway View Post
Sorry guys I thought this was a thread about sharing experiences of the KTM 950/990. As I've owned one for 5 years and travelled a to a few places I thought I had a good idea about the merits of the bike, didn't realise I was surrounded by so many experts.

Same old same old.

Anyway, it's good that you saw the video, at least you know what one looks like now.....

When I see posts like this I smell the reek of cognitive dissonance. I have not owned a KTM but my brother has. Reliability is a major problem, his was in the garage being repaired for two thirds of the time he owned it. We chatted to the engineers and they admitted that these bikes are no end of trouble.
While owning my old BMW F800gs I was approached by three 990 owners who all said to me they wanted a bike like mine due to the weight and poor fuel economy of the KTM. For the record, I wouldn't take the BMW either, that turned out to not be as reliable as I had hoped. Getting a smaller bike is good advice. Better advice is sticking to a bike you already trust and know well.
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  #15  
Old 3 Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jtw000 View Post
When I see posts like this I smell the reek of cognitive dissonance. I have not owned a KTM but my brother has. Reliability is a major problem, his was in the garage being repaired for two thirds of the time he owned it. We chatted to the engineers and they admitted that these bikes are no end of trouble.
While owning my old BMW F800gs I was approached by three 990 owners who all said to me they wanted a bike like mine due to the weight and poor fuel economy of the KTM. For the record, I wouldn't take the BMW either, that turned out to not be as reliable as I had hoped. Getting a smaller bike is good advice. Better advice is sticking to a bike you already trust and know well.
Its a shame you have had such bad experience of the KTMs that you know about. I know of three including my own that have done over 50000 miles of all year round use in british winters, been used for trips into remote areas two of the bikes to hot sandy dusty conditions my own to arctic and Russia all three of these bike have been very reliable with a few minor faults. All the
bikes are early 2003 950s so maybe the first were built better - or maybe the maintenance on the ones you know about has not been up to standard - but I can only speak of my own experience and the bike was simply excellent but expensive in time and parts to maintain. One other bike I know of with 40000 miles a 950S the original very tall model owned by a mate from new is about to come up for sale - and it also has been very reliable.
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