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-   -   KTM 990 Adventure (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/which-bike/ktm-990-adventure-32804)

daz660 2 Feb 2008 19:40

KTM 990 Adventure
Hello all, after visiting the ktm stand at the london bike show today my mate and i have decided to use the ktm990 adventure for our 50000-60000 mile round the world trip, however i keep reading reports about reliability issues, can anyone tell me of problems with there 990 adventure on a long distance trip. also will it carry all the luggage spares and equipment required, Any info greatly appreciated.
Thanks again Daz660

Jake 2 Feb 2008 21:12

Daz best go to Orange crush on the adv riders website you will see the worst problem areas outlined there (But its very problem focused and paints a bit of a bad picture which I have not found to be the case). I must admit having owned and ridden the 950 adventure since there release in 03 and done many big trips it is a superb bike - but I tend to travel two up and therefore carry a larger amount of gear than i would like, If your going to be riding solo to be honest I think your looking at the wrong bike. It does have some reliability issues and servicing is a chore and overly complicated if your going to be crossing continents. The size and weight of this type of bike (and I include gs 1200 /1150 etc) will work against you in many situations. Before parting with cash get along to a hu meet and talk to people who have done what you are hoping to do - i think then you will revise your choice. That said I love the 950 but for me a smaller 600cc (single) bike would be far better for your intended trip. Pm me if you want more info and maybe I can ring you and give you a run down on the KTM as a travel bike.

MarkLG 2 Feb 2008 22:17

As Jake says the OC section on the ADV Rider site is a great resource, however take what you read on there with a large pinch of salt. There are a lot of 'experts' on there who are too quick to point out 'faults', and their so called 'improvements'.
There were a few problems reported with early bikes (water pumps and so on), but if you're getting a new 990 then they're now a well sorted very reliable bike. I'm up to 25000 miles on my 04 950 with no problems and it's rare to hear of problems when you speak to people in the real world.
If it's the right bike for your trip depends on where you're going and how much off-tarmac riding you intend to do. The big KTM's a capable bike off-road, but it is a handful and hard work (as with any heavy bike).

Take a look here:

OC Hall of Wisdom

and here:

Orange Crush - ADVrider

Sheikyabooty 3 Feb 2008 08:27

I have just put down a deposit on a 990 adventure s, and want to do a similar trip so I am interested in what people have to say about this bike on long distances. I tested one the other day and it was a complete blast left me with a grin on my face! That is one of the reasons I am getting rid of my 1200 adv.

Jake 3 Feb 2008 09:14

Like I said above the bike is superb but for solo travel around the world its more than is needed - try picking one up when its fully loaded after a fall on sand or gravel or loading a bike this size on or off a ferry or lorry/ train if you need to at some point (where there is no ramp) getting spares or even an able mechanic if your in usolje-siberskoje, kirensk or chilok and they are places on main routes when you are really in the backwaters if something goes wrong with the bike getting parts or are carrying out a repair is so much more difficult. Have you tried even simple thing like a tyre change in the peeing rain at the side of a road in a Russia its a killer the tyres are hellish to remove - for a travel bike this is a repair you will be faced with on this bike its harder than hard. Clutches need replaced between 20/30000 miles my clutch basket is worn badly and the clutch just went at 45000 thats two clutches from new. The rear shock failed at less than 30000 and a front fork jammed and needed re built at a similar mileage, off road I had endless faults of rear brake failure. I AM NOT TRYING TO BE NEGATIVE JUST REALISTIC OVERALL MY BIKE HAS BEEN PUT THROUGH A LOT OF HARD RIDING ON MANY ROADS WHILE HEAVILY LOADED; AND NEVER LEFT ME STRANDED - BUT DONT THINK THESE BIKES WONT BREAK THEY WILL LIKE ANY OTHER. They are however harder to service and need more regular care than many other options, they are pretty heavy on fuel for a solo travel bike and spares can be a nightmare to get in many places. For two up riding I still think its a good choice -thats why i ride one (along with the fact it is a superb motorbike) but dont get taken in by the salesman and the glossy mags those people are are not by thereself in a backwater in Africa, Russia or South America, If your in the showroom ask the salesman to pop the tanks off and show you the basic layout of the bike i bet he wont because just getting into it is a pain. Even better ask them to pop the rear tyre off using a set of levers to simulate a rear puncture - you will be there all day - believe me. Just while I am on my soap box - tyres try getting a rear tyre for the 950/990 bad enough at peak times in the uk but as its a very odd rim size they are just not available in most of the world so you will have to carry one or get it fed ex to places your going.

daz660 3 Feb 2008 21:40

Thanks for that guys, the only thing that puts me of a single cylinder is the road miles in north america, canada and australia amongst others, also the single will require an engine rebuild or 2 on a round the world trip, how often do you have to check the valves on yours jake? and how often do they actually require shims. Where in n/land or you from i'm from allenheads near hexham?.
Thanks again guys
cheers darren

patta 4 Feb 2008 07:04

I have the 950 S (53 plate) and have had my fair share of problems but never anything that's left me stranded at the side of the road (maybe I've been lucky) and nothing you wouldn't expect from 32000 miles. The clutch does seem to go at around 25000 miles. Having done some travelling on the 950 I decided to go for the KTM 640 Adventure for travel as it is lighter to pick up and move round. It has a good tank range. As Jake says, the 950 is great 2 up but as my girlfriend also rides, we both have a 640 and find them to be great bikes. Do you live in Allenheads? If you wanted to have a look at a 640 we are in Sunderland so you'd be welcome to come over and have a look round them. I still have my 950 because I think it's a great bike but the 640 is so easy to travel on.


Jake 4 Feb 2008 17:20

Daz I live up in Warkworth, like Iain (Patta) you can come and look over the 950 no problem I think looking at Iain s bike you get a better comparison between the 950 and the 640 - but be careful - Iain is a nutter and he will try to persuade you to attach a chariot to the side of whatever you buy (what more evidence do you need that he is barking than the fact he has a chariot attached to one of his main travel bikes)maybe he will stick you in his chariot and scare you stupid to try to bring you round to that way of travelling.
Anyway like I say just pm me or Iain and its not a problem. Bye the way as for servicing and maintenance I am not saying the ktm is impossible its just more difficult than you need to make things for yourself -next year I am off on a long trip taking in about 10 countries travelling down to Greece up through eastern block , ukraine crimea, east in russia kazakstan then north back through russia to murmansk and back through norway finland and sweden. And guess what I will be using the 950 so its not all negative.

daz660 4 Feb 2008 19:57

I might just call for a look at the bikes, i've an africa twin amongst other bikes at the mo so i might have a ride up or accross to sunderland, I'm living in Newcastle so not far. What sort of tank range do you get from the 950 i think the 990 i'm looking at holds 22 litres so i'd hope it will be good for 200 miles.
Thanks again Darren

Jake 4 Feb 2008 20:24

Like all things depends how you ride , but I reckon on average 22lts (same on 950) gets me about 160/170 miles to reserve - when taking my time which i tend to do when travelling I can get over 200 to the tank if I am solo but two up (and more gear onboard)its back to 170 ish. Reserve is good for 40 miles if you ease up. Off road fuel consumption is quite heavy using low gears and all. I also run a 45 rear sprocket instead of the standard 42. Non standard pipes and re jetted. (Bike feels much better on this set up than standard). I think when I was running standard gears and standard set up it was a bit better on the fuel. most people i know seem to get 170 ish + reserve.

patta 6 Feb 2008 12:13

me a nutter well possibly

Originally Posted by adventure950 (Post 172674)
I think looking at Iain s bike you get a better comparison between the 950 and the 640 - but be careful - Iain is a nutter and he will try to persuade you to attach a chariot to the side of whatever you buy (what more evidence do you need that he is barking than the fact he has a chariot attached to one of his main travel bikes).

Hi daz
What Jake is referring to is the fact the Debz and I are in the process of prepping our r100gs pd for our trip starting next year and yes we have added an extra wheel for good measure. Looking at your posts on another thread it would appear that we will be heading in a similar direction at about the same time, so we may well see you on the road:thumbup1:


daz660 6 Feb 2008 21:21

Hello Iain, Are you going right accross to vladivastok or magadan, if so how are you planning to cross over to north america? assuming that is where you are going.
Cheers darren

daz660 6 Feb 2008 21:28

Have you guys had you adventure 950/990s fully loaded up with panniers and all the gear and rode a lot of off road miles, the reason i ask is how strong is that rear sub frame when the bike is fully loaded, what sort of weight will it carry. The other question is can the fuel mapping be switched for low octane fuel if so is it a case of moving a wire or does the mapping alter itself. These are questions i've asked ktm but they could not anwser. What is the warranty backup like when one is in the middle of south america or africa.
Thanks agian guys
Regards darren

patta 7 Feb 2008 09:47


Originally Posted by daz660 (Post 173151)
Hello Iain, Are you going right accross to vladivastok or magadan, if so how are you planning to cross over to north america? assuming that is where you are going.
Cheers darren

Hi Darren,
Yes we are planning on getting across to Vladivostok, and then onto NA I have read reports that from this summer air vlad are starting to fly again for the oil workers from the US, so fingers crossed. If not down to Japan by boat and then across to the US.


rupertu 12 Jun 2008 18:21

KTM 990 Adventure
My rear shock has just gone on my KTM 990 Adventure R in Egypt at 23,000 kilometers. Will ship to Turkey in next few days and wonder if anyone knows anything about the rear shocks and how to repair? Should still be under warranty.

Any ideas?


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