Progressive International Motorcycle Show, Chicago: KTM, Highlights from Team Orange

20160214_120446 - CopyLike Ducati, I can’t help but feel like KTM runs some sort of unicorn factory. What do I mean, unicorn factory? Take the 1290 Super Adventure for instance, the 1301 cc engine makes 160 HP, while the bike weighs 505 pounds (Dry), and has almost 8 inches of suspension travel; how is that possible? The Tiger Explorer (that I’m also lusting after) has almost 100 extra pounds on the KTM, and it certainly has lower performance with its smaller displacement. I don’t know what unobtanium these Austrian machines are made of, but I can’t help but want to ride one.


Beyond the stat sheets, I know virtually nothing about KTM other than what I’ve read. While I have a close friend with a 990 Adventure, I don’t know anyone else personally with any of the street faring variants. That aside, I can’t help imagining what a gas that little RC 390 has to be in the twisties.


Despite all the hype about the big bore V-twins from KTM, it’s really the 690 Enduro that really catches my eye. I’ve mentioned before, would a 690 Enduro with a good seat make the ultimate adventure bike? Better performance and obviously more dirt worthy than the KLR (so I hear at least; ready to race right?), the 690 could feasibly tackle harsh off-road conditions while still humming along the freeway when needed (a little buzzy maybe?). This is all theoretical I guess, but it goes without saying, there’s a lot of “lore” surrounding these mystical KTM off-road machines (Dakar Rally results certainly don’t help the matter).

Back to the IMS Chicago

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9 Responses to Progressive International Motorcycle Show, Chicago: KTM, Highlights from Team Orange

  1. Pingback: Progressive International Motorcycle Show 2016, Chicago: The Preview | Moto Adventurer

  2. Gerry Mandering says:

    Recycled unicorn horns and second hand fairy dust is usually made into light weight trellis frames and chain drives. This saves significant weight over spine frames and shaft drives.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MotoADVR says:

      I agree that the 1200cc Tiger isn’t the best comparison, but even when you put tge KTM 990 against the Tiger 800, the 990 still bests the Tiger… and it’s lighter.


  3. steve ford says:

    KTM has come a very long way in developing their machines over the years to rival the European exotics. But according to a friend of mine who is a KTM dealer, AND my independent motorcycle mechanic, KTM still has a long way to go before either of them will put one in their garage. The dealer says he has more warranty claims for KTMs than any other brand he sells, and the mechanic says that occasionally the part he needs to repair a customers bike is unavailable in the states so he has to wait weeks for it to come from Austria (or India in some cases where some of the KTMs are manufactured). The dealer friend also told me that many times when they can’t resolve an issue, especially a computer related issue, they have to call for support and it’s not uncommon for the KTM tech to say “Ummm…. let me talk to some people here and get back to you” and days later he might get a call back with an answer. For the price KTM wants for their bikes, I’d want to be riding it, not waiting for it to be fixed. Beautiful bikes, no doubt, but until KTM has enough history under their belts to offer a reliable product, I’ll just stick with the 5 Jap bikes I own that seem like they’ll never die.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MotoADVR says:

      Good input Steve. My buddy loves his 990 Adventure, which he rode to Alaska and back, but I’m not sure how much it’s been tested since. Considering the miles I rack up, I’m going to have to stick with a tried and true reliable steed as long as I’m running a single stall stable.


  4. curvyroads says:

    We have a friend who sells KTM, so we went to a demo day last fall. My husband and I both rode the new 1290 super-whatever, and were not impressed. Buzzy, twitchy throttle, just not a fit. I liked the 1190, on the other hand, much more. It was powerful but much smoother. Hub rode the 690 but said it was way too buzzy for our kind of LD travel. Just fyi 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Progressive International Motorcycle Show, Chicago: Ducati Motorcycles, Highlights of Desmodromic Supermodels | Moto Adventurer

  6. Pingback: Progressive International Motorcycle Show, Chicago: KTM, Highlights from Team Orange - Kağıthane Kurye

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