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Found 335 results

  1. Eric Hall

    KTM 1290R vs 1090R

    This is @FeralCat2Wheels posing next to the 1290R. She has ridden her 1190R (and other bikes) all over the world and was very excited to get a demo ride. I got to do a demo ride on both the 1290R and 1090R at Overland Expo West this past weekend. I will share what I can but this type of mass market demo ride really does no justice to their bikes for the big adventure bike community. For many reasons, XLADV should have been at the 1090R launch last month where it could have been more thoroughly and properly evaluated. I would have liked to have tested the bike in real off road conditions, run it through its various modes, experienced the front wheel abs, etc... And I think you the XLADV member deserves that unbiassed evaluation; one you won't find in the old line magazine press. We rode for about 19 minutes and were not allowed to take the the bikes out of street mode, nor were able to test it in any type of gravel, sand, mud or hills. They did say the bikes were outfitted with some of KTM's "PowerParts" but I think the pegs are actually stock and they were quite adequate! The bash plates are what you'll have to pay extra for, as well as a center stand for the 1090R if you want it. So all I can really say about the two bikes is that the 1290R, based on its geometry and weight, is probably better suited for the rider who may do a bit off light off road but prefers that street performance. It had more of a "Duke" feel to it than an "R" feel. I'd love to take this bike two up on a long trip with some easy national park type dirt roads. The bars felt way too low in the standing position and when seated, my knee was in much more of an angle. I'd definitely need risers, a tall seat and even lowered pegs to make this bike suitable for off road. On the other hand, the 1090R is really better suited for the type of riding I prefer and that's off road. The standing position feels immediately more natural and comfortable and it was as if I would need no risers at all (okay, maybe an inch). It does feel like the natural successor to the 990, even more so than the 1190R. Not sure if anyone in the press ever mentioned this but I will here now; the 1090R is actually a few kg lighter than the 990 was! I was actually considering selling the 990 at some point this summer and getting the 1090R as the new project bike but I just don't have a good enough feel for what it is to make that type of decision. Plus, we have even some more exciting bikes coming soon from Yamaha in the T7 and even KTM with their 790 twin this fall. So that's all I'm really prepared to say about these two bikes at this point. Like I said, the bikes and you the reader deserve a real evaluation from XLADV and not some mass market 19 minute demo ride. And this is as far as what I have to say about the bikes will go. I'm not sharing this out on social media. If KTM wants an objective account of their bikes, they can invite us to their press launches. We are in their back yard after all as well as have a much larger reach than a few of the magazines that do get invitations. But more importantly is the objectivity.
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