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Eric Hall

KTM 1090 R Issues

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Ari Henning of Motorcyclist Online's written review.  Also very good.  Honest.

My favorite part?  "Melding touring comfort with genuine off-road capabilities is what today’s XL adventure bikes are all about 

Video review here:

 

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Review by Scott Hoffman of DirtBikeTest.  I've taken Jimmy Lewis' class twice and had Scott teach me quite a bit there, so he knows what he's talking about for sure. 

He did mention his wheels were still round after the end of the test, so that's nice to hear.  Had I been there I would have inspected each bike on the last morning to see what percent were without major dings.

FirstRide-KTM1090R-static-1.jpg

 

FirstRide-KTM1090R-act-11.jpg

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I met some 1090R owners, one of them had just picked up the bike and rode it straight to KTM rally. He said it had a funny head shake, turned out the steering stem was only hand tight, he also had some issues with the fuel gauge. From what I heard it may be the same issue that the 1190 has with a sticking sending unit inside the fuel tank. 

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This side stand issue is nothing new; it's been a problem for as long as the LC8 has been in existence.  My 990 has the same issue which is why I got the relocator kit.  I think the issue here may simply be arrogance by engineers rather than cost cutting accountants.  KTM is very much race-driven and they haven't put as much effort into making bigger adventure bikes outside of simply sizing up what they know about small bikes.  They don't realize (or don't care) a heavier bike is going to put a lot more force on that area and hey, why not just let the aftermarket take care of it (like the air box)?

Similar story I heard on the 1190R; apparently it had been wired for a future set of heated grips but that option was left off out of a sense that "these are race machines not Starbucks bikes" and they didn't really want to be bothered with such accoutrements.  I'm not making this up, it's based on what I've heard and read over the years about the culture.  I've heard quite a bit of other stuff too (from KTM factory riders no less) about the radiator mounts (they are weak and come off; there are aftermarket fixes for those too) and some other fixes one might consider making to the skid plate mounting tabs so as to prevent an engine puncture.

These are simply issues unique to these bikes.  Every bike has their own issues as we've seen over time.  I'd still ride the heck out of them and they're going to be better than most.

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Things to know:  The side stand is mounted to the frame, can break off, and even damage the motor.  I bought a kit to relocate the stand.  

Must take the bike apart to get to the air box.

The heat off the motor is intense, even painful.  To help manage it, changed the air box to a Rottweiler replacement, new muffler to open exhaust flow, new insulated manifold, made a heat shield for the seat, and mounted side panels on the frame.  And this is before I took it off the lot.  

Fuel gauge inaccuracies.  

Fuel pump malfunction. 

Sometimes, a lot of times, the  bike stalls when started, or just won't start.

I no longer trust KTM to build a top shelf motorcycle.  

I will not buy KTM again.  Quality control is poor.  They know of these issues, but must assume the consumer is gullible. 

I stupidly trusted my sales man, buyer beware.

 

 

 

 

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sad to hear all these because I was about to order 2018 1090 as their prices went down before 790 lunch...

That engine mounted side stand is really stupid by ktm, damn what they'we thinking and why it's not changed 

since years? Laziness? for sure it's not more expensive to mounted to the frame instead.

Edited by robson
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I have been googling the 1090 adventure r like a madman... I was about to pay cash for a 2018.  My extremely insane friend who likes 130mph  on his 990 adv (my skill will never be at his level) thinks I should get a used 990  but the prices for the low mile once are approaching 9K+.  (Strangely my wife bristled at me buying a used bike, I didn’t except it but, hey, not totally a bad problem.)

Anyway, 51 yold rider here, rode dirt bikes from 12 to probably 19 then street bikes till about 27.  Went without a bike from 27 to age 49.  Currently ride a street bike (15 Aprilia Shiver, underrated street bike IMO and ride the crap out of it.)

But I live in Washington State, so much more to ride than just slab.  Walker ORV park is like 10 miles from my house plus all the cascade forrest roads.

Had settled ongoing to pick up a 2018 1090 next week but now I don’t know really what to do.

I want a bike I can log any amount of miles on but I really want to get off road as well.

Feel kinda overwhelmed at the choices. I know I also may talk my wife into going with me so that’s why I had settled on the 1090 for it’s over all capabilities.

I’ve even considered getting a true dual sport to develop/revisit off road skills first, but like I said, I want to do some long trips with a passenger.

I don’t believe in unicorn bikes... they all have their pros and cons... I just want the best set of pros and cons for me I guess.

If only I could have a garage full of 10 bikes.... but that ain’t realistically happening for lots of reasons.

 

Thanks for at least objectively pointing out issues this bike has.

 

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