After years of building the most off-road-oriented of the big dualies with its 950/990 Adventure models, KTM balanced the scales by introducing the all-new 1190 Adventure last year (Rider, May 2013). It features less extreme styling, a more reasonable (and adjustable) seat height, more street-friendly 19- and 17-inch wheels, and a well-integrated electronics package, including engine modes, multi-stage traction control, dual-mode ABS and electronically adjustable suspension. Its RC8 superbike-derived 1,195cc V-twin puts 131 horsepower to the rear wheel but can be softened to 90 horsepower in Off-road mode (April 2014). The engine, 6-speed transmission, wet slipper clutch and die-cast aluminum swingarm are held in place by a lightweight steel trellis frame, and final drive is via chain.
For 2014, KTM proclaimed the 1190 Adventure to be the “world’s safest motorcycle” because it’s the first (and so far only) production bike equipped with ABS that works while leaned over in a corner, a system called Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC) that was co-developed with Bosch. In our April solo test, we declared it “nothing short of a miracle.” MSC, standard ABS and excellent Brembo triple-disc brakes that are linked front-to-rear make for a highly effective, confidence inspiring setup. Spoked aluminum wheels have sealed rim centers that allow tubeless tires, and the 1190 Adventure comes standard with Continental TrailAttack2 tires designed specifically for this model and its unique braking system.
Rather than offer lots of options, KTM gives you nearly everything in the standard model, which makes the 1190 Adventure a solid value. The base price of $16,499 includes riding modes, ABS, MSC, TC, the Electronic Damping System (EDS) and niceties like LED running lights, a power socket and a centerstand. For this test, we added saddlebags and heated grips, bumping the as-tested price to $17,834.
This article was part of a motorcycle comparison titled Tough Trio, which was published in the August 2014 issue of Rider magazine, along with test articles on each of three three motorcycles. You can read the main comparison article HERE. And you can find all the individual reviews here:
* 2014 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure
* 2014 KTM 1190 Adventure
* 2014 Yamaha Super Ténéré ES